Heart Worm Medicine Good Or Bad? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-12-2018, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
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Question Heart Worm Medicine Good Or Bad?

Hi!

I'm sorry as I wasn't sure where to put this so it's here for now


So my question is how useful is heartworm preventative? My vet (I'm not really happy with them but there the only affordable one) raves about how it's something every dog needs. However my grandma who's owned GSD's in the country for many years is completely against it.

I'm just not really sure what I want to do. We were giving my dog it every month but I've switched to every other month after reading about the effects it can have overtime on a dog.

I live in Oregon and have a creek behind my house (it's fenced off but still there) if that helps at all.

What do you do for your dog(s)? What should I do with my 1 year old GSD mix?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-12-2018, 05:40 AM
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If you live in a place that has mosquitoes then I would definitely get the medicine and use it every month. Doing every other month can actually weaken to medicine and become less effective, if not at all.

Heart Worm Medicine Good Or Bad?-screenshot_20181010-161021_chrome_1539336934743.jpg

I added a pic that shows where heartworm is the most threat vs not as bad. Also heartworm medication can be harmful if your dog has a mutation that causes a severe bad reaction or its given in to high of a dose, so it your vet is prescribing the right amount per lbs then it should be fine, I would just ask to do blood work once or twice a year to make sure the levels are good, but that should be done with most medications.

As soon as my two pups get old enough and get all there first shots they will be put on it. Google heartworm in dogs, look at the picture section, that alone gave me the creeps and helped me decide that something needs to be done to pervent that. Its better to prevent then to treat.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-12-2018, 12:11 PM
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Most places have mosquitoes and heartworm, so the meds are necessary. When I lived in a place that had colder weather, I could get away with not giving heartworm meds in the winter.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-12-2018, 12:32 PM
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You should have your dog on HW prevention in the lower 48 of the United States. The American Heartworm Society (the veterinary organization that studies HW) now advises all dogs to be on it year round. Some vets in low-risk northern areas with very cold winters allow clients to "take a break" during the winter -- but that's very climate specific (and can even vary within the same state).

Heartworm disease is expanding as the climate warms and dogs from high-HW areas get transported to areas where few dogs are on prevention. If you look at the changes in the disease incidence maps that the HW Society publishes (based on clinical data), these changes are very clear. So even if your area didn't have cases last year, it might this year!
https://www.heartwormsociety.org/vet...incidence-maps

Years ago, when I lived in California, there were almost no HW cases in my area at first, but I put my dogs on inexpensive, generic prevention just in case...and then the Katrina dogs arrived, and suddenly we had dogs being diagnosed in my neighborhood with HW. My dogs were safe because of those cheap monthly pills. You can't predict or control when a load of rescue dogs might show up from a place hit by a hurricane!

In your area, cheap, generic ivermectin-based products (Iverheart, TriHeart3, PetTrust, etc.) are analogs for the more expensive brand-name drug Heartguard, but the generics may cost as little as $5/month. The dose is so low that they're extremely safe (and have been used safely for years and years). Some of the newer products like Trifexis are more likely to have serious side effects reported (and they cost more).

Heartworm disease can easily cost over $1000 to treat. The treatment is risky, and has a significant mortality rate from side effects (with GSDs possibly being even more at risk, due to genetic risks not well understood). Untreated, it kills the dog -- and it's a very miserable, unpleasant death.

There are no "natural" heartworm preventatives. Mosquito repelling herbals can help, but it only takes ONE mosquito that happens to be carrying HW larvae (from biting an infected host) to bite your dog and transmit. One single bite really can be all it takes, so unless you are 100% sure mosquitoes can never contact your dog, even when it goes out out to potty, you cannot eliminate the risk.

This thread may be helpful:
https://www.germanshepherds.com/foru...t-options.html
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-12-2018, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alyssa Martin View Post
Hi!

I'm sorry as I wasn't sure where to put this so it's here for now


So my question is how useful is heartworm preventative? My vet (I'm not really happy with them but there the only affordable one) raves about how it's something every dog needs. However my grandma who's owned GSD's in the country for many years is completely against it.

I'm just not really sure what I want to do. We were giving my dog it every month but I've switched to every other month after reading about the effects it can have overtime on a dog.

I live in Oregon and have a creek behind my house (it's fenced off but still there) if that helps at all.

What do you do for your dog(s)? What should I do with my 1 year old GSD mix?

Thanks!
You would never want to see or know that your dog is going to die due to heart worm. Especially that you could have prevented IT.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-12-2018, 02:51 PM
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If I lived anywhere else/when I move, I will keep my dog on preventatives. It is quite simply a small price to pay for peace of mind.
HW is not as simple as mosquitoes. It's a specific type of mosquitoes, and specific weather conditions. However, with this nonsensical need to transport dogs, and everything else, all over the world, diseases are spreading. All diseases, not just HW. We have had a few cases of that kissing bug disease in Canada. When I used HW meds I believe it was Heartguard that my vet recommended.


True story. While unwrapping pallets of freight in the warehouse one night a HUGE bug crawled out! I knew it was not anything native so I had the boys kill it. Sometime later we discovered a whole slew of them living just outside our office door. Investigation revealed that they were a type of water beetle native to more southern climates. And by huge I mean 6 inches or more. Highly active and a bit aggressive, would jump/fly towards motion, active at night and able to bite. Fortunately our winter killed them off but clearly border precautions do not work. Diseases and the critters that carry them are spreading, and we need to be up to date on preventative measures.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-12-2018, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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Hi!

Thanks for all the good advice!

We don't get super cold here so I'll take it she needs it.

I was just curious if anyone would pipe up with bad experiences but it seems like everyone likes it.

So she'll keep it for sure 🙂

Thanks!
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-12-2018, 09:56 PM
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Well, here's a bad experience: in my dog rescue work, I've fostered and cared for too many dogs with heartworm disease, taken more then enough of them through treatment, and seen some die during treatment. It's awful. I've also seen dogs dying of caval syndrome (advanced HW, at the end stage), in shelters, peeing blood, gasping for air drowning in their own fluids. That's even more awful. It's a horrific disease. I've never seen any side effect of a preventative that comes anywhere close to being as bad as the disease and treatment!

If you don't want to use generic ivermectin products (like Triheart Plus), Interceptor is also inexpensive and well-tolerated.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-13-2018, 12:45 AM
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I live in the northeast. I just had all my dogs in the vet and tested. They all were negative. The vet said no one product treats everything and that it was more important to treat for ticks as that was the biggest threat in my area. They went on to state that they had five cases of dogs with heart worms last year and that all of the dogs had traveled all over the country with their owners.

Time itself is a very powerful component of learning. So learn to wait. Learn to forgive. Learn to backup. It's all necessary for learning.

Teach! Teach! Teach! Be fair to your dog!
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