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Question About Heartworm Meds


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My vets say that the dogs need to take sentinal yearound for heartworm--we live in NY. I agree with year round treatment but would like opinions on sentinal vs. interceptor. Both take care of hook, whip and round worms in addition to heartworm. the sentinal has added flea protection. Do they need flea protection all year round?? they have never had one flea--but at half the cost, I am considering asking for interceptor. this may be a stupid question: is there a flea "season" (warm or cold weather)?

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We use Heartguard, year round.

 

Advantage for fleas/ticks in the warm months only. In SW Ohio, usually May through October.

 

I buy mine from deadfleaz.com. Bargain!

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Fleas won't live outside in the winter (at least not in OH or NY) but if your dog comes across another dog wtih fleas they can still get them. It is less common but we do see it. Sentinel provides you the protection that if your dog gets 1 flea... that 1 flea won't create an infestation.

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Guest Oh_Greyt

Intercepter covers one more intestinal worm than Heartgard. I live in Georgia and only use flea prevention in the warmer months. Even if you live in NY, I'd stay on the hw prevention year round - saving a few dollars is just not worth the risk. There are also much better flea preventions out there - I may be wrong on this, but I think Sentinel only sterilizes the female flea? I'd have to look that up to be certain. Other products such as Advantage or Frontline cover a broad range of the flea's life stages and actually kill them.

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A friend's previous vet recommended heartworm preventative only from March through November. When she took her dogs for heartworm checks, one of her dogs was positive. We had a freak superwarm spell in January that allowed mosquitos to hatch. One little pill for 3 extra months would have prevented a lot of unnecessary misery and expense. Needless to say, she now has a different vet and keeps her pups on preventative year-round. btw-we both use interceptor.

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Guest Oh_Greyt

Yes because you are basically just deworming them every month. It's not really a "prevention" in that sense (it prevents the baby stages from growing to adult because it kills them early). It kills the intestinal worms (or baby stages of worm) and microfilaria (baby heartworm stage) that have developed since the last dose. It takes 6 months for the microfilaria to grow into adulthood and show up on a heartworm test. However, the product only works at their early stages and that is why we give it every month - to kill the babies and keep them from developing into adults that can harm the dog. Merial (the Heartgard manufacturer) says there is a 10 day "grace" period with their product so I try not to go over 40 days just to be safe even though I use Interceptor...

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Yes because you are basically just deworming them every month. It's not really a "prevention" in that sense (it prevents the baby stages from growing to adult because it kills them early). It kills the intestinal worms (or baby stages of worm) and microfilaria (baby heartworm stage) that have developed since the last dose. It takes 6 months for the microfilaria to grow into adulthood and show up on a heartworm test. However, the product only works at their early stages and that is why we give it every month - to kill the babies and keep them from developing into adults that can harm the dog. Merial (the Heartgard manufacturer) says there is a 10 day "grace" period with their product so I try not to go over 40 days just to be safe even though I use Interceptor...

 

Thanks. That all makes sense. I wasn't sure how it worked. In summer I wormed my greyhound with Panacur for suspected Whipworm - 3 rounds of Panacur - and then Interceptor 1 week after the last Panacur dose. It could be coincidence, but it seemed as if poop was getting mushy about 1 week before the next Interceptor dose was due. As soon as he got the Interceptor, poop firmed up. So there must be some baby Whips in there that we are still dealing with. I hope the Interceptor is enough. I'll stay at 30 days if the same pattern continues, but may back off to 40 if the pattern doesn't repeat itself.

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Guest Oh_Greyt

If you do the math, it's really only about $5 a month for large breed dogs so for those of us in the south it really isn't worth going over the 30-40 days just to save a few bucks. But up north I wouldn't be quite as worried about it.

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All I know is Alan gets Sentinel year round. Last week my vet told me he's seen a lot of fleas here (on Long Island) lately and my friend has 4 cats with fleas right now. I was never given a choice of what to give Alan, from day #1, he's been on Sentinel.

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Guest Pharaohs_Dad

Just got back from the vet a few hours ago & we asked the question & she said all year for you Heartgard & flea & tick meds (Frontline here) What you save from using the meds instead of shots will save you tons.

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