Thanks, Karen. I just asked my vet a couple of weeks ago about the need for heartworm preventative during the winter months and she told me, emphatically, that they should be used year round because just one warm day could cause mosquitos to come out. (Haven't seen any of those this winter)! Guess I'll use my judgment and Dr. Dodd's advice on that from now on. Luckily, neither Bailey nor Tyler has ever had any reaction to vaccines or any of the preventatives. Gad you shared the article.
Yes, mosquitos can come out, but the Heartworm microfilaria can't develop without a period over 57F. Most of the serious dog people I know do what I've chosen to do with Kodi. (which is basically what Dr. Dodds said
) He is on Heartworm preventative every 6 weeks (to the DAY... I mark it on the calendar) from May 1 until late Oct., early Nov. Just to make extra-sure, I have blood drawn for a heartworm test in March or April (Kodi's was done last week) to guarantee that he has not come in contact with Heartworms before re-starting the meds.
We used to use Interceptor, as instructed by Pam King, but since that is no longer being made, with her help, we decided to move to Heartguard. He has only had 3 doses so far, (I had bought quite a bit of Interceptor before it went off the market) and so far, he has had no signs of adverse reaction to it.
The other thing my vet suggested is to time his flea and tick meds so that they are as far away from the Heartguard as possible, time-wise. We don't want his organs and immune system assaulted by too many chemicals all at once. Also, if he were to have a reaction, we would be able to tell WHICH product caused it.