Heartworms? Fleas? Help!

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Old 03-19-2009, 03:58 AM
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Question Heartworms? Fleas? Help!

Hi!

Newbie pet owner here!

We just got a yorkie puppy last summer and he has been quite an addition to our family.

Anyway, when I took him for his shots and such then, they gave me pills for heartworm and told me to get some flea stuff. I used all the heartworm stuff (6 months worth) and all was good.

I called yesterday to see when he was due next for shots (babies go to the doctor quite a bit their first few years but not sure about puppies!) and when to start the heartworm/flea stuff now that spring is almost here.

Her response was "well aren't you doing year 'round heartworm?" They never said it was year round! Now, I need to get him checked again and start the pills.

Is this standard? Our family had a dog when I was growing up and I don't remember giving heartworm pills year around, only in the summer. And what kind of flea stuff should I use? There are so many choices out there! We live in a subdivision that used to be a farmer's field and he's confined to our backyard.

Help! Any insight would be appreciated. I hate to be so clueless!
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Old 03-19-2009, 06:17 AM

RE: Heartworms? Fleas? Help!

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Heartworm pills are given once a month year round. My last dog thought they were treats so it was easy to give them to her. As for fleas I have used Advantage, Advantix and Frontline and they all work great. I used them year around also since I live in FL and we have flea problems year round. HTH
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Old 03-19-2009, 08:09 AM

RE: Heartworms? Fleas? Help!

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Yes, the heartworm prevention should be year round. Trust me - you want to do it. I know it is expensive but not nearly as bad as paying for treatment if your pup actually gets heartworm. (we're going through this with Lola, the little beagle who adopted us).

As far as ticks, I think that depends on the region. I believe, though I'm not positive, that if you live somewhere that gets deep freezes then you don't need tick prevention in winter.

Also, 2 different vets have cautioned us against using sites such as 1800petmeds for heartworm prevention. Apparently if you buy the pills from the vet they come with an 'insurance' policy. So if your dog gets heartworm, the company will pay for treatment. This is not the case otherwise.

HTH!
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Old 06-04-2009, 12:14 AM

RE: Heartworms? Fleas? Help!

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Im a vet tech:
Heartworm and flea prevention should be used year round. Fleas can jump on you and travel in your house to your pet even in the winter. If you live in a region where the ground freezes and stays frozen for 30 days, then you can discontinue flea prevention until the ground begins to defrost and then it is back on the prevention. Heartworm year round whatever region you are in. Online pet pharmacies do not have contracts with the makers of flea products, its all purchased from "another" source so you don't know what you are paying for, it could be something different than what is stated on the box. If you pet becomes sick on these prevention meds, companies will not pay for vet treatment if it is found to be purchased online. Online product boxes and vet product boxes are different, so they will know if you bought it online. Also the medication in Advantix for dogs is dangerous in cats, which it can cause seizures and death. It is discouraged to use Advantix on a dog that comes in contact with any cats, its that deadly. OTC flea meds from the grocery store, etc, often cause seizures and death in cats and small dogs and usually don't work on a little bit bigger dogs.

If you dog is on Heartgard and you have vet invoices to prove it, you dog does contract heartworms, Merial will cover most or all the vet bills. You will pay very little out of pocket. Same with fleas. Revolution burned a whole in my cats skin and burnt the fur off, I contacted Revolution and because it wasn't medically needed to be treated, no meds needed for healing, they gave me another 6month supply for my other cat. As long as vet tells the company it is believed that the heartworm or flea prevention cause this problem the companies will pay for vet bills.
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Old 06-04-2009, 07:50 AM

RE: Heartworms? Fleas? Help!

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Here in cold upstate NY we give heartworm meds 9 months of the year.

As far as flea stuff, I haven't used anything on my pets for years. We only had flea issues when our cats went outdoors a lot - but after we converted them to indoors only we haven't seen a flea on them or the dog in probably 10 years.
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Old 06-04-2009, 07:57 AM

RE: Heartworms? Fleas? Help!

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The year round thing is either a fairly new as a common recommendation or regional In NH, we only did it part year. Here they recommend all year. We do not do flea prevention unless we are going to board our dog. She has had fleas 2 times in the years we have had her and both times she got them from the one kennel.
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Old 06-04-2009, 12:23 PM

RE: Heartworms? Fleas? Help!

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I use a heartworm medication for my Collie. I did try a flea/tick product on him called "Biospot". Bought it in Petsmart. Well he had a terrible reaction to it. He was drooling excessively and was walking around in circles. I tried washing it off of him and after about an hour, he calmed down. I told my Vet and he said this product was garbage, but now I'm hesitating about using a different product on him. I actually thought I might have killed him. The Vet assures me that the products he sells will not cause this reaction. Don't know what to do.
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Old 06-04-2009, 01:19 PM

RE: Heartworms? Fleas? Help!

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biospot is on the garbage list of flea medications that can overdose or underdose or not help at all. i would use frontline for your collie. if you are worried you can apply half the liquid at a time and see if he has any side effects to it. plus if he reacts to the frontline, merial the company that makes it will pay your pup's vet bill.
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Old 06-04-2009, 05:14 PM

RE: Heartworms? Fleas? Help!

