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D2003-09

Dear Daisy Dog

My veterinarian doesn’t offer the long-acting injectable heartworm medication that protects against heartworms for six months. I’m a nurse, and I don’t mind giving my dog injections. Can I buy the medication elsewhere?

Daisy Responds

The injectable product might not be the best medication for your dog.

ProHeart 6, a heartworm preventive injected every six months, is certainly more convenient than the monthly heartworm medications, but it has a significant drawback. While it prevents heartworm disease, it provides no protection against other parasites over the six-month period.

Another option is a chewable tablet, such as Interceptor or Heartgard Plus. Given monthly, each of these medications protects against heartworms as well as roundworms and hookworms, intestinal parasites that can be transmitted to humans. Interceptor also kills whipworms, which infect one of every seven dogs.

Still another option is a liquid, such as Revolution, that is applied to the skin every month. This product prevents heartworm disease and helps control some ticks, mites and fleas, though it does not protect against roundworms, hookworms or whipworms.

Because intestinal parasites can infect humans, particularly children, their control is at least as important as heartworm prevention. Have your dog join me in taking a chewable tablet every month throughout the year.

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