It is spring time and as the weather improves in Georgetown people are starting to think about protecting their pets against heartworm (transmitted by mosquitos), fleas and ticks.
Many clients of the Terra Glen Animal Hospital have been asking me “If I had my pet on heartworm preventative medication last year, why does my dog need to be tested again this year?”. There are several reasons:
No medication is perfect! There can always be failure of a medication despite our best efforts to administer it properly. Then there is our pet; Maybe he/she didn’t eat well that day and the medication wasn’t adequately adsorbed. If it is a topical product perhaps the dog was squirmy that day and the full dose did not reach the skin to be properly adsorbed.
I know I have difficulty remembering to give my own pets their sentinel on the same day every month!! A duration greater than every 30-31 days can reduce the susceptibility of the heartworm larvae to the medication.
Studies are indicating that there are heartworm species that may be less sensitive to the medications and require more than one treatment to clear them from our pets system. These are all reasons why you need to test for heartworm EVERY year before restarting the preventatives in the spring. This way we can be sure we are not giving medication to a heartworm positive pet which could result in a serious or fatal reaction.
If you have questions about heartworm or other matters affecting your pet, please contact the doctors or staff at Terra Glen. It would be our pleasure to assist you!
Dr. Kim Boudreau MSc, DVM, Certified Animal Chiropractor
Terra Glen Animal Hospital
11555 Tenth Line RR4