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Hi kluered13,

I emailed Biospot and told them what happened. All they did was direct me to the poison control with the ASPCA. I did some research on line and it seems that this product has even killed some dogs. Nice? Huh? I will try Frontline and do what you say about applying half the dosage. The Vet told me that Biospot is connected to Hartz Mountain products. Pretty scary that this product is still sold in Petsmart.
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Old 06-04-2009, 06:22 PM

RE: Heartworms? Fleas? Help!

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My dog didn't have a reaction to biospot, but it definitely was a complete bomb. Did not help with fleas AT ALL! Thank goodness it was a freebie. Knowing what I know now, no way I'd waste my $$ on that product.
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Old 06-13-2009, 11:29 AM

RE: Heartworms? Fleas? Help!

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Yes its year round especially here in miss where the mosquitos are also . Most heartworm meds prevent fleas and ticks also not sure what your using ive used almost all and heartguard is the most reasonable and effective . I occasionally use an additional flea preventative if infestation is unusually high but thats rare. I noticed wags and other pharmacys offering pet meds now not sure if its any cheaper. I have one vet who ups the price on meds and another who sells it at cost ,Its less than a $100 a year to buy meds over a 1000 to treat the heartworms and this is a risky treatment as well .
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Old 06-14-2009, 12:16 PM

RE: Heartworms? Fleas? Help!

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Heartgard does not cover against flea and ticks. Revolution covers heartworm, some intestinal parasites, and fleas. No ticks. There isn't a product on the market yet that covers everything. But all the pet friendly companies are working on getting the product out... The best products right now are Heartgard and Frontline Hope this clarifies a little.
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Old 06-30-2009, 10:26 AM

RE: Heartworms? Fleas? Help!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kluered13 View Post
Im a vet tech:
Heartworm and flea prevention should be used year round. Fleas can jump on you and travel in your house to your pet even in the winter. If you live in a region where the ground freezes and stays frozen for 30 days, then you can discontinue flea prevention until the ground begins to defrost and then it is back on the prevention.
I'd still use flea prevention year round. We didn't last winter and ended up with tons of fleas in the house. We live in the country and have a large Rottweiler. We had freezing temps for 30+ days, then it warmed for a week, then froze again. That's all it took. I still have scars on my legs from the flea bites.

And now the fleas are back. We can't use the spot on treatments. She manages to ingest them, even if the vet applies it. So it's not us doing it wrong. I am going to demand the vet give us Revolution next time. I have a 2 month old baby and can't deal with fleas in the house too!
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Old 06-30-2009, 11:28 AM

RE: Heartworms? Fleas? Help!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by poloponyrider View Post
I'd still use flea prevention year round. We didn't last winter and ended up with tons of fleas in the house. We live in the country and have a large Rottweiler. We had freezing temps for 30+ days, then it warmed for a week, then froze again. That's all it took. I still have scars on my legs from the flea bites.

And now the fleas are back. We can't use the spot on treatments. She manages to ingest them, even if the vet applies it. So it's not us doing it wrong. I am going to demand the vet give us Revolution next time. I have a 2 month old baby and can't deal with fleas in the house too!
If your dog is ingesting the fleas she can get tapeworms, which can spread to humans. I would discuss with the vet on doing a prevention dose of drontal +

Whenever the weather starts to warm up you should always start flea prevention back up. The slightest shift in temperature will bring fleas.

Is she ingesting the prevention? Are you applying it to the back of the neck?
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Old 06-30-2009, 03:53 PM

RE: Heartworms? Fleas? Help!

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Originally Posted by kluered13 View Post
Whenever the weather starts to warm up you should always start flea prevention back up. The slightest shift in temperature will bring fleas.

Is she ingesting the prevention? Are you applying it to the back of the neck?
That's why I said you should continue prevention year round.

Yes, she manages to ingest it. It has been applied properly, according to mfg instructions. Vet said absolutely no more spot on treatments.
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Old 06-30-2009, 04:21 PM

RE: Heartworms? Fleas? Help!

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We rescued a 3-4yr old bird dog mix and she HAS heartworm. The previous owners did not give her heartgard or any kind of meds (or care at all really, since they bred her with a pitbull and while still pregnant the owners broke up and kicked her to the curb so she had her puppies behind a grocery store!!!!!!!!!). She is the best dog EVER, so of course we're gonna treat her. The damage it has done to her heart is severe because she is now coughing, and the phlegm is streaked in blood. She is on Lisinopril right now (blood pressure meds) until she goes in on Monday to get CYANIDE slowly dripped in through IV for 5 days, then remains mildly sedated for 3 more weeks to ensure a SLOW release of the worms (so she doesn't get a "clot" of them). $640 and there's a 50/50 chance the cyanide could kill her.

PLEASE GIVE YOUR DOG HEART WORM PREVENTATIVES AS DIRECTED BY YOUR VET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 06-30-2009, 06:16 PM

RE: Heartworms? Fleas? Help!

