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Canine Heartworm Medicine, Three Most Common Methods On the Market

Prior to starting on any kind of heartworm prevention for dogs medicine, it is very important that you get your dog tested for heartworm by a vet. It is commonly accepted and recommended by the American Heartworm Society that your dog should be tested every year. The heartworm test is designed to reveal whether juvenile heartworm larvae called microfilariae are present in the dog’s blood as their presence will prove the presence of adult heartworms too. Heartworm preventative medicines will not kill adult heartworms although they may shorten their lifespan.

Heartworm preventative medications are very effective in protecting your dog but it is very important to verify the fact that there are no adult worms. Puppies normally start preventative treatment well before they get to six months of age but if yours has not, he will need a test before beginning.

Heartworm preventatives come in three varieties that are most commonly used today. 1)Two injections a year of heartworm prevention medication which must be given by a vet but which protects the dog all year. 2)Orally taken heartworm medication which is either in the form of pills or chewables. These are given monthly on the same day each month. 3)Topical heartworm medications, sometimes called Spot On treatments which are dropped onto skin on the back of the dog’s neck.

Whichever type of heartworm pills or chewables you choose, they all work to kill the heartworm larvae and work in a very similar way. Because the heartworm pills have no deterrent effect on mosquitoes and will not prevent them from biting, your dog needs to continue with the preventative treatment to avoid infection.

In case your dog is stubborn about taking pills, try hiding the monthly heartworm tablet in a tasty treat of meat or cheese. Heartworm chewables were designed to be tasty and avoid the problem of getting the dog to take a pill but, whilst almost all dogs love the taste, some are allergic to some of the ingredients which makes this type of preventative unsuitable for some dogs.

If you choose the topical heartworm preventative, you will find it easy to use and have the added reassurance that it also controls fleas and ticks as well as other internal parasites.

As mentioned, heartworm pills should be administered on the same day each month and forgetting to give your dog his monthly pill will reduce his protection so if you realise that you have missed the dose by more than a few days, it is probably wise to check with your vet. If you have missed a couple of doses, your vet may recommend another test for heartworm.

If, for whatever reason you decide, or your vet recommends changing to another type of heartworm prevention medicine, you should be sure to start the new medicine at the time another dose of the previous medicine was due. This way, you make sure that there is no ‘doubling up’ of heartworm medication that could give your dog a problem.

For more information concerning heartworm pills for dogs just use this link or check out the Authors site, Heartworm Treatment for Dogs.com

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