How Long Can Dogs Live with Heartworms



Most dog lovers ask how long can dogs live with heartworms, and the answer depends on many factors. It will vary depending on many factors, including how long the dog had heartworms, the burden of worms and the damage caused by them,


It is important to consider the success of the treatment, the dog’s age at the time of treatment. Potentially dogs live with heartworms for 2 to 4 years.



It is possible for dogs to live with heartworms for more than a decade without showing any symptoms, particularly if they do not have many heartworms in their bodies.


Heartworms can live up to seven years, so unfortunately, they have sufficient time to cause harm to your pet’s body.




How Long Can Dogs Live with Heartworms

Many people ask the vet how long can dogs live with heartworms. Dogs with heartworms have shorter lives depending on their size, how healthy the dog is, how much of an allergic reaction the dog has,


as well as the number of worms they have, according to Sarah Wooten, a veterinarian at West Ridge Animal Hospital in Greeley.


However, heartworm disease usually kills if left untreated, Dr. Jeffrey explains. “It is possible to have a very low worm burden and still have a healthy dog, but not all dogs will survive if left untreated.


Most people wonder if my dog has heartworms how long will she live. It depends on how you take care of your dogs. If you take the right time to vet and start medication, a vet can recover heartworms after a canine can live longer.


How Long Can A Dog Live With Heartworms Untreated

Most common concern: How long can a dog live with heartworms without treatment? In the absence of treatment, heartworms inside a dog’s body may number several hundred,


According to Dr. Muller, left untreated, heartworms can cause damage to the heart, lungs, and arteries of dogs, which may negatively impact their health and life quality.” In severe cases, organ damage caused by heartworms may be fatal.


When you suspect your dog may have heartworms, take action right away and consult your veterinarian. Once your dog has been diagnosed with heartworm disease,


The veterinarian will decide on the treatment depending on how advanced the disease has become. Sadly, most treatments are expensive, painful, and take a long time.


Can I Give My Dog Heartworm Medicine Without Testing

Without being tested for heartworms prior to beginning a preventive treatment, you can’t give medication. You must speak with your vet; otherwise, it will be risky for your dogs. Heartworm medicine without testing you will not get any benefit or improvement in pets’ health,


Heartworm infestations in adult dogs remain undetected until the dog becomes seriously ill. Adult heartworms are not killed by heartworm preventives. Heartworm preventives can also be harmful or even deadly to dogs that are infected with adult heartworms.


You can give your dog heartworm medicine without testing. But the result will be nothing because you never know what is happening in your dog’s body exactly. I will suggest speaking with your vet before providing any medicine.


My Dog Has Heartworms How Long Will She Live

Earlier, we talked about how long she will live. It depends on dogs’ age and health, except when heartworms affect your dogs and when you start treatment, there are many conditions.

When you feel heartworms in dogs symptoms, immediately take them to the vet to do the test and if the results become positive, continue the treatment to recover from heartworm disease and live a long life.



What is Heartworm Disease

Those who suffer from heartworm disease experience severe lung disease, heart failure, other organ damage, as well as death, mostly in dogs and cats. Parasites, such as Dirofilaria immitis, are responsible for a cause this condition.


Mosquitoes transmit the worms through their bites. There is nothing mysterious about heartworm disease: it is caused by a worm infestation in the heart. Mosquitoes that bite infected animals (such as dogs, cats, coyotes, foxes, and wolves) ingest microfilaria worms as part of their blood meal.



How To Know Heartworms In Dogs Symptoms

A mild cough caused by heartworm disease can appear along with pain when exercising, tiredness in response to moderate physical activity, loss of appetite, and an inability to lose weight.


If pets are infected with heartworm disease, they may develop heart failure and a bloated belly from an excess of fluid inside them.


12 Common Heartworm Symptoms in Dogs

  1. Mild Persistent Cough
  2. Difficulty breathing
  3. Swollen Belly
  4. Weight Loss
  5. Distended chest
  6. Allergic reactions
  7. Lethargy
  8. A dry, unproductive cough
  9. Inactivity or laziness
  10. Collapsing or fainting
  11. Exertion leads to fatigue
  12. Lung fluid


How Do Dogs Get Heartworm

How do dogs get heartworm? Dogs are susceptible to heartworm by being bitten by mosquitos, so dogs that are kept outdoors are most likely to contract heartworm disease. Dogs are bitten by infected mosquitoes, which then transmit heartworm larvae into their coat.

