Treatment for Dogs with Heartworm
Ask any veterinarian and they will tell you that heartworm is one of the most dreaded diseases for dogs. This disease can practically claim the life of your pet. It is a health concern that targets the dog’s vital organs, more particularly the heart, lungs, and liver. If not treated right away, this disease can be very hard to cure.
The treatment of this disease starts with the administration of parasite-killing drugs. Heartworms are parasites that have found their way inside the dog’s body through a mosquito bite. The moment a carrier mosquito comes in contact with your pet and bites it, it deposits the eggs or the larva of the parasites into the dog’s bloodstream.
After the short incubation period, the eggs become full-fledged organisms that can multiply on their own. The moment the parasites reach the right number, they will start destroying the heart, its ventricles, and all the arteries and veins that lead to it. Some of the parasites will infiltrate the lungs and the kidneys as well, causing total organ failure.
Heartworm is a very complicated disease. As such, only a licensed veterinarian can treat it. The treatment procedure in itself is quite risky, as the right dosage of the drug, and at what frequency it should be administered needs to be determined accurately. Also, the drugs should be administered into the dog’s body as soon as possible so that it can eliminate the adult parasites fast and efficiently.
The treatment procedure to kill heartworm used to be the use of an arsenic IV solution. This is very painful for the dog. In fact, this treatment procedure is almost as dangerous as the effects of heartworm. It’s a good thing that modern veterinarian medicine had found a better way to treat this disease. Right now, heartworm can be treated by drugs administered using two regular injections. With proper monitoring of its disease, the symptoms and effects can be handled.
However, allow the veterinarian set realistic expectations. Each heartworm case is different from another. While some dogs can fully recover from it, others are not so lucky – especially the ones who are suffering from extended cases of the disease. The treatment procedure for heartworm in dogs involves the extermination of the parasites. They have to be fully removed from the bloodstream in order for the dog to have a fighting chance against the disease.
The drugs used to eradicate the parasites are melarsomine dihydrochloride (marketed under the brand name Immiticide) and thiacetarsamide sodium (Caparsolate). Pet owners don’t have access to these drugs. Only veterinarians are allowed to administer them to pets and at the right dosage.
If your dog is suffering from heartworm, it is very important that you take it to the vet whenever required and follow the orders of your veterinarian at all times. Treating the disease can be very tricky. If you’re not very careful, the infection can spread towards the other vital organs of your dog, making the situation very hard to reverse.