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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
For those of you who administer prophylactic heartworm medication to your dogs, I'm looking for suggestions/advice.

My vet set me up with Iverhart Max chewable tablets for both of my dogs. My dogs hate them. Neither one will get near them even after trying numerous ways to disguise them. The vet doesn't sell any other types and has no interest in suggesting any other brands.

I have tried putting them in Pill Pockets. They eat the Pill Pocket and spit out the pill. I tried putting them inside a piece of raw pork (their favorite meat) and same thing, they eat the meat and spit out the pills.

I've tried crushing the pills and mixing them with canned dog food, chopped up meat, and canned mackrel. As soon as they catch a whiff of the pill inside whatever they are eating, they are done. Amazingly, my female, who will eat just about anything, won't touch anything that has one of these pills mixed into it.

I am tired of wrestling with them every month so I need to give up on this Iverhart product but living in a warm, coastal climate where mosquitoes can be around almost the entire year I feel pretty strongly about making sure they are protected.

What are some of you using that your dogs like?

Are the active ingredients in this medication pretty much the same from brand to brand?

Are there any OTC HW products? Most seem to be prescription only but it's not clear in some of the places I looked at different brands. If there are OTC versions, is there any effective difference between prescription and OTC heartworm medication?

How do you transition from one to another? Take a one-month break? Does it matter?

All comments and suggests are welcomed. Thanks!

Jay
 

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Even though your vet wont give you a suggestion on another brand, there are a few more out there.

At my work, we used to carry Iverheart, but discontinued carrying it because too many dogs wouldn't take it.

Now we carry Heartgurad, and I havent heard of any dogs not liking it. That is the one that I would recommend.

The thing that you should do is order some heartguard over the internet from a company like 1-800-PetMeds (link below). They will send a perscription request form to your vet for approval. The only way they can deny your request is if your dog is overdue for a heartworm test. Depending on where you live and who your vet is an annual, biannual or a test once every other year is required. Every vet's proceedures are different.

The cost of heartworm meds are generally quite a bit cheaper through a company like this. Why? They fill far more perscriptions than your local vet office, and therefore can buy these meds in bulk and pay less for them.

There are no over the counter HW meds, because it is a controlled drug that requires a heartworm test to dispense.

Also, if your dog needs a HW test...your vet shouldn't make you pay an office visit. If they do, go somewhere else for it. Considering its a very short blood draw, usually done in house, it doesn't take a vet to do it. That way you don't need to pay for an exam.

1800PetMeds - America's Pet Medication & Pet Supplies Pharmacy
 

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Rocky is allergic to Iverhart and Heartgaurd. He takes Interceptor. It's a tiny chewable pill and I have never had any trouble giving it to him or to any of my dogs. It's the one that I've always used. There is only one vet around here that sells it but you can get a prescription for it and buy it from national pet pharmacy (which is the same company as Pet food direct) or any pet med online place. When I bought it online they were cheaper then the other online places.
 

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Well, my roommate left some heartworm medication out (on the floor in the living room?! Really now...) and, of course, my dog had access to it. She actually ate 3 of the 4 tablets, and she was a picky boxer, so hows that for appetizing. :rolleyes:

It was Sentinel brand.
 

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I use Heartguard and have my dogs tested every year. I don't know if the vet requires less often or not. Since I don't give heartworm meds from about early November until around the first of June, I like to have them tested.

There is something few people know about heartworm meds. They don't protect ahead. They protect from behind. I know that sounds confusing, let me put it another way. If you give your dog heartworm meds today, it doesn't mean its working for a month from that point. What happens is that the meds kill any heartworm larvae that the dog has picked up in the last 45 days. It kills them that day. Then when you give the next pills in a month or so, that pill kills all the heartworm larvae picked up since the last pill and kills them that day. Soooo ... no need to give the pills every month. I give them ever 42 days (6 weeks). That gives me 3 days to spare in case I forget.

I wait until mosqitoes have been out for about 6 weeks to take my dogs for their test. If the test is negative (so far it always has been) then they are good for another 45 days. I wait until 45 days after the test before I give the first pill of the year. That buys me 3 months of time without having to give my dogs insecticide. They only get about 4 doses/year and in my mind that a heck of a lot better than 12 doses.

If you live in an area were mosquitoes are out more, then of course you have to change this to fit your area. I have been doing this for about 5 years and so far so good. I have a very heavily mosquito infested swamp on and bordering my property. I walk the dogs by the swamp every day during our daily walk.

There is a ton of information online about heartworm, it's lifecycle, and how to protect your dogs from it.

