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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

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 930
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Showing 1 - 15 of 930
Page 1 of 62
Date: Sep 7, 2019
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: After Heartworm treatment

Question:I need to know when it is safe for a dog to get active after the third treatment.

Answer:After treatment, the patient must be strictly confined for one at least month following the final treatment - consult your veterinarian about your specific dog. No walks, no running around. The dog must live the indoor life. The reason for this is that embolism to some degree is inevitable and it is important to minimize embolism-related problems. Exercise increases heart rate and oxygen demand and we need the heart to rest during this recovery period.

Date: Sep 7, 2019
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Usage of Revolution

Question:I had boughten Revolution 85-105 pounds back in April of this year for my 5 year old boxer. At the time he weighed 93 pounds so my vet had me put him on a diet to get down to 75-80 pounds. He was weighed at the vets office yesterday at 77.5 pounds. My question is, I still have 2 doses of the 85-105 pounds medicine left. Would it do harm or hurt my pet if I used these last two doses on him the next two months seeing he is no longer in the higher weight group. This medicine is rather expensive and I would hate to waste these last two doses before I use the medicine for his current weight group, which I am ordering today. Any information or answer to my question will be greatly appreciate. Thank you very much for reading my question and God Bless You. Doug C.

Answer:That should be fine. Call the manufacturer (number or email should be on the packaging) to be 100% sure.

Date: Sep 4, 2019
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Low positive heartworm treatment

Question:Hello, I am looking to adopt a rescue dog who has tested positive for heartworms. The volunteers at the rescue assured me that he was "low positive", and that means that he doesn't need the 3 shots but instead is taking a pill for a month as treatment with no restriction on physical activity. I haven't found anything online supporting this type of treatment, so I suspect that they are actually giving him heartworm preventative which doesn't affect the adult worms. I wanted to ask if you are aware of any type of treatment option for "low positive heartworm" where only a pill is necessary or if you would suggest that he should take the 3 shots with restricted physical activity. Thanks!

Answer:The adulticide is usually more ideal (either 2 or 3 shots) but all cases are different. Here is a good article, written by another veterinarian, from a site that I trust, detailing both methods and their pluses and minuses: https://veterinarypartner.vin.com/default.aspx?pid=19239&id=4951486

Date: Sep 2, 2019
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Heartworm

Question:I have 2 dogs and I recently had both my dogs checked for there Heartworm and both there Heartworm tests came back negative I would like to know if I could go to a pet store and pick up there Heartworm

Answer:You will need a prescription from whoever performed the heartworm test - you will usually need to fill the prescription within 30 days of the test.

Date: Aug 28, 2019
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Doberman following heartworm treatment

Question:We rescued a Doberman in July who already had heartworm the rescue group sent us home with doxycycline and as soon as he finished we took him up to rescues vet and they had him for 5 days to get his shots in his back. We have been told by one vet and rescue group to start him on heartworm pills Sept 1st and our vet not yet. What is your opinion? We are totally confused and dont want to hurt our little boy any more than what he is going through!

Answer:All heartworm cases are a little different (based on severity, age of patient, blood work, etc) but I usually start the heartworms pills before the adulticide so you will have to consult your veterinarian about this. (They may have given him a heartworm pill when they started the Doxycycline.) Here is a good article about treating heart worms written by another veterinarian, from a site that I trust: https://veterinarypartner.vin.com/default.aspx?pid=19239&id=4951486

Date: Aug 23, 2019
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Trifexis

Question:My dog has been on Trifexis for years. My vet has now suggested a monthly dose of Tri-Heart plus. Why is it necessary for 2 monthly heart worm meds?

Answer:It isn't - are you sure that's what they were recommending adding? Our problem with Trifexis is that it doesn't have tick coverage, so sometimes we have to add something for that. But, you are right 2 different (very effective) heartworm preventatives are unnecessary.

Date: Aug 19, 2019
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Medication

Question:Are these the same medication my vet prescribes for my puppy. Why dont I need an RX hear for Heartworm prevention

Answer:I don't know exactly which medications you are referring to but you do need a prescription for all of our heartworm preventatives. Feel free to resubmit a question with the actual medication.

Date: Aug 15, 2019
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: OTC heart worm meds

Question:can you recommend an otc heart worm medicine please?just prevention

Answer:They are all prescription (at least in the United States) because it is important to confirm with a blood test that your dog is negative for heart worms before starting most of them.

Date: Aug 3, 2019
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Medication

Question: My dog got her last dose of Trifexis on July 5th and is due for it on August 5th. I'm unable to get it by that date, will it wear off that day or do I have a couple of days to get her another dose?

Answer:It's pretty forgiving, a couple of days is usually no big deal, but keep it as close to one month as you can and just continue to test her about once a year.

Date: Aug 1, 2019
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Dog 21-55lbs

Question:Do I have to have a prescription from my vet

Answer:I can't tell exactly what product you are asking about, but if it contains a heart worm preventative, you will probably need a prescription from your veterinarian that has done a heartworm test on your dog. Feel free to resubmit another question with the actual product.

Date: Jul 26, 2019
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Treatment

Question:How soon should heartworm treatment begin? Do delays effect the dog's health? Is time of the essence?

Answer:I would need a LOT more information to really help you - it depends on many things: age of the dog, worm burden, blood work, etc etc. The veterinarian that diagnosed your dog probably has access to all of that so they are the best ones to ask.

Date: Jul 21, 2019
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Medications

Question:Weve been using sentinel on our dog but in the past weve used heartguard on our other dogs. Is there a difference?

Answer:They both prevent heartworms really well. Sentinel gives you some additional flea prevention so it will cost a little more.

Date: Jul 9, 2019
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: What meds to prevent

Question:Hello my dog is between 26-28 lbs. he is a French bulldog. What meds do you suggest for proventitive heart worm meds?

Answer:There are many options. Heartgard (or generics) for a 26-50 pound dog works great. It pairs nicely with either Nexgard, Bravecto or Simparica for flea and tick control.

Date: Jul 9, 2019
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Heartworm treatment

Question:Hello, I adopted my rescue dog in late December 2018. He was brought up to Massachusetts from Arkansas. He had previously tested negative for HW (end of Nov 2018) and was started on preventatives at the same time (Heartguard). He had not missed a single dose since but at his 6 month check up two weeks ago, he was found to be HW positive via antigen testing. He has no symptoms. He will be starting the AHS treatment with doxycycline, followed by the 3 shot protocol. I understand when he was tested in Nov that he likely had juvenile worms that were not detectable that are now adults, but that means he has likely had worms since at least November 2018 and likely had an initial infection months prior to this. How could he be asymptomatic so long and is this level of treatment really necessary for such a mild case? As an aside, he had two bouts of giardia and a bacterial infection which means since February he's already had two rounds of doxycycline + panacur for the parasite.

Answer:They are generally only symptomatic after being infected for a very long time with a relatively heavy load. The majority of animals that we diagnose are asymptomatic. That adulticide treatment is ideal according to veterinary parasitologists.

Date: Jul 4, 2019
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Halfing Medicine

Question:I was wondering if I could get a higher weight range medicine like heartgard or nexgard then what my pet actually is and cut the pill in half to last longer and make it down to her weight range. I want to get her the appropriate medicine but it is a lot for me right now. Will this work or do the medicines not simply increase in mg as the weight range goes up?

Answer:Call and speak directly to the manufacturer about this - I think the problem is that the active ingredient might be unevenly dispersed throughout the tablet.


Showing 1 - 15 of 930
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Showing 1 - 15 of 930
Page 1 of 62
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