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  #1  
Old 04-15-2006, 10:01 PM
BluePitbull BluePitbull is offline
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Is it necessary to use the Heartgard/Frontline year round?

Even for an indoor dog in the southern US? Any disadvantage to using it year round?
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  #2  
Old 04-15-2006, 11:03 PM
gotpasswords gotpasswords is online now
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My first question is - can you even get it in less than one-year supplies? Every time I've bought it, it's come in 12-dose packages.

FWIW, I recently switched my dog to Sentinel as it protects against fleas in addition to heartworms. As a once a year cost, it's not terribly expensive.

Does your dog truly never leave the house? Ever? I'm guessing not.

If she sniffs at yesterday's pile on the grass, or if another animal has been by and left a pile, she's at risk of picking up things you don't want.
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Old 04-16-2006, 12:03 AM
hawksgirl hawksgirl is offline
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Ummm, by refering to piles I believe you think it protects against worms and other parasites. It doesn't. Heartworms are passed by insect bites and fleas/ticks we all know about. Piles have nothing to do with it.

Frontline: There is no advantage to year-round use except that you won't wait until there is a problem to start apllying it. That's where it gets hard to be rid of existing infestations.

Heartguard: Even when not in mosquito season, see above. Also I don't think that you can get rid of heartworms once they're in there, so there is no good reason not to use it year-round.
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  #4  
Old 04-16-2006, 12:18 AM
Monstre Monstre is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotpasswords
My first question is - can you even get it in less than one-year supplies? Every time I've bought it, it's come in 12-dose packages.
Yes, the packages of Heartgard I get have been 6-dose packages.

I still use them year round.
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  #5  
Old 04-16-2006, 12:39 AM
StarvingButStrong StarvingButStrong is offline
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What is it with heart worms, anyway? Are they a newly introduced menace? Or have they always been a problem and no one knew? (Hard to believe -- going by the disgusting photos you can see on the web, those worms would be mighty hard to miss on necropsy.)

Or is the menace being overblown nowadays?

Because, well, we had all sorts of dogs when I was growing up, and my parents had all sorts of dogs, and back and back. None of them got treated for heartworm, *nobody's* dogs got treated. And there certainly wasn't an epidemic of dogs dropping dead from it.
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  #6  
Old 04-16-2006, 12:57 AM
hawksgirl hawksgirl is offline
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Quote:
StarvingButStrong
What is it with heart worms, anyway? Are they a newly introduced menace? Or have they always been a problem and no one knew? (Hard to believe -- going by the disgusting photos you can see on the web, those worms would be mighty hard to miss on necropsy.)

Or is the menace being overblown nowadays?
My guess is that a) it wasn't as well known of b) there was no preventative for it yet, so no need to cause a scare c) people tend to travel with their pets more, spreading it all over and d) people are far more willing to spend the money on their pets nowadays.
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  #7  
Old 04-16-2006, 01:08 AM
SnakesCatLady SnakesCatLady is offline
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In the southeastern US there are mosquitoes year round. In addition to heartworms, Heartgard also protects against some internal parasites. All the vets I have worked with recommend using it year round.

Heartworms can be treated, but the procedure is very expensive and while it is safer that the old treatment it is not without risk to the dog.

It really doesn't get cold enough in the South to kill off all the fleas, so I use Advantage on my cats year-round. It's worth it to me not to have to deal with fleas.

As heartworms being new, I don't know how long there has been a preventative for them but I lost my first dog to heartworms in 1973.
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  #8  
Old 04-16-2006, 01:16 AM
hawksgirl hawksgirl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snakescatlady
In the southeastern US there are mosquitoes year round. In addition to heartworms, Heartgard also protects against some internal parasites. All the vets I have worked with recommend using it year round.

Heartworms can be treated, but the procedure is very expensive and while it is safer that the old treatment it is not without risk to the dog.

It really doesn't get cold enough in the South to kill off all the fleas, so I use Advantage on my cats year-round. It's worth it to me not to have to deal with fleas.

As heartworms being new, I don't know how long there has been a preventative for them but I lost my first dog to heartworms in 1973.
And this is why I always say that I am guessing or conjecturing. I am too young to have a full understanding of anything.
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  #9  
Old 04-16-2006, 07:45 AM
11811 11811 is offline
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IIRC, your dog needs to be tested for heartworm before starting a course of treatment. I found it easier to keep using heartgard year-round. I can't remember if it ended up being any cheaper that way.
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  #10  
Old 04-16-2006, 08:26 AM
PapSett PapSett is offline
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I treat year-round, too. In addition to preventing heartworms, Heartguard and the like also take care of other intestinal worms.

For flea and tick prevention, I use Advantage, and only treat during the late spring/summer. My Gordons are the ones that need it most, since they go out hunting in the field; I never see a flea or tick on the Papillons, but ususlly give them a treatment once or twice a summer to be sure.
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  #11  
Old 04-16-2006, 09:26 AM
Fetchund Fetchund is offline
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Around here (land of loooong winters) we used to just use heartworm preventative during the summer. But, then you have to get a heartworm test every spring. Now, because of the other parasites that Heartgard deals with, and the prevelance of people traveling with their pets, my vets have switched to a yearly protocol.

I pay more for the medication, over the course of a year, but I skip an extra vet visit and blood test. It all works out in the end...

Oh, and remember that cats are now getting heartworm - you may want to talk to the vets in your area if you have an outdoor cat.
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  #12  
Old 04-16-2006, 09:29 AM
BluePitbull BluePitbull is offline
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So how long can ticks, fleas, heartworms and mosquitoes survive in 60 degrees farenheit? It usually gets to 60-70 in the 'winter' time and it gets really dry in the Bahamas, so I was wondering if it was necessary for an indoor dog.
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  #13  
Old 04-16-2006, 09:34 AM
Fetchund Fetchund is offline
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60 degrees would be quite nice for all of the mentioned critters! You don't want to mess with heartworms - definately keep up with the heartgard. As for Frontline - you may have species of ticks that are different from what we have here - so I'd ask your local vet. Do you have Lyme or other tick-borne diseases there? If you do, I wouldn't risk it. I've seen ticks come in on my pant leg and head for the dogs, around here!
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  #14  
Old 04-16-2006, 09:36 AM
BluePitbull BluePitbull is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fetchund
60 degrees would be quite nice for all of the mentioned critters! You don't want to mess with heartworms - definately keep up with the heartgard. As for Frontline - you may have species of ticks that are different from what we have here - so I'd ask your local vet. Do you have Lyme or other tick-borne diseases there? If you do, I wouldn't risk it. I've seen ticks come in on my pant leg and head for the dogs, around here!

I see. Thanks.
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  #15  
Old 04-16-2006, 11:08 AM
bobkitty bobkitty is offline
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Just chiming in to agree with the other folks- year-round protocol is the best, not only because of the year-round chance for infestation, but also because it keeps you in the habit of giving the treatment every month. And it is much, much, much cheaper and easier to deal with prevention rather than infestation.

Depending on where in the south you live, I would recommend switching to a product such as Interceptor instead of Heartguard- my mutts were on Heartguard for years while we were in GA, but when we moved over the line into AL we found out the hard way that Heartguard doesn't protect against whipworms.
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