Dogs with heartworm disease can live high-quality lives as long as they are given appropriate care. After completing treatment and following your veterinarian's recommenda- tions on heartworm disease testing and prevention, the chances of any long-term effects are very low.
How long does a dog live after heartworm treatment?
Dogs in this advanced condition have a life expectancy of only a few weeks or months. Thankfully, a new medication has been developed for killing adult heartworms while having fewer dangerous side effects.
Does heartworm preventative shorten a dog's life?
Although there's a risk involved in heartworm treatment, there's a greater risk in not taking care of the infestation. Once in a while, a dog succumbs during the course of heartworm treatment. However, he's almost certainly going to have a shortened life expectancy if heartworms are left alone.
What are the long-term effects of heartworm in dogs?
The adult worms cause inflammation of the blood vessels and can block blood flow leading to pulmonary thrombosis (clots in the lungs) and heart failure. Remember, heartworms are “foot-long” parasites and the damage they cause can be severe. Heartworm disease can also lead to liver or kidney failure.
Does heartworm cause permanent damage?
Given time, heartworm infection leads to a significant thickening of the pulmonary arteries, obstructive disease, perivascular inflammation and fibrosis, while natural, random worm death can cause dramatic embolic and inflammatory disease with significant acute and long-term consequences.