Is heartworm medicine really necessary?

Safest Heartworm and Flea Prevention For Dogs

Best Answer

In fact, if a dog has a mild heartworm infestation, a veterinarian might recommend treating it with a heartworm preventative over a course of several months.

But there are many pet owners who do not use heartworm preventatives on their dogs.

Ask the Vet: Is it really necessary to give heartworm & flea/tick meds every single month?

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Related Questions

Is heartworm medicine necessary for indoor dogs?

Heartworm disease is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. Today, since cases have been reported in all 50 states and because mosquitoes can live inside (even in winter), it's recommended that no matter where you live, you give your dogs and cats heartworm prevention medicine year-round.

Is it necessary to give your dog heartworm medicine?

These preventatives are essentially treatment for heartworm, not a preventative. In fact, if a dog has a mild heartworm infestation, a veterinarian might recommend treating it with a heartworm preventative over a course of several months. Dogs are infected with heartworms by mosquitos.

Do dogs really need heartworm medicine?

In fact, if a dog has a mild heartworm infestation, a veterinarian might recommend treating it with a heartworm preventative over a course of several months. But there are many pet owners who do not use heartworm preventatives on their dogs.

How to Save Money on Heartworm Medicine for Your Dog

Is heartworm test necessary?

Annual testing of dogs that are on heartworm preventative is not necessary, however. It is not harmful to the dog, only to your wallet, so unless you feel the need to test you should just keep your dog on the preventative.

Do you really need to give your dog heartworm medicine?

In fact, if a dog has a mild heartworm infestation, a veterinarian might recommend treating it with a heartworm preventative over a course of several months. Dogs are infected with heartworms by mosquitos. A mosquito will bite an infected animal and then pass the infection onto your dog should it bite him or her.

Do dogs really need to take heartworm medicine?

In fact, if a dog has a mild heartworm infestation, a veterinarian might recommend treating it with a heartworm preventative over a course of several months. Dogs are infected with heartworms by mosquitos. A mosquito will bite an infected animal and then pass the infection onto your dog should it bite him or her.

Is heartworm meds necessary for dogs?

Heartworm prevention is something many dog owners obtain from their vet on an annual basis. In fact, if a dog has a mild heartworm infestation, a veterinarian might recommend treating it with a heartworm preventative over a course of several months.

Is annual heartworm test necessary?

Annual testing of dogs that are on heartworm preventative is not necessary, however. It is not harmful to the dog, only to your wallet, so unless you feel the need to test you should just keep your dog on the preventative.

When to give your dog heart worm prevention

Is pet insurance really necessary?

If you have a pet like Guinness with a costly condition or illness you want to treat, we found that pet insurance may pay out more than it costs you. In our exercise, a Healthy Paws plan was the only one that paid more than it cost. But if his owner continues to cover cancer treatments, all three plans may be worth it.

Is a heartworm test necessary?

Heartworm is a large internal parasite that is spread through the mosquito. Annual testing of dogs that are on heartworm preventative is not necessary, however. It is not harmful to the dog, only to your wallet, so unless you feel the need to test you should just keep your dog on the preventative.

Is heartworm blood test necessary?

Heartworm is a large internal parasite that is spread through the mosquito. Annual testing of dogs that are on heartworm preventative is not necessary, however. It is not harmful to the dog, only to your wallet, so unless you feel the need to test you should just keep your dog on the preventative.

Is a colonoscopy really necessary?

When done as recommended, alternatives to colonoscopies can be just as effective as a colonoscopy in detecting colon cancer. However, if any abnormalities are found, people may require a colonoscopy anyway. It is necessary for all people to understand the importance of getting a colon screening past the age 50.

Is puppy food really necessary?

Puppy food is formulated to give puppies everything they need to grow into healthy, happy adult dogs. Feeding a puppy a diet of adult dog food every day, however, is robbing them of important nutrients. You run the risk of delaying their development and causing permanent health concerns.

Is Heartworm Prevention Really Necessary?

Is crate training really necessary?

Crate training can be a necessary training tool, yet it need not be a lifestyle. A crate can also be very damaging to the psyche of a growing puppy or an adult dog if they haven't been properly trained with one. A crate is just a less harsh name for a cage.

Will heartworm medicine kill heartworms?

The only prevention they offer is killing the mosquito larvae (microfilaria) before they develop into adult worms, which migrate to your dog's pulmonary artery and cause heartworm symptoms. Your dog's heartworm meds work by killing those little larvae or microfilariae.

