Caring for your dog during and after treatment
Every case of heartworm disease is different. Your veterinarian will develop a treatment plan specifically for your dog and advise you on aftercare.
Tips to keep your dog calm
The American Heartworm Society offers further guidance5 on making it through the “quiet phase” of heartworm recovery:
- Replace activity with affection. Snuggle up while you’re online, reading or watching TV.
- Keep your dog away from visitors (both humans and animals) and even windows, if he barks at outside activity.
- Stretch out meal times. Put part of your dog’s daily food portion in hollow chew toys or “puzzle feeders” so that your dog will spend hours extracting food or treats from them.
- Give him things to chew. A bored dog is sometimes a destructive dog. Durable chew toys can channel this behavior and help keep your confined dog happily occupied.
Keeping calm is key
For up to 12 weeks after the first dose of DIROBAN® (melarsomine dihydrochloride), it will be absolutely essential to keep your dog calm. That means restricting all exercise and activity that would elevate your dog's heart rate or increase his blood pressure. That's because dead heartworms can collect around organs and cause potentially fatal blood clots.
Keep your dog indoors and/or in a kennel most of the time.
When he needs to go outside, use the leash. That way, the sight of a squirrel running up a tree or other distractions won’t send him running.
Remember that as difficult as the 12-week restricted activity period might be for your dog after treatment with DIROBAN, it is much easier than restricting your dog for up to 2 years following the slow-kill therapy.1,4
If you are afraid that your dog will struggle under these restrictions, ask your veterinarian about the options for keeping him still and calm during this critical recovery phase.
- About 6 months after the final DIROBAN treatment, your veterinarian will perform a follow-up test to find out if all heartworms have been killed.
- With a single mosquito bite, your dog can develop heartworm disease all over again. Give him heartworm prevention year-round for the rest of his life.2