Heartworm season is just around the corner. It’s time to start thinking about what product you will choose for your dog. Here is a guide to the different products available so you will be well informed when it is time to purchase.
We recommend year round prevention for all dogs and here is why. Winters here in Ohio are unpredictable. Any given week you can see a variance from 10 degrees to 70 degrees. It’s hard to say when mosquitos, fleas and ticks will be active. Since heartworm is a very serious disease spread from the bite of an infected mosquito, it’s better to have your pet protected at all times.
Indoor dogs are at risk too! Mosquitos are very good at getting into houses. They are attracted to the exhaled gasses of other living things so therefore they will find their way into any crack or hole in your house. Even indoor only cats have tested positive for heartworm disease!
The diseases is tested for using a very small blood sample taken here at the appointment. It is not tested for using a fecal sample although having the fecal sample brought to your appointment is also important, that is to check for intestinal parasites, not heartworm.
Most heartworm products actually work retroactively. Meaning they kill the larva that may be in the bloodstream from the previous month. They do not work for the month ahead.
What product should I choose?
Some products are combination products, having heartworm prevention and flea prevention all in one.
Revolution (selamectin) is a topical liquid that is applied to the skin on the back of the neck. Revolution is effective against heartworms, fleas, dog ticks, sarcoptic mites, and lice. As of 2016, when you buy 6 doses, you will receive 2 doses for free, and if you buy 9 doses, you will receive 3 for free. This is a very cost affective and reliable product.
Trifexis (milbemycin oxime, spinosad) is a crunchy chewable tablet. Trifexis is affective against heartworms, fleas, treats and controls adult hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms.
Interceptor plus (milbemycin oxime, praziquantel) is a chewy oral tablet. It is affective against heartworms, roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms. It lacks flea and tick control so a different product will need to be considered for that.
Proheart 6 (moxidectin) is an injection that lasts for 6 months. Proheart is an excellent choice for busy people that tend to forget to give a monthly dose, or that have a hard time getting dogs to eat an oral, and preffer no topicals. With proheart given continuously, once your dog has had a heartworm test at the first dose, and a follow up test in 1 year, the heart worm test can be phased out. You will need to consider a secondary product for fleas and ticks.
We carry Nexgard, and Seresto collars to protect your dog against fleas and ticks.