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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 16 - 30 of 954
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Showing 16 - 30 of 954
Page 2 of 64
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 havent 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.

Date: Oct 18, 2019
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Generic vs name brand

Question:Hello I usually the heart guard plus for a 0-25 lb dog. I was wondering if the generic is the same thing because it is cheaper?

Answer:Yes, as long as it is the same active ingredient, in the same concentration, from a reputable seller, the generics work well too.

Date: Oct 10, 2019
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Heart worm meds

Question:Do you have to give a rat terrier heart meds if he only goes out side to do his business not around other dogs

Answer:Yes, it is transmitted by mosquitoes and it only takes one to infect him.

Date: Oct 7, 2019
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Med

Question:Which is better...heartguard or interceptor?

Answer:They both work very well to prevent heart worms. Heartgard has been around longer but interceptor covers whip worms - they both cover some other more common intestinal parasites like hook worms and round worms.

Date: Oct 4, 2019
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Heartworms

Question:Which heartworm medicine covers all the worms

Answer:There isn't one that covers all worms. Some cover more than others though: like Heartgard covers hooks and rounds, Interceptor Plus covers hook, rounds, tapes and whips, etc.

Date: Sep 27, 2019
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Coverage from company

Question:Hi, I am looking to save some money on my Heartgard meds. I asked my vet for the prescription and she told me that if I dont buy it through a vet office the company wont honor their warranty if my pet gets heart worms while on the medication. Is this true? Its a new vet so Im not sure if this is legit or not.

Answer:You will have to call the 1-800-Petmeds phone number and ask them that question - I'm not sure.

Date: Sep 25, 2019
Category: Heartworm Disease
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: heartworms

Question:I just picked up a dog from the pound. A jack Russell terrior. She is about 12 years old and is very emotionally and physically down. They told me she tested positive for heartworms. I am concerned a trip to the vet or a harsh treatment might kill her. What can I do?

Answer:The trip to the vet more than likely won't kill her and then discuss your treatment options with the veterinarian. Here is a link to a good article, written by another veterinarian from a site that I trust, about the various types of treatment options: https://veterinarypartner.vin.com/default.aspx?pid=19239&id=4951486

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.


Showing 16 - 30 of 954
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Showing 16 - 30 of 954
Page 2 of 64
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