Are heartworm meds necessary for dogs?

Heartworm prevention is something many dog owners obtain from their vet on an annual basis. In fact, if a dog has a mild heartworm infestation, a veterinarian might recommend treating it with a heartworm preventative over a course of several months. Dogs are infected with heartworms by mosquitos.

Is heartworm medication necessary for indoor dogs?

Heartworm prevention is something many dog owners obtain from their vet on an annual basis. In fact, if a dog has a mild heartworm infestation, a veterinarian might recommend treating it with a heartworm preventative over a course of several months. Dogs are infected with heartworms by mosquitos.

Is heartworm medication necessary for dogs?

In fact, if a dog has a mild heartworm infestation, a veterinarian might recommend treating it with a heartworm preventative over a course of several months. But there are many pet owners who do not use heartworm preventatives on their dogs.

Is heartworm test for dogs necessary?

Heartworm is a large internal parasite that is spread through the mosquito. Annual testing of dogs that are on heartworm preventative is not necessary, however. It is not harmful to the dog, only to your wallet, so unless you feel the need to test you should just keep your dog on the preventative.

Is heartworm prevention necessary in winter?

The FDA has approved several heartworm prevention medications for dogs and cats, but only one, to date, for ferrets. Although there are a fewer number of mosquitoes in the winter, there is still a risk that an animal could contract heartworms if the owner stops giving medication during this season.

Is a heartworm test necessary every year?

The American Heartworm Society recommends monthly heartworm preventative all year around and testing once a year. It only picks up the presence of an adult female heartworm. This means it will not turn positive unless your dog has been infected for at least 6 months.

Is an annual heartworm test necessary?

The medicine does not stay in your dog's system more than a day. The American Heartworm Society recommends monthly heartworm preventative all year around and testing once a year. It is important to diagnose and treat heartworm early in the disease before it has a chance to do a lot of damage.

Is heartworm test necessary every year?

The American Heartworm Society recommends monthly heartworm preventative all year around and testing once a year. It is important to diagnose and treat heartworm early in the disease before it has a chance to do a lot of damage. Having your dog tested every year is a smart decision.

Are carbs really necessary?

Carbohydrates (including fiber) don't necessarily make the cut as “essential” nutrients, but they are very important. Eliminating carbs completely from the diet is not only impossible, it's impractical. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and dairy all contain carbs and are foundational to a healthful diet.

Is dog teeth cleaning really necessary?

Even with the best of care, most pets will need their teeth cleaned from time to time. Many pet owners ask about non-anesthetic dental cleanings. Here is the lowdown: Anesthesia is necessary in order to perform a deep cleaning and get full dental X-rays.

Are pet vaccines really necessary?

Most animals need only what are known as core vaccines: those that protect against the most common and most serious diseases. In dogs, the core vaccines are distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis and rabies. In cats, they are panleukopenia, calicivirus, rhinotracheitis (herpesvirus), and rabies as required by law.

Is it OK to skip heartworm medicine?

It is not necessary to have a pet immediately tested for heartworms if they have missed one month of heartworm medicine. Most of the monthly heartworm medicines have a safety factor of at least 15 days of protection if a dose is missed.

Is heartworm medicine dangerous for dogs?

You have every right to think that way. Heartworm is a scary disease that could threaten your dog's life. Your dog's heartworm meds work by killing those little larvae or microfilariae. Once they develop into adult heartworms, however, it's dangerous to use those meds to treat your dogs.

Is heartworm medicine bad for dogs?

While these drugs are generally safe and effective, there are always exceptions. Toxicity associated with ivermectin include depression, ataxia (balance problems or unsteady walk), and blindness, but these are uncommon at the low doses used in heartworm preventatives.

Do dogs really need heartworm meds?

Heartworm prevention is something many dog owners obtain from their vet on an annual basis. In fact, if a dog has a mild heartworm infestation, a veterinarian might recommend treating it with a heartworm preventative over a course of several months.

Do I really need to give my dog heartworm medicine every month?

But that does NOT mean monthly heartworm prevention with drugs. Pumping your dog full of drugs every 30 days is just going to make his immune system unable to defend itself and cause who knows how many negative side effects. That means they work by paralyzing the nervous system of the microfilariae in your dog's body.

Are employee benefits really necessary?

Good wages are important, but so are good benefits. Benefits aren't just desirable to employees. They can improve your business. Adding benefits can increase loyalty, focus and productivity, attendance, and recruiting.

