heartworm treatmentAffordable heartworm treatment will be available at Emancipet’s low-cost, nonprofit veterinary clinic beginning in July, for approximately 60 percent less than the $800-$1,000 average cost of the treatment in Houston. Emancipet’s pricing ranges from $225-$495 depending on the size of the dog.

The price of heartworm treatment is not affordable for all pet owners, sometimes resulting in pets turned in to shelters or not surviving the disease.

“A million households each year are forced to give up their beloved pets, mostly for financial reasons,” says Emancipet CEO Amy Mills. “Removing the income barrier, and bringing these critical services to the communities where they are needed most, keeps pets healthy and at home with families who love them.”

Heartworm evaluation exams and preventives are currently available during Emancipet’s regular hours. Heartworm treatment is by appointment starting next month.

Emancipet follows the American Heartworm Society’s recommendations for heartworm disease by treating adult heartworm infections with three injections of a drug called Diroban. This treatment kills the adult heartworms quickly and reduces the amount of damage they inflict on the heart and lungs.

Emancipet, Houston’s nonprofit low-cost veterinary clinic, will offer heartworm treatment for dogs at its East End clinic beginning in July and is currently performing heartworm evaluation exams during its regular clinic hours.

Emancipet’s mission is to make spay/neuter services and veterinary care affordable and accessible to all pet owners. The nonprofit organization currently operates seven low-cost pet health clinics across the U.S., and each clinic’s services are designed with the community in mind.

Texas pets have a higher risk of heartworm infection than many other states because of its hot and humid climate. According to the Companion Animal Parasite Council, 22 percent of all heartworm cases in Texas are in Harris County, and one in 27 dogs in Harris County will contract the disease.

The average cost of heartworm treatment for a dog in Houston ranges from $800 to $1,000. The cost of heartworm treatment at Emancipet is 50 to 70 percent less expensive and ranges from $225-$495 depending on the size of the dog. The cost can be split into two payments.

Emancipet East End, 910 South Wayside Drive, is open every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Healthy pet services (including heartworm evaluation exams) are available on a walk-in basis from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Heartworm treatment will be performed on Thursdays, by appointment only, starting in July.

Emancipet’s mission is to make spay/neuter services and veterinary care affordable and accessible to all pet owners. Since opening in spring 2015, Emancipet Houston has served 17,000 clients, including providing more than 6,600 spay/neuter surgeries and 11,000 visits for vaccinations, microchipping, flea/heartworm medication, and other healthy pet services.

Emancipet is currently in search of two new permanent locations to open in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods in Houston within the next year, depending on the success of fundraising efforts. Houston currently has an estimated 800,000 to 1,200,000 stray animals.

“We believe that veterinary clinics are a critical part of the infrastructure of a safe and healthy neighborhood. Similar to grocery stores and health care facilities, veterinary clinics should be located within easily accessible distances for the majority of households in the area,” says Mills.