Oct 26 2018

Heartworm Prevention in Puppies

All dogs are exposed to mosquitos that can carry heartworm disease. Heartworm disease is a serious, and potentially fatal, disease that can infect dogs of any age. It is caused by foot-long worms (heartworms) that live in the heart, lungs and associated blood vessels of affected pets, causing severe lung disease, heart failure and damage to other organs in the body. Heartworm disease affects dogs, cats and ferrets, but heartworms also live in other mammal species, including wolves, coyotes, and foxes. Because wild species such as foxes and coyotes live in proximity to many urban areas here in St. Louis, they are considered important carriers of the disease. For more information about heartworm disease, check out the resources at the American Heartworm Society.

St. Louis dogs are at significant risk for heartworm disease and we treat several dogs each year. Treatment is extensive, painful and costly, and much easier to prevent!

We recommend keeping your pet on preventatives, like Interceptor PlusHeartgard or ProHeart 6 year round.

All puppies are sent home with a complimentary dose of Interceptor Plus– a monthly, oral chewable heartworm and intestinal parasite preventative.

We have chosen Interceptor Plus as our go-to for most patients because it is the most comprehensive product for heartworm and intestinal parasites- it covers two more additional intestinal parasites than other preventatives like Heartgard. It gives your pet protection against heartworm disease, roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms. However, we will work with you to determine the best lifelong prevention based on your pet’s lifestyle, risk assessment, taste preferences and convenience options you might choose.

Have trouble remembering to give that monthly pill? We also offer Proheart 6– an injectable heartworm preventative that lasts 6 months for adult patients. We even remind you when it’s time to come in for the next injection! While Proheart 6 does not have a monthly intestinal parasite preventative in it, we do send home a broad spectrum dewormer to be given every 3 months (don’t worry, we remind you when to give it too!).

In some cases, oral preventatives may not be recommended for your pet (i.e. those with a food allergy or reaction to oral preventatives). For those pets, we recommend Revolution- a monthly topical heartworm, flea, and intestinal parasite preventative. NOTE: Revolution does NOT cover ticks and additional preventatives may be necessary.

Can’t make it into the clinic to pick up your preventatives? All of our preventatives can also be found on our online pharmacy and shipped directly to your door!

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