Are puppy shots really necessary?

Most animals need only what are known as core vaccines: those that protect against the most common and most serious diseases. In dogs, the core vaccines are distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis and rabies. In cats, they are panleukopenia, calicivirus, rhinotracheitis (herpesvirus), and rabies as required by law.

Are dog boosters really necessary?

However, recent research indicates that not all vaccines require yearly boosters. There is no evidence that annual booster vaccination is anything but beneficial to the majority of dogs. Published research has shown conclusively that abstaining from some boosters can put your dog at risk.

Are root canals really necessary?

Why would I need an endodontic procedure? Endodontic treatment is necessary when the pulp, the soft tissue inside the root canal, becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes: deep decay repeated dental procedures on the tooth or a crack or chip in the tooth.

Does heartworm medicine prevent roundworms?

Your veterinarian can test for roundworms with a fecal sample. Not all heartworm preventives treat and control roundworms. HEARTGARD® Plus (ivermectin/pyrantel) helps prevent heartworm disease AND treats and controls two species of roundworms.

Does heartworm medicine treat tapeworms?

Heartworm medications target the parasitic worm Dirofilaria immitis, or heartworm. When infection occurs, these worms travel through your dog's bloodstream and into the heart and lungs. Monthly heartworm medications work by killing heartworm larvae before they develop into adults.

Is flea and tick medicine necessary for dogs?

Your veterinarian can recommend the best year-round protection against fleas and ticks. Ask for the safest, newest and most effective treatments such as: Activyl Spot-On for Cats and Kittens, delivers monthly flea control.

Do dogs need heartworm medicine?

Annual testing is necessary, even when dogs are on heartworm prevention year-round, to ensure that the prevention program is working. Heartworm medications are highly effective, but dogs can still become infected. If you miss just one dose of a monthly medication—or give it late—it can leave your dog unprotected.

Are heartworm pills necessary for dogs?

In fact, if a dog has a mild heartworm infestation, a veterinarian might recommend treating it with a heartworm preventative over a course of several months. But there are many pet owners who do not use heartworm preventatives on their dogs.

Will heartworm medicine kill a dog with heartworms?

Heartworm Preventatives Don't Actually Stop the Initial Infection. If an infected mosquito happens to bite your dog, your pup may still be infected with the larvae. But heartworm medications work to kill off the larval heartworms that made it into your dog's body during the past month to prevent further infection.

Is it necessary to give dogs heartworm medication?

But that does NOT mean monthly heartworm prevention with drugs. Heartworm prevention drugs don't actually prevent heartworm. They kill heartworm larvae that may already be in your dog's body. So, if your dog hasn't been infected, you're giving him harmful drugs for something he doesn't even have.

Is it really necessary to vaccinate dogs every year?

In most cases, your dog will need follow-up injections once a year, although there are some vaccines that are only required every three years.

Is it really necessary to neuter my dog?

If you are breeding or showing your dog, do not neuter him. If your dog will be an athlete or a hunting dog, you may also want to consider not neutering your dog. That's because cancers we once thought were preventable by neutering, such as prostate cancer, are now thought to be increased by neutering.

Does my puppy need heartworm medicine?

In fact, if a dog has a mild heartworm infestation, a veterinarian might recommend treating it with a heartworm preventative over a course of several months. But there are many pet owners who do not use heartworm preventatives on their dogs.

Do indoor cats need heartworm medicine?

An ultrasound may also be performed. Treatment. Unfortunately, there is no approved drug therapy for heartworm infection in cats, and the drug used to treat infections in dogs is not safe for cats. Nevertheless, cats with heartworm disease can often be helped with good veterinary care.

What is the best heartworm medicine for dogs?

Trifexis is one of the leading oral combination heartworm preventatives. It is a once a month chewable tablet that prevents heartworms, kills adult fleas and also prevents hookworms, roundworms and whipworms. Sentinel Spectrum does the same, with the added benefit of preventing tapeworms.

What is the safest heartworm medicine for dogs?

The most common preventative drugs for heartworm are ivermectin (Heargard®), milbemycin (Interceptor®) and selamectin (Revolution®). While these drugs are generally safe and effective, there are always exceptions.

Is it safe to give your dog heartworm medicine?

Once they develop into adult heartworms, however, it's dangerous to use those meds to treat your dogs. Caution: This does not in any way mean you should give your dog his heartworm meds every 5 months. But it does allow you to replace those dangerous meds with well-timed testing!

