Actual heartworm treatment is something you will not want to deal with, since that means your dog has already contracted this dangerous disease.
It is much better to stop heartworms before they have a chance to seriously affect your Golden Retriever.
Unfortunately, symptoms of heartworm can be few and far between, and sometimes the only sign of this disease is the sudden death of your dog.
Some symptoms of heartworm can include coughing or breathing problems, or tiring easily during play or exercise.
However, by the time a dog shows these symptoms, he probably will have had the disease for more than a year.
©Photo Courtesy of Connie Smith "From one of my litters!"
Testing is done by a simple blood test.
If your Golden Retriever does indeed have them, the treatment is expensive, lengthy, and is not a guarantee that he will even survive.
The vet will have to run more tests to determine how many, and at what stage the larvae and worms are in, to best determine the proper course of action.
Heartworm treatment for dogs consists of painful injections over a period of time.
Usually the dog will have to stay at the vet’s office for a few days, so he can be carefully monitored.
While the heartworms are dying, they can block important blood vessel passages, which is fatal, so the goal is to kill the parasites slowly.
When your Golden Retriever is allowed to come home, he must be kept crated and quiet for several weeks, and only allowed out of his crate to eat and use the bathroom.
©Photo Courtesy of Jacob Richardson
Even then he will need to be on a leash to help prevent excessive movement or excitement, so his heart rate and oxygen levels are kept to a minimum.
Due to the life cycle and length of time it takes for the heartworm larvae to mature and multiply inside of a dog, it is best to start your Golden Retriever on a preventative before 6 months of age.
The best treatment is in the form of prevention, and will help ensure that your Golden stays healthy and parasite free.