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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 951
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Showing 1 - 15 of 951
Page 1 of 64
Date: Jan 10, 2020
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Heartworm

Question:When I adopted Precious this past spring from Humane Society, she had come from Alabama. H.S. completed X2 injections, then a month of Doxycycline. My current Vet has started her on the month oh Doxycycline, then will start Prednisone, then 2-3 injections. Why the difference in treatment? Marie

Answer:Treatment will depend on many factors: age of dog, severity of infestation, personal preference of veterinarian (what they have seen work and not work in the past), etc.

Date: Jan 9, 2020
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Heart worm treatment follow ups

Question:Hello my dog was treated for heart worm in november he has two injections from the shelter we adopted him from. They informed us that he wouldn¿t need anything we for the treatment but would have to get lab work to see if he is negative. It¿s been a few months now since the treatment should I take home to get lab work now? And can I begin giving him heart worm prevention tablets. They told me to hold off giving him any until his labs came back clean.

Answer:Oh dear, no, definitely get him on a heart worm preventative because we usually don't test them again for 6 months and then some continue to test positive for over a year, so he definitely needs to be on a preventative in the meantime.

Date: Jan 7, 2020
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Heartworm

Question:What does med do?

Answer:I can't tell exactly what you are asking - but heartworm medications prevent dogs from getting worms in their heart.

Date: Dec 24, 2019
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Pet Medication

Question:Couple of weeks ago we received our Pet's new six month supply of Sentinel for heartworm prevention. Upon receiving it, it was accidentally placed in the refrigerator. Is the medication worthless now because it was placed in an area that was outside its temperature range.

Answer:Probably not but call and speak directly to the manufacturer - their contact information should be on the packaging or package insert.

Date: Dec 22, 2019
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Please consent to the meds

Question:Can you please consent to the deworming meds I just got my puppy and I don't have a vet I'm on a fixed income and thanks and God bless

Answer:In veterinary medicine, we cannot legally prescribe medications without meeting your dog face-to-face.

Date: Dec 17, 2019
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Heartgard medication

Question:My dog is about 63 lbs and we were given Heartgard from a vet tech prior to moving but it is for dogs 25-50 lbs. we have been giving him one pill once a month but would it be best to give him 1 and a 1/2 pills to better suit his weight until we run out? Not sure if this is okay or if we just need to buy the 51-100 lb box. Thank you!

Answer:Buying the 51-100 pound box is ideal because they disperse the active ingredient unevenly in some of those chewable medications. (If they aren't scored, they should not be halved.)

Date: Dec 16, 2019
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Heartgard

Question:What test(s) are required for continuing a prescription for Heartgard?

Answer:It depends on your veterinarian - usually just a heartworm test - requires just a couple drops of blood.

Date: Dec 7, 2019
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Heart worm meds. in the wintertime.

Question:I live in Syracuse NY and my question is do you think heart worm med. is necessary throughout the winter months? Also, can I get heart worm meds through PetMeds without a prescription from my veterinarian?

Answer:Parasitologists recommend heart worm preventative all year long in the continental United States, BUT I have always practiced in Georgia (it is mandatory down here, of course), so asking veterinarians up there what their personal opinion is might be a good idea. With global warming and episodic warm snaps, mosquitoes can pop up within a matters of hours and that's how it's transmitted. In veterinary medicine, a face-to-face meeting is required to legally establish a client-patient relationship to be able to prescribe anything, including heartworm preventative, so no, sorry, we need a prescription from your veterinarian.

Date: Dec 5, 2019
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: HeartGuard

Question:I have moved out of state and I need a prescription for my Maddie¿s heart worm medication. I don¿t have a vet here and am unable to reach the service I had been using for her health care. Can you please give me a prescription for Maddie¿s HeartGuard medication until I can find a vet here? Thank you, Nancy Pia

Answer:In veterinary medicine, unlike human medicine, in order to legally write a prescription, a face-to-face meeting has to have taken place (usually within the last year) to establish a legal client-patient relationship. Sorry! If she has had a heartworm test in the last year, definitely keep trying with whoever tested her because they can legally prescribe it.

Date: Nov 30, 2019
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Prevention

Question:Is Heartgard needed all year long? There are no mosquitos right now where I live in Southern Illinois due to freezes. Just curious if I have to continue preventative treatment through winter or not.

Answer:Parasitologist recommend heartworm preventative all year round for the entire continental United States. I practice in Georgia where it is mandatory, so ask a local veterinarian who has practiced there for many years for the best advice.

Date: Nov 27, 2019
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Heart worm Medication

Question:I purchased a six month supply of heart worm medication for my miniature dachshund. At the time she was 9 pounds so the 10lbs and under was what she was prescribed. She is now 10 1/2 lbs. Is the prescription she has still okay to take or does she need to go up to the next weight? We live in the south where heart worm disease is prevalent and I want to make sure that I¿m doing the right thing for her. Thank you for your assistance.

Answer:It would probably be fine for just one month, but I can't say that for sure - the manufacturer is the best one to call and ask - they have good customer service representatives.

Date: Nov 16, 2019
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Mailing address

Question:Please send mailing address for prescriptions

Answer:This is the Ask the Vet section and I don't know exactly what you need so call the 1-800-Petmeds phone number to speak with customer service.

Date: Nov 12, 2019
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Deworm

Question:We have never dewormed our dogs. Are there signs we need to watch for? We have a 9 yr. Old Lab - Shepherd mix

Answer:If you live in the continental United States, it is recommended to keep your dog on heartworm preventative all year long. It is transmitted by mosquitoes, so anywhere mosquitos are, heartworm disease is as well. Obviously, certain areas are worse - I live and practice in Georgia and South Carolina and it's almost a given that a dog will get heart worms around here if they are off of preventative for an extended period of time. Coughing is the main clinical sign to watch for, but that only occurs after years of being infected - most dogs are asymptomatic for the first few years.

Date: Nov 11, 2019
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Starting heart worm treatment

Question:I adopted a German Shepard Jan 2018 and he was diagnosed with heart worms. He is now on heart worm prevention but I haven¿t started his heart worm treatment which involves the injections and 2 to 3 months of no activity. I was thinking about waiting until after the holidays bc I will be traveling a lot. So at the beginning of January. Do you see a risk in waiting two more months? He is approximately 3 years old. Also, how strict is it that when he is on the treatment that he stays crated?

Answer:Speak with the veterinarian who diagnosed him - it depends on the severity of his case but it should be fine to wait - better even if it's easier for you to confine him after the holidays because that part is very important.

Date: Oct 19, 2019
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Heartworm medication

Question:I live in South Florida and every month give my 2 year old bitch heartworm medication. I use Interceptor (not the plus) because I thought it would be the safest and most effective drug. Unfortunately each month that passes her reaction has got worse. In the beginning she would just be a bit quiet for the day and maybe off her food, but it's getting progressively worse. Last month she was miserable, then vomited 4 hours later. This month it was diahrea, refused food and clearly miserable for 24 hours. I give with a small meal, something which was suggested to me when I first started having problems. I don't want to put her through this torture every month, but being in Florida I'm afraid to skip the medication. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks

Answer:That is a very rare reaction but switching to something like Heartgard might be better for her.


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