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Q. what can I do for my dog to treat heartworm

Answered By
DAVID ELBEZE, DVM, MRCVS

A. If your dog has heartworm you will need to go to the vet for treatment. treatment for heartworm is complicated and cannot be done without the aid of a vet as your dog will need a series of injections.

If you want to prevent heatworm there are many products such as heartguard, advocate and revolution - but they will not treat existing symptomatic heartworm infestation.

Answered By
DESTINI R. HOLLOWAY, DVM

A. I am unsure if you mean that your pet currently is positive for heartworm disease or if you are looking for preventative heartworm medications so I will answer both just to make your question covered.
If you are looking to prevent heartworm disease, the first thing that you need to do is have your pet tested. Once your pet has tested negative, then you can look into heartworm preventatives. I like to use Heartgard or Interceptor for heartoworm prevention. I also like Trifexis which is a combo heartworm and flea preventative but if your pet has never been on heartworm meds before this is not a good option to start with. Also I will add here that the heartworm snap test is not a current picture of your pets health, in other words, it tests for heartworms picked up no less than 6 months prior to the test, therefore if your pet has never been on prevention there is still a chance that she is positive. So your veterinarian may insist that you have her retested in 6 months from today to ensure she is heartworm free. This can be a complicated thing to understand so if you still have questions your vet should be able to assist you.
If your pet is positive for heartworm disease already. The recommended treatment for heartworm disease is immiticide injections that have to be given by your veterinarian. The new standard is to do radiographs of the chest to view the heart first and get a better idea of your pets overall condition. To do bloodwork to ensure organ function is ok, then proceed with 3 separate immiticide (adult heartworm treatment). Your vet can talk to you about risks involved with this and set a schedule that is recommended for the injections.


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