What Months Should I Give My Dog Heartworm Medicine?

I generally recommend that owners give heartworm prevention 12 months a year, and here’s why: In many parts of the country, mosquitoes remain active year-round.

Unless you live in an extremely cold and/or dry region, your dog or cat may be bitten during any month of the year.

Travel can also complicate the situation.

Should I give my dog heartworm medicine all year round?

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 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.

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.

Can you skip a month of heartworm medicine?

It is not necessary to have a pet immediately tested for heartworms if they have missed one month of heartworm medicine. The simplest answer to those who miss a month of heartworm prevention is to give the dose immediately and restart the monthly preventative schedule.

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.

Do I need to give my dog Heartgard in the winter?

That’s one reason veterinarians often recommend that pets receive heartworm prevention medication all year long. Animal owners who stop giving heartworm prevention medication during the winter run the risk of their animal contracting heartworms.