or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › Cats and Other Animals › Question: Heartguard, heartworm meds for dogs
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Question: Heartguard, heartworm meds for dogs

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Forgive me for being a bad dog owner, but I just went to the vet because I forgot all about heartworm meds! I don't know why they have never said anything to me about it for the three vet checks I've had for Thor He'll be a year this month, and I think you can give puppies heartworm meds can't you?

I picked up one month of Heartguard and the vet tech said that I should buy a year's worth because I won't have to have him heartworm tested as often. I didn't even know they had to be tested every year or two, and that you need to give them Heartguard all year. It's $60 for a years worth of Heartguard for him. She also said something about Thor needing a perscription for heartworm meds.

Does all this sound right? And can I get it cheaper anywhere else? How do you get a perscription?


Please fill me in!!! I feel really right now....
post #2 of 20
As I am dealing with a FATEL illness caused by this stuff in my dog ... ARE you in a HIGH heartworm area???
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
I don't have any idea, I'm in South East Iowa..... Where can I check that?
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
I found something that was a quiz....

It said I was at low risk


It also talked about heartworm meds causing more problems!!! Cancer and other diseases....oh jeez......

So does this mean I shouldn't give Thor heartworm meds?
post #5 of 20
Low risk my

My neigbhor lost his 2 dogs to heartworm & I'm in a "low risk" area, depending on who you talk to.

My dogs get heartworm meds for sure from April through Oct/Nov (the first 'big freeze' is when I stop giving heartworm meds). Yes, you can give meds year round & not have to test. It's up to you & your vet. He should be tested before you start on meds, though, at least according to one vet in the area. I test my dogs every spring, as a precaution.

Yes, heartworm meds are harsh.....but the treatment for heartworm kills so many dogs.....and there are many that it isn't caught until it's so far advanced it's not treatable.
post #6 of 20
Where I live it is common to give them HW preventative for the warm six months of the year. In the south people typically give it year round.

But because they don't get it year round, every three years they have to get a prophylactic treatment as if they DO have HW if they do not get a blood test to clear them. So they assume your dog does have it if you can't prove he doesn't. The reason is that if your dog DOES have HW and you give him preventative, he could get sick.

You can sometimes get coupons to get it a little cheaper. Google the name of the drug and "coupon" and maybe you can save a few bucks.

Whatever you do, do not let your vet inject your dog with ProHeart 6. This drug is a 6 month dose all at once, and it was taken off the market because it killed so many dogs. Unforunately it is back on the market and Fort Dodge is marketing it as being needed for owners who are too dippy to remember to give their dogs the monthly dose. You get little stickers for your calendar to remind you, but if you have trouble remembering, you can get a little "compliance clock" http://www.triheartplus.com/remember_compliance.html OR you can ask that the company send you reminder emails.

HW is not something to play with - it is easy to prevent and horrible to try to cure.
post #7 of 20
http://www.heartwormsociety.org/article.asp?id=11

Awesome link to take time and read about heartworm. I recall reading that heartworm is 100% preventable. Imo I would rather test yearly then give heartguard all year long but I do not live down south. I to have personally seen 4 dogs of different family members die from heartworms so I feel giving heartguard is very very important and I have yet to personally know any dogs who suffer from complications of heartguard. So the benefits outway the risks imo.
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for all the information!!! I've got a lot of reading to do!
post #9 of 20
2 of my 3 rescues had heartworms when they came to me, they have both been successfully treated. It was touch & go for my chocolate lab Tyler as he was older & the idiot who had him before me knew he had them for over 1 & 1/2 years!!!! He almost didn't make it, but as I type he is sleeping on loveseat on his back with all fours in the air!! I have never had any problems with the prevention meds, to remember what day I give them out I do a couple of other things the same day. The 21st of every month is HW pills, change the a/c filter, and use rid-x for septic system. Heartworms are very serious, but totally preventible!!!
post #10 of 20
Dogs CAN get heartworms while on preventatives. It doesn't usually happen, but this is why many vets require yearly testing even on dogs that have been on preventatives year-round.

