What Is Heartworm Disease
Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease in pets in the United States and many other parts of the world. It is caused by foot-long worms that live in the heart, lungs and associated blood vessels of affected pets, causing severe lung disease, heart failure and damage to other organs in the body. Heartworm disease affects dogs, cats and ferrets, but heartworms also live in other mammal species, including wolves, coyotes, foxes, sea lions andin rare instanceshumans. Because wild species such as foxes and coyotes live in proximity to many urban areas, they are considered important carriers of the disease.
The dog is a natural host for heartworms, which means that heartworms that live inside the dog mature into adults, mate and produce offspring. If untreated, their numbers can increase, and dogs have been known to harbor several hundred worms in their bodies. Heartworm disease causes lasting damage to the heart, lungs and arteries, and can affect the dogs health and quality of life long after the parasites are gone. For this reason, prevention is by far the best option, and treatmentwhen neededshould be administered as early in the course of the disease as possible.
How Fleas Can Affect Cats And Dogs
To say that fleas are a nuisance would be an understatement. Getting rid of an infestation can be frustrating at best, and these nasty little pests can cause a lot of irritation for our pets, too. One of the most common issues dogs and cats experience with fleas is itching of the skin. Worse, some pets can become allergic to flea bites, thanks to certain chemicals in flea saliva.
With the right flea prevention, your pet can remain flea-free and comfortable, and you can rest easy knowing that your home is flea-free, as well. If you do need help conquering a flea infestation in your home, dont hesitate to contact uswell have recommendations for you!
What Is The Most Important Information I Should Know About Advantage Multi
Advantage Multi for Dogs is available in the following concentrations Advantage Multi 9 containing imidacloprid 40 mg and moxidectin 10 mg in 0.4 ml tubes for dogs 3-9 lbs, Advantage Multi 20 containing imidacloprid 100 mg and moxidectin 25 mg in 1 ml tubes for dogs 9.1 to 20 lbs, Advantage Multi 55 containing imidacloprid 250 mg and moxidectin 62.5 mg in 2.5 ml tubes for dogs 20.1-55 lbs, Advantage Multi 88 containing imidacloprid 400 mg and moxidectin 100 mg in 4 ml tubes for dogs 55.1 to 88 lbs, and Advantage Multi 110 containing imidacloprid 500 mg and moxidectin 125 mg in 5 ml tubes for dogs 88.1 to 110 lbs. For dogs over 110 lbs, use the appropriate combination of Advantage Multi for Dogs tubes. Advantage Multi for Cats is available in the following concentrations Advantage Multi containing imidacloprid 23 mg and moxidectin 2.3 mg in 0.23 ml tubes for cats 2-5 lbs, Advantage Multi 9 containing imidacloprid 40 mg and moxidectin 4 mg in 0.4 ml tubes for cats 5.1 to 9 lbs, and Advantage Multi 18 containing imidacloprid 80 mg and moxidectin 8 mg in 0.8 ml tubes for cats 9.1 to 18 lbs. For cats over 18 lbs, use the appropriate combination. Children should not come in contact with the application site for two hours after application.
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Ner With Your Veterinarian To Protect Your Cat
Every cat is different, which is why its important to talk to your veterinarian when choosing a heartworm preventative. They will help you find the best one for your unique pet. Similarly, every preventative medication is different, so youll need to read and follow the instructions for whatever you choose to make sure youre administering it correctly and your cat gets the protection he needs. Closely following the instructions is important for your safety as wellespecially if your cat gets a topical product, which can rub off or be spilled without a close watch before, during, and after you administer the medicine.
Flea/tick Topical & Oral Buyers Guide
While a number of flea and tick prevention options are available to pet owners today, the vast majority choose to protect their pets with monthly spot-on topicals, or with oral tablets. The tremendous popularity of these products is primarily due to their convenience and effectiveness.
For example, a simple one-minute application of K9 Advantix® II provides your dog with complete flea, tick, and heartworm protection for a full month. Following is a brief description of the topical and oral flea and tick preventives available.
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K9 Advantix Ii For Dogs
K9 Advantix II, a relatively new innovation in flea and tick protection for dogs, combines imidacloprid plus permethrin for total once-a-month topical protection from fleas, ticks, and heartworm . In addition to killing flea larvae, K9 Advantix II kills adult fleas before they can lay eggs, and stops them from biting within 5 minutes of application. K9 Advantix II is also effective on ticks repelling and killing up to 98.5% of them before they can attach. Mosquitoes are also no match for K9 Advantix II it repels and kills them before they can bite. This topical treatment, available for various sizes of dogs, is excellent for dogs who love to swim, and those who require frequent bathing it resists water and can be effective up to six weeks. K9 Advantix II is designed for dogs only, and SHOULD NEVER BE USED ON CATS.
