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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Was wondering when I should be starting Penny on Heartguard to prevent heart worms? I will be going to the vets at the end of the month to purchase her K9 Advantix(sp?) for fleas and ticks should I just start giving heartguard to her now when I start her flea and tick prevention?
 

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I would check with the vet up there. Here it is year round.
 

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Do not start before you test. I just had everyone in last weekend, all negative. My vet doesn't agree with stopping over the winter but I've been doing it that way for years.
Normally I take them in April before the temps get too warm.
 

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We do it year round here as well.
 

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Due to the rise in cases around here it's also recommended year round.
 

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It's always recommended year round, when Kiya started having seizures I did whatever I could to limit her exposure to things, I've continued that way ever since.
 

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I start when the weather starts getting warm and rainy. Once all the snow is melted, and you get a few weeks of non-freezing weather, its a good idea to give the heart worm preventative. I gave my boy his first dose yesterday in fact, since we've had a lot of rain here and a lot of standing water everywhere. I figure once it warms up, its going to be mosquito heaven. My vet recommends all year round...but I'm pretty sure its due to the money he makes off the Heartgard. I've heard of other vets in the area that recommend doing it just during the summer months.

If you do some research on the life cycle of heart worm...the drug just has to be in the system like 7-10 days after the actual infection occurs. So although I'm playing it safe by giving it to him now, you're pretty safe doing it the moment you see that first mosquito.
 

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Well considering you live in canada, you may want to look at the lifecycle of heartworm...there is a reason the test is done at the end of spring/early summer and that is b/c it takes 6 months to migrate and mature in the heart...so you have a negative test - april or may, vet wants to start may/june...why? temps haven't reached + 57 F for two weeks CONSECUTIVELY day AND night (!), which is what it takes for the HW to mature in the mosquito's, and the mosquito once bites a vector (mouse or other) has to live for two weeks during this time, bite your dog and dog has to have both sexes for them to reproduce...it then stays in the tissues (skin) for 2-3 months before migrating to the blood....it is at the time - 2-3 months AFTER (b/c its post treatment, not preventative treatment) a consistant +57 F, day AND night - if temps drop during that time in a two week period - that halts the HW life cycle IN the mosquito
 

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Well considering you live in canada, you may want to look at the lifecycle of heartworm...there is a reason the test is done at the end of spring/early summer and that is b/c it takes 6 months to migrate and mature in the heart...so you have a negative test - april or may, vet wants to start may/june...why? temps haven't reached + 57 F for two weeks CONSECUTIVELY day AND night (!), which is what it takes for the HW to mature in the mosquito's, and the mosquito once bites a vector (mouse or other) has to live for two weeks during this time, bite your dog and dog has to have both sexes for them to reproduce...it then stays in the tissues (skin) for 2-3 months before migrating to the blood....it is at the time - 2-3 months AFTER (b/c its post treatment, not preventative treatment) a consistant +57 F, day AND night - if temps drop during that time in a two week period - that halts the HW life cycle IN the mosquito
Very informative. Have you done a similar analysis on when it is safe to stop treatment?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well she is only 5 months old, and obviously its been cold until recently lol... it has not exceeded 57F and when it does its been for a few hours in the afternoon and then back to freezing temps over night and in the morning, still having frost on windows and the ground in the early morning till it warms up, so I think its safe to say she has not been exposed to it... After every appointment at our vets we get a record and at the bottom it tells me what things we have up and coming like checking for heartworm ect. which is says April 2014 so next spring, I will put her on the heartguard now, just got back from the vets and got her that and her advantix :) Thank you everyone for the very useful information!
 

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Have you checked around how prevalent HW is in your area? HW meds is big business and I like to keep the chemicals at a minimum.
I am in OR and have never given HW meds. My vet actually admitted that the only ones with HW were dogs from other areas or that had traveled from other places.
 

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WE stopped in the winter in Colorado, but here in VA, we have to go year round. We had mosquitos in December!
 

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Per Dr. Dodds - Canada is May to October.

