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Unread 11-04-2012, 06:00 PM
 
6,616 posts, read 2,105,374 times
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Default Question for cold weather state dog owners

We keep hearing from the vet that we should be giving our dogs heartworm treatments year around. We have never given our dogs HW from November all winter and usually start up again in March/April.

Any thoughts on this? Thanks.
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Unread 11-04-2012, 06:30 PM
 
Location: midwest suburbia
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I've been doing this at the vet's recommendation for several years. There are more unseasonably warm spells than there used to be. January and February are highly unlikely months for your dog to get heartworm, but in March,November, even December there's a slight chance mosquito eggs could hatch, especially if you're near water. It's a serious enough disease, and very expensive to treat, that I don't take chances. Minnesota is colder than where I am, but I think I'd still be inclined to do it.
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Unread 11-05-2012, 06:46 AM
 
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Heartworm meds only kill, not prevent. So, if they have some tiny heartworms growing, it kills them. If they have tiny heartworms growing and over the winter you don't kill them, then once you do give the pill you are talking about killing many much larger heartworms all at once. They are like spaghetti. So if they all die at once, it's like trying to put a large pot of spaghetti down your sink. It is going to clog the heart valves just like it would clog a sink. At that point little or no blood will pass and the dog will die. This is why you should continue through the winter. You have just been lucky in the past, but it is playing Russian Roulette with your dog.
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Unread 11-05-2012, 06:51 AM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal
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We live in the northeast. Artie gets his Heartgard "treat" on the first of the month... EVERY month. Winter, spring, summer, fall... Artie gets his Heartgard.

What I do ease off on in the winter months is the Advantix flea and tick stuff. Once it starts getting cold (October-ish), I stop putting it on him. When it warms up (April-ish), we're back on the schedule.

But I never, ever, ever stop giving him Heartgard based on weather.
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Unread 11-05-2012, 07:03 AM
 
Location: Rural Western TN
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YEAR ROUND...

Heartworm protection doesnt work like that for one...
for 2, unless you live someplace like alaska you cant guarenttee that your not going to get even 1 unseasonably warm day that can cause dormant eggs/lave to hatch and have chance o feed prior to the next cold sap killing them down again...

I personally simply wouldnt take the risk. heartworm is not something to mess around with.
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Unread 11-05-2012, 11:18 AM
 
Location: VA -> CO -> VA again
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Year round for sure, I wouldn't take any chances.
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Unread 11-05-2012, 12:16 PM
 
Location: On the sunny side of a mountain
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I'm in the Colorado mountains, we use it year round, no need to take chance with my dog's health.
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Unread 11-05-2012, 06:58 PM
 
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I give heartwork meds year-round, but I don't use Frontline in the winter (just like was posted above). My dog also gets her meds on the first of every month, though I occasionally forget, so she gets it a few days late. She gets 12 doses a year regardless of cold or hot "snaps."
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Unread 11-05-2012, 08:42 PM
Status: "How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same?" (set 16 hours ago)
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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especially important anywhere in the South. In fact I somehow missed last week so I'm gonna give it to them right now as a bedtime treat. Thanks for the reminder. Had a cat die of heartworm and it was so terrible I swore it would never happen again. wish they had meds for cats cause it does happen.
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Unread 11-05-2012, 08:43 PM
 
6,616 posts, read 2,105,374 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonAndJulie View Post
Heartworm meds only kill, not prevent. So, if they have some tiny heartworms growing, it kills them. If they have tiny heartworms growing and over the winter you don't kill them, then once you do give the pill you are talking about killing many much larger heartworms all at once. They are like spaghetti. So if they all die at once, it's like trying to put a large pot of spaghetti down your sink. It is going to clog the heart valves just like it would clog a sink. At that point little or no blood will pass and the dog will die. This is why you should continue through the winter. You have just been lucky in the past, but it is playing Russian Roulette with your dog.
Thank you for that explanation. Now it makes perfect sense to me.
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