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Discussion Starter #1
my dogs have been on interceptor since they were 6 months old. Ruckus is now 4, Lynn is now 2.

I just moved, and got a new vet. she is trying to tell me that

-dogs MUST have a heartworm test every year (new to me!) or they will not sale me interceptor
- dogs have to have the heartworm pill the same time every month, it cannot be a couple of days late or they will have to give a heartworm test.

and I have been splitting a big heartworm pill between my two dogs. i have done this the past 6 times or more. i moved here, they wanted to know my dogs size and then when i told them what interceptor i wanted, they didnt want to sale it to me.

i am getting ticked off.

they are my dogs, and my choice to make.

is this common in vet clinics? i feel like that lady was rude to me!

is there some sort of reason why i shouldnt be splitting an interceptor between two dogs?!

i think this lady wants me to spend money, and that is all.
 

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-dogs MUST have a heartworm test every year (new to me!) or they will not sale me interceptor
this is how the vets that I've ever had experience with have done. I doubt they'd sell me a bigger size to split either. I've never heard of anyone doing that. Sounds risky, tbh
 

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Back when I worked at a vet clinic (and what I have recently experienced) is that in order to begin a heartworm preventative or if your dog has been off of a preventative for a period of time they need to test in order to begin a new regiment. You only want to begin a preventative if your dog tests negative, obviously.

When I kept my dogs on HW preventative year round (years ago before I knew better) I never had to test yearly.

I'm not sure how accurate splitting a pill is. How do you know that the medication is evenly distributed through out the pill? What if one dog is getting more and the other less? I don't know, this may not be an issue...I am sure Natalie will know. I would feel better about each dog getting a pill for his/her appropriate weight, JMO. :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
its hard for me to explain but.

ruckus is 40lbs
lynn is 32 lbs

the biggest interceptor is 60-120lbs as you see, there is a wide range in weight. even the lower doses are such as
30-60lbs.

so i dont see why splitting one would matter if one dog got a bit more than the other because there since the weight ranges are so wide.
 

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My vets the same way as your new one. I have to have the test every year also. I didn't want to and said how the heck can my dogs get heartworm if they have been on the pills. why should I do the test and then I was told but if you miss any and maybe dont remember which I never miss. But I guess all in all its good to have the blood work done yearly. I dont like the bill, but at least I know then that they are doing good. I have never split any of the pills and I am doing the same as you are The Interceptor.
 

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We do annual HWTs at my clinic no matter how long a dog has been on preventative. Annual testing is needed because although the preventatives are effective, they are not 100% effective at killing all the parasite worms in every dog, and some can mature into occult infections (adult worms in the heart). So if preventatives were given exactly on time during mosquito season, but not of over the winter, that time off of the preventative gives the few larval worms time to implant in the heart and cause disease. We also have to test yearly because I know that we can't take the word of all of our clients for sure. I have caught many of them in a lie about giving their dogs preventative on schedule. I will test my dogs annually no matter what. Skimping on preventative is really not something you want to do because heartworms are not something you want to mess around with!

As far as dosage goes, I wouldn't split pills. Like Sara already pointed out you have no idea if both of your dogs are getting the right amount. You'd expect the medication to be evenly spread out in the tablet but do you know for sure? Nope. I would get the appropriate sized dose for each dog from now on. It ends up being just about the same amount in price. I have to give Bailey 1 50-100# tablet and 1 25# tablet because she is over 100 pounds.

I only give a dose every other month. Larval worms circulate the bloodstream for up to 6 months before implanting in the heart, which of course then you would have to treat the dog. I figure that giving a tablet every 2 months is in the safe zone for protecting my dogs.
 

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its hard for me to explain but.

ruckus is 40lbs
lynn is 32 lbs

the biggest interceptor is 60-120lbs as you see, there is a wide range in weight. even the lower doses are such as
30-60lbs.

so i dont see why splitting one would matter if one dog got a bit more than the other because there since the weight ranges are so wide.
So which dosage are you giving? If I were you I would just give each dog the 30-60 pound dose. If you are splitting that one, only one of your dogs is potentially being covered.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
i split the biggest dose.

also, can you give heartworm meds just every other month no matter where you live?
 

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I would be concerned about every other month. The information I have says that after the larvae has been in the dog's body 45 days, the prevenative won't kill it. I give a pill every 42 days (6 weeks) during mosquito season. I don't give anything when there are no mosquitoes.
 

