Heartworm Treatment

A dog receives a treat from a vet technician

Anicira offers affordable heartworm treatment in accordance with the standards set forth by the American Heartworm Society. Our goal is to provide high-quality care to improve the comfort and quality of life for dogs undergoing heartworm treatment.

Heartworm Treatment Includes:

  • A physical Exam
  • A confirmatory heartworm test
  • Necessary antibiotics for one month
  • Necessary steroids for two months
  • Melarsomine (Immiticide) injections with sedation and pain medication


What is heartworm disease and how did my dog acquire this disease?

Heartworm disease is caused by infestation with Dirofilaria immitis, a parasite that primarily infects dogs and other canids.  Adult worms live in the vessels of the lungs surrounding the heart and can cause severe disease in the lungs leading to coughing, exercise intolerance, weight loss, collapse, or congestive heart failure.

The parasite is transmitted by mosquitoes and is not directly contagious between dogs.

What does treatment involve?

The goal of heartworm treatment is to improve the clinical condition of your dog and to eliminate all life stages of the heartworms with minimal post-treatment complications.  Because the parasite develops slowly and the medication we give only targets certain life stages of the parasite, a single dose of medication is not sufficient to clear an infestation.  Treatment will take 3-6 months in order to kill 99% of the worms.

What are the risks associated with treatment and how can they be reduced?

The risks associated with treatment are minimal compared to the risks associated with the disease.  Risks include inflammation of the lungs and worm fragments blocking vessels within the lungs.  Most risks can be greatly diminished with exercise restriction.