What vaccines for dogs are really necessary?

Most animals need only what are known as core vaccines: those that protect against the most common and most serious diseases. In dogs, the core vaccines are distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis and rabies.

Are dog booster shots really necessary?

Puppies need a booster 1 year after completing their initial series, then all dogs need a booster every 3 years or more often. Core dog vaccine. Caused by an airborne virus, distemper is a severe disease that, among other problems, may cause permanent brain damage.

Should I give my puppy heartworm medicine?

In fact, if a dog has a mild heartworm infestation, a veterinarian might recommend treating it with a heartworm preventative over a course of several months. Dogs are infected with heartworms by mosquitos. But there are many pet owners who do not use heartworm preventatives on their dogs.

Should you give your dog heartworm medicine?

In fact, if a dog has a mild heartworm infestation, a veterinarian might recommend treating it with a heartworm preventative over a course of several months. But there are many pet owners who do not use heartworm preventatives on their dogs.

How long does heartworm medicine last?

It is not necessary to have a pet immediately tested for heartworms if they have missed one month of heartworm medicine. The reason for this is because it takes at least 6 months for a pet to become heartworm-positive if he or she is bitten by mosquitoes carrying heartworms.

Can a pregnant dog take heartworm medicine?

Your vet may recommend administering vaccinations to your dog during her pregnancy, especially if your dog missed her last round of boosters. If you're using topical flea and tick protection, or the monthly heartworm medication ivermectin, please continue to use these medications during your dog's pregnancy.

Should dogs take heartworm medicine year round?

Heartworm disease is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. Today, since cases have been reported in all 50 states and because mosquitoes can live inside (even in winter), it's recommended that no matter where you live, you give your dogs and cats heartworm prevention medicine year-round.

Should I give my dog heartworm medicine?

In fact, if a dog has a mild heartworm infestation, a veterinarian might recommend treating it with a heartworm preventative over a course of several months. Dogs are infected with heartworms by mosquitos. A mosquito will bite an infected animal and then pass the infection onto your dog should it bite him or her.

When can puppies get heartworm medicine?

Puppies and kittens as young as 6-8 weeks of age can and should be protected from heartworm infection. The exact age at which you start your pet on heartworm prevention depends upon the particular medication you choose and your pet's weight.

Can heartworm medicine make a dog sick?

Common active ingredients used in heartworm preventives today include ivermectin and milbemycin. Ivermectin has been used for decades to prevent heartworm disease in dogs. There are rarely side effects, if given at the proper dosage, but some dogs may experience vomiting, diarrhea, or incoordination.

What medicine kills heartworms in dogs?

Slow kill heartworm treatment is another form of ivermectin-based treatment that involves giving your dog heartworm preventative medication monthly. This sort of treatment waits for the worms to die naturally.

Can you give a puppy heartworm medicine?

Heartworm medications are highly effective, but dogs can still become infected. If you miss just one dose of a monthly medication—or give it late—it can leave your dog unprotected. Even if you give the medication as recommended, your dog may spit out or vomit a heartworm pill—or rub off a topical medication.

Can dogs get sick from heartworm medicine?

Ivermectin has been used for decades to prevent heartworm disease in dogs. There are rarely side effects, if given at the proper dosage, but some dogs may experience vomiting, diarrhea, or incoordination. Your veterinarian can suggest alternative heartworm preventives for your dog if it is one of the breeds at risk.

When should dogs take heartworm medicine?

Puppies and kittens as young as 6-8 weeks of age can and should be protected from heartworm infection. The exact age at which you start your pet on heartworm prevention depends upon the particular medication you choose and your pet's weight.

Does my dog need heartworm medicine?

In fact, if a dog has a mild heartworm infestation, a veterinarian might recommend treating it with a heartworm preventative over a course of several months. But there are many pet owners who do not use heartworm preventatives on their dogs.

What is the cheapest heartworm medicine for dogs?

Which Heartworm Prevention Medicine is the Cheapest? Annual Cost per DogPrice / Dog / 45 daysTrifexis$207.88$11.39Heartgard$60.28$3.30Interceptor$65.68$3.60Nuheart$47.98$2.63 01.09.2016

Does heartworm medicine kill all worms?

Monthly heartworm medications work by killing heartworm larvae before they develop into adults. In addition to heartworms, many of these products kill other parasitic worms such as roundworms, hookworms and whipworms, as well as other insects and parasites such as fleas, ticks and mites.

