Hello. I live on an island in the Caribbean, and have a 4 year old, 75lb, female mutt. Two days ago she was diagnosed positive for heartworm…and yes, I cried. Luckily, she is in the early stages with no obvious symptoms of coughing, weight loss etc. I sought the advice of different vets and have been presented with 3 options. (1.) Do the 2 day adulticide treatment. (2.) Do a split treatment, where one dosage is injected and then a second and final dosage is given 3weeks after. (3.) Give her heartworm ‘preventative’ medicine over the next year, and assess if that reduces the quantity of adult worms present. While I make my decision, we started her on the “Pet Life Endolav Plus” pills. (She had not been given any heartworm pills prior).The pills were also given to my other dog, which is a 5 month old male mastiff. So my questions are:
1. Which option is the safest, while being most effective (I’ve gotten different responses from different vets).
2. For those living in climates where mosquitoes thrive all year round, what are the best heartworm preventative medicines and also methods? (I’ve noticed comments on this forum that advise against topical bug repellents, but mosquitoes are rampant here.)
3. Is there anything I can do to help prep my dog for treatment? Whether through addition of vitamins or a special diet? She currently doesn’t take any supplements. She was rescued as a puppy, and for the past 3 years has been fed Alpo/Pedigree/Beneful along with occasional cooked meals of rice and meat. I wasn’t aware this was potentially bad until recently, and have luckily found someone on island that distributes Sportsmix, ProPac and Earthborn Holistic Primitive. I went with the propac because it had lower calcium levels, which is seemingly better for the puppy. (Getting foods rated higher than 2 star here is challenging). I’ve started cooking meats and muscles to add to the kibble, and when I have the time on the weekend I cook full meals, including organs. (Still experimenting, as this is still new to me, having only just ditched the supermarket brands a month ago).
Grateful for any advice. She’s honestly the sweetest dog we’ve ever owned, and I badly want her to survive this. I would hate to have rescued her, only to have this as her fate. I also want to ensure that the 5 month old remains healthy.
My yorkie rescue had heart worms. My vet put her on an antibiotic for a month and prednisone. Then he gave her an injection on morning and the second injection the next morning. He was still on prednisone. I had to keep him quiet for a month especially while the worms are dying and traveling. No running, I walked him out on a lease where he couldn’t run. He didn’t have to have another injection a month later because he didn’t have the big ones or small(can’t remember which) He is fine now but I keep him on heart worm preventive year round because I live in South Ga and we have mosquitoes year round. Good luck!
My pup had to have heartworm treatment after I took over her care at about the age of 10. My vet gave the injections a month apart, as she said this was the new ‘safer’ way to treat heartworm. As the previous post, she was given antibiotics and steroids, my vet gave me this as an option, and said it could help keep recovery smooth. It is a long, terrifying, two months, but it was what worked for me. My vet also suggested trying to treat with just a preventative and hoping the worms would die before they did to much damage, but I didn’t want to risk the long term damage the worms could do. I think this is a personal choice you should make on your own, weighing the risks. For a preventative I use heartguard. In my research and expeirience, heartguard and revolution are both very effective. Revolution has extra preventative for fleas/ticks/other parasites. I live in the north, so I like to use heartguard so I can only use flea and tick medicine when neccesarry. Good luck!
I rescue and the group only does immiticide back to back. Rarely they do the immiticide 30 days apart. If it were my dogs, I think I would opt for slow kill. Has your vet staged the heartworm disease? In the early stages with a small amount of worms, it’s less stressful on the dog, but still dangerous none the less. I’ve had 4 dogs in 4 years die from complications of heartworm treatment (pulmonary embolism). One is at the vet right now with complications. If you use topical flea/tick/mosquito meds, you can still also use essential oils like Sentry Natural Defense and Halo Herbal Dip.
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