The FDA states that the medication is only to be used by licensed veterinarians. This means that all heartworm prevention should be purchased through a pet pharmacy which requires a prescription or straight from your veterinarian. If you purchase medication like this from an indirect source that doesn’t require a prescription you never know what you are actually purchasing and giving to your pet. By purchasing through a veterinarian you are positive of what you are buying and giving to your dogs.
Should I use Heart-Worm Preventative for my Cat?
Heart-worm preventative for dogs cannot be used in cats and the medicine used to treat dogs for heart-worm disease cannot be used in cats as well so preventing your cat from getting the disease is most important.
What are the Symptoms of Heart-worm in a Dog?
Heart-worms can live in dogs for up to 7 years and up to 2 or 3 years in cats. Dogs can show a variety of symptoms of being heart-worm positive, or they can show no symptoms at all. Some symptoms include a cough, lethargy, decreased appetite, and weight loss. Pets can develop heart failure and have a swollen belly due to excess fluid building up in their abdomen. In the community you live in your animals can be at a larger risk than you realize. You could also travel with your pets to an area with higher risks where heart-worm is a lot more common than you know.
Heart-worm disease is spreading to new regions every year. Stray and neglected animals can be carriers of heartworms. Heartworm disease has been diagnosed in all 50 states. Infected mosquitos can come inside your home, so both outdoor and indoor pets are at risk.
Testing for Heart-worm
Annual testing is recommended, if your pet is on heartworm prevention yearly and you never miss a dose, then you can test every other year just to be safe that your pet comes back negative. If you miss a few months, that is okay, we understand it happens (probably more frequently than you realize!) but you should get your pet tested before starting up on preventative. Be sure to get them tested as soon as possible in case they do come up positive, treatment needs to be done sooner rather than later. This disease is a serious and progressive disease. The earlier that the disease is discovered, the better the chances are for your pet to recover with treatment.
A heartworm test requires a small blood sample and is placed in a snap pro test machine to detect any indication of heartworm proteins. Puppies under the age of 7 months can be placed on heartworm prevention without requiring a heartworm test, this is because it takes 6 months for the heartworms to grow and be recognized through testing.
What Happens if I Forget to Give my Dog Heart-worm Preventative?
If you accidentally miss a few months of heartworm preventative you should go ahead and restart with the preventative, but test your dog 6 months later. The reason for testing is to make sure they come back negative, heartworms have to be about 7 months old before they can be diagnosed. Sentinel Spectrum is the heartworm preventative that we recommend and sell here at JVH! This specific preventative also protects against parasites that your pet can pick up from outside. Sentinel can protect your pet from heartworms, roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, tapeworms, and fleas.
Does the Heart-worm Preventative Jefferson Veterinary Hospital Veterinarians Recommend Protect Against Fleas and ticks?
Sentinel is not a full protection from fleas, so we still recommend using monthly flea and tick preventative also. This medication is in the form of a chewable tablet given once every month. Since your pet is consuming this chewable they are getting 100% of the prevention unlike when you use a topical. The topical can get washed off, rubbed off, etc. but the chewable is consumed.
Do Your Veterinarians Offer a Discount on Preventative?
JVH is offering 10% off the price of a limited number of one years worth of prevention with a well exam visit. Please give us a call or send us an email with any questions or concerns, we will be happy to assist you!