According to my vet, my dog is suppose to take his heartworm pill once a month. Since I adopted him, about 2 years ago, I
ve been giving the pill only once every 2-3 month. I always thought that this pill once a month seemed just too much and too toxic. Im trying to learn more about this topic and I
ve been getting so many different reviews. Some people believe that it has to be once a month, some people say its not necessary and that this pill is extremely toxic and when I told my vet that I was giving the pill to my baby once every 2-3 months, he said that he can have a heart attack because of that? I certainly want and will do what is best for my dog, so what is your opinion on that? Do we need to give the pill once a month? Is there any other method to prevent heartworm that is more natural?
Thank you for your feedback.
First of all, where do you live? If you live in an area where there are mosquitos for a large part of the year, then nothing works like heartworm prevention. If you live in an area where you don’t have mosquitos for most of the year, you can give it for only part of the year, but you really have to pay attention to the temperatures, because that affects when heartworms are transmissible.
Monthly heartworm prevention is actually good for about 45 days, due to the particular stages in the lifecycle of the immature heartworm that it kills. They just recommend giving it monthly because it’s easier for humans to remember to give it on a particular day. So if you want to give it every 40 days instead, you can, as long as you have a foolproof way of making sure you are reminded to give it.
Your dog has possibly been unprotected half the time, so could have been infected. Some dogs that are heartworm positive go into anaphylactic shock when given heartworm preventative, not a heart attack, but they can still die from it.
The natural heartworm preventatives have to be given multiple time a day every day, so are not really a good idea for most people.
If you want the least toxic regular heartworm prevention, then go with regular Heartgard, or an equivalent.
Tks for your reply. I live in Union City, NJ. Would you consider safe not giving the pill during fall/winter, considering it gets pretty cold here? I will take my dog this Wednesday for a heartworm test to make sure he is ok. I appreciate your feedback.
You may be interested in this article from Dr. Karen Becker.
And here is more detailed info from Jasmusen…
The Mercola article that Jeffrey gave the link for is a must read. The maps on there tell you during what months it is very important to protect against heartworms. In NJ, you should start giving heartworm prevention at the beginning of June, earlier if it is unseasonable warm(for myself, having seen too many heartworm positive dogs, I would start in May, if there is any doubt) and give the last dose of the year at the end of November, again being aware of any unseasonably warm weather.
It’s safer to skip spring than to skip fall, as far as how heartworm infections occur and how heartworm prevention works. You definitely want that last dose of the year a month after the last possible mosquito bite.
I live in NH, I give heartworm preventive every 45 days from May til October, sometimes November.
I’m very comfortable with the safety of heartworm preventatives. I give the preventative once a month and treat for at least 3 months past the last possible exposure. I do not use an extended duration of 45 days because in the original studies using heartgard dogs became heartworm positive when dosed at 45 days.
I extend out for at least three months beyond exposure because dogs given only one dose ( moxidectin was effective with one dose) after exposure became heartworm positive but when dosed for 3 consecutive months did not. I do not like heartworms and as I’m in a heartworm endemic area will not risk it.
Thanks everyone for all the great feedback, I`m certainly much more educated about this subject. Will most likely just give him the heartworm prevention between May-November. Tks again. 🙂
From the Boston Herald 7/11/2015 http://www.bostonherald.com/entertainment/lifestyle/2015/07/steer_clear_of_meds_sold_online
Dear Dr. John,
I seek your opinion on a matter that I find puzzling. Our family owns two dogs and a cat, and we take good care of them. We see our veterinarian on a regular basis and follow her advice on matters of preventative medicine and just about everything else. I would like you to share your thoughts on Internet pharmacies and the purchase of medications there instead of from our vet. Our vet offers reasonable prices, but medications are a bit cheaper at the online pharmacies. I have been told some of the products, such as heartworm preventatives and flea and tick preventatives, are supposed to only be sold by a vet. Our vet has given us written prescriptions that can be filled through the Internet, but she tells us these drugs are obtained illegally by these pharmacies. Is that true? What should we do? We want our pets to get medications that we can rely on, and we don’t want to support illegal activity.— P.M.
What you ask is something that practicing veterinarians deal with every day. Many animal hospitals and veterinarians dispense medications to patients. As small businesses, they cannot match the pricing of corporations that buy supplies in much larger quantities and at a cheaper cost, in turn passing on those savings to customers. The drug companies say they will only sell these products directly to veterinarians, and it is my understanding that they do. Some veterinarians, who I feel are somewhat unethical and looking to make a buck, purchase large amounts of these products and then for a fee sell them to intermediary brokers, who then sell them to Internet pharmacies. This is called drug diversion or the gray market, and while technically not illegal, it is considered wrong and opens up questions of quality control and ethics.
Furthermore, the drug companies make it clear that if the animal develops a problem or side effect from the medications, they will support the care of the patient and stand by their product only if it was dispensed by a veterinarian and not if obtained through drug diversion. While I am also a consumer, I would rather follow proper, ethical and legal channels and purchase from the veterinarian directly. Only your veterinarian knows your pet and knows it best, not the online pharmacy. This is what I advise my clients.
When purchasing medications for any of my dogs, I only feel safe purchasing them from the veterinarian. Of course, if a medication has to be compounded or is a “human medication” then the prescription is called in by my vets office either to my local CVS or the local compounding pharmacy.
As discovered many times over the years and seen on the news, human meds purchased on line are not necessarily what one thinks they are. They can be out of date, they can be packaged to look exactly like the original with some very minor discrepancy on the box, the meds themselves can be out of date or completely expired but the packaging says otherwise, the meds could have been illegally made in some foreign country. The same would be true for animal medications sold on the web as there are very little, if any, regulations. It’s only when there is illness or death that the FDA bothers to investigate said companies and meds and that can take years while others continue to order.
I’m not against purchasing items on the web, I’m a true Amazon junky, but I do not buy my medications nor my dogs medications on line. And as mentioned above, if there is a problem i.e. illness and/or death, your vet and the company you think is supposedly manufacturing those meds are not responsible for any monetary claims. You basically have no recourse. There are a lot of areas that one can save money on, medications should not be one of them.
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