When can I give my puppy Heart Guard?
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Thread: When can I give my puppy Heart Guard?

  1. #1
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    When can I give my puppy Heart Guard?

    My puppy is 8 weeks old and my vet said he could already start on Heartguard. However his teeth are not fully grown and he had trouble chewing it.

    He's completely indoor until after his last vaccinations (2 months later)
    Is i necessary for me to start him on Heartguard now? or is it ok to wait 'til 2 months later?

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    Senior Member skelaki's Avatar
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    Re: When can I give my puppy Heart Guard?

    Is there a high risk for heartworm where you live? Ask you vet why he recommends starting the heart guard at such an early age. And, if you still question his advice, seek a second opinion, perhaps from a holistic vet so that you have opinions from different practice modalities.

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    Senior Member ladyshadowhollyjc's Avatar
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    Re: When can I give my puppy Heart Guard?

    The vet I took the Paps too when they were that age started them on Revolution. It's a topical preventive that allows protects against fleas.
    We've never had any problems with it. Try to see how your vet feels about something like that.

  5. #4
    Senior Member agility collie mom's Avatar
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    Re: When can I give my puppy Heart Guard?

    Break the Heartgard into little pieces. Make sure your puppy eats all the pieces because there is a very small drop of the ivermectin on the chew. You can also ask your vet about interceptor. The pills are a lot smaller and easier to give to a small breed puppy.
    "Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace." - Milan Kundera

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    Re: When can I give my puppy Heart Guard?

    Heartgard is safe for puppies as young as 6 weeks.

    Heartgard also controls hookworms and roundworms, which are common in young puppies. This is why many vets like to start young puppies on HG or some other HWP (HW prevention) as soon as possible. HWP's don't control every intestinal parasite, (such as Giardia or coccidia) so regular puppy and annual adult stool checks are still important.

    ETA: Even dogs under a year old can be infected with heartworms. Since HG addresses incoming infections for the 30 days prior, starting NOW will reduce the likelihood of your youngster's ever developing this horrible disease.

    And cats are not immune-- I realize that this is a dog forum, but many families have cats as well as dogs. HW prevention is just as important for the feline set, especially since cats cannot be treated for HW if they ever develop it. I know this first-hand: one of my own cats died of HW disease about 6 years ago. So, if you have cats, talk to your vet about prevention for them. Many vets will minimize the feline risk, but it it VERY real.

    http://sg.merial.com/pet_owners/cats..._heartworm.asp

    HEARTWORMS: Not just a dog problem!

    -Stray Cat, RVT
    Last edited by Stray Cat; 12-25-2008 at 12:10 PM. Reason: Young dog HW disease; feline HW info

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    Re: When can I give my puppy Heart Guard?

    I think this is the best site for info on Heartworm. Check out FQA's, depending on the brand you can give HW prevention between 4-6 weeks and 2# of body weight or greater. I use Sentinel. My vet gives puppies Sentinel for deworming.

    http://www.heartwormsociety.org/
    Patt
    Gracie, Blk/Wht Boston Terrier, Joey (Tan/Wht Chihuahua),
    Fritz (Long hair Blk/Tan Dachshund), Trixie (Smooth Blk/Tan Dachshund

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    Re: When can I give my puppy Heart Guard?

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyshadowhollyjc View Post
    The vet I took the Paps too when they were that age started them on Revolution. It's a topical preventive that allows protects against fleas.
    We've never had any problems with it. Try to see how your vet feels about something like that.
    I have mixed feelings about Revolution. In the last practice where I worked, we had two dogs that came down with HW disease and they were on Revolution. In one case, it was questionable as the dog had outgrown the Revolution dose-size that he was on and may have been underprotected. But the other case was a clear failure of the product.

    NOTE: if your dog ever comes down with HW despite PROPER and DILIGENT use of a HW preventative (no spit-up doses, no missed months, proper testing, etc.)-- be sure to have your vet document compliance with the testing guidelines and your purchase history to show that you followed the prevention protocol. With this info, the manufacturers will either cover the cost of treatment in full, or will cover a significant portion thereof. You and your vet may have to haggle with them, but hang in there. ALWAYS keep your HWP purchase receipts!!

    -Stray Cat, RVT
    Last edited by Stray Cat; 12-25-2008 at 12:19 PM. Reason: the word 'd i c k e r' was starred out. Edited to use the word "haggle" instead

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    Re: When can I give my puppy Heart Guard?

    Quote Originally Posted by yandesu View Post
    My puppy is 8 weeks old and my vet said he could already start on Heartguard. However his teeth are not fully grown and he had trouble chewing it.

    He's completely indoor until after his last vaccinations (2 months later)
    Is i necessary for me to start him on Heartguard now? or is it ok to wait 'til 2 months later?
    Back to the topic at hand...

    Let's look at the lifecycle of the heartworm, Difilaria immitis. This will help you to understand why it's best to start on preventatives as soon as possible, rather than wait.

    The heartworm lives part of its life in the mosquito, and the rest in another host animal.

    A mosquito bites a dog in our example that is infected with adult heartworms and their young babies. When the mosquito bites, it ingests blood that contains circulating baby heartworms (larvae), also called microfilariae.

    The first-stage L-1 microfilariae live and grow through one molt (or instar) within the mouthparts of the mosquito, and at the end of the second instar (L-2) as they prepare to reach stage L-3, the larvae leave the mosquito when the mosquito bites your puppy.

