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Less Expensive Dog Heartworm Treatment

by Robin

Two days ago I found out my 7yr old pit bull "Bubba" has heartworms. The vet did complete blood work and exam and said his blood work results were great. He is in great health other than the heartworms, he doesn't cough and he's still eating and drinking.

His energy level has dropped a little, but he is still playful and still runs chasing tennis balls. The vet told me it would cost $700 to treat him, and my heart is broken because I don't have $700 to spend.

Is there any less expensive way to treat him and kill the heartworms? Bubba is my baby and I don't want him to die... I bottle fed him, he was 3 days old when he was brought to me as a rescue he sleeps in my bed goes riding in the car. He is my best friend.

I had always had him on Heartguard up to about a year ago. My husband left and since then I've fallen on very hard times.

Thank you for your time.

Robin & Bubba

Comments for Less Expensive Dog Heartworm Treatment

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Jun 27, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Less Expensive Dog Heartworm Treatment
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Robin,
As a graduate of the U of Florida School of Veterinary Medicine, I have seen my fair share of heartworm. It is an awful disease. In the past, many dogs died that did not have the benefit of heartworm preventatives.

I do not have an 'easy' cheap treatment plan for Bubba. If Bubba has only a few heartworms living in his heart, and considering he is a large dog, with a big heart, AND if you did not allow him to exercise very much, he would probably not have any symptoms and minimal damage to his heart and lungs. Adult heartworms live for 5-7 years, so Bubba could 'out last' them.

But the microfilaria (these are the microscopic larvae that are produced by the adult worms that are in the heart), circulate freely, and may cause microscopic damage in capillaries throughout all of the organs in his body.

See our page on Natural Heartworm Treatment for more details.

And here is more info directly from the Heartworm Society website:

"Heartworm disease may cause a combination of medical problems in the same dog including dysfunction of the lungs, heart, liver and kidneys. The disease may have an ACUTE onset but usually begins with barely detectable signs resulting from a chronic infection and a combination of physiologic changes. Dogs with a low number of adult worms in the body that are not exercised strenuously may never have apparent signs of heartworm disease. However, in most dogs, the heart and lungs are the major organs affected by heartworms with varying degrees of clinical signs."

If this clinic has prices that are too expensive, I would suggest that you 'shop' around for a more affordable clinic, or one that is willing to work with you, or offers CARE CREDIT (A credit card specific for pet owners) so that you can treat Bubba as soon as possible.


Jun 27, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Less Expensive Dog Heartworm Treatment PART TWO
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Robin,
Here is the continuation of my response.

I would also get Bubba back on the heartworm prevention, and give one dose every 45 days (not every 30 days). Improve his diet to make sure you are giving him the support to boost his immune system, see our page on 10 Best Dog Food Options and consider a RAW dog food diet for him.

Also, exempt him from vaccinations for the next 2-3 years. Seek the help of a holistic veterinarian for exemption of vaccinations, and possibly help while Bubba is receiving treatment for heartworm. Supplement his diet with buffered Vitamin C, (Mega C), Co-Enzyme Q 10, (20-30 mg TWO times daily in food) and homeopathic hawthorn berries, (Crataegus), are all important for the immune system and support for the heart.

Recommended supplements:

1. Missing Link powder for dogs

2. OrthoMolecular Specialties, Mega C Powder

Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

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DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Related Pages:
- Dog Heartworm Symptoms,
- Natural Heartworm Treatment for Dogs,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Heartworm Section

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