Dr. Jean Dodds' Pet Health Resource Blog | Dr. Dodds' Take on and General Recommendations for Heartworm Preventives (Preventatives)

The heartworm dewormer kills of the eggs/baby worms from the previous month so basically a month after the warm up and a month after it gets cold. I start in May to November. I have already seen mosquito's the last couple of weeks. We've had on 80 day, several 50's and very cold nights...and they are still out early. Last year, we saw them in February.

What I'd be REALLY curious about is the rate of heartworm in Nova Scotia Canada...because it's pretty low in northeast PA and NYS. The farther north you go, the less likely you'll have it. So, the question is really...do you even need it?
 

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Well she is only 5 months old, and obviously its been cold until recently lol... it has not exceeded 57F and when it does its been for a few hours in the afternoon and then back to freezing temps over night and in the morning, still having frost on windows and the ground in the early morning till it warms up, so I think its safe to say she has not been exposed to it... After every appointment at our vets we get a record and at the bottom it tells me what things we have up and coming like checking for heartworm ect. which is says April 2014 so next spring, I will put her on the heartguard now, just got back from the vets and got her that and her advantix :) Thank you everyone for the very useful information!
Question, why would you put her on it now, plus she is a puppy with an immature immune system, less is more...she has already had eye issues, skin issues...if the temps. are not consecutively 57F for two weeks - (which means it takes that long for the cycle to complete in the mosquito to become a risk), everytime the temps drop in a two week period that halts the cycle, if an infected mosquito even lives that long...so if temps in say june hold past 57F, then you treat post timeframe and within 2-3 months of that time, so you may need 1-2 treatments the whole season...

Keep in mind it is a pesticide that circulates through the blood stream, every organ (heart, kidneys, liver, spleen, pancreas etc.)...it affects the immune system as it trys to deal with - so many long term issues you have to consider -
 

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I used to do March-Oct, but now I do all year round. Its recommended.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Question, why would you put her on it now, plus she is a puppy with an immature immune system, less is more...she has already had eye issues, skin issues...if the temps. are not consecutively 57F for two weeks - (which means it takes that long for the cycle to complete in the mosquito to become a risk), everytime the temps drop in a two week period that halts the cycle, if an infected mosquito even lives that long...so if temps in say june hold past 57F, then you treat post timeframe and within 2-3 months of that time, so you may need 1-2 treatments the whole season...

Keep in mind it is a pesticide that circulates through the blood stream, every organ (heart, kidneys, liver, spleen, pancreas etc.)...it affects the immune system as it trys to deal with - so many long term issues you have to consider -
Well.. Im a little paranoid... I just want whats best for my girl and Ive always been afraid of HW... With Diesel she was never put on HW meds because my boyfriend at the time did not want her on HW meds because "she didnt need it" I guess none of his dogs throughout his life were ever on HW meds and all of them were fine. But with Diesel now gone I now realize anything can happen and Im just trying to do everything in my power to keep Penny safe and healthy. I never took into consideration that its I guess a poison :( Ugg I feel like a bad owner I feel like im darned if I do and Im darned if I dont, and Im so worried about not making the right choices.. heck Im still having a war in my head whether or not I should spay her before her first heat or after! Maybe Im just over analyzing things.
 

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Well.. Im a little paranoid... I just want whats best for my girl and Ive always been afraid of HW... With Diesel she was never put on HW meds because my boyfriend at the time did not want her on HW meds because "she didnt need it" I guess none of his dogs throughout his life were ever on HW meds and all of them were fine. But with Diesel now gone I now realize anything can happen and Im just trying to do everything in my power to keep Penny safe and healthy. I never took into consideration that its I guess a poison :( Ugg I feel like a bad owner I feel like im darned if I do and Im darned if I dont, and Im so worried about not making the right choices.. heck Im still having a war in my head whether or not I should spay her before her first heat or after! Maybe Im just over analyzing things.
It is not a poison. It is a life saver. Some of the HW treatments are given to humans for other parasites.
 

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I give it April through November here in Upstate New York.
 
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