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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 810
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Showing 1 - 15 of 810
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Date: Aug 19, 2017
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Heartgard

Question:I have a German Shepherd and was going to buy Heartgard chewables. They have a warning that herding dogs may be more sensitive to the ingredients. Is there something else you recommend?

Answer:I have a German Shepherd who takes Heartgard. German Shepherd's don't seem as sensitive to the Ivermectin as Collies and other breeds.

Date: Aug 18, 2017
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Prevention

Question:If preventing heart worm disease is a priority then why do pet owners need to take their pets to a vet yearly to have them checked it would seem to me once your pet has been prescribed the correct medicine that would be all that's needed for the duration of the pets life

Answer:No medication/preventative is 100% (for people or animals really). Some dogs may not absorb it properly, some may run outside and throw it up, if you have more than one dog the dominant dog may steal it from the other one every month, if you use topicals and the dog has a skin condition it may not disperse properly, etc. So it is ideal to test about once a year.

Date: Aug 8, 2017
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Heartguard

Question:Hi We recently purchased heartworm preventative (Heartguard) from you for dogs up to 50lbs based on our vets prescription. Our pup is now 55lbs, can we still give her this medication? If not, what are our options being I have 5 chewables left. Thank you!

Answer:You can give him 2 of the 26-50# per month.

Date: Jul 29, 2017
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: heart worm meds

Question:This site says it has a list of herding dogs that might be alergic to a certain type of heart worm preventative, wheere is it?.

Answer:Here is a quick list that I got from this article about Ivermectin hypersensitivity: -Collie -Old English sheepdog -Shetland sheepdog (Sheltie) -Australian shepherd -German shepherd -Longhaired whippet -Silken windhound -Border collie -Dogs of mixed breeds that include herding breeds http://www.pethealthnetwork.com/dog-health/dog-diseases-conditions-a-z/ivermectin-toxicity-dogs

Date: Jul 28, 2017
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Dry cough

Question:I spoke with a good friend that told me this sounds like heartworms. Is there anything I can do if he has heartworms?

Answer:Dogs will cough for many different reasons, not just heartworms, but yes, heartworms are definitely treatable. Your veterinarian can confirm the diagnosis with a quick test and will go over and administer the medication to get rid of them.

Date: Jul 17, 2017
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Meds for heartworm

Question:How long does it take to get rid of heartworm with the slow kill method?

Answer:Good question and it varies but most veterinarians say a couple years (2-3 years) - basically the lifespan of an adult heartworm. And just like any medication (even the adulticide), it may not work at all.

Date: Jul 8, 2017
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Missed meds

Question:I have a small mixed breed dog. He is on heart worm medication but I was 1 day late on his meds 1 time.Could he still get heart worms from me being 1 day late.ThankYou for your answer.

Answer:No, one day is not a big deal - he will be fine.

Date: Jun 25, 2017
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Heartguard and Comfortis

Question:Can I give my dog both Heartguard and Comfortis?

Answer:Yes, you can give both of these - there is no adverse interaction between them.

Date: Jun 24, 2017
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Accidental Dose

Question:What can happen if a puppy on Heartgaurd accidently takes a does of Sentinel that is for large dog

Answer:Probably nothing but call the 1-800 number on the Sentinel to be sure - have the weight and age of your puppy and the dates the puppy got both products and dosage of the sentinel ready for them.

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.


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