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Old 12-12-2012, 09:17 AM   #1
nancyf
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heartworm

I'm sure this must be a repeat question but I want to know if heartworm medication has to be given even in the winter. We've had a hard freeze here in northern TX and the mosquitos are gone. Is it safe to go a couple months before starting up the monthly medication? They get tested each Fall for heartworms.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:53 PM   #2
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I'm sure this must be a repeat question but I want to know if heartworm medication has to be given even in the winter. We've had a hard freeze here in northern TX and the mosquitos are gone. Is it safe to go a couple months before starting up the monthly medication? They get tested each Fall for heartworms.
Remember that the pill kills the parasites AFTER they hatch... it doesn't prevent the dog from getting them. That means that you have to give them another dose 4-6 weeks AFTER the last chance of infection. We had VERY mild weather this fall, so Kodi will have one more dose Jan 1st, then will be off until May 1 (after a heartworm check) Here in the North East, we can safely give our dogs several months off, but this REALLY varies, depending on the climate where you live. I'd check with your vet.

And remember, if you don't give it year round, it is CRITICAL that you test for heartworm before starting the meds back up again. If you give heartworm meds to a dog who is already infected, you can kill them. (the die-off of parasites collect in their heart and lungs with sometimes deadly consequences)

I think that many of our dogs receive too many immunizations and chemicals for fleas, ticks, etc. But heartworm is something you DON'T want to fool around with if you are in an area where it is prevalent. (like the S.E. USA... don't know about Texas)
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:36 PM   #3
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Here in Florida, I do heartworm meds every month without fail. Fleas and ticks, I wait until I see one and then treat all dogs - or if I know I'm headed somewhere where there are fleas/ticks, I'll treat before I go. Heartworms are a year-round problem in Florida, but then we rarely get a hard freeze, and if so not for long.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:38 PM   #4
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Here in Florida, I do heartworm meds every month without fail. Fleas and ticks, I wait until I see one and then treat all dogs - or if I know I'm headed somewhere where there are fleas/ticks, I'll treat before I go. Heartworms are a year-round problem in Florida, but then we rarely get a hard freeze, and if so not for long.
Yeah, I don't think Floridians have a choice. I suspect you have to go a LOT further up the coast where there is a long enough period, with cold enough temperatures to make it wise to take them off for any length of time.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:40 PM   #5
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Exactly, Karen.
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:10 PM   #6
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I would give it year round if I were you. Better safe then sorry.
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:29 PM   #7
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hi Nancy, here's a quote from Dogs Naturally article;;;; "Conservative start/stop maps from heartworm researchers Drs. David Knight and James Lok (in “Seasonality of Heartworm Infections and Implications for Chemoprophylaxis”) show only two areas requiring year round heartworm meds: the southernmost areas of Florida and Texas. Houston, New Orleans and similar areas are shown requiring meds for 9 months. Other states range from 3-7 months. The Drs. wrote: “For nearly 80% of the states, the potential for heartworm transmission is limited to 6 months or less.” Here are start/stop maps for the US and California. Again, they are very conservative and very general. Do your own research and be specific" \if you want the whole article , two parts , here's part two http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com...cation-part-2/
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:16 PM   #8
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we are in Norhern California and give it year round. don't want to take any chances.
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