The Heartworm Lifecycle In Dogs
In an infected dog, adult female heartworms release their offspring, called microfilariae, into the dogs bloodstream. When a mosquito bites the infected dog, the mosquito becomes infected with the microfilariae. Over the next 10 to 14 days and under the right environmental conditions, the microfilariae become infective larvae while living inside the mosquito. Microfilariae must pass through a mosquito to become infective larvae. When the infected mosquito bites another dog, the mosquito spreads the infective larvae to the dog through the bite wound. In the newly infected dog, it takes about 6 to 7 months for the infective larvae to mature into adult heartworms. The adult heartworms mate and the females release their offspring into the dogs bloodstream, completing the lifecycle. See a graphic of the heartworm lifecycle in dogs.
Heartworm disease is not contagious, meaning that a dog cannot catch the disease from being near an infected dog. Heartworm disease is only spread through the bite of a mosquito.
Inside a dog, a heartworms lifespan is 5 to 7 years. Adult heartworms look like strands of cooked spaghetti, with males reaching about 4 to 6 inches in length and females reaching about 10 to 12 inches in length. The number of worms living inside an infected dog is called the worm burden. The average worm burden in dogs is 15 worms, but that number can range from 1 to 250 worms.
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Best Area Spray: Virbac Knockout Area Treatment Spray
Kills more than just adult fleas
Continues killing multiple flea life stages for several months after application
Gets into hard-to-clean places in the home where fleas hide
Must remove all pets and people from the home before using
May need more than one bottle for multiple living spaces
If your cat has fleas, odds are your home also has them so youll need an effective area spray to treat your cats inside environment. The Virbac Knockout spray contains an insect growth regulator to kill not only the adult fleas but the eggs and larvae, too. It lasts in the home for up to four months to prevent future infestations, but is not meant to be applied to a cat or any other pet. Your pets should be removed from the house before spraying this aerosolized treatment spray. Once it dries, your pets can return to their space.
Revolution Plus offers the most complete parasite prevention in a single application. It lasts for one month, contains no pyrethrins, permethrins, or pyrethroids, and contains a small amount of quick-drying, alcohol-based liquid. Your cat will be protected from fleas, ticks, heartworms, ear mites, and intestinal parasites by simply applying Revolution Plus once a month.
If you have live fleas that you need to kill quickly, Comfortis is your best option since it works within 30 minutes, and this chewable tablet will then continue working for up to one month, just like Revolution Plus.
What Are The Potential Side Effects Of Advantage Multi
If any of the following serious side effects occur, stop using Advantage Multi and seek emergency veterinary medical attention: an allergic reaction . Contact your veterinarian if your pet shows scratching, rubbing, licking the application site, lethargy, decreased appetite, or hyperactivity. Contact your veterinarian if your pet shows lethargy and prolonged periods of sleep, behavioral changes including agitation, excessive grooming, hiding, pacing, etc., discomfort at the application site , increased salivation within 1 hour of treatment, increased drinking, or coughing. A medicinal odor and residue at the application site may also be noticed. Ingestion of this product by pets may cause serious adverse reactions including depression, salivation, dilated pupils, incoordination, panting, and generalized muscle tremors. In avermectin sensitive pets, the signs may be more severe and may include coma and death. Hair may appear stiff, matted oily, or damp after application. Other side effects may also occur. Talk to your veterinarian about any side effect that seems unusual or bothersome to your pet.
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Application Instructions For Advantage Multi For Cats:
For the first 30 minutes after application, ensure that dogs and cats cannot lick the product from the application sites on themselves or other treated pets. Separate treated pets from one another and from other pets to reduce the risk of accidental ingestion. Wash hands with soap and water after handling. Do not let children touch the treated pet’s skin for at least 30 minutes after applying the product. Do not get these products in your pet’s mouth or eyes.
The Side Effects Of Heartworm Meds
Just as vaccines can damage the immune system, so can your dogs heartworm meds.
Heartworm meds are neurotoxins. They kill larvae is by paralyzing them. So its no wonder that they can also damage your dog. In the side effects below, youll see neurological problems like ataxia, tremors, convulsions, or seizures.
And thats just in the short term. Nobody really knows the long-term risks of heartworm meds. Because they havent tested the effects of giving them for several months every year, for your dogs whole life.
So the best guess we have is the adverse reactions that occur right after taking heartworm meds.
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Are There Any Potential Side Effects
Ivermectin is generally well-tolerated but can have serious neurological side effects when given at high doses, such as for mite infestations.
Some breeds, such as collies, are sensitive to only moderate doses of ivermectin and may have side effects at lower doses.
Ivermectin may cause a shock-like reaction in some dogs. If this occurs, contact your veterinarian.
If you notice any side effects such as stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea, dilated pupils, unsteadiness when walking, or a dazed demeanor, contact your veterinarian.
This short-acting medication should stop working within 24 hours, although effects can be longer in pets with liver or kidney disease.
The Best Oral Flea Control Product
Comfortis Chewable Tablets start killing fleas within 30 minutes and offer a full month of protection with one easy-to-give flavored pill.
