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Discussion Starter #1
I'm just wondering what everyone is doing for heartworm protection. I've read that every 30 days is total overkill, I've read to do it every 30 days. I've read to give it year round, and I've read it's only necessary in spring and winter. I've read it's only necessary depending on where you live.


So, what do y'all do? What do you use? How often? Year round?

I'll be totally honest, our vet in San Diego never really brought it up, and I had never used it before getting Champ, because I just didn't know. I've been doing it only in spring and summer, but I'm wondering if this is okay or not now? I'm anti-vaccines and all that junk, but I don't think heartworm is something I want to mess with. None of my dogs are on it right now, but I think I'm getting some for all four of them this week.
 

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As soon as it starts getting warmer here, I give him the Heartgard. I give it to him every 45 days from about April to October. I read an article, I'll try to find it, that it needs to be 57 degrees or above day and night for one or two weeks in order for the larvae to survive.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
If my cat is an inside only cat: is it necessary for her?
Also, is Interceptor just as good as Heartguard? A six month supply for my dogs from 1800petmeds is $140. Not too bad.
 

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It is my understanding that heartworm is spread by mosquitos. So, the months when there are mosquitos is when your dog needs to be protected.

I have kept my dogs on Heartgard year round because of all the moving we have done. However, the vet where we are now says that heartworm is not common at all and hardly ever seen. So, I am thinking I may take Lucky off since we will be here for another year atleast.

One bad thing, though, is that once they have been off it they have to be tested before they can get back on. They need to be heartworm negative to be able to start Heartgard.
 

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I use the generic of Heartgard. Since living in Florida, I've kept them on it year-round, and they get it every 30 to 31 days. I get my medicines from Doctors Foster and Smith. I've found that they always have the cheapest prices and their shipping on health care products is ALWAYS free. :biggrin:

This is what I use:
Tri-Heart Plus Oral Heartworm Preventive by Schering-Plough

Heartgard:
Dog Heartworm Medications: Heartgard Plus at Drs. Foster & Smith Pet Pharmacy

Interceptor:
Interceptor Heartworm Medicine for Dogs & Cats at Drs. Foster & Smith
 
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I give all 3 of my dogs HeartGuard every 30 days and keep them on it year-round. I do that because my Vet advises it, and I would not be so arrogant to say that I know better than my Vet. I'm being a good girl, doing what the Vet says.
 

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I give heartguard every other month to each dog, I don't worry about the cats because they're indoor only. The microfilaria (juvenile worms) circulate the blood stream in the dog for 3-6 months before mature enough to settle in the heart and blood vessels. This is what my boss/vet told me, so I'm listening to what she says as well and modifying my dogs heartworm prevention because of that. It definitely is overkill to give heartguard and other similar products once monthly.

Also, heartworm prevention works backwards to what is thought. It doesn't prevent your dog from contracting heartworm in the first place but rather kills all microfilaria that happen to be in the bloodtream after the period between each dose. And since these juvenile worms are in the bloodstream for so long (up to six months and harmless in this form) one could essentially only give the preventative every six months to be safe. Usually really light/early occult (adult worms in heart) cases are just treated with heartguard every month for six months anyways.
 

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I do a rotation of Ivermectin, Fenbendazol and Strongid with my boys. Heartguard is actually Ivermectin/Strongid mix and they both come in a liquid form, so they can be given pretty close together and creat the same effect. I used to just do Heartguard every month -2 months for my terrier mix I used to have (RIP), but that would be very expensive with the boys. I don't do any of the 3 above more then 3 times a year. My boys spend most of the time inside, with me in the yard/close to the house or in the car when we go anywhere else.

I do think that it depends a lot on where you live though. Up north there isn't as big of a risk and in the south (ie. Ohio isn't as much of a threat as Florida). But you are still not 100% guarenteed with anything.
 

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I use this map to determine when to start and stop giving heartworm preventative and then dose every 45 days.
Citadel Tibetan Mastiffs Heartworm Timing

I am against over-vaccinating too but i agree that the dangers of contracting/treating heartworm outweigh the risks of "preventative". In this case giving the preventative is the lesser evil.
I have the same link Mal posted, bookmarked- lots of good info in there.
 

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I'm in Florida and give Heartguard Plus religiously every month. My brothers dog in Oz died of heartworm (many years ago), so I'm nutty about making sure mine is fully protected. Saying that, do you really reckon it would be safe to dose her every 2 months instead? I'm not too keen on poisons.
ETA: No worries. I've just read those links and they say FL is year round protection, but you can safely give the pills every 45 days. I think I might switch to that schedule.
 

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I give heartguard March thru October every 45 days.....but I'm looking into this natural method called Diatomaceous Earth.


I've used natural methods of detering fleas, ticks and other insects for years. Never have had a problem. I don't like the chemical flea and tick preventers at all.

Currently using Earth Animals Yeast Free Flea and Tick control.
 

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How does everyones vet feel about not using it as much - more for warmer states. Our vet may be an ex vet - just left there today...:rolleyes: anyway he insists monthly and will not give me heartworm meds unless I am right on time for the fecal test.
 

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Our vet may be an ex vet - just left there today...:rolleyes: anyway he insists monthly and will not give me heartworm meds unless I am right on time for the fecal test.
That's right up there with vets who won't write you a prescription to have filled somewhere else for a lot less money. Either you buy it from them at inflated prices or you don't get it.
 

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How does everyones vet feel about not using it as much - more for warmer states. Our vet may be an ex vet - just left there today...:rolleyes: anyway he insists monthly and will not give me heartworm meds unless I am right on time for the fecal test.
If I were in a more endemic area, I would definitely give it monthly. The dosage is so very low (~200X lower than a toxic dose for dogs) and it really is effective, I don't see the harm. I mostly give it the way I do to help save money since its really not that high of a risk here in CO.

And a heartworm test is a blood test...just FYI :wink:
 

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Being in FL means our dog gets Heartguard monthly.

I checked out online pricing, but by the time I added in s&h, it came out to approx the same I would pay through the vet, so I stuck with that route. I'm not confident enough in the one out of Australia that doesn't require a vet script, especially since it takes several weeks to arrive.

Maybe we should start a thread on pricing (including s&h)?


 

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Being in FL means our dog gets Heartguard monthly.

I checked out online pricing, but by the time I added in s&h, it came out to approx the same I would pay through the vet, so I stuck with that route. I'm not confident enough in the one out of Australia that doesn't require a vet script, especially since it takes several weeks to arrive.

Maybe we should start a thread on pricing (including s&h)?


I buy mine at Drs. Foster and Smith. The shipping is free and it's definitely cheaper than my vet. :biggrin:

Dog Heartworm Medications: Heartgard Plus at Drs. Foster & Smith Pet Pharmacy
 
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