Originally Posted by Flynn Gentry-Taylor
Whatever you and your vet decide is fine, I am just worried about the fact the vets can no longer get the TREATMENT, if something does go wrong and your dog does contract Heartworm...that is a horrible situation. I think we now have heartworm in every state, but some states more than others...
Karen, did you have bloodwork done that shows the level of protection Kodi has?
Heartworm pills don't provide protestion. They kill the larva as they hatch. So you are safe if you stop the pills at least, I believe, 60 days after the last possible point of infection. The temperature has to be above a certain level 24 hours a day for at least 10 days for mosquitos to spread the disease. (which is why it is so much more prevalent in the south) Based on that temperature, here in MA, we SHOULD be to the point where infection is not a problem in Sept. To be EXTRA sure, I add a month, (Oct.) and go 60 days beyond that. (Dec.) Again, we don't have consistently warm temperatures until June, so I feel safe not starting to give him the heart worm meds until Apr. Again, that gives me an added month margin of safety, and still gives his body a 4 month "vacation" from the chemicals.
And, of course, he gets tested for heartworm yearly because, even with heartworm protection, some dogs contract it. But if he did, it would be during the warm weather when he is on the heartworm pills, not the time when he's off them, since there is no danger of the disease during that period.
If you are going to do this, the REALLY important thing to remember is that the pills kill the developing larva. For that reason, you have to treat for 2 months AFTER any chance of infection.