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Dec 12 2013

New Weapon in Arsenal to Fight Heartworm Disease at River’s Edge Veterinary Hospital

If you are a regular client of mine, and you own a dog, you have heard me and my staff expound upon the importance of Heartworm prevention for your four-legged family members. Heartworm disease is a fatal but entirely preventable disease that is transmitted to dogs and cats by the ever-present mosquito. The prevalence of this disease in Massac County, IL and Western Kentucky is the same as it is in the mosquito riddled bayous of Louisiana and the Everglade swamps of Florida.

In spite of what feels like my constant nagging about giving your pets a heartworm prevention medication every 30 days, many people fail to do so. The national average of pet owners who are compliant is a paltry 35%. But now we can help those who have a hard time remembering that little pill. ProHeart6 is an injectable heartworm prevention that lasts for 6 months. We recently started using it and have been very happy with the results.

If you do an internet search about ProHeart6 you are likely to find a lot of bad press about it so I would like to bring those issues to light.  It was first released in the early 2000s and was voluntarily removed from the market in 2004 due to some complications and even death experienced by some of the animals that received it. The manufacturer, Fort Dodge Animal Health reworked the formula and reintroduced it in 2008. At that time there were a lot of hoops that needed to be jumped through in order to be sure that the dog was in good health before veterinarians could administer the product. In 2010-2011, the requirement of blood tests to evaluate liver and kidney function was lifted. As the new formula proved over and over again that it was safe and effective, determined by the growing number of doses given and the very few complications reported, even more “hoops” have been removed. It was at this time that Dr. Jones and I decided to start using it, especially since we are currently treating or are scheduled to treat about 5 heartworm positive dogs this fall/winter.

There is a caveat, not all dogs are good candidates for this injection. If your dog has unexplained weight loss, has chronic skin disease or has ever had a bad reaction to vaccines, we will not use ProHeart6. Research has shown that those factors make an adverse reaction more likely. So if your dog falls into one of those categories, we will continue to rely on a monthly pill or topical prevention.

To reassure you about how confident I am with this product, both of my fur babies, T.G. and Flash received their injections in September. It is such a relief to know they are protected even when my super busy life causes me to forget to give their pill or even causes me to delay giving it for 3-4 days, which is all it takes to contract a potentially fatal, but preventable, disease.

TG Shepherd and Flash are both protected with ProHeart 6!

TG Shepherd and Flash are both protected with ProHeart 6!

Call us at 618-524-7500 or 270-448-7500 to schedule your dog’s appointment today!

riversedge | Animal Health Information, Parasites

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