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  Topic Review (Newest First)
05-30-2014 08:08 AM
JeanKBBMMMAAN The course of treatment should not be slow kill if there are adult worms - if you are not giving anything you should definitely test 2x a year or every 7 months. Each month that the worms are in there they are doing damage on many levels - to kidneys, heart, lungs, etc. Particularly if a dog is fully active because the more active they are, the more damage that is done - and if you don't know they are HW+, chances are you are doing more than letting them leash potty and go to their bed.

American Heartworm Society | Canine Guidelines
As expected, the number of worms has an effect on the severity of disease, but of equal, if not greater, importance is the activity level of the dog. Controlled studies have shown that dogs infected by surgical transplantation with 50 heartworms and exercise-restricted took longer to develop clinical disease and developed less pulmonary vascular resistance than dogs with 14 heartworms that were allowed moderate activity.

This was also evident in naturally infected dogs where there was no correlation between the number of heartworms and pulmonary vascular resistance and is an indication that the host-parasite interaction plays a significant role in the severity of disease. A subsequent study reported similar findings in dogs being treated with melarsomine. Whereas live heartworms can cause endarteritis and muscular hypertrophy of arteriole walls especially in the caudal pulmonary arteries, dying and dead heartworms cause a significant portion of pathology seen in clinical disease. As worms die from either natural causes or as a result of administration of adulticidal drugs, they decompose and small worm fragments lodge in the distal pulmonary arteriole and capillary beds in the caudal lung lobes blocking blood flow. These worm fragments along with the elicited inflammation and platelet aggregation result in thromboembolisms.

During periods of increased activity or exercise, the increased blood flow to these blocked vessels can cause capillary delamination, rupture and subsequent fibrosis. This leads to increased pulmonary vascular resistance and potential right-sided heart failure. This illustrates a direct correlation between the activity level of the dog and the severity of disease.
05-30-2014 08:04 AM
vomlittlehaus What is the course of treatment for heartworm? When its detected early, it is the preventive that is given. I test my dog each spring to make sure she is negative from the previous year, she usually is. If she wasnt, then she would be treated with the preventative. A lot cheaper to just do a test once or twice a year and avoid posioning your dog. Flea prevention. DE is put around the yard and house. Can be put directly on the dog as well. If you are not seeing fleas or are not prevelent in your area, no need to treat. I live in Macedon, NY, just east of Rochester.

As for ticks, I have not found the meds prescribed for the brown dog tick to be effective against the deer ticks that my dogs sometimes pick up. It even says so on the product label. Read your labels people.
05-30-2014 07:34 AM
Originally Posted by Nigel View Post
Hey Gator, Got this from a a WSU report

A climate that provides adequate temperature and humidity to support a viable mosquito population, and also sustain sufficient heat to allow maturation of ingested microfilariae to infective, third-stage larvae (L3) within this intermediate host is a pivotal prerequisite for heartworm transmission to occur. Laboratory studies indicate that development and maturation requires the equivalent of a steady 24-hour daily temperature in excess of 64F (18C) for approximately one month. Intermittent diurnal declines in temperature below the developmental threshold of 57F (14C) for only a few hours retard maturation, even when the average daily temperature supports continued development. At 80 F (27 C), 10 to 14 days are required for development of microfilariae to the infective stage. The length of the heartworm transmission season in the temperate latitudes is critically dependent on the accumulation of sufficient heat to incubate larvae to the infective stage in the mosquito.
Link and date?
05-30-2014 07:33 AM
JeanKBBMMMAAN GatorBytes - please don't make statements that sound so definitive in these health sections - your declarations are not current research/best practice from the AHS, nor are they necessarily even correct. I am sorry if you don't agree with it; you are entitled to your own opinion but you are not entitled to your own facts.

When was Gator's last heartworm test? Hopefully you are testing every 7 months if you give a med once a month.

And dogs in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse do get HW and yes, the mode of transmission means that people who let their dogs walk around HW+ do make it easier for other dogs to get the disease. This was well noted in the Hurricane Katrina effect. I also ask at my vet office percent of owners who test as recommended and percent of clients who use regular HW meds - either from an Rx the vets provide or buying there, and the numbers are abysmally low, which means that there are definitely dogs who are walking around with HW, making my dogs more susceptible if I were not to use the meds.

rocksdad, in WNY and I use HW year round by mouth - 45 days in the winter, 30 days in the summer, and then for fleas, if necessary, I will use a topical 1x in late June and monitor from there. Generally I use no flea at all but have been concerned with a growing tick population - however, I am at a standstill on that until I figure out what I want to do.
05-29-2014 09:50 AM
GatorBytes Dogs are considered the definitive host for heartworms ( Dirofilaria immitis). However, heartworms may infect more than 30 species of animals (e.g., coyotes, foxes, wolves and other wild canids, domestic cats and wild felids, ferrets, sea lions, etc.) and humans as well.

American Heartworm Society | Canine Heartworm

O.K, now they are saying could infect humans as well.
Move over Rover, I need your HW pill.

My guess this will be the new herd immunity (like vaccines) activists...."my child caught HW b/c you refused to use prevention on your dog"...LOL
05-29-2014 09:30 AM
Originally Posted by llombardo View Post
If it's July wouldn't the dose have to be given by at least August 15 to cover the 45 day cycle?
No. b/c it takes 3-4 months for it make it into the blood.
05-29-2014 09:23 AM
Originally Posted by llombardo;5577418[B
]The only reason why they say give it year round is because owners forget to give it[/B]. The year round covers the owner mistakes. It says it on their page...The "American Heartworm Society is now recommending year-round prevention, even in seasonal areas. One reason for this is compliance to make sure the medicine has been given properly by the pet owner." It's just easier for people to remember once a month. When I asked my vet about every 45 days she said that is fine, but since the cycle runs right on that border I better remember to give it.

The only reason why they say that is for the $$$. To imply millions of dog owners are essentially too stupid to remember is absurd. Not like you have to give it on exact same day every month. It helps you to remember what if you missed by couple weeks or better for the dog if you spaced it out.

Why in seasonal area's? Ridiculous. This is a pesticide. AHS is saying, whether your dog needs it or it b/c you need 8 months of pesticide to get in practice for when you do need it?
05-29-2014 09:20 AM
Originally Posted by GatorBytes View Post
And considering, where I live which is mins. from lake Ontario, I can say that consistent temps noted by WSU don't happen until July. So why would I give in may/ I could see a dose ONLY in Oct. That would cover off July, Aug. Sept. Oct is not going to have consistent temps in excess of 64 for the month.

So HW pesticide treatment would be once a yr.
If it's July wouldn't the dose have to be given by at least August 15 to cover the 45 day cycle?
05-29-2014 09:09 AM
Originally Posted by blackshep View Post
I love how Canada always gets lumped into one big category!

And considering, where I live which is mins. from lake Ontario, I can say that consistent temps noted by WSU don't happen until July. So why would I give in may/ I could see a dose ONLY in Oct. That would cover off July, Aug. Sept. Oct is not going to have consistent temps in excess of 64 for the month.

So HW pesticide treatment would be once a yr.
05-29-2014 08:17 AM
Originally Posted by llombardo View Post
Here is Dr Dodd's recommendation...

May - October Heartworm Preventive
I love how Canada always gets lumped into one big category!
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