When to start heart worm pills? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-16-2009, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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When to start heart worm pills?

Are 3 and 4 month old puppies to young to start on heart worm meds? We just started a puppy training class that is held outside and the mosquitoes are everywhere! If they aren't to young, which pills or meds would you suggest?

Thanks!

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-16-2009, 02:39 PM
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Re: When to start heart worm pills?

Thats a good question. We took Baya to the vet today she is 15 weeks and they wanted to put her on heartworm preventative and I was wondering if it was too young too.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-16-2009, 02:39 PM
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Re: When to start heart worm pills?

If you still have mosquitoes then you are in the south somewhere. That area has a high rate of heartworm.

They have to be tested by a vet first and you can start them now. It goes by weight, not age, so buy them from the vet until they are fully grown. Otherwise you'll waste your money on a pack that you won't be able to use fully.

I use Interceptor.




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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-16-2009, 02:40 PM
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Re: When to start heart worm pills?

Gianna has been on heartworm preventative since she was about 10 weeks old. The first month, the vet gave us a free trial of Advantage Multi (heartworms, fleas, and other internal parasites). She had a skin reaction to that med so we changed her over to Iverheart Plus, and everything has been great. I am currently debating getting her the Proheart6 injection. We do heartworm preventative year round here.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-16-2009, 02:50 PM
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Re: When to start heart worm pills?

Definitely not too young!

It takes 6 months for heartworms to develop into adults and it's adults that produce the stuff the test looks for, so puppies under 6 months aren't tested because they won't test positive even if they've been infected. Sometimes people misunderstand this and think it means that pups under 6 months can't get heartworms but that's not the case. I would put your dogs on something like heartguard now and test them 6 months from when you started your preventative. Heartguard and Revolution both are safe to give to an infected dog and will stop any future infections from occurring. Then if your dog tests negative 6 months to a year out, you can use any preventative you want because you know your dog is free of heartworms - including Interceptor, which is a great preventative but is dangerous to give if there's any chance your pet has been infected.


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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-16-2009, 02:54 PM
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Re: When to start heart worm pills?

I live in the south and start my pups on interceptor at 8 weeks. It is a good follow up to a regular worming program for pups too as interceptor will help eliminate some types of intestinal worms.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-16-2009, 03:21 PM
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Re: When to start heart worm pills?

Brady started at 8 weeks too been on ever since
better to be safe then sorry

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-16-2009, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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Re: When to start heart worm pills?

After reading all your replies, I'm realizing my Vet has never done any blood work on our pups. Is that normal? Is it something we should have requested? We've been seeing him ever since we got our pups, one month. The only thing he did check for were worms in their stool and gave my GS pup an xray to check her hips. He also told us that puppies can't get heartworms and that we should give them heartworm pills at about 6 months. Am I seeing the wrong Vet? He is such a nice man though and we feel pretty comfortable with him.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-16-2009, 05:06 PM
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Re: When to start heart worm pills?

Usually vets will do the first heartowrm check between 6-12 months, depending on when they were born and the area you live in. We usually start pups on their first vet visit with heartworm prevention. Our vet rec. once a month year round. We use Interceptor and Sentinel. It prevents heartworm and common intestinel parasites.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-16-2009, 05:15 PM
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Re: When to start heart worm pills?

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Quote:He also told us that puppies can't get heartworms and that we should give them heartworm pills at about 6 months. Am I seeing the wrong Vet?
As I wrote in my previous post - there's nothing wrong with not checking a dog for heartworms if the dog is under 6 months old. Dogs under 6 months old won't test positive because even if they're been infected, there hasn't been time for the heartworms to reach adulthood and trigger the test. This does NOT mean that dogs under 6 months can't contract heartworms, they most certainly can. If your vet hasn't tested your dog and your dog is still a puppy, that's fine. If you're sure your vet told you that dogs under 6 months don't need preventative because they can't get heartworms then yes, you may need a new vet.


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