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Ask the Vet About Heartworms in Dogs and Cats

Heartworms
Symptoms & Diagnosis
Treatment
Ask the Vet
Ask the Vet About Heartworms in Dogs and Cats
MichaelDym, V.M.D.
Michael Dym, V.M.D.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
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As a practicing veterinarian, Dr. Dym has over 19 years of experience and dedication to enhancing the overall health and well-being of pets. His commitment and passion for pet health continuously drives him to learn more about the art and science of homeopathy through ongoing training and education.

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Showing 1 - 15 of 801
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Showing 1 - 15 of 801
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Date: Jun 8, 2017
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Heartworm Preventive

Question:When we rescued our puppy the shelter gave us Heartguard. She took Heartguard 2 times with us now and maybe once with the shelter. She was due for her next pill last week but I am debating what to give her. She is a mut (looks like a hound and maybe german shepard mix) and I know Interceptor is recommended for the dogs that may have the MDRI-allele mutation. Being she is a mut we aren't 100% sure what she is and both Heartguard/Triheart and Interceptor state:" Do not give (name of heartworm pill) to your pet if your pet is already taking an alternate heartworm medication." So my question is being that she already had 2 doses of Heartguard is it safe to say that she doesn't have the MDRI mutation being she had no side effects, or can this come out in the long term? And are we able to switch her to Interceptor if Heartguard may not be safe? And if we should keep her on Heartguard, is it OK to give her Triheart? Thank you for your time and help!

Answer:Since she has taken Heartguard multiple times in the past without incident and she is a mixed breed dog without any of the predisposed breeds in her (collie, etc), any of the 3 of those should be fine for her (Heartguard, TriHeart, Interceptor).

Date: May 27, 2017
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Blood test results

Question:My dog had blood work for heartworm. The results came back borderline. I have been using Revolution the past 3 months and will continue to use it. Is there any more that I need to be doing at this point?

Answer:You will want to recheck him whenever your veterinarian recommended, but that's about all right now.

Date: May 26, 2017
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Treatment

Question:It's been a year since my rescue senior dog 8-10 years old received heartworm treatment with a course of antibiotics and a series of 3 Immiticide injections. (He was heartworm positive when rescued) He has been on prevenative for the entire year and he is still testimg positive for heartworms. Should I do the immiticide injections again or should I just treat the heartworms with the preventive? Due to his age;I'm not sure how he will react to another round of injections. His last set of injections he was sick. My Vet gave me efucational information and basically stated I can decide on injection treatment or preventive treatment and re-evaluate in 6 more months. Thank you for your opinion.

Answer:Wow, yes, that's a tough decision. I learn toward not treating him again with Immiticide but I would really press your veterinarian on what s/he would do if it were their own dog because there are so many variables involved including objective (bloodwork) and subjective (how they felt like he handled the treatment last year, etc) that all of those things should go into your decision. I have never had to treat a dog a second time - contacting the Immiticide manufacturer and discussing it with them may be a good idea too - not only will they potentially be able to help with cost, I would be interested to see if they may recommend not treating him again as well.

Date: May 18, 2017
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: heartgard

Question:I had asked if I give my 28lb puppy the heartgard dose for dogs up to 25lbs, would that help protect him at all? I don't want to invest in a 6pk if my puppy is growing and not knowing how much he will weigh in 4 months from now. I have a dose for puppies up to 25lb. which was a sample from vet.

Answer:I can't say if a less than 25# dosage would be effective for a 28# dog - their studies must've shown that it won't be for a certain percentage of dogs - call the 1-800 number on the packaging and you can talk to someone who can probably give you percentages on that kind of thing.

Date: May 18, 2017
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Heart worm disease and medication

Question:I have a rescue puppy 5months old from Memphis Tn. He hasn't been tested yet for heart worm, needs to be past 6 months old...or is it 7 months total? Can I give him heart worm meds prior to testing? I live in North Idaho. Is it necessary? He is 28lbs...I have a sample for up to 25lbs...would that be effective for 1 month?

Answer:If you start him on heartworm preventative before he is 6 months old, you really don't need to test him until his first annual exam which usually falls at 1.3 years old. The veterinary parasitologists now recommend all dogs get year-round monthly heartworm preventative that live in the continental US. That being said, I would ask your veterinarian that far up North - I live in Georgia where it is almost a given that dogs get heartworms if they aren't on preventative all year.

Date: May 12, 2017
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Heartworms

Question:How to go about treating my dog who has a small case of heartworms? He no sign other signs other than weight loss.