    Over the next 5 to 6 months post-bite, the L-3 larvae continue to molt and grow until they reach the heart and the pulmonary arteries. At this point, the nearly-adult heartworms attach to the tissues and become reproducing adults. There are male and female heartworms; they are capable of sexual reproduction, but not asexual. At this point, they produce a new generation of L-1 larvae that begin circulating in the bloodstream, just waiting for the next mosquito to pick them up along with a blood meal.

    Heartworm tests that your vet does routinely detect protein antigens secreted by the adult heartworms. A positive heartworm test means that your dog has these proteins in his or her blood. Most often, this means that your dog also is infected with actual heartworms. On RARE instances, your dog may have had a recent infection that has resolved (no more live worms), but the proteins are still present in the blood. This is VERY RARE.

    Once a test is positive, your vet may run a test for microfilaria. This is usually done by filtering and staining a drop of blood with a special test kit and examining it under a microscope to look for the microfilaria larvae, or simply by watching for moving larvae in an untreated drop of blood under the scope. The problem with this method is that there is a skin parasite that very closely resembles the microfilaria, and it is often difficult to tell the difference between the two while they are moving. However, a skilled veterinary laboratory technician who reads many of these slides on a regular basis can tell the difference even more readily than the vet him/herself-- thus enabling the veterinarian to make an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

    Adult heartworms can live in a dog for up to 5 years or more, and can grow to over a foot long. Dogs can have hundreds of worms in the chambers of the heart and in the pulmonary arteries. This can clog circulation and damage the heart, leading to heart failure. This causes the coughing and shortness of breath.

    By the time a HW test is positive, your dog has been infected for at least 6 months. The good news is that all of the regular HW preventatives will kill stages L-3 and L-4, or those that have infected your dog within the past 30 days. However, after that point the larvae are too large for the preventatives to have an effect.

    Mosquitoes can bite a puppy at any age, and heartworm larvae can circulate through that puppy's system the same as an adult dog. Thus, a puppy that is bitten by an infected mosquito at one month of age (4 weeks) can have a patent infection by the time he is 7 months old. Let's say, though, that the puppy got HW prevention at his first vet visit at 6 to 8 weeks of age. Now we've killed the incoming larvae, and the puppy won't get heartworm DISEASE.

    See why it's so important?

  10. #9
    Senior Member ladyshadowhollyjc's Avatar
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    Re: When can I give my puppy Heart Guard?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stray Cat View Post
    Did you know that there are vets who don't even know how to draw blood?
    If I knew these veterinarians you seem to know that don't know how to draw blood, I would be more encouraged to become a veterinarian myself to better the world of animal medicine. But to each his own I guess...


    Either way, I guess I'm just thankful for the mere fact I know my vet and I know that they can draw blood.

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    Re: When can I give my puppy Heart Guard?

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyshadowhollyjc View Post
    If I knew these veterinarians you seem to know that don't know how to draw blood, I would be more encouraged to become a veterinarian myself to better the world of animal medicine. But to each his own I guess...


    Either way, I guess I'm just thankful for the mere fact I know my vet and I know that they can draw blood.
    Welll... it's not that they don't know HOW to draw blood-- indeed one that I work with, we call her "Sure Shot" because she can hit a hair-sized kitten vein with her eyes shut (so to speak)-- but some vets just couldn't hit a 3" hose with a sewing needle. Why? Because their techs, like the nurses in a physician's office, are the ones who do all the blood draws and run the in-house tests. As a result, the doctors have lost proficiency.

    It happens in other fields, too. Engineers, for instance, often get to where they rely on their techs to do the routine readings and "testing" (whatever it may be) to the point where the engineer forgets some of the most basic aspects of their job. As a consequence, they forget sometimes how to communicate these basics to their clients or patients. So, they get the tech to talk to the client, and the client finally "gets it".

    Oh, and in human medicine, not every RN has some secret desire to be a doctor. Nor does every vet tech desire to be a veterinarian. Doctors are happy practicing medicine. Nurses (and techs) are happy caring for patients.

    There is a difference.
    Last edited by Stray Cat; 12-25-2008 at 07:30 PM.

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    Senior Member DogsforMe's Avatar
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    Re: When can I give my puppy Heart Guard?

    When I adopted Tilba she came with a sample pack of puppy Heartguard Plus.
    [

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    Re: When can I give my puppy Heart Guard?

    Quote Originally Posted by DogsforMe View Post
    When I adopted Tilba she came with a sample pack of puppy Heartguard Plus.

    At our practice, we give the first dose of HWP for free, for dogs AND c**s.

    We give a free dose of Sentinel for dogs, and a free dose of Revolution for... uh, the c**s. Both products also work on fleas. The Sentinel has a birth control ingredient to control the fleas, and the Revolution kills adult fleas and larvae.

    We like to get the little ones off to a good start.

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    Super Moderator cshellenberger's Avatar
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    Re: When can I give my puppy Heart Guard?

    Quote Originally Posted by wizer View Post
    And I know yours.

    However I am a legitimate member of the community here on this board, I was here LONG before you arrived (I registered about 3 days ago) and I am not here to "troll".

    I simply asked you why you are not capable of a higher level of education rather than being an assistant, since you seem to have a reasonable amount of knowledge and intelligence. Maybe I am wrong about that, who knows.
    http://www.trollvalhalla.com/index.php?topic=29961.0

    Found you Wizer! we have pretty smart Mods here. Stray Cat aka schrodinger_hated_cats Your out too. As will anyone else that comes from that board!
    Last edited by cshellenberger; 12-26-2008 at 04:40 PM.
    Carla
    "A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control" Proverbs 29:11

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