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Originally Posted by ultrabextr View Post
We rescued a 3-4yr old bird dog mix and she HAS heartworm. The previous owners did not give her heartgard or any kind of meds (or care at all really, since they bred her with a pitbull and while still pregnant the owners broke up and kicked her to the curb so she had her puppies behind a grocery store!!!!!!!!!). She is the best dog EVER, so of course we're gonna treat her. The damage it has done to her heart is severe because she is now coughing, and the phlegm is streaked in blood. She is on Lisinopril right now (blood pressure meds) until she goes in on Monday to get CYANIDE slowly dripped in through IV for 5 days, then remains mildly sedated for 3 more weeks to ensure a SLOW release of the worms (so she doesn't get a "clot" of them). $640 and there's a 50/50 chance the cyanide could kill her.

PLEASE GIVE YOUR DOG HEART WORM PREVENTATIVES AS DIRECTED BY YOUR VET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wow vets still use cyanide. At my last clinic we used a imovec, cant remember the exact spelling, drug. Which it wasn't toxic, cause excessive panting and drooling, but the dog only had to stay in the clinic overnight. Got one injection into the muscle the first day, stayed with us overnight, gave the second injection and the dog was sent home with instructions for stricted rest for 3 months and to continue Heartgard.

Also Heartgard is an approved treatment to kill heartworms, just kills them very slowly, anywhere from a year to three years.
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Old 06-30-2009, 06:20 PM

RE: Heartworms? Fleas? Help!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by poloponyrider View Post
That's why I said you should continue prevention year round.

Yes, she manages to ingest it. It has been applied properly, according to mfg instructions. Vet said absolutely no more spot on treatments.

There is a pill in the works, not sure if it is approved in USA yet. I know it is being used in Europe right now that kills adult fleas up to a month. The only problem that it doesnt cover ticks, and I am not sure if it covers every stage of fleas.

You said something about Revolution? That is topical as well, so why would that be a better choice? Just curious. I personally don't like Revolution cause my dogs go in the woods and it doesn't do anything for ticks. But if you use Revolution you don't have to use Heartgard, as it has a heartworm prevention in it.
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Old 07-01-2009, 05:53 AM

RE: Heartworms? Fleas? Help!

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There is a pill in the works, not sure if it is approved in USA yet. I know it is being used in Europe right now that kills adult fleas up to a month. The only problem that it doesnt cover ticks, and I am not sure if it covers every stage of fleas.

You said something about Revolution? That is topical as well, so why would that be a better choice? Just curious. I personally don't like Revolution cause my dogs go in the woods and it doesn't do anything for ticks. But if you use Revolution you don't have to use Heartgard, as it has a heartworm prevention in it.
I don't know why I was thinking Revolution, I meant Comfortis (no heartworm) or Sentinel (has heartworm too).

I did find this while trying to find the right name for what I was talking about:

Once-a-month Pill For Both Fleas And Ticks In Dogs And Cats

Looks like they're getting close...
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Old 07-02-2009, 05:47 PM

RE: Heartworms? Fleas? Help!

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I live in Northern Virginia. Our rescue group last year thought that we'd save money by not using flea/tick preventatives in the winter. Well, I hosted puppies at my house for Christmas and each time that I took them outside to go to the restroom, they'd pick up ticks. I never thought that in the middle of December, that I'd see ticks but they kept picking them up. Also, flea/tick preventative will help keep the Lyme carrying ticks off of the dogs. That's super important now. lot's of dogs are coming into rescue that have heartworm and lyme.

Also, treating heartworm in the DC area can cost $1000, it's way cheaper and less dangerous to use a preventative all year round.
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Old 07-02-2009, 06:13 PM

RE: Heartworms? Fleas? Help!

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Looks like you will get lots of thoughts on this subject. Before I give you just an another one, let me just say that heartworm stopped and then restarted does require going back to the vet to have the puppy checked. A pup who was off was unprotected then restarted without checking her/him again will cause issues because the meds will attack any worms that hatched and they will release, clot and cause possible death.
Heartworm is year round for life. And it can be as simple as a Sentinel a month. If you get them from a vet, they may be able to order you the 12 month pack at a cheaper price than ordering it monthly or every 6 months. Often there are rebates if you buy them in the larger order as well. Sentinel also has some flea and tick protection.

Adams is flea and tick that can be applied for extra flea/tick protection during more outdoor active months. Won't upset the skin, cats in the home or most people who come in contact with it. That you can get at Target, Walmart, petco, etc. I think there are some Q's on the Adam's website.

Thank you for taking good care of that little one.
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:01 PM

RE: Heartworms? Fleas? Help!

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I've had dogs all my life and have always treated them yr round for fleas, ticks, and heartworm. We have also done rescue work for the last 10yrs and the vet always tells us to treat all yr round because not only is the pain the animal has if they do get heartworm excruciating but the heartworm treatment once they already have tested positive is very expensive. We love our dogs way too much to put them through that. One thing we also have to do with our little guy is give him a shot once a month and benadryl daily because the flea meds alone will not stop his itching. He has severe allergies in the summer.
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