Do inside dogs need heartworm medicine?

In fact, if a dog has a mild heartworm infestation, a veterinarian might recommend treating it with a heartworm preventative over a course of several months. Dogs are infected with heartworms by mosquitos.

Can heartworm medicine make my dog sick?

Ivermectin has been used for decades to prevent heartworm disease in dogs. There are rarely side effects, if given at the proper dosage, but some dogs may experience vomiting, diarrhea, or incoordination. Certain breeds of dog are at risk of having a reaction to ivermectin and milbemycin.

Can I buy heartworm medicine online?

Where can I buy Heartgard Plus for dogs? Although Heartgard and other heartworm medicines require a prescription, at 1-800-PetMeds, we make the ordering process easy. Our pharmacy department will verify your pet's prescription for you by calling or faxing your veterinarian.

Should my dog take heartworm medicine?

In fact, if a dog has a mild heartworm infestation, a veterinarian might recommend treating it with a heartworm preventative over a course of several months. But there are many pet owners who do not use heartworm preventatives on their dogs.

Do older dogs need heartworm medicine?

Treatment for heartworm disease in dogs is both harsh and expensive. This requires multiple visits to the veterinarian for lab work and injections of an arsenic-based medication. Some older dogs or those with other pre-existing health conditions may not even be candidates for heartworm treatment.

Can I give my dog heartworm medicine?

But that does NOT mean monthly heartworm prevention with drugs. Heartworm prevention drugs don't actually prevent heartworm. They kill heartworm larvae that may already be in your dog's body. So, if your dog hasn't been infected, you're giving him harmful drugs for something he doesn't even have.

Do dogs really need heartworm pills?

In fact, if a dog has a mild heartworm infestation, a veterinarian might recommend treating it with a heartworm preventative over a course of several months. Dogs are infected with heartworms by mosquitos.

Does my dog really need heartworm medication?

In fact, if a dog has a mild heartworm infestation, a veterinarian might recommend treating it with a heartworm preventative over a course of several months. Dogs are infected with heartworms by mosquitos.

Do dogs really need heartworm medication?

In fact, if a dog has a mild heartworm infestation, a veterinarian might recommend treating it with a heartworm preventative over a course of several months. But there are many pet owners who do not use heartworm preventatives on their dogs.

Do dogs really need heartworm test?

Annual testing of dogs that are on heartworm preventative is not necessary, however. It is not harmful to the dog, only to your wallet, so unless you feel the need to test you should just keep your dog on the preventative.

Does my dog really need heartworm prevention?

In fact, if a dog has a mild heartworm infestation, a veterinarian might recommend treating it with a heartworm preventative over a course of several months. But there are many pet owners who do not use heartworm preventatives on their dogs.

Does my dog really need heartworm pills?

In fact, if a dog has a mild heartworm infestation, a veterinarian might recommend treating it with a heartworm preventative over a course of several months. But there are many pet owners who do not use heartworm preventatives on their dogs.

What happens if you give heartworm medicine to a dog with heartworms?

Dogs with heartworms can have a severe, possibly life-threatening reaction to the dying, circulating microfilariae (adult heartworm offspring) if given these heartworm medications. This can happen even if you continue to give heartworm medication because those medications kill only early stage larvae.

Should I give my dog heartworm medicine every month?

That's why your vet wants you to give your dog heartworm meds every month. But what he likely didn't tell you is that it takes 5 to 8 months for those microfilariae to mature into adult heartworms. Caution: This does not in any way mean you should give your dog his heartworm meds every 5 months.

What age can you give puppy heartworm medicine?

Puppies and kittens as young as 6-8 weeks of age can and should be protected from heartworm infection. The exact age at which you start your pet on heartworm prevention depends upon the particular medication you choose and your pet's weight.

How often should you give your dog heartworm medicine?

Dogs should be given heartworm pills on the same day of each month. The first dose will kill any existing heartworm infestations and protect your pet for the next month. Most vets recommend that you give your dog heartworm pills year-round.

Can I give my dog heartworm medicine early?

Heartworm medications are highly effective, but dogs can still become infected. If you miss just one dose of a monthly medication—or give it late—it can leave your dog unprotected. Even if you give the medication as recommended, your dog may spit out or vomit a heartworm pill—or rub off a topical medication.

Do dogs need heartworm medicine in the winter?

