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Old 07-18-2011, 07:10 PM
 
569 posts, read 1,042,167 times
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We just days ago, adopted a 2 year old Akita mix from a rescue. She's adapted wonderfully to her new home and family, I couldn't be happier about how the transition is going.

She's been on a heartworm preventative, given on the first of every month. It's been decades since I had a dog, and then I was a teen, so my parents handled all this stuff. Can I buy a preventative over the counter, or is it prescription only, through a vet? Do I have to continue the same brand, or will changing brands be okay?

She got a clean bill of health less than two weeks before we brought her home, the rescue took her in and got her all up to date on shots and tests. Heartworm test came back negative.

Now, just cause she's gorgeous and I love to show her off, this is Lakota:

http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/269008_1847689112877_1260176865_31551379_3373668_n .jpg (broken link)
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Old 07-18-2011, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Ohio
14,311 posts, read 12,565,603 times
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You need a prescription.

You need to find a vet and plan on taking her in once a year for a blood test to check for heartworm and her yearly vacinations.

You can switch heartworm brands. Some of them also protect them from getting other kinds of worms.....like Interceptor. Ask the vet about the different kinds available.

Heartworm medication can harm a dog that has heartworm.....that is one of the reasons why the yearly blood test is required.

A friend of mine picked up a stray that tested negative for heartworm, went on the preventative....then tested positive for heartworm the following year.

The dog had heartworm that was in an early, undetectable stage when the first test was done, but not far enough advanced that the preventative hurt him. The treatment for the heartworms wasn't real bad because they were not real advanced. The dog is fine now.

Find a good vet and take Lakota in every year for her check-ups.....she is adorable.....take good care of her!
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Old 07-18-2011, 08:47 PM
 
Location: On the sunny side of a mountain
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I think Annie covered it so I just have to say that Lakota is beautiful. Congrats on the wonderful addition to your family.
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:24 PM
 
Location: North Western NJ
6,591 posts, read 19,765,259 times
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heartworm preventatives are only available by perscription, however once you have a perscription you can buy via online resources (the vet ha to call or fax the script to the source (ie 1800 petmeds)

yearly heartowrm tests are NOT always required if your dog is on heartworm preventative year round (and they should be), my vet does a heart worm test every 3 years as we yr round on ivermetcin, we get out blood tests done at the same time they do the titer testing...vaccinating every year is not only unessicary but many vets are now refusing to vaccinete every year instead moving to a 3 yearly or a titer testing schedual.
we titer test and none of our dogs (our oldest is almost 01 yrs old) have needed any boosters since their puppy shots, we only give rabies every 3 years because its the law, everyhting else comes back fine on the titers and i refuse to vaccinete for something my dog already has immunity to.

you can switch brands...why youd want to im not realy sure, but different vets have different preferences...my vet prefers ivermectin based (heartguard) others prefer inteceptor or revolution, ivermectin is NOT reccomended for collies or hearding breeds due to a mutant gene that can cause fatalities, personally which ever heartworm prevent she son now is the one id probably stick with asuming shes had no negative reactions thus far.

ALL heartworm preventative is also an internal de-wormer (and ivermectin is also regularly used ot treat mites) so staying current it not only important for the heartworms but also helps prevent tape, round, hook and whipworms!

as annie stated, positive blood tests while on heartworm preventative are not unusal (another reason my vet doesnt test yearly, FALSE POSITIVES are incredibly common form the preventative...
if a blood test comes back positive ask for a second...
the treatment for early stage heartworm IS heartworm preventative which kills the adult worms and eventually stops the breeding cycle...however when treating heartworm there are further risks which is why the blood test is nessicary...unfortunatly as the adult worms die they can be coughed into the lungs and cause issues...thats why you have to be very carefull.
given your girls clear, assuming you give her her preventative every month its very unliekly even with a positive blood test that theres heartworms...just something to keep in mind.

i do take mine in yearly for a quick check over, but yearly vaccines is not nessicary in my opinion (and most of veterinary science is agreeing...)

she is absolutly beautiful, congratulations!
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:35 PM
 
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She is beautiful, congratulations!
I can't add anything about the heartworm preventative that others have already said. Good on you for taking good care of this lovely dog.
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Old 07-19-2011, 05:19 AM
 
569 posts, read 1,042,167 times
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I already have a wonderful vet, who took care of my cat, helped us with putting her down when her kidneys failed at 19 years old.

So, I guess Lakota and I will be visiting him this week.