Hehe, I think this is more than you asked for. :biggrin:
 

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There was actually a good article in Whole Dog Journal about heartworm preventative and the overuse of it. It talked about it only having to be given every 45 days and also mentioned that the dose being used on dogs is actually much higher then needed because it is also being used to prevent other types of worms. If you are only interested in killing the hearworm larvae you can actually use a much lower dose of the heartworm preventative. Unfortunately I can't access the article anymore since I am no longer a subscriber or I would put up a link to it. But I also only give my dogs the pills every 45 days. I try not to over medicate them on anything anymore.
 

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I use Heartguard Plus. Aspen loves the taste and has never had a problem with it. I also have him tested for Heartworm every year...

I've heard Heartguard Plus also protects against some parasites. Can anyone tell me which ones...? Aspen got tapeworms a few months ago. I didn't take him to the vet because here, they want an exam and all that crap. I called my friend (he's a vet-tech) and he came down and gave me some pills that his boss gave him (the vet). Don't remember their name though. I can't get them in the future because they are prescription and I can't get a hold of my friend anymore. I had to give him 3 in his food. They were square, large like the rymadil pills and had a brownish color. Does anyone know what medication (non-prescription) is great for killing tapeworms...?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks everyone for the feedback. Looks like i need to look into Heartgard Plus at 45 day intervals.

malluver1005, Heartgard Plus also has Pyrantel for roundworms and hookworms, which the Iverhart Max also has, but Iverhart Max also has pamoate/praziquantel for tapeworms, which Heartgard doesn't have.
 

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Thanks everyone for the feedback. Looks like i need to look into Heartgard Plus at 45 day intervals.

malluver1005, Heartgard Plus also has Pyrantel for roundworms and hookworms, which the Iverhart Max also has, but Iverhart Max also has pamoate/praziquantel for tapeworms, which Heartgard doesn't have.
Thanks, I'll look into the Iverhart Max...:smile:
 
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I use Heartguard Plus chewables. Dogs think it's a treat. I give it every month.
 

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I use Heartgaurd and the dogs think they are treats! I have to give them today as a matter of fact and this thread helped me to remember thanks! I have it written on the calendar but need a calendar to remember whats on the calendar haha!

I wish there was something easier than having to have a yearly costly blood test though for the heart worm disease. since this is the only way you can get the pills! I even argued with my vet at one point saying gee you do this since puppyhood how can they even get the disesae when they are so well protected. Ha well, he let me off the (cost) hook for one year~ hes a good guy ~I do bring him 4 dogs~ so probably putting a wing on the building~ but anyway he (the vet) wont though let me do this anymore haha! He told me I have to have the blood work! But that is what I wish I didnt haha! :biggrin:
 

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I wish there was something easier than having to have a yearly costly blood test though for the heart worm disease. since this is the only way you can get the pills! I even argued with my vet at one point saying gee you do this since puppyhood how can they even get the disesae when they are so well protected. Ha well, he let me off the (cost) hook for one year~ hes a good guy ~I do bring him 4 dogs~ so probably putting a wing on the building~ but anyway he (the vet) wont though let me do this anymore haha! He told me I have to have the blood work! But that is what I wish I didnt haha! :biggrin:
An annual heartworm test is necessary, even if your dog is protected since puppyhood, because heartworm preventatives are not 100% effective even if given correctly. There is a very slight chance that your dog can still get hearworm disease even if on the preventative. So to be on the safe side, an annual test is essential. To me, spending the $20-$30 for an annual heartworm test certainly beats the $1000+ you would have to spend to treat your dog for heartworms, with not a 100% cure rate at that.

And I am not calling anyone a liar or anything, but how is your vet supposed to know for absolute sure that you gave the medication right on schedule every month? He is probably more worried about your dog having the disease and having a bad reaction to the preventative (considering he covered the cost of the test himself for you) and being held accountable for that.
 

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I do agree with you! I was just wishing on a star that their could be a cheaper easier way! Always thinking cost wise! And that would be way too much to spend 1000's of dollars becasue of heartworm! Cheaper this way!
But yep they have to do the blood tests every year now so I don't protest anymore! ha!:smile:
 

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Your vet should be giving you a multi-pet discount on all the services since you have more then 2 animals. All the vets in our area do that. It certainly helped me out when I had 7 animals!

There is a vast difference around here in the price of heartworms testing. One of the cheaper vets does just the basic heartworm test and it was $18. The other vets do the combination heartworm / erlichia test and it is almost $50. You may want to check and see which one your vet does and if you can have a choice.
 