Those heartworms reproduce and multiply in dogs’ blood vessels, where they can remain for years, causing lung and blood circulation problems.

It takes a pretty long time for a heartworm to show its ugly head to a human owner. In this case, your dog might be infected with heartworms, which you may not be aware of, or you might not discover it until it is too late.

It depends on the health of your dog, how many heartworms they have, which part of their body has been infected, how long ago the infection occurred, but a dog may have a life-threatening infection without being properly checked and treated.


It threatens both the quality of life and the longevity of animals.


Can People Get Heartworms from Their Dogs

The disease is only spread by mosquitoes. Those with pets such as dogs, cats, ferrets, and birds have a specific parasite. The heartworm may infect individuals in rare cases,

But the lifecycle of the parasite is incomplete. A round lesion appears on the lung due to the heartworm migrating there. It is, however, an extremely rare case.


How To Prevent Heartworm In Dogs

A very common question from dog parents: how to prevent heartworm in dogs. An annual heartworm prevention program is essential. As well, you can take steps to prevent mosquito bites within your environment by clearing standing water from your property,


putting up mosquito nets and avoiding outdoor exercise for your dog in the evening and early morning, as this is when most mosquitoes are active,


An effective method to prevent heartworm disease is a consistent and appropriate use of preventative medications, which your veterinarian will prescribe.


The medications can be taken as chewable tablets, a monthly topical treatment, or whether an injection should be given once a year or twice a year.


3 Ways to Prevent Heartworms In Dogs

  1. Make sure your dogs eat the best food.

Providing your dog with home-cooked meals is, without a doubt, the best thing you can do for him. However, you might not have the time to cook for him all of the time. If you are not able to prepare your dog’s meals at home, dog food can still be found in stores.

Make sure your dog’s food contains whole-food ingredients. Moreover, you should be able to identify protein, carbohydrates, and vegetables on the food label.

  1. Have your dog checked regularly.

You should take your dog to the vet once a year, at the very least. Veterinarians can perform a thorough physical exam on your dog and check for signs and symptoms of heartworm disease and other parasites you might not have noticed.

  1. Take prevention medicine for heartworms.

Preventative medicines can be prescribed to you by your vet to guard against and kill any heartworm larvae that may make their way into your dog’s body. This medicine is available in different forms.

Topical medication may be chosen once a month – it comes in a tube that is squirted onto the pet’s back. It is also possible to choose an injectable medication, which can last for up to six months. It is also possible to take orally, which should be done once a month.


Is There A Natural Way to Prevent Heartworms In Dogs

What Natural Heartworm Prevention Options Exist? Although you can reduce your dog’s risk of developing heartworm disease naturally, none of these methods are efficient enough to make skipping pills a good or safe option.


How to treat heartworms

Generally, heartworm treatments are on an individual basis, but most dogs receive treatment over several months that involves some combination of the following:

  • Start restricting your exercise.
  • A dog with a severe condition may require treatment to stabilize its condition.
  • To reduce the risk of a bad reaction to the death of heartworms, begin oral prednisone and doxycycline treatment.
  • Provide the dog with a heartworm prevention medication to kill the juvenile heartworms in his blood. Clinicians often give this to patients who are experiencing a reaction. Home-based heartworm prevention should continue to be given monthly.
  • Melarsomine should be injected for the first time as a treatment for adult heartworms. During the next 30 days, exercise should be restricted, and side effects should be closely monitored.
  • A second melarsomine injection should be given after 30 days.
  • One day after the second injection, administer the third injection of melarsomine.
  • For six to eight additional weeks, continue resting from exercise.
  • 3 to 5 months after the third melarsomine injection, test for microfilariae (juvenile heartworms in the bloodstream).
  • Within six months of the third dose of melarsomine, you should test for adult heartworms and microfilariae.


