Dallas Animal Services

Adopting Heartworm Positive Dogs

DAS Offers FREE Heartworm Treatment

It has never been easier or more affordable to adopt a heartworm positive dog!  


What are Heartworms?
Texas has one of the highest incidences of heartworm infections in the United States. Heartworms are a parasite spread to dogs by infected mosquitos. Once worms enter the dog's bloodstream, they travel to the heart, where they take up residence causing extensive damage that left untreated can lead to death. While it's easy to prevent heartworms with a monthly tablet, many loose dogs that enter our facility have never had preventative medications; however, even owned dogs that are well cared for can become infected if their owners are just days late in administering the preventative pill. 

What is Heartworm Treatment?
Heartworm treatment is expensive and can be prohibitive for many pets owners. As a result, we have historically seen a low adoption rate on our heartworm positive dogs, despite their amazing personalities and lack of apparent symptoms. 

This is why we now offer 100% free heartworm treatment on eligible* heartworm positive dogs adopted from DAS. 

Treatment involves several appointments with vets at DAS where your dog will receive injections of medication and chest x-rays and/or ultrasound to monitor progress. It is crucial that dogs undergoing treatment avoid stress and high levels of activity, which is why we postpone treatment until they have a permanent, loving home. 

How Do I Get My Heartworm Positive Dog Treatment?
When you complete the adoption of a heartworm positive dog, our adoption team will schedule your veterinary evaluation appointment. During this appointment, the DAS veterinary team will determine the best course of treatment for your dog and get you scheduled for future appointments. 

Heartworm treatment may seem daunting, but our staff does everything in our power to make it as convienent as possible.  Read some testimonials provided by DAS foster parents who have cared for heartworm positive dogs during their treatment:


"Isabell did well with her heartworm treatment. She is more active now since her treatment has ended. When I first started fostering her, she was not an active girl and now she enjoys running around and walking around outside. I thought it would be a lot more work but with the support of Dallas Animal Services it was much easier than my initial thoughts. We as a community can save more dogs if people opened their homes to heartworm positive dogs." -Gabriela Alvarado



"Every since Topaz went through his heart worm treatment he acts like he has a second chance at life. The heartworm treatment was very simplistic. I went home with 30 days of medication when I took him home to foster. His appointments of heartworm injections went well and the staff was very friendly. Topaz's favorite part about all of this was it gave him an excuse to be a lazy dog." -Chelsea Smith


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"Dallas Animal Services have made it super easy to treat Mavis. The people at DAS have walked us through every step, and the only challenge is convincing our playful and happy girl to be a lazy dog for 12 weeks. Small price to pay to get Mavis at 100% health." -Heather L. Nelson

What DAS Dogs are Eligible*?
DAS works to provide heartworm treatment for all dogs that are heartworm positive at the time of adoption from our shelter; we are not able to offer treatment for dogs that contract heartworms after their time of adoption.  

However, some dogs cannot be safely treated in our facility due to their high risk of complication and will need to seek treatment at a specialized, private facility. DAS does not rule any dog out until they have undergone a post-adoption evaluation by our veterinary team because the home environment can decrease stress levels, heart rate, and improve symptoms. 

Dogs over the age of 7, those suffering from additional medical conditions, or showing severe symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and lethargy, particularly in combination with high positive heartworm tests, are at an increased risk of complications and may be deemed untreatable in our facility. However, in some cases, our veterinary team is able to utilize different methods of treatment to cure these dogs.  

It is rare for DAS to be unable to offer some type of heartworm treatment for heartworm positive dogs; however, if a dog is deemed ineligible by our veterinary team, the dog's adopter will need to work with their private veterinarian to secure care.