Heartworm is a dangerous parasitic infection found in dogs; it affects the dog’s heart and lungs. Heartworm is preventable, but if your dog isn’t protected, it can result in high vet bills for treatment.
What do I do if I can’t afford heartworm treatment?
When melarsomine therapy is too expensive for the owners to afford at the time of diagnosis, a veterinarian might recommend that the owners delay treatment with melarsomine but still initiate treatment with both a preventive and doxycycline. This will prevent further infection and reduce the likelihood that the dog will be a heartworm reservoir.
The American Heartworm Society recommends that veterinarians work with their clients to help them find ways to afford heartworm treatment. Some veterinarians may be able to offer discounts on heartworm medications, while others might be able to refer clients to low-cost clinics or other resources where they can find financial assistance.
Ask your vet if there are any pet assistance programs available in your area that can help you afford it. There may also be organizations in your area that provide assistance with medical bills for pets and people who qualify based on income levels or other factors.
Financial assistance for heartworm treatment in dogs
If you can’t afford heartworm treatment, there are some options available to help you.
1. Payment Plans
The first option is to use a payment plan at your vet’s office. Most vets will allow you to pay over time. This can make the treatment far more affordable and can be a good option if you have a healthy credit score or someone who will co-sign with you. If this is an option, it’s best to explore it as soon as possible before the heartworms start damaging your dog’s body and making the treatment more complicated (and expensive).
If your vet participates in the Care Credit program, you can set up a payment plan for the cost of treatment. You’ll pay the bill off over time with manageable monthly payments, and in some cases, you may pay no interest at all. Payment plans are also available through other credit cards like Citi Health Card and Wells Fargo Health Advantage Card.
2. Brown Dog Foundation
The Brown Dog Foundation provides financial assistance for pet owners unable to afford necessary vet care for their pets. They provide assistance for a variety of conditions and diseases, including heartworm. There may be a waiting list for this program and it does take some time for them to approve each request, so don’t wait until the last minute to apply.
3. FACE Foundation for Animals
The FACE Foundation for Animals was created to help owners pay for emergency veterinary care for their dogs and cats when their pet has been diagnosed with a life-threatening condition and the owner does not have the financial means to pay for treatment.
4. Magic Bullet Fund
The Magic Bullet Fund is dedicated to helping dogs with cancer and those needing heartworm treatment. They aren’t able to give financial assistance directly, but they do offer information on many other funds that could help you get the money you need for your dog’s care. They also have a list of low-cost clinics that will do the treatment for less money.
5. Rescue groups
Rescue groups are another resource when it comes to affordable heartworm care. Many groups offer treatments at lower costs than traditional vet offices and may also be able to provide financial assistance when needed. Check with rescue organizations in your area to see what they have available and whether they can help with lower costs.
6. The Pet Fund
The Pet Fund is a national non-profit that provides financial assistance to owners of animals who need veterinary care. The organization has helped thousands of pet owners cover the cost of heartworm treatment, spaying and neutering, dental cleanings and more. You can apply for a grant through their website thepetfund.com.
7. Humane Society
Many local humane societies offer low-cost spay/neuter services and assistance with emergency veterinary care. To find out more about the services offered by your local humane society, visit humanesociety.org.
8. American Heartworm Society
The American Heartworm Society offers low-cost heartworm testing at many veterinary clinics across the country. If your dog tests positive for heartworms, they can direct you toward treatment options that are more affordable than what your vet recommends. The organization also provides resources for people who can’t afford heartworm treatment or want more information on how to pay for it responsibly.
RedRover is a nonprofit organization that helps animals in need through financial assistance and education. They provide funding, temporary foster care or boarding, short-term medical support and more. You can fill out an application on their website to see if they can help you with your dog’s heartworm treatment costs. Visit RedRover’s website for more information on eligibility requirements and how to apply.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is a national organization that offers financial assistance through its Animal Safety Net program. The ASPCA gives grants to people in need who want to keep their pets, but cannot afford the entire cost of treatment. To qualify, you’ll need to provide proof of income, a letter from your vet detailing the diagnosis and treatment plan and a letter confirming that you are unable to pay for all or part of the recommended treatment.
11. Veterinary Care Charitable Fund
The Veterinary Care Charitable Fund (VCCF) is an organization that was started by veterinarians in order to help pet owners who cannot afford medical treatment for their pets. They provide financial assistance for a variety of services, including heartworm treatment and prevention.
12. American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA)
If you’re worried about the cost of heartworm treatment, the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) has resources to help pet owners find low-cost veterinary care. The association also has a list of low-cost spay/neuter clinics and other resources for pet owners who need assistance with veterinary care.
Ask your veterinarian about applying for assistance through the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). The AAHA provides grants each year to cover veterinary costs for patients who cannot afford treatment on their own.
13. Care Credit
Care Credit is a credit card company that allows you to finance medical care for your pet. This can include things like vaccines, dental care and spaying or neutering your pet, as well as heartworm treatments. You’ll need approval before using a Care Credit card, but if approved, you’ll have six months to pay off any balance on the card without interest charges accumulating.
VetBilling is another company that offers financing plans for veterinary care, including heartworm treatment. VetBilling charges interest rates starting at 24% APR and terms of up to 60 months — longer than most credit cards. However, unlike Care Credit’s plans, VetBilling does not require a minimum credit score or income level in order to qualify for its loans.
15. Crowdfunding Sites
If you need help paying for your dog’s treatment, crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe and GiveForward may be able to help. These sites allow people to create a fundraising page for themselves or their pets in order to raise money from other people who are willing to give money. You can set up a campaign that explains why you need the money and how it will be used.
How do you get rid of heartworms in a dog without going to the vet?
Heartworm disease cannot be cured at home, but there are some things you can do to help your dog. The most important is to give your dog monthly heartworm medication. Antibiotics are also used to treat bacterial infections that can occur during treatment. These medications are available from your veterinarian and can sometimes be found online as well.
If your dog has never had heartworms before and you are looking for a way to prevent them from ever getting infected in the future, then try using a product called Heartgard Plus. This product contains ivermectin, which is an ingredient commonly used in flea and tick treatments that kills adult worms by causing paralysis of their muscles. It also kills any larvae living inside of your pet’s body so they won’t grow up into adults later on down the road!
While there are many products out there claiming they can cure heartworms without going through all of what vets recommend, none of them have been proven effective or safe yet (other than ivermectin).
Conclusion of heartworm treatment for dogs
It is important to follow your veterinarian’s recommendations closely and complete all prescribed medication. After the treatment period is finished, it is also important to test for heartworm again in six months to make sure that it has been successfully cured.
If a dog does not complete the entire course of treatment, the parasites may survive and continue to damage the dog’s heart and lungs. It is also possible that some dogs with adult heartworms may require additional medications (for example, diuretics or corticosteroids) if fluid builds up in their lungs.
It is very important that you follow your veterinarian’s instructions exactly when caring for your pet after heartworm treatment. Failure to do so could result in a dangerous or even fatal outcome for your pet.