What Is The Procedure For A Heartworm Test

Heartworm can be tested in two ways. Most commonly used, the antigen test is most accurate, allowing for the detection of adult heartworms. Another test, which is more sensitive, involves microfilaria testing, which essentially detects adult heartworm offspring.


In order to perform a heartworm antigen test, a sample of blood is needed, typically 3-4 drops. Tests usually take 8-10 minutes. Then you will receive your results.

Don’t forget to protect your pet. Heartworm is a deadly disease that can be prevented quite easily.


My dog has heartworms and I can’t afford the treatment

Your dogs have heartworms, and I can’t afford the treatment, then it will be risky for your dogs’ health. There are several clinics that offer less cost and full recovery treatment.


To prevent heartworms if you cannot afford treatment, Dr. Coffin suggests taking doxycycline every three months in conjunction with continuous monthly heartworm prevention. Heartworm testing should be done every six months on dogs using this particular form of heartworm treatment.


Prevention is preferable to treatment when it comes to heartworms. When your dog has heartworms, you may face a costly, risky, and stressful treatment (yours and your dog’s). Many vets provide treatment that is affordable, convenient, as well as risk-free.


How Expensive Is Heartworm Treatment

It is common for dogs to pay around $1,000 for heartworm treatment. In general, it ranges from $500 to $1,100 depending on the breed of your pet, the veterinary bills, and the stage of your pet’s illness.


What to Do If You Can’t Afford Heartworm Treatment

Is it difficult for you to afford heartworm treatment or prevention? The staff at Guthrie Pet Hospital can provide you with information about wellness plans, on-site payment options, CareCredit financing, and pet insurance options.


The following are options that enable you to make regular monthly payments towards your pet’s health care needs.



What is the maximum amount of time after heartworm treatment that a dog can be active

The American Heartworm Society suggests that limiting exercise, restricting exercise, and limiting dogs’ freedom when they are left alone are important ways of minimizing heartworm complications.


For recovery to be successful, it is necessary to offer safe mental and physical stimulation to dogs, as well as opportunities to socialize with them.


During the recovery period of the treatment, a leash can be used safely to walk most dogs, and you can provide chew toys so that some of the stored-up energy can be released.


It is possible to keep the canine mind active and healthy by using feeding times to provide mental stimulation in combination with other stimulating activities.


Long-Term Effects of Heartworm in Dogs

If they are given appropriate care, heartworm-infected dogs can enjoy a long, healthy life. Generally, if you follow your veterinarian’s recommendations for preventing and testing heartworm disease, there are very few long-term consequences.


Dog Life Expectancy After Heartworm Treatment

Heartworms are treated by injecting medication that kills adult worms. 3-4 days might be required to keep the dog in the hospital. When treated, adult worms die and are transported to the lungs by the blood, lodging in the tiny blood vessels.


Dog Died After Heartworm Treatment

There are some risks associated with treating dogs suffering from heartworms, but it is rare for fatalities to occur. It is now possible to prescribe a drug with minimal side effects, resulting in successful heartworm treatment for over 95% of dogs.


So no need to worry about your dog died after heartworm treatment. It depends on your dog’s situation and how you maintain your vet’s instructions.


Care at home your dogs

Medications: Here is the list of medications you should use:

  • A secondary infection can be prevented with antibiotics.
  • Drugs and dead worms are tolerated better by the liver with these supplements.
  • Circulatory aids such as blood thinners.
  • As directed by your medical professional.
  • Do the exercise



  • Ensure a stable, dry environment.
  • Leaving outside in very hot weather is not recommended.
  • At all times, there should be fresh water available.



  • In case of the following, contact the Clinic right away:
  • Frequently coughing
  • An unwillingness to eat.
  • Urine or bowel movements are containing blood.
  • Labored breathing.
  • If your dog does anything else that is unusual.


What Is The Success Rate Of Heartworm Treatment

It is now possible to use a new drug with fewer side effects, making the treatment of heartworms successful for more than 95% of dogs. The disease is advanced in many dogs when they are diagnosed with heartworms.



Final Thoughts

There is often a question asking how long can dogs live with heartworms, and the answer will vary according to the situation. The length of time the dog will need to recover will depend on several factors, such as how long the dog had heartworms, how long it had worms and the damage they caused,






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