That's one reason veterinarians often recommend that pets receive heartworm prevention medication all year long. Although there are a fewer number of mosquitoes in the winter, there is still a risk that an animal could contract heartworms if the owner stops giving medication during this season.

How often do you give dogs heartworm medicine?

Dogs should be given heartworm pills on the same day of each month. The first dose will kill any existing heartworm infestations and protect your pet for the next month. Most vets recommend that you give your dog heartworm pills year-round.

What happens if you give a dog with heartworms heartworm medicine?

Dogs with heartworms can have a severe, possibly life-threatening reaction to the dying, circulating microfilariae (adult heartworm offspring) if given these heartworm medications. This can happen even if you continue to give heartworm medication because those medications kill only early stage larvae.

Can you give a dog heartworm medicine if they have heartworms?

Dogs with heartworms can have a severe, possibly life-threatening reaction to the dying, circulating microfilariae (adult heartworm offspring) if given these heartworm medications. This can happen even if you continue to give heartworm medication because those medications kill only early stage larvae.

Can I give my dog heartworm medicine without testing?

And why won't your veterinarian give you the heartworm medications without first testing your dog for heartworm infection? Dogs with heartworms can have a severe, possibly life-threatening reaction to the dying, circulating microfilariae (adult heartworm offspring) if given these heartworm medications.

Does my dog need heartworm medicine in the winter?

That's one reason veterinarians often recommend that pets receive heartworm prevention medication all year long. Although there are a fewer number of mosquitoes in the winter, there is still a risk that an animal could contract heartworms if the owner stops giving medication during this season.

What months should I give my dog heartworm medicine?

I generally recommend that owners give heartworm prevention 12 months a year, and here's why: In many parts of the country, mosquitoes remain active year-round. Unless you live in an extremely cold and/or dry region, your dog or cat may be bitten during any month of the year.

When should you start a puppy on heartworm medicine?

The risk of puppies and kittens getting heartworm disease is equal to that of adult pets. The American Heartworm Society recommends that puppies and kittens be started on a heartworm preventive as early as the product label allows, and no later than 8 weeks of age.

Should I be giving my dog heartworm medicine?

In fact, if a dog has a mild heartworm infestation, a veterinarian might recommend treating it with a heartworm preventative over a course of several months. But there are many pet owners who do not use heartworm preventatives on their dogs.

How often should I give my dog heartworm medicine?

Dogs should be given heartworm pills on the same day of each month. The first dose will kill any existing heartworm infestations and protect your pet for the next month. Most vets recommend that you give your dog heartworm pills year-round.

Can I give my dog heartworm medicine every other month?

Treatment every three months should be effective no matter where you live. Even treating your dog monthly for six months is unnecessary, Kerasote wrote. If your dog gets stung by an infected mosquito on June 1, the larvae will not grow into adult heartworms for a couple of months.

Do dogs need to be on heartworm medicine all year?

Heartworm disease is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. Today, since cases have been reported in all 50 states and because mosquitoes can live inside (even in winter), it's recommended that no matter where you live, you give your dogs and cats heartworm prevention medicine year-round.

Should I give my dog heartworm medicine all year round?

I generally recommend that owners give heartworm prevention 12 months a year, and here's why: In many parts of the country, mosquitoes remain active year-round. Unless you live in an extremely cold and/or dry region, your dog or cat may be bitten during any month of the year.

Should I get heartworm medicine for my dog?

In fact, if a dog has a mild heartworm infestation, a veterinarian might recommend treating it with a heartworm preventative over a course of several months. But there are many pet owners who do not use heartworm preventatives on their dogs.

Can I start my dog on heartworm medicine without testing?

Puppies under 7 months of age can be started on heartworm prevention without a heartworm test (it takes at least 6 months for a dog to test positive after it has been infected), but should be tested 6 months after your initial visit, tested again 6 months later and yearly after that to ensure they are heartworm-free.

Can you give a dog heartworm medicine without testing?

And why won't your veterinarian give you the heartworm medications without first testing your dog for heartworm infection? Dogs with heartworms can have a severe, possibly life-threatening reaction to the dying, circulating microfilariae (adult heartworm offspring) if given these heartworm medications.

Do you need to give your dog heartworm medicine?

In fact, if a dog has a mild heartworm infestation, a veterinarian might recommend treating it with a heartworm preventative over a course of several months. Dogs are infected with heartworms by mosquitos. A mosquito will bite an infected animal and then pass the infection onto your dog should it bite him or her.