Rumors about dogs that have been on monthly heartworm prevention all year round but have still contracted heartworm disease have been circulating for years. These cases are very difficult to confirm, however, because it is next to impossible to determine whether or not a dog truly received and absorbed its heartworm prevention on an appropriate schedule, particularly since the lapse in question would have occurred quite a while before heartworm positive results. It takes five or six months for the juvenile heartworms passed through the bite of an infected mosquito to mature into the adults that are responsible for a positive heartworm test and most clinical signs of heartworm disease.

An Alarming Study

Now, scientific evidence that supports the presence of resistance to certain preventatives in some populations of heartworms in the United States is starting to accumulate. In one study, researchers infected forty dogs with heartworm larvae from a strain called MP3 that were originally collected in Georgia and are known to be somewhat resistant to some types of heartworm preventative. Infected dogs were divided into five groups and treated in the following manner 30 days later:

  • Group 1: oral ivermectin/pyrantel pamoate (Heartgard Plus)
  • Group 2: oral milbemycin oxime (Interceptor)
  • Group 3: topical selamectin (Revolution)
  • Group 4: topical imidacloprid/moxidectin (Advantage Multi)
  • Group 5: untreated

All treated dogs were given the label dosage of their respective medications based on their weight.

The Results

When the dogs were examined for adult heartworm approximately five months after being infected with heartworms the researchers determined that 100% of the untreated dogs and 87.5% of dogs in groups 1, 2, and 3 were heartworm positive. Dogs in the untreated group had anywhere between 34 and 70 worms in their hearts and lungs. Heartgard Plus, Interceptor, and Revolution did prevent many of the larvae from developing into adult (dogs typically had only between 2 and 3 worms in their hearts and lungs) but only Advantage Multi was completely effective at killing the MP3 strain of heartworm larvae.

What This Means for Pet Owners

It is important to remember that the VAST majority of dogs and cats that develop heartworm disease do so because they did not receive a preventative heartworm medication every month all year round regardless of type. Nevertheless, owners should be aware that in some parts of the United States, certain populations of heartworms appear to be developing resistance to particular preventatives. If you live in the Southeast or Central regions of the United States, talk to your veterinarian about whether switching to Advantage Multi might be in your pet’s best interest.

Source:

Blagburn BL, Dillon AR, Arther R, et al. Comparative efficacy of four commercially available heartworm preventive products against the MP3 laboratory strain of Dirofilaria immitis. Vet Parasitol. 2011 Mar 10; 176(2-3):189-94. Epub 2011 Jan 1.

 

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Responsible dog owners do whatever they can to make sure their canine companion isn’t involved in a scuffle with another dog. However, you never know when you might encounter an off-leash dog when out on a walk, which might lead to an unforeseen dangerous situation for your pooch. SprayShield animal deterrent spray is a great thing for pet parents to carry on walks to ward off an aggressive dog or stop an incident that’s escalating into a dog fight.

SprayShield available from online retailer vetdepot, contains a powerful citronella formula that is not harmful to the eyes, making it a safe and humane way to stop an attacking dog. Even when walking or jogging without your canine companion, SprayShield is a good thing to have on hand in case of an encounter with an aggressive dog on the loose.

SprayShield is easy to use- just shake for one to two seconds, slide the trigger to the right, aim at the animal’s nose and spray. The spray can reach up to 10 feet.

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All About Albon

May 17, 2012

Albon (sulfadimethoxine) is a sulfa drug – a type of antibiotic that has been around for a very long time.  But, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t still an incredibly powerful and useful tool in veterinary medicine.  Albon can be used to treat infections throughout the body caused by a wide variety of susceptible microorganisms.

When you hear the term “antibiotic,” you probably think of medications that treat bacterial infections.  While Albon and its relatives can certainly do this, they are also effective against a particular type of parasite called CoccidiaCoccidia infect the gastrointestinal tract, usually causing diarrhea in puppies, kittens, and other young animals.

When using Albon, veterinarians typically prescribe an initial “loading dose” that is twice that of subsequent doses.  This allows the drug to quickly reach therapeutic levels in the body.  A pet’s condition should noticeably improve within 48-72 hours of beginning treatment.  If this does not occur, contact your veterinarian.  Make sure to give your pet all of the doses of Albon that were prescribed, even if he or she seems completely back to normal.  Treatment should continue for at least 48 hours after all symptoms have resolved.

Albon comes in both pill and liquid form available from vetdepot.com, which makes accurately dosing animals of all sizes easy.

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Are you looking for inspiration to name a dog, cat, or other new pet?  Check out VPI’s top 10 lists for the most popular pet names based on their records.

Dogs Cats Birds and Exotics
1. Bella 1. Bella 1. Charlie
2. Bailey 2. Max 2. Max
3. Max 3. Chloe 3. Baby
4. Lucy 4. Oliver 4. Sunny
5. Molly 5. Lucy 5. Buddy
6. Buddy 6. Shadow 6. Jack
7. Daisy 7. Smokey 7. Angel
8. Maggie 8. Tiger 8. Daisy
9. Charlie 9. Charlie 9. Bella
10. Sophie 10. Tigger 10. Coco

 

Want something a little more unusual?  VPI also puts together lists of the wackiest pet names, including notables such as Stinkie Mcstinkerson, Beagle Lugosi, Beanfart, Oxxy Pawsbourne, Mittens Ninja, and Bobblehead.

The hard work of pet ownership doesn’t stop once you have a name picked out.  You also have to make sure you have all the pet supplies and resources on hand that you will need to keep your pet happy and healthy in its new home.

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Top 10 Pet Toxins

April 26, 2012

Pets can get into a variety of dangers lurking around your home. Everyday items like gum, medications or flea control could potentially be fatal if ingested by your pet. The Pet Poison Hotline has put together lists of the Top 10 pet toxins for both dogs and cats.  If you think that your pet has gotten into one of these potential poisons or any toxic substance, call your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Hotline at 1-800-213-6680.

Top 10 Dog Poisons

  1. Chocolate
  2. Insect      bait stations
  3. Rodenticides      (i.e. mouse and rat poison)
  4. Fertilizers
  5. Xylitol-containing      products (i.e. sugar-free gums and candies)
  6. Ibuprofen      (Advil® or Motrin® in brand name or generic form)
  7. Acetaminophen      (Tylenol® in brand name or generic form)
  8. Silica      gel packs
  9. Amphetamines,      such as ADD/ADHD drugs
  10. Household      cleaners

Top 10 Cat Poisons

  1. Lilies
  2. Canine      pyrethroid insecticides (topical flea and tick medicine designed for dogs      but erroneously placed on cats)
  3. Household      cleaners
  4. Rodenticides
  5. Paints      and varnishes
  6. Veterinary      non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (Rimadyl®, Deramaxx®)
  7. Glow      sticks/glow jewelry
  8. Amphetamines      (such as ADD/ADHD drugs)
  9. Acetaminophen      (Tylenol® in brand name or generic form)
  10. Ibuprofen      (Advil or Motrin® in brand name or generic form)

 

 

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