Heartworms can infect many species of canines and felines. They grow in the blood, reproduce and eventually become large, putting the animal's life in danger. Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes and cannot be passed from one infected animal to another. Animals must be physically strong to undergo heartworm treatment. Worms are killed with an arsenic compound, which is followed up with preventive medication. Heartworm treatment and preventive medication can be expensive, but you may be able to get help to cover or defray the cost of treating your pet.
Look into pet insurance before you ever experience a problem, if possible. Heartworm treatment is expensive, though preventive medication is less so, and insurance will help defray the costs for a low monthly fee. Often you pay less than $10 per month to insure a single pet.
Contact the kennel club for your breed of dog, if it's a purebred. You can find the kennel club contact information for each breed through the American Kennel Club website. These clubs offer assistance funds to owners of particular dog breeds.
Contact your local animal shelter. They may not be able to offer direct financial assistance, but they can refer you to low-cost or income-based veterinary clinics in your area.
Check the listings on the Humane Society of the United States' website. They have a comprehensive listing of organizations that help pet owners afford treatment that their pets need when financial concerns are standing in the way.
Ask your vet about a payment plan. Even if you can only afford a tiny amount of money each month, your vet may be willing to accept that and provide the treatment up front.
Melly Parker has been writing since 2007, focusing on health, business, technology and home improvement. She has also worked as a teacher and a bioassay laboratory technician. Parker now serves as a marketing specialist at one of the largest mobile app developers in the world. She holds a Master of Science in English.