I give my girl Heartgard every month because it is unfortunately VERY common around here, and even though my vet doesn't require it, I test yearly just in case. I probably wouldn't give it in a low-risk area, but I'm not sure. I'd have to do some more weighing of the risks vs. benefits.
post #11 of 20
Be aware that Ivermectin is contraindicated for some dog breeds - order Collies, Old English Sheepdogs, Australian Shephards, Shetland Sheepdogs and similar breeds due to a gene anomoly. Testing can be done to see if the dog has the gene before giving Ivermectin or a different drug can be given.
post #12 of 20
Maybe you'd like to look into Interceptor. In an article I read previously (can't find the link now), Interceptor is the heartworm med that has the least reported death incidents.
post #13 of 20
My vet recommended buying the meds through Foster and Smith to save money. I have 5 dogs, and it saves me a LOT. He wasn't too into places like 800PetMeds and stuff, just doesn't trust them.

I live in an area that has a pretty high incidence of heartworm. I won't take the chances on not giving them meds. I think they have a much higher chance of getting heartworm than from getting sick from the meds.
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by KatGoddess View Post
Maybe you'd like to look into Interceptor. In an article I read previously (can't find the link now), Interceptor is the heartworm med that has the least reported death incidents.
Interceptor has a different active ingredient than the tri-heart or heartgard. Along with being a HW preventative they have different efficacy against various kinds of worms.

http://www.discountpetmedicines.com/...rm-for-dog.htm
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
Again, lots of thanks to everyone! I'll have to look into Foster and Smith!

Thanks again everyone!
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by KatGoddess View Post
Maybe you'd like to look into Interceptor. In an article I read previously (can't find the link now), Interceptor is the heartworm med that has the least reported death incidents.
This is what my boyz are on, never had any problems
post #17 of 20
when I adopted my dog Scrappy off of the street (she was a stray) she tested highly positive with heartworms. It's something you don't want to fool around with. She costed us a little over 300 dollars to get her cleared of them but she also got really sick during that time. I'm glad she found us as a stray though instead of someone who wouldn't have gotten her checked out and spayed, luckily she wasn't pregnant. I think after every treatment (they give them arsenic I think) she was getting very dehydrated and weak so we would leave her overnight for a couple of days most times after the treatment. I would never want to put a dog through that again if I can prevent it. It was a really sad sight to see her like that.

Also I think it's weird that your vet doesn't check for heartworms on their yearly checkup. Every vet (3 so far) that I've been to draws blood from my dogs and runs it every time. Then again I live in Texas and we have lots of mosquitoes down here..maybe that's the difference. That and we give hw pills year round to our dogs down here, at least I do. I usually buy a 6 months supply and split it between both of my dogs (a dachsund and jack russell) because they're within the weight range for the pills. So, I only buy pills every three months. This new vet I started going to gave me a generic brand, not heartguard that was much, much cheaper. I only paid 15 bucks for a 6 month supply vs the 40 or so i was paying for the heartguard price. I think petmeds.com is also a little cheaper as well than the vets office would be.
post #18 of 20
We took in a Golden many years that tested positive heartworms. Reubens was totally wierd - he gained weight while being treated for heartworms! And had a weight problem after that. The worst part of the treatment, IMO, was keeping him quiet for a month after the treatment. But I know how hard the treatment is on most dogs.

I've lived in OK and now Dallas, and our vets will only renew heartworm meds if the dogs get tested anually. The meds aren't 100% effective, so you would want treatment to start ASAP. And it is dangerous to give heartworm preventative to a dog with heartworms.

Sharky, I'm sorry your dog had a bad reaction to the meds.
post #19 of 20
Here in MN we don't give the Heartworm all year round - only March/April thru Sept/Oct. And from what I understand you are supposed to test every year before the Heartgard is given to you.

I would think in Iowa you would need to give it the same as in Minnesota. Only places I can justify year round is places down south where you have warm weather almost all year. Up here the cold kills the bugs
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by wishiwas View Post
Dogs CAN get heartworms while on preventatives. It doesn't usually happen, but this is why many vets require yearly testing even on dogs that have been on preventatives year-round.
The "preventive" such as Heartgard does not actually prevent them from getting infected with heartworms. What it does is kill off the immature form of the heartworms before they can get established and blocking development.

Your dog needs to be tested for heartworms before you give any medication though.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cats and Other Animals
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › Cats and Other Animals › Question: Heartguard, heartworm meds for dogs