Pros: Fast-acting treatment starts killing adult fleas within 30 minutes, safe for kittens 14 weeks or older, easy to give alone or in food
Cons: Does not kill flea eggs or larvae or prevent parasites other than fleas, not labeled for use in kittens younger than 14 weeks or breeding, pregnant, or nursing cats
Parasites prevented: Adult fleas
Duration of effectiveness: 30 days
Safe for: Cats and kittens 14 weeks and older, weighing at least 4.1 pounds
Not labeled for use: Breeding, pregnant, and nursing cats
Our top choice for an oral flea control product for cats, Comfortis Chewable Tablets, is fast-acting and good for cats that can’t tolerate topical flea preventives. Its active ingredient, spinosad, starts to work within 30 minutes and kills 98% of adult fleas on cats within four hours.
Although topical flea control products are typically easier to use , there are some cases when an oral preventive is a better choice. For instance, some cats with sensitive skin can’t tolerate a spot-on treatment. “An oral flea preventive product is better if a cat has had focal hair loss related to the application of a topical product or if it has a severe flea-related allergy,” said Sawyer.
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Common Questions About Flea Products:
Our comprehensive Flea & Tick Control For Cats Guide will help you understand what to do in the event of a flea infestation, how to prevent them, and how to care for your pets and your home.
- What is meant by safety in flea products?
Unlike topical flea medications, you do not need to be concerned with touching your pet following the drug administration, nor do you need to separate your pet from other household pets.
- Which products are safe for pregnant cats?
While some products, such as Capstar, CapAction, and PetArmor FastCaps, state they are safe for breeding and pregnant cats, we advise you always to contact your veterinarian for guidance. Your vet can help you assess the risks and benefits so you can make a more informed decision.
- My cat has a health condition which products are safe for her/him?
Please consult with your veterinarian when choosing a product to ensure you have the best guidance possible for your cats case.
- Do fleas have to bite my cat to die?
Unfortunately, Comfortis, Capstar, CapAction, and PetArmor FastCaps require a flea to bite to release the parasiticide.
- Ive used flea products in the past, but none seem to work. Why?
Advantage Multi For Dogs
Advantage Multi is a popular preventative that stops heartworm disease and treats any microfilaria so that they cannot mature into adults. It also kills fleas, treats and controls roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms. Like Revolution, Advantage Multi is administered monthly and is applied topically, directly to your dogs skin. Your vet will be able to advise you which dose of this preventative your dog will need to be adequately protected, which will be decided based on weight.
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When Should A Dog Be Tested For Heartworms
The timing and frequency of heartworm tests depend on many factors. Some of these factors include:
- The dogs age when heartworm prevention is started
- If the owner forgot to give heartworm prevention and for how long
- If the dog is switched from one type of heartworm prevention to another
- If the dog recently traveled to an area where heartworm disease is more common and
- The length of the heartworm season in the region where the dog lives.
Dogs that are 7 months of age and older should be tested for heartworms before starting heartworm prevention. A dog may appear healthy on the outside, but on the inside, heartworms may be living and thriving. If a heartworm-positive dog is not tested before starting a preventive, the dog will remain infected with adult heartworms until it gets sick enough to show symptoms. Heartworm preventives do not kill adult heartworms. Also, giving a heartworm preventive to a dog infected with adult heartworms may be harmful or deadly. If microfilariae are in the dogs bloodstream, the preventive may cause the microfilariae to suddenly die, triggering a shock-like reaction and possibly death.
Annual testing of all dogs on heartworm prevention is recommended. Talk to your dogs veterinarian about the best time for your dogs annual heartworm test.
Flea And Heartworm Preventative For Dogs And Cats
It can become overwhelming to try and find the right flea and heartworm prevention for your dog or cat. With this post we hope to answer some of your questions.
Unfortunately we are in an area where fleas are year round and we have to keep pets on preventatives most of the time. In the past we looked for Frontline or Advantage. We have found a resistance to topical flea preventatives for dogs.
Dogs: If you have a dog we recommend that you look for a chewable preventative. Lucky for us, companies have now made the chewables tasty so that our pets think it is another treat.
There are two products that are working great at the moment and they help for fleas & Ticks!
Nexgard= a chewable treat given once a month Bravecto= a chewable treat given once every 3 months
Nexgard and Bravecto cover fleas and ticks. You will need to add Heartgard to cover for heartworm. This should be started after 4 months of age and be given every month.
* All products mentioned go by weight range so use the one that correlates to your pets weight.
Cats: As for cats, they do not handle pills well and they have yet to make something chewable. All products that we recommend for cats are topical.
*There is Heartgard for cats, which we do not carry in office. Most cats are indoors and are not exposed to mosquitos as often as dogs. You can always order this online if it is something you would like to get through an online pharmacy like pet360.com or drsfostersmith.com.
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