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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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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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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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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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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Brady started at 8 weeks too been on ever since
better to be safe then sorry
 

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Discussion Starter #8
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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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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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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Pupresq is right. You don't have to do bloodwork on a puppy. Sorry about that...my bad..wasn't thinking.

They can contract heartworm though and I'm assuming you are in the south, or at least somewhere warm, if you have mosquitos. Since most of the northeast is getting snow and rain right now. So that means you are in a high risk area.

And yes...if the vet told you the puppies did not need the pills until they are six months...find a new vet.

Why did he check her hips at her age?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Update:
The Vet's office gave me a sample of heartworm pills for the pups to try. Next month when we go in for more pills. His office also said that they suggest you start the heartworm pills at 12 weeks old.

I did ask my husband if he remembered the vet telling us that pups can't get heartworms before 6 months and he did remember him saying that.

Jax: We had read that GSD sometimes have hip problems so he suggested getting an Xray to see him her bones/hips look alright. He didn't charge us for the Xray.
 

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That was nice of him to do that. I don't think you can tell definitively until they are 2 years old whether their hips are ok. My understanding was that you could have a preliminary xray done at 1 year. You might want to ask the breeders on here that question. Chris, Lauri or Angela would know the answer to that.
 

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Quote: I did ask my husband if he remembered the vet telling us that pups can't get heartworms before 6 months and he did remember him saying that.
What often happens is that vet says that dogs won't test positive/don't need to be tested for heartworms before 6 months of age (which is true) and people take that to mean that dogs can't be infected with heartworms before 6 months of age (which is not true). Possibly what happened here? I wish vets would take the time to make that more clear because it's a very common mix up that undoubtedly results in owners delaying starting treatment when they shouldn't.
 

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You can have prelim x-rays at 4 months, but the vet has to know how to correctly position the dog, and if they are the one reading it, should have experience, if they are giving an opinion. You can send them to OFA for the reading. I had my pups done at 5 months.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'm reading all these replies to my husband and we are both doubting our Vet's abilities.


Jax & Onyx: Thanks for the info! I really would like to have x-rays taken to check out her hips and development. She will be 4 months tomorrow. I'm going to make her a puppy cupcake. :-D

This poor lil pup has been through so much already. We bathed her for the first time yesterday and found more burned areas under her hair. I'm learning more about her all the time and I want her to finally have a good life.

pupresq: I like to give the Vet the benefit of the doubt, he really is a nice guy and easy to work with. But I'm new to all of this and need to be able to trust the Vet to know what to test for and what needs to be done so my baby will be happy and healthy. I'm having some doubts now.

I am so thankful for this site. You all have been so kind to me and generous with your knowledge.

A million thanks!!!!

p.s. I finally put up a pic of my baby
 
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