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Heartworms are terrible. Just recently I found that my dog has heartworms and hookworms. - we just gave her heartgard for the first time to get rid of the microfilariae and the l3 and the l4 larvae, then we will get her bloodwork and x-rays done to figure what class she's at to determine what kind of of deworming shots to give her. Its gonna' be a long and expensive journey...
 

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What are the signs and symptoms when your dog is infected with heart worms? That's very alarming because our place is full of mosquitoes. Don't human get heart worms also?
 

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Well, when your dog first gets heartworms you can never tell, the dog can, but you can't. Eventually the heartworms will get to a stage where they cause the dog to cough. The small cough every now and then will turn into a cough often, soon, the dog will have productive coughs... The heartworms will then reach the heart, lungs, etc. causing your dog to live in pain and eventually death. That's why you get your dog checked for heartworms every 6 months to a year. You give your dog heartworm preventives monthly only if your dog is free from heartworms.

Humans do not get heartworms, but they can get ringworms, hookworms, etc. You would be able to tell immediately if you had them, after you got them, but it is rare for humans to get them, even though it does happen.
Those worms are parasites and are much easier and less expensive to treat then heartworms.
My dog also had hookworms, but we gave her a panacure and she was free of them with in a month. It cost about 50 dollars to treat parasites, and about 900 - 1200 or so to treat heartworms depending on the stage of the heartworms.
See the difference?

It cost me almost 900 dollars to treat Joy for heartworms. She was at the beginning stage of class two...

Oh yeah!! Joy is now finished with her treatment and will be checked in Sept for heartworms. Sept will give the heartworms plenty of time to weaken and die. Today she can be hyper as we have had to keep her calm through the treatment process. Until we will just give her heartgard!
 

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I think one of the problems contributing to this is the rip off of the consumer by the drug companies. You can buy enough Ivermectin over the counter (labeled for cattle) for 30 bucks. There is enough of the drug in the bottle for an average dogs lifetime. So why is it that a pill is so much more expensive, sure it cost more to package, but not 150 times more.
 

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My apologies for posting on an old thread but as it is a sticky I guess it can't hurt :)

I just want to say I am in the process of adopting a rat terrier who has heartworms. Thankfully the shelter will pay for the treatment but I am actually going to try to raise funds for them and volunteer because I think it is wonderful that they are doing that.

It saddens me to see an animal go through such pain, especially when it was preventable. Then knowing that most dogs in a shelter who have heartworm are passed over because of price/hassle/fear of losing the dog right after. It's just heart breaking.
 

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This is really interesting I would like to get mor information on this disease and the possible ways to cure it. Thank for the Information.
 

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I'm not sure if anyone heard but a couple of years ago, there was a pitbull treated with Viagra. Interestingly enough, it worked. I guess Viagra is being used for all sorts of heart problems in dogs.

This is the only article I have found on heartworm specifically. Maybe with a little digging I can actually find the news broadcast.

click here
 

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So glad this post is here and sticky!
I rescued my dog, Passion, from a kill shelter in Illinois. After I adopted her, I took her to the vet and found out she had heartworms. She was a stray, and obviously wasn't well taken care of. It was in the relatively advanced stages, the vet gave her about a 50% chance of making it through treatment ok. It's been forever, I can't remember was stage it was. Her symptoms at the time were very low energy/stamina and she would start coughing after only a few minutes of playtime. Treatment started with the heartworm pill, then steroids, and then the first injection (can't remember the name but I know it's arsenic-based). A very painful injection. It took her a day or two to not limp around. But then it was about a month of crate rest. Only out of the crate to go outside on a leash and then right back inside. Then the 2nd & 3rd injections within 24 hours of each other. Another month of crate rest. She got through the treatment like a rockstar, love that dog! That was back in 2005. She's very healthy today and has some lung scarring, but a much happier pup!

I can't stress the IMPORTANCE of protecting your pet year-round and yearly testing. Some people decide not to give protection during cold, winter months. I disagree with this. It takes ONE bite from ONE mosquito to cause months and months of painful treatments and possible death.
 

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I agree, Heartworm disease is something that is very important to prevent. People might not think that heart worms can be in their area, well they are wrong! Mosquito populations and the prevalence of mosquitoes infected with heartworm are be coming more and more prevalent.

Prevention for Heartworm is easy too! Just a once a month pill/chew/topical can do it and many of these medications include protection against other parasites such as roundworms.

Treatment for Heartworm can be very dangerous and cost is extremely high, and it is only available for dogs. So prevention is the way to go!

If you want more information go check out the American heartworm society's website: heartwormsociety.org
 

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Only by the bite of an infected mosquito. There’s no other way dogs get heartworms. And there’s no way to tell if a mosquito is infected. That’s why prevention is so important.

Heartworm disease has been reported in all 50 states. And the bite of just one mosquito infected with the heartworm larvae will give your dog heartworm disease.

Heartworm disease has not only spread throughout the United States, but it’s also now found in areas where veterinarians used to say “Oh, we don’t have heartworm disease.” Areas like Oregon, California, Arizona, and desert areas -- where irrigation and building are allowing mosquitoes to survive. And if you have mosquitoes and you have animals, you’re going to have heartworms. It’s just that simple.

It takes about seven months, once a dog is bitten by an infected mosquito, for the larvae to mature into adult heartworms. They then lodge in the heart, lungs, and surrounding blood vessels and begin reproducing. Adult worms can grow up to 12 inches in length, can live 5-7 years, and a dog can have as many as 250 worms in its system.
The only way heartworms are transmitted is through the bite of an infected mosquito. And even if an uninfected mosquito bit your infected dog, and then bit your uninfected dog the same night, he wouldn’t transmit the parasite from one dog to the other. That’s because when a mosquito bites an infected animal, the heartworm needs to undergo an incubation period in the mosquito before the mosquito can infect other animals.
 

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the vets office i work for kind of tell people if they can only afford a couple things to do for thier dogs it should be rabies vax every 3 years and heartworm testing every year.
Heartworm preventatives are good 2.
 

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It can be difficult to diagnose early stages of heartworm disease since these may not show any symptoms at all. Heartworms can be detected through blood testing. It would be best to have puppies tested at seven months old. This should be done on a biannual basis after its initial test, and yearly after this, to ensure that it stays heartworm-free for the remainder of its life. For dogs that have never been tested for heartworms before, have them tested immediately. Repeat this after six months, and yearly after that.

There are several ways by which you can protect your pet’s heart without injecting harmful chemicals intended for heartworm disease control. One of these is by feeding your pet a balanced meal. How can this prevent heartworm? Animals that have a healthy immune system are able to fight off unwanted infections, including heartworms. Add some immune boosters in its diet, preferably natural foods instead of dry pet foods. To make it less attractive to mosquitoes, you can apply insect repellant oils such as lavender or citronella on your pet’s coat. Or make your house free from flying mosquitoes. Spray insecticides and get rid of stagnant water.
 

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Thank you! These posts are very valuable and everyone should read them. It is important to raise awareness when it comes to diseases of our fur babies. You're such a blessing! :angel:
 
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