Answer:It is usually ideal for your veterinarian to use an adulticide to kill the heartworms - there are advantages and disadvantages to this and every case is different - it will depend on how heavy his worm load is, how healthy he is, how old he is, etc. as to how your veterinarian will proceed with treatment.

Date: May 7, 2017
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Looking for a pill

Question:I need a pill that is good for heartworm,flea and especially ticks for my great Pyrenees

Answer:There are many combination pills that have recently come out that are working well - of all 3 of these, tick control is the hardest and it can depend on the type of ticks in your area and what active ingredient they may be susceptible to, so contact your local veterinarian and see which one seems to be working best in your area. (They can also confirm your latest heart worm test.)

Date: May 1, 2017
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Overdose of heart worm medication

Question:What can I do?

Answer:You're going to have to be more specific - how old is your dog? how much does s/he weigh? Does he have heartworms? what heartworm medication did he take? Exactly how much?

Date: Apr 19, 2017
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Should I continue my dog on treatment?

Question:Hi doctor, My dog is about 2 years old, 20 lbs. February 2017 was the last time she had a dose of her heart worm preventative. It's now April and I was wondering if it would be worth it to continue treatment. She has shown no signs of having the disease and is not an outside dog. People have told me to contact our vet and take her in, but I don't want to pay hundred dollars for them to tell me yes or no. If it makes any difference, I live in the south where it is almost always hot and humid.

Answer:It kind of depends on the type of Heartworm preventative you are using, so you probably should call your veterinarian to just ask them. Most preventatives (like HEartguard) you will just want to start back on right away because they wont test positive for a few months anyway.

Date: Apr 17, 2017
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Better flavor chewable "beef" for Teddy

Question:Heart guard is not what my dog Teddy likes for heartworm medicine. He will not take those round shape tan pills at all. I have busted them up and put them in Pill pockets but he still sniffed them out. We had I think Bravantic? before which was a beef stick about an inch long he loved those, do y'all carry those or do you have any other thoughts or ideas? Thanks Mark Patrick

Answer:The round shaped pills are Heartguard's unflavored tablets, so it's not surprising he doesn't like those. You are kind of describing Heartguard chewables, which are about an inch long rectangular beefy chew. The pills are made smaller so you can wrap them in something like a pill pocket, but if he's not falling for that, you may want to go back to the chewable. "Bravantic" doesn't exist (that I know of) - there is Bravecto, which is only for fleas and ticks and Advantix which is only fleas and ticks.

Date: Apr 14, 2017
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Heartworm Prevention Medicine

Question:Is there any heartworm prevention medicine that doesn't require a prescription? My 4 lb yorkie uses revolution but the hassle of getting vet approved refills is making me look for OTC options.

Answer:Not that I know of. Sorry!

Date: Mar 25, 2017
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Can't get to a vet

Question:What do I do if my dog have all the symptoms of having heartworms, but I can't get to a vet? Is there anything I can do to help my dog?

Answer:There isn't really anything that can help that is over-the-counter. Start with just the test to be sure because many things can cause a dog to cough and lose weight (I'm guessing here because those are some common symptoms of HWD). The veterinarian that tests your dog can go over options and costs at that point with you. There are some less expensive things that aren't as ideal but that can really help.

Date: Mar 22, 2017
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: ivermectin ingredient

Question:my dogs are Blue Heelers, are they sensitive to the ivermectin medicine in Heartgard and tri-heart plus medicines? if so, which heartworm med would be ideal for the to take?

Answer:The amount of ivermectin in Heartguard and Tri-Heart is not supposed to be a problem but there are MANY other choices for heartworm preventative that don't contain ivermectin (Interceptor, Trifexis, Advantage-multi, revolution, sentinel to name a few).

Date: Mar 9, 2017
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Heartworm, roundworm, hookworms

Question:Trying to find good inexpensive heartworm , and hookworms, and roundworm medicine

Answer:Heartguard Plus is pretty cheap and gets all of those - then Tri-Heart Plus is it's generic, so it's even cheaper.

Date: Mar 7, 2017
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: HEartworm preventative

Question:I need to know what kind of heartworm preventative to put my border collie puppy on she is 12 weeks old I used to use heart guard until it killed one of the dogs I got from the shelter that was part border collie I now understand thar some herding dogs can have a reaction to ivermectin. I think all the heartworm preventative medicines have ivermectin in them?

Answer:There are many heartworm preventatives out now and most actually don't contain ivermectin. They are (and I'll probably forget some so ask the veterinarian that prescribes it for your dog to be sure): Trifexis, revolution, sentinel, advantage multi, interceptor, etc.


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