Also known as dirofilariasis, heartworms are caused by a parasite that is blood borne and is as Dirofilaria Immitis. The adult heartworms are found are found in the heart adjacent to the large blood vessels of the infected dogs. It is very rare that worms will be found in other parts of the circulatory system. The male worm is about half the size of the female which is a whopping 6-14” long (15 – 36 cm) and 1/8” wide (5mm). A dog, when diagnosed may have up to 300 worms present. These adult heartworms dwell in the heart as well as the blood vessels of the infected dog.

Heartworms are treated with the “fast kill” or the standard method that uses melarsomine, a lethal compound for most heartworm which when injected directly into the dog, will eliminate all adult heartworms within four to six weeks. Prior to treating your dog in terms of heartworms, a complete laboratory work-up which includes an ultrasound and x-rays and at the same time should be performed to determine the status of the internal organs.

These include especially the liver, lungs, heart and kidneys. In case potential problems do exist due to the presence of the heartworms, a “priming” dose of the medication is administered so as to allow your dog’s body to adjust to the drug and at the same time weaken the heartworms.

Later on, in a month or so, if everything turns out well, the standard treatment against the heartworms is adopted. However, ironically, immediate cessation of treatment series is required when the heartworms starts dying.

Why is the death of heartworms such an issue? This is because when these heartworms die, they are not simply passed through the body like intestinal worms are. These dead heartworms must be processed and at the same time dissolved by the dog’s body similar to any other type of internal infection.

Other complications that can arise with heartworms death are vomiting, loss of appetite, liver inflammation, icterus, etc. Not only that, pieces of dead can lodge within the blood vessels of the lungs and in case the number of dead heartworms is quite large, clots can form in the lung vessels causing severe coughing and lung hemorrhage.

Due to this, you need to take a lot of care at home. Let him/her have lots of rest and limit their activities. Give food that is easy to digest along with sufficient liquids. Shower all your love and care so that it inspires your dog to recover and spring back to life.

Author's Bio: 

Paul Ryan works as a Business Manager at, Genericfrontlineplus is an online pet store offering quality Dog flea medication with guaranteed affordable prices.