Question: Should You Give Your Dog Heartworm Medicine?

Heartworm disease is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito.

Today, since cases have been reported in all 50 states and because mosquitoes can live inside (even in winter), it’s recommended that no matter where you live, you give your dogs and cats heartworm prevention medicine year-round.

Can I give my dog heartworm medicine without testing?

The American Heartworm Society recommends monthly heartworm preventative all year around and testing once a year. Even if you are diligent about giving the medicine it is possible your dog could spit it out when you are not watching, you could forget to give it on time, or the medicine was not 100% effective.

How often should I give my dog heartworm medicine?

For that reason, the American Heartworm Society recommends that you “think 12:” (1) get your pet tested every 12 months for heartworm and (2) give your pet heartworm preventive 12 months a year.

Can you give Heartgard to a dog with heartworms?

Pet owners can use HEARTGARD® Plus (ivermectin/pyrantel), the #1 veterinarian-recommended preventive on the market¹ to help prevent heartworm disease. HEARTGARD Plus kills tissue larval stages of heartworms and helps prevent them from developing into adults and causing heartworm disease.

Does heartworm treatment shorten a dog’s life?

This treatment does not actually kill the worms, however it does decrease their lifespan; keep in mind, however, that the average heartworm can live six years, so shortening that lifespan could still mean your dog having a heartworm infection for four more years.

What are the first signs of heartworms in dogs?

Signs of heartworm disease may include a mild persistent cough, reluctance to exercise, fatigue after moderate activity, decreased appetite, and weight loss. As heartworm disease progresses, pets may develop heart failure and the appearance of a swollen belly due to excess fluid in the abdomen.

What is the safest heartworm medicine for dogs?

The two most common (and generally considered safe) heartworm preventative ingredients used today are ivermectin (used in Heartgard by Merial, and other products) and milbemycin oxime (used in Interceptor by Novartis). There is also an older, daily heartworm preventative available, diethylcarbamazine or DEC.

Do I need to give my dog heartworm medicine in the winter?

Today, since cases have been reported in all 50 states and because mosquitoes can live inside (even in winter), it’s recommended that no matter where you live, you give your dogs and cats heartworm prevention medicine year-round. In addition, you should try to keep your pets away from mosquitoes when possible.

How long do dogs take heartworm medicine?

Once your dog has completed the course of steroids, heartworm preventive and antibiotics, he should be ready to start the actual adult heartworm treatment. The treatment for heartworm disease takes at least 60 days to complete and consists of a series of drug injections that kills the worms.

Can you see heartworms in dog poop?

Heartworms, like intestinal parasites, can’t be detected just by looking at your dog. The only way that heartworm disease is accurately detected is through a blood test. Heartworm disease has little to no early detections; therefore, it’s important to have your dog tested annually (or when recommended by your vet).

What happens if you give heartworm medicine to a dog with heartworms?

Also, giving a heartworm preventive to a dog infected with adult heartworms may be harmful or deadly. If microfilariae are in the dog’s bloodstream, the preventive may cause the microfilariae to suddenly die, triggering a shock-like reaction and possibly death.

What happens if my dog tested positive for heartworm?

No one wants to hear that their dog has heartworm, but the good news is that most infected dogs can be successfully treated. The goal is to first stabilize your dog if he is showing signs of disease, then kill all adult and immature worms while keeping the side effects of treatment to a minimum.

Can dogs fully recover from heartworm?

It takes about six months for the heartworm to reach adulthood after infecting the dog. After treatment, the adult worms die and are carried by the blood to the lungs where they lodge in small blood vessels. There they decompose and are absorbed by the body over a period of several months.