The Threat of Heartworm

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Heartworm is a potentially lethal disease that affects dogs, cats, and other mammals

Unfortunately, due the circumstances in which we save many of our animals, we often end up with Heartworm positive animals to care for. The diagnosis is not necessarily a death sentence but it does require a greater amount of medical care, a larger financial commitment, and requires us to keep the animal from being adopted for a longer period of time.

Read more about Heartworm here from the American Heartworm Society

Treatment & Care

The treatment is a long process – especially for younger, more hyper animals – and starts with two injections in the back, spaced 24 hours apart. After that, the animal needs to be kept quiet and have NO strenuous exertion for 30 days. After the 30 days, the animals are brought back to the vet for a third injection. If there are no further symptoms after the third injection the animal can slowly start to get back to a normal life. This is best case scenario.

We usually see the best case scenario when we get a heartworm diagnosis in the early stages of the disease, before there is enlargement of the heart or vessels of the heart.

When we get an animal that is severely malnourished, we have to get them to a healthy weight before they’re stable enough to undergo the treatment. In this scenario, we just have to hope that the disease doesn’t advance to a point of no return in the process.

“Our rescue group has had about a 90% success rate of getting dogs successfully through the heartworm treatment and adopted into a loving home.”

– Katie King, Medical Director at Hoof Woof & Meow Animal Rescue

Financial Commitmentbrindle puppy and shepherd puppy

A typical heartworm treatment runs between $500 and $800 per animal, depending on the severity.

We Need Your Help

These treatments put a dent in our budget, especially when we have to fund multiple heartworm treatments in a short period of time. Please consider helping us care for these animals by making a donation to our cause.