Heartworm in dogs? How expensive is it?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I strongly suspect one of my dogs has it. He started hacking a dry cough a few months ago and the vet poo-pooed it, but he is still doing it and he is panting a lot. This started after all three dogs had a bout of kennel cough, but his never seemed to go away, and the other dogs haven't gotten the cough back. If he had kennel cough, the other dogs would have caught it from him. I think it's probably in the early stages. If he has it, how much does it cost? I have to treat it.

    I know I should have had them on heartworm preventatives, but until this year I honestly didn't know how much an indoor dog needed it. I have already ordered heartworm preventatives online this year, but it may be too late for my girl.

    Thanks!
     
  2. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    ALL dogs need heartworm protection. Even inside dogs. All it takes is one bite from an infected mosquito. While deworming a heartworm infested dog is easier than it used to be; it is still hard on the dog, can be lifethreatening, and isn't cheap.

    The monthly preventatives, depending on which type you get, may also prevent infection with some other more benign parasites as well. I use Heartgard Plus, which is ivermectin based and not only prevents heartworm infection, but gets roundworms as well.

    Get your dog tested. If he comes up positive, get him treated. It is unsafe to use a preventative on an infected dog
     
  3. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    I should add that a mosquite gets the heartworm microfilaria (baby heartworms) by biting an infected animal. So, not only is an infected dog itself at risk, it puts other dogs at risk by being a source of baby heartworms for mosquitoes.
     
  4. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    easy child had to have his dog treated. We had kept him at our house for several years while they moved around. We missed a month of maintenance. Treatment cost about $2000.
     
  5. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Bubba had kennel cough (there is a vaccine, not sure how we missed it one year) about 3 - 4 years ago. He's never gotten over the cough or the snotty nose. Not sure about heartworm...
     
  6. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Heartworm is expensive to treat and hard on the animal. I'm also going to say that if the dog is panting and coughing a lot and it is from heartworms, it's more than likely not in the early stages.

    Do not give heartworm medications to any of your dogs until they have tested negative for heartworms. It can be harmful to give preventative medications if they are already infected.
     
  7. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Hi ya,

    I'm sure you are feeling pretty bad right now. I know the dog is feeling even worse so lets start with him. A simple 3 minute blood test will tell you if he's a high positive or a low positive. What does that mean? Okay - a quick return on the little test (it's a blood test that looks like a pregnancy test in essence) will mean that he's polluted. A slow return will mean that he is carrying them but that the worms aren't completely clogging his heart like spaghetti. (that's what it looks like in the end) That's why it's so hopeless and that's why you need to get him treatment ASAP.

    Okay - so someone said you can't put him on preventative now - TRUE -it WILL KILL HIM. HOWEVER......there is medicine that you can give him through a vets office in doses. You also have to keep him VERY STILL almost IMMOBILE in a cage once you start treatment. I MEAN IMMOBILE. Out to pee/potty, then back in the cage. NO EXCITEMENT for weeks on end. (Months)

    He will also need supplements during this time because - he's going to get weak. The ivermectin in high doses will kill the worms and the (see what GN wrote) but it is IMPERATIVE that your dog get the measured dose on time, and that he stay in a cage and still.

    Can it be cured? Yes. It's not the death sentence it used to be. Is it thousands and thousands? Well....it can be if you take them through a vet. How else can you get help? Offer to do it at home and just pick up the prescribed doses instead of leaving him there. Also check with a local animal rescue group and offer to help them with their kennel work or something else - in exchange for treatment. Sometimes you may get lucky. The other humane thing may be if he's gotten too far along for him to be in heaven, which no one wants to think about - but if it's gotten to that point it is so painful.

    I think the best route would be always check with your veterinarian ......if that is a no go - then check with your local humane society. It may be they can help you. If that is a no go - check with an animal rescue.

    Hacking cough does not necessarily mean - heartworm. There is also kennel cough - Bordatella (which is bad, but very common - it's like dog bronchits) and then again - it could just be dust allergies.....licking ----obsessive licking of fur causing gagging....upset stomach causing a gerd like symptom and hacking. Hard to tell. Best to check with the vet 1st.
     
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Yrs ago, my border collie mix had heartworm. I cannot recall how much we pd for the shots, but I do recall that we dbl dosed her on heartworm medications, too, which the vet said was a cheap way of keeping the medications in her system.
    She had to undergo two treatments (which I liken to chemo, because it's very toxic) and then do the dbl dosing heartworm.
    I would have the test done, no matter what. You can "what if" this until the cows come home and drive yourself crazy. Be sure to arrange a payment plan with-the vet first, like a once-a-mo arrangement.
    Good luck!

    P.S.
    I just remembered that our collie had kennel cough (she was a rescue) and also had heartworms so bad she had seizures. Just in case you're looking for serious symptoms ...
     
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks all. She has kennel cough, not heartworm. That was close and my babies will now be on Heartguard all year around. The scare was so bad that I'm not taking any chances!
     
  10. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    THAT IS some good news. If you can find someone to go in with you - there are on line places that are cheaper than getting it at the vet - BUT sometimes the few cents you save is NOT WORTH the "loyalty" payments Know what I mean??

    VERY GLAD TO SHARE IN YOUR NEWS for your baby!
     
  11. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Remember that heartworm preventatives are prescription medications. You will require an original RX or fax/call from vet to get the medications online. There is no law that says a vet has to write an RX for medications to be purchased elsewhere.

    I live in the same town as Foster and Smith Petcare, which operates a pharmacy as well. My vet deals with it by price matching them.
     
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Glad she only has kennel cough!
    It takes a long time to go away. Best of luck!
     
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