How long does it take after heartworm treatment for the heartworms to disappear?


Video transcript:

How long does it take for heartworms to disappear?

Hello this is Dr. Garner again from Question from Randy: “Our dog was diagnosed with heartworm. How long does it take after treatment for the worms to disappear? The vet’s going to keep him overnight. Approximately how long will the dog be in danger after the heartworm treatment?”

Heartworm medications eradicate heartworms slowly for the dog’s safety

Well as you know, heartworms are located inside a vessel, a large artery. The heartworms are kind of like angel hair pasta in size. And when you give the treatment, you only start the heartworms to starving to death. They starve to death in a male first and then female, age-related order. So they don’t die all at once. If they did, then it would cause death, or severe destruction to the blood vessels. So 10 days after the injections is when you have the highest number of heartworms dying. And then after they die, they’re not beamed out of there, they don’t disappear. They go downstream, cause a blood clot in the lungs, and then they are dissolved by the body. And so, that process takes at least 5-6 weeks. And severe exercise restriction and confinement during that time is what’s required. So, 5-6 weeks after heartworm treatment, exercise restriction is the most important part.