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Heartworm Medication For Dogs – Simple Prevention Avoids Costly Treatments

By D. Thurmond, D.V.M.

Monthly use of heartworm medications for dogs can prevent heartworm disease for the life of your pet. Effective preventive medications are available as spot on products (Revolution), tasty wafers (Heartgard), or flavored tablets (Sentinel and Interceptor). Some, like Heartgard, focus only on prevention of heartworm disease while other products have added benefits of killing roundworms, hookworms and fleas.

Though it is a simple matter to prevent heartworm disease, treating a dog suffering from heartworms is expensive and debilitating for the animal. The goal of treatment is to kill the parasites that live in the animal but severe cases of heartworm disease or treating a dog with other unrelated health problems poses a challenge for the pet own and his veterinarian.

The severity of heartworm disease is measured by the number of worms in your dog but the activity level of the animal is a contributing factor. Fragments of decomposing heartworms can log in pulmonary arteries blocking blood flow to the heart. High activity levels increase the rate of blood flow and heightens the chance of clogged arteries in a physically active dog suffering from heartworm disease. After undergoing treatment for the disease, your dog must be restricted to prevent high levels of activity that could put him at risk of sudden death as the treatment kills the heartworms in his system.

Melarsomine is the only drug approved for treatment of heartworm disease. The three dose systems recommended today is comprised of one injection followed a month later by two more injections at a 24 hr intervals. The treatment protocol is now recommended by the American Heartworm Society and replaces the previous treatment of two injections 24 hours apart.

One problem with the previous two dose treatment is that Melarsomine may not kill heartworms that are less than four months old. A dog testing positive for heartworm disease probably has worms that range from less than one month to seven years old in his body. When a dog tests positive for heartworm your veterinarian may advise the use of Heartgard medication for 2-3 months prior to administering Melasaromine. The goal is to prevent development of young heartworms so that the aggressive treatment will be more effective.

The health of your dog overall is a huge consideration when considering treatment for heartworm disease. The cure acts as a poison (arsenic) in order to kill the parasites and weak canines may not be able to survive Melasaromine. For a comparison, you should realize that heartworm treatment for a dog is similar to chemotherapy for a person. Old or weak animals may be treated instead for 36 weeks with ivermectin and doxycycline on a weekly basis. This will reduce the heartworms present significantly and administration of a four week regiment of doxycycline every four months will keep the number of heartworms low in the animal.

In extreme cases the diagnosis of heartworm disease is not made until the dog suffers a life threatening heart problem. This may be indicated by sudden onset of severe weakness and lethargy. The cause is heartworms obstructing blood flow through a heart valve and interfering with the closing of that value. The only course of treatment is surgery to remove heartworms from the dog’s heart. This is done by removing the worms with a tool inserted in the jugular vein. If the surgery is successful, the standard heartworm treatment will eliminate any remaining heartworms.

Your dog should never have to got through the drastic treatment for heartworm disease or suffer the effect of chemotherapy for weeks after the treatment. Heartworm medicine for dogs is available and priced reasonably. By giving your dog twelve doses of Sentinel, Revolution, Interceptor or Heartgard each year, you can totally protect your pooch from the damage heartworms can cause.

Heartworm medication for dogs is part of your pet’s routine health care. Buy recommended heartworm prevention products from a licensed veterinarian at http://www.petscriptsdirect.com

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
D.V.M., D. T. "Heartworm Medication For Dogs – Simple Prevention Avoids Costly Treatments." Heartworm Medication For Dogs – Simple Prevention Avoids Costly Treatments. 2 Jul. 2010. uberarticles.com. 24 Oct 2015 <http://uberarticles.com/pets/heartworm-medication-for-dogs-simple-prevention-avoids-costly-treatments/>.

APA Style Citation:
D.V.M., D (2010, July 2). Heartworm Medication For Dogs – Simple Prevention Avoids Costly Treatments. Retrieved October 24, 2015, from http://uberarticles.com/pets/heartworm-medication-for-dogs-simple-prevention-avoids-costly-treatments/

Chicago Style Citation:
D.V.M., D. T. "Heartworm Medication For Dogs – Simple Prevention Avoids Costly Treatments" uberarticles.com. http://uberarticles.com/pets/heartworm-medication-for-dogs-simple-prevention-avoids-costly-treatments/


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