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i split the biggest dose.

also, can you give heartworm meds just every other month no matter where you live?
If you're splitting the highest dose, they are both probably getting too much. I would suggest giving each dog one of the 30-60 pound doses.

All the preventatives work the same way and its backwards to what you would think. It doesn't actually prevent them from contracting heartworms from a mosquito. It kills all the larval worms your dog potentially gets between doses so that they cannot take root in the heart.
 

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Personally, I think heartworm preventatives are a racket, much like vaccines. May not be a popular position, but if you do some reading on what exactly the heartworm has to do in order to infect your dog, you might take another look at putting a potent poison into your dog willfully every month to protect against an infection that well may never happen. The criteria required for heartworm larvae to infect your dog are very specific and tied to temperature and other factors.

You may know of someone's dog who died of heartworm. Take a good long look at the dog. Was it immunosuppressed? Did it live outside most of the time? A naturally reared dog with minimal vaccines and a species appropriate diet CAN fight off parasites, including heartworms.

I am NOT saying to throw away your heartworm preventatives. But instead to educate yourself to the risks of heartworm in your part of the country and to act accordingly. Heartworms meds, like vaccines, are a huge money maker for vets. Of course they want every single client on them. I use a modified schedule that is tailored for my part of the country. I don't just blindly give my dog medication every 30 days. Educate yourself. Knowledge is power.

Here's some reading for those who are interested ......

- Terrierman's Daily Dose -

Natural Heartworm Prevention

Citadel Tibetan Mastiffs Heartworm Timing

http://www.blakkatz.com/spellcast/HW.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter #12
bdb, thank you. id love to learn more. i am going to check out those links, and i am sure i will have questions.

here in Kentucky, it seems like there are a lot of cases of heartworm. but i am looking at it from a shelter angle. seems like lots of dogs in my area shelters are heartworm positive. being shelter dogs though, you dont know what food they were feed and condition they were in.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
from your first link
"Heartworm infection is NOT rapid and will not kill your dog overnight.
It takes about three months for microfilaria (baby worms) to grow inside your dog to a larval stage, and even longer for these larva to mature into adult heartworms. If your dog is dosed with a simple Ivermectin treatment at any time during this period before adult worms are present (a period that lasts about six months long), the larvae will never develop into adult worms, and will die. Read that statement again: a single dose of Ivermectin will stop heartworm dead up to 6 months after your dog is first infected."

what if you have an Ivermectin sensitive breed and cannot use it? is there another alternative?
 

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from your first link
"Heartworm infection is NOT rapid and will not kill your dog overnight.
It takes about three months for microfilaria (baby worms) to grow inside your dog to a larval stage, and even longer for these larva to mature into adult heartworms. If your dog is dosed with a simple Ivermectin treatment at any time during this period before adult worms are present (a period that lasts about six months long), the larvae will never develop into adult worms, and will die. Read that statement again: a single dose of Ivermectin will stop heartworm dead up to 6 months after your dog is first infected."
I don't buy that information. If that's true, you would only have to give a dose every 6 months and I know that won't work.
 

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Heartworm prevention is just too cheap and easy not to do with your dogs. Especially if you value their lives because heartworm *is* a killer for dogs and not just shelter dogs. I would rather prevent it than treat it, just my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
thanks everyone. i am now very interested in learning all i can about heartworm. id love to know if i am giving my dog unnecessary poisons, or if it is indeed worth it to give a interceptor monthly.

I am also trying to debate or not if i will get the heartworm test.

i see myself finding a new vet. since this one will not sale me interceptor without a yearly test, and me getting the meds monthly.
 

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Regardless of what you decide, I think an annual heartworm test is important. My vet doesn't charge for an office visit if all I have done is the heartworm test. I think he charges me $25 for the test. Its not even necessary for the vet to see the dogs. A vet tech can do the test.

It's pretty common for the vet to require an annual test. Some of the "prevenatives" manufacturers require it too, I think.
 

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We have to have the yearly test here as well.
I've been wondering lately if I am doing the right thing giving my dog Heartgard Plus instead of the plain Heartgard.
Heartgard Plus contains Ivemectin and Pyrantel and protects against heartworm, hookworm and roundworm. I understand that I should use a preventative against the heartworm, but do you think it is necessary to use a monthly preventative against the hookworm and roundworm as well?
Or, would it be better to just treat those if she happens to contract them?
I don't want to load the dog up with pesticides if its not really necessary.
 
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