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I actually do get a 10% discount from the vet! I like two where I go, not saying i dont like them all, but their are two who are very good well with my dogs I should say! Wow now you have had 7 dogs at one time! My vet was cute he said well you have 5 kids may as well have 5 dogs one for each! I crackked up and told him Ha! I believe your encouraging a divorce here! My hubbys confused that we have 4 hahaha! Sort of surprised him with one of them haha!
I do believe now that you have said this I get that more expensive test! And I thnakyou very much for mentioning this becasue I am going to ask for the lesser of the two (basic) ! Thanks again much appreciation!:biggrin:
 

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For some reason when I had two little kids under the age of three at home and was babysitting two more, I ended up having 4 big dogs and 3 cats at the same time. Now that my boys are 19 and 22 years old and only one of them lives at home, I am down to just 2 dogs and no cats. I guess when you have little kids all around you, whats a few more animals adding to the madhouse! I remember pushing a stroller down the road while walking with a toddler hanging on one side of it and holding on to four leashes at the same time. I don't think I'm quite up to that anymore! I think young mothers are all a little bit insane.....and have a heck of a lot of patience.
 

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For some reason when I had two little kids under the age of three at home and was babysitting two more, I ended up having 4 big dogs and 3 cats at the same time. Now that my boys are 19 and 22 years old and only one of them lives at home, I am down to just 2 dogs and no cats. I guess when you have little kids all around you, whats a few more animals adding to the madhouse! I remember pushing a stroller down the road while walking with a toddler hanging on one side of it and holding on to four leashes at the same time. I don't think I'm quite up to that anymore! I think young mothers are all a little bit insane.....and have a heck of a lot of patience.
Ha I am with you there about young moms! I rememeber those days very well and for me it was not yesterday haha its a bit ago haha!! Mine are all now between 16 and 26 (oh my goodness how'd that happen) but as for my hubby and I we alot of time walk the 4 dogs and it is quiet funny for others haha! We do enjoy it though and I do at times incorporate help from a couple of the kids! Gee not all of them though~many protests~ they are what they think getting too old to walk with us haha~ I understand that though!! Now when my kids were younger we had a 1/2 GS and 1/2 husky. she got really out of control by the third kid and we just couldn't put up with her anymore! She actually was trying to bite and that just was that ~my kids~ or a dog and I wasn't going to let anyone get bitten! She had other problems also biting through doors gee if you've seen Marley and me the dog we had was Marley but I think a bit worse !We were young then and I didnt know diddly squat about dogs~ feeding ~training ect. nothing! Well so that went not so darn good! But then by the time my third child was over 21/2 she was born in 1986 and it was in 1989 in the summer because my daughter is an october baby and in july we got from a breeder our dalmation sparky. My goodness what a difference a dog makes! She was 2 and 1/2 months old and this breeder would not let her pups go until then and she bred show dogs. well sparky happen to have this bit of a side ways(the breeder said not show quality) tail which you or I could not tell it was fine when we saw her and got her! But she said show wise they can tell! She happen to be the best most well trained dog ever in all my years with dogs! Already potty trained just a wonder. gee never happened again hahaha! But the pup worked out but I remember the first week with Sparky (yes my kids named her haha) my youngest cried and screamed she was afraid of the puppy. I called my sister crying saying I was going to have to give the puppy back to the breeder and she was like calm down give it a week and see how things go. Well my youngest got use to the puppy and it was the best ever. so at the time with young kids I had one dog then two more kids haha! So now were getting older gee middle aged and have 4 dogs and my one daughter where she goes to school found a stray kitten. It had a flea collar on and she put up flyers figuring the owner would come for it. She came home for Thanksgiving leaving it with her neighbors (shes renting a place not in a dorm) and well low and behold she thought the kitten would be with its owners when she got back but of course NO! No one claimed it. She took it to the vet and has been becoming attached to this kitty and I am like oh my goodness No we cannot have a kitty in a 4 dog home! So gee the dilemas never ever end do they? hahaha! Well she has told me she decided which I am not sure about that she will give the kitty to the shelter. awww poor kitty! She sent me numerous pictures of this kitty and now i'm getting attached UGH! Oh well! I also know really nothing about cats just that until I was 6 we had one and it was a free raoming cat left for 3 days and would come back but that was ok back then! Oh well kids~ dogs~ kitties ~critters ~when I was young like you did it all now I can't believe I have 4 dogs now haha! And gee would love one more black lab! But my huibby has told me NO in a very lud voice I must say! haha! Take good care!
 
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