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Heartworms

Dirofilaria immitis

Knowledge is the key to preventing heartworm.


Why Do We Test Every Year?


Heartworm Disease is very serious. Heartworm disease is caused by a long (up to 1 foot) spaghetti-like worm that lives in the major arteries of the lungs. Heartworms interfere with the normal flow of blood from the right side of the heart to the vessels serving the lungs. Canine heartworm disease can result in congestive failure of the heart and other organs. We have seen dogs that have been on heartworm preventative and still become infected with Heartworms. Regular testing is an important part of the heartworm preventative program. If left untreated, heartworm disease will considerably reduce your dog's quality of life, and ultimately lead to death.

What causes heartworm disease?


Mosquitoes infected with baby heartworms bite dogs. The baby heartworms move beneath the skin, and then move to the lungs. They mature within 6 months. Heartworms breed in the arteries of the lungs and produce many small offspring (microfilaria) that circulate in the dog's blood stream. When a mosquito bites an infected dog, it sucks up these baby heartworms and passes them on to other susceptible dogs (after the larvae change in the mosquito).

What test do we use?


We used a highly specific and sensitive serologic test, which identify adult D. immitis antigen. This test is superior to microfilaria identification test (modified Knott's test, filter tests, and direct smear). The oral preventatives kill the microfilaria, making the filter test unnecessary.

What are the signs of heartworm disease?


Many dogs have no symptoms at all. Minor cough is most commonly seen. When damage to the lungs is severe, coughing, poor tolerance of exercise, fainting, lack of vigor, and even heart failure and sudden death can occur.

Who can we sell heartworm preventative to?


In order to sell heartworm preventative to clients, they must have had their dog tested for the disease within the last year. If it is a "John Doe" client, we need a registration form filled out and proof that their dog has had a negavtive heartworm test within the last year. A client-doctor relationship must be established before any medication may be sold. However, puppies under 6 months do not need a heartworm test since it takes 6 months from the initial infestation to show a positive.

What canine heartworm preventative do we carry?


Proheart 6 -- Injectable
  • Prevents heartworm disease (Dirofilaria immitis) continuously for six months and treats common hookworm infections (Ancylostoma caninum and Uncinaria stenocephala).
  • For dogs six months of age and older.
  • Can not be given within 30 days of a vaccination.

Heartgard Plus - Chewables and Tablets
  • Prevents canine heartworm disease by eliminating the tissue stage of heartworm larvae.
  • Also controls roundworms (Toxocara canis, Toxascaris leonine) and hookworms (Ancylostoma caninum, Uncinaria stenocephala, Ancylostoma braziliense).
  • For dogs 6 weeks and older.
  • Comes in three sizes: Up to 25 lbs., 26 to 50 lbs., and 51 to 100 lbs. (boxes are different colors for convenience).

Interceptor - Flavor Tabs
  • Prevents heartworm disease by eliminating the tissue stage of heartworm larvae.
  • Also controls adult hookworm and removes and controls adult roundworms and whipworm.
  • For dogs 4 weeks and older and 2 lbs. or more.
  • Comes in four sizes: 2-10 lbs., 11-25 lbs., 26-50 lbs., and 51-100lbs.

Advantage Multi -- Monthly Topical
  • Prevents heartworm disease.
  • Kills adult fleas and is indicated for the treatment of flea infestations (Ctenocephalides felis).
  • Treats and controls hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms.
  • For dogs and puppies at least 7 weeks of age and weighing at least 3 pounds.
  • Comes in four sizes: 3-9 lbs., 9.1-20 lbs., 20.1-55 lbs., and over 55 lbs.
Sentinel - Flavor Tabs
  • Prevents heartworm disease by eliminating the tissue stage of heartworm larvae.
  • Also controls flea populations. It breaks the life cycle by inhibiting egg development but does not kill the adult flea. It also controls and removes adult hookworm,roundworm, and whipworm.
  • This is the same as Interceptor with the addition of flea preventative (Program).
  • For dogs 4 weeks and older and 2 lbs. or more.
  • Comes in four sizes: 2-10 lbs., 11-25 lbs., 26-50 lbs., and 51-100lbs.

What feline heartworm preventative do we carry?


Advantage Multi -- Monthly Topical
  • Prevents heartworm disease.
  • Kills adult fleas and is indicated for the treatment of flea infestations (Ctenocephalides felis).
  • Treats and controls hookworms and roundworms.
  • Treats and controls ear mite infestations (Otodectes cynotis).
  • For cats and kittens at least 9 weeks of age and weighing at least 2 pounds.
  • Comes in three sizes: 2-5 lbs., 5.1-9 lbs., and 9.1-18 lbs.

Heartgard - Chewables
  • Prevents heartworm disease by eliminating the tissue stage of heartworm larvae.
  • Also removes and controls adult and immature hookworms.
  • For cats 6 weeks of age and older.
  • Comes in two sizes: up to 5 lbs. And 5-15 lbs.

Interceptor - Flavor Tabs
  • Prevents heartworm disease by eliminating the tissue stage of heartworm larvae.
  • Also controls adult hookworm and removes and controls adult roundworms and whipworm.
  • For cats 6 weeks and older and 1.5 lbs or more.
  • Use same tabs as dogs: for 1.5 - 6 lbs. use 5.75mg tabs; for 6.1 - 12 lbs. use 11.5 mg tabs; for 12.1-25 lbs. use 23 mg tabs.
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