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Heartworm Treatment Side Effects

Heartworm Treatment Side Effects

What are the heartworm treatment side effects in dogs?

If your dog receives a positive heartworm diagnosis, then you should expect a somewhat pricey and complex treatment regimen. First of all, he or she will probably receive a series of three shots. The first drug, melarsomine, kills the adult heartworms. The second is a heartworm preventative for killing baby heartworms. The third is a combination of prednisone and doxycycline for reducing the possibility of heartworm treatment side effects.

It is, of course, up to your vet if your dog receives other medications or anther protocol for his or her specific condition. In some really severe heartworm, surgery is necessary for removing the heartworms from the blood vessels in the lungs, as well as the heart.

Caring for your Dog to Avoid Common Heartworm Treatment Side Effects

One of the most important parts of caring for your dog after heartworm treatment is exercise restriction. The primary reason for this is that during even moderate exercise, pieces of dead heartworms could travel to the lungs and cause death.  This is where your care will help avoid many of the heartworm treatment side effects.

That’s why keeping your dog quiet and resting as much as possible is crucial. Another heartworm treatment side effect that generally occurs is hardening and tenderness at the site of the heartworm treatment shots.  Heartworm injections are usually on the dog’s back. This will subside within a reasonable amount of time, usually within a week or so.

Generally, your vet will prescribe doxycycline for your dog to be given by mouth for a month for reducing any chance of a negative reaction to the dead heartworms. You will need to monitor your dog closely for side effects of doxycycline for 30 days. Watch closely for coughing or any other symptoms that might suggest a bad or allergic reaction. Then your vet will probably give him or her a second melarsomine injection at that time.  Finally, your vet will likely recommend a monthly heartworm preventative for the rest of your dog’s life.

Heartworm Treatment Cost for Dogs