« Over-the-Counter Pain Medicines for Dogs? Not so much, no. | Main | Specialists versus Renaissance Man versus Insect »

May 28, 2013


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Hi Pat, I hope you didn't let your dog sleep and I hope the worst is over, Curious to know the situation and how did you manage. What was the Vet advice. Looking forward to know more


Hi Doc. We live in Arizona and have a 4 1/2 year old German Shorthaired Pointer that we rescued out of New Mexico 2 years ago. We recently discovered that he has heartworm (never had him tested before) and he was treated in mid-August with two shots of immiticide. We're on week 4 1/2 now since his treatment, and while Fred has been pretty compliant with the exercise restrictions, he's clearly getting bored with having to be outside on a leash and not being able to play with our other dogs. I understand from information posted on your site--which is great, btw--that it takes about 4-5 weeks for the worms to be broken down in his system. Our plan is to keep him on the leash through week 6, then let him in the back yard off leash and allow him to play with the other dogs after that. Does that sound reasonable to you? Are we out of the woods by now? He's shown really no negative signs except for some cellulitis on his back near the injection site that appeared about day 10 and for which he was given 2 weeks worth of antibiotic. Our vet is great, but has seen few cases of heartworm in his career, so I thought I'd ask your opinion. Thank you so much for your help. The information on your site has been invaluable to us.


Doc, please contact me via email as I have a request. Thank you in advance for your help.


Hello, Cindy,

Sorry about the late reply, but I was working at Scout Camp and no internet.

By six weeks you really should be "out of the woods". In rare cases, an artery weakened by the breakup of the dead worms can have problems when the dog returns to exercise. This can actually be bad enough to hemorrhage, coughing up blood. Again, this is rare.

We usually recommend a gradual return to exercise, instead of going full-on right away. We also recommend close observation for the first few days.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)