The rescue told me they were using Imitrex for heartworm preventative, but I think the woman there got her own or her husband's meds mixed up with what they give their dogs, cause I don't think Lakota has migraines. It could be that she meant Ivermectin, but I can't be sure. Since it's safe to switch, we'll just go with whatever our Doc recommends.

Thank you all!!!
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Old 07-19-2011, 05:19 AM
 
Location: County Mayo Descendant
2,725 posts, read 4,903,196 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrieM View Post
We just days ago, adopted a 2 year old Akita mix from a rescue. She's adapted wonderfully to her new home and family, I couldn't be happier about how the transition is going.

She's been on a heartworm preventative, given on the first of every month. It's been decades since I had a dog, and then I was a teen, so my parents handled all this stuff. Can I buy a preventative over the counter, or is it prescription only, through a vet? Do I have to continue the same brand, or will changing brands be okay?

She got a clean bill of health less than two weeks before we brought her home, the rescue took her in and got her all up to date on shots and tests. Heartworm test came back negative.

Now, just cause she's gorgeous and I love to show her off, this is Lakota:
She's a beauty, I once had an Akita
You can buy heartworm medicine tablets from Canada Vet its called Valueheart, you don't need an RX, no doubt she will take a whole pill, what I did with my smaller weight dogs was buy the larger dose and split it in half for both dogs, it helped with the costs, anymore anything with pets is expensive, shame its that way.
My dogs never had heartworm, you can check the ingredients for that comparing to heartguard, Canada is not allowed to sell heartguard to the USA being its made from meat which I believe makes it fall into the USDA category of the USA not being able to buy heartguard from Canada, I think its bull so that people are stuck paying the vets % plus the drug companies in the USA
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:42 AM
 
Location: North Western NJ
6,591 posts, read 19,765,259 times
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you should NOT divide heartworm pills for larger breeds to give to smaller dogs.
the active ingredient is not evenly combined throughout the pill so 1/2 might have more active ingerdient than the other.

dividing flea preventative is fine...
dividing heartworm tabs/chewies is not reccomended even in the "saves alot crowd" (me and those like me who are willing to use tsc and such) the dosage of active ingredient in those preventatives is soooo tiny that its impossible to evenly mix it even in tiny treats.

ivermectin is likely what shes been on then (heartguard is the common one) many shelters actually dose with pure ivermectin (ivomec) (on vets orders) as its much cheaper to buy the ivermectin than buy heartguard for the entire shelter.

i do not suggest this method unless you are under a vets direction and incredibly OCD as we are talking tiny dosages and its VERY eary to OD your dog...but it is how most vets issue to shelters.
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Old 07-19-2011, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Ohio
14,311 posts, read 12,565,603 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrieM View Post
I already have a wonderful vet, who took care of my cat, helped us with putting her down when her kidneys failed at 19 years old.

So, I guess Lakota and I will be visiting him this week.

The rescue told me they were using Imitrex for heartworm preventative, but I think the woman there got her own or her husband's meds mixed up with what they give their dogs, cause I don't think Lakota has migraines. It could be that she meant Ivermectin, but I can't be sure. Since it's safe to switch, we'll just go with whatever our Doc recommends.

Thank you all!!!
So glad you have a wonderful vet.....they are worth their weight in gold.

Lakota is a lucky girl to end up with someone like you.
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Old 07-21-2011, 01:54 AM
 
Location: County Mayo Descendant
2,725 posts, read 4,903,196 times
Reputation: 1188
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxywench View Post
you should NOT divide heartworm pills for larger breeds to give to smaller dogs.
the active ingredient is not evenly combined throughout the pill so 1/2 might have more active ingerdient than the other.

dividing flea preventative is fine...
dividing heartworm tabs/chewies is not reccomended even in the "saves alot crowd" (me and those like me who are willing to use tsc and such) the dosage of active ingredient in those preventatives is soooo tiny that its impossible to evenly mix it even in tiny treats.

ivermectin is likely what shes been on then (heartguard is the common one) many shelters actually dose with pure ivermectin (ivomec) (on vets orders) as its much cheaper to buy the ivermectin than buy heartguard for the entire shelter.

i do not suggest this method unless you are under a vets direction and incredibly OCD as we are talking tiny dosages and its VERY eary to OD your dog...but it is how most vets issue to shelters.
I took these to my vet, we can agree to disagree, on the package it goes by weight, if a dog is over say 100 lbs you would give 1 1/2 tablet, these are scored tablets.

If that is the case of not evenly combined then the extra 1/2 tablet given would not equal the same amount as the whole tablet, I've never had any problems over the past 8 yrs.
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