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When should we start our puppy on heartguard? or another heartworm prevention method? Is it a weight thing or an age thing? The same questions go for flea/tick treatments as well....

Thanks :)
 

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Puppies can be started on heartworm preventative as young as 6 weeks. Most veterinarians will have a puppy pack that includes a free dose of Heartguard and some flea/tick product when you go in for a new puppy exam and vaccinations.

If your puppy if over 5 months of age, they should be tested for heartworms prior to starting preventative. Heartworm and flea/tick preventative are dosed based on the weight of the dog. Based on your location, I personally would use both products year-round.
 

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There are 2 type of heartworm preventive meds. Heart Guard and Interceptor. I use Interceptor because they also prevent whip worms where as heart Guard does not. I was told by the vet that we do not have whip worms in this area but i would rather be safe than sorry. He sells both brands. There is a product called Revolution that prevents heartworm, fleas and ticks. It is applied to the skin but I don't think it works that great and for the heartworm part of it, it needs to be absored through the skin into the blood stream. Not such a great way to have a blood type parasite medication applied if you ask me.

I use Frontline Plus for the flea and tick preventive. Works great. All last summer Lola did not have one flea on her. There was a few ticks but I pulled them off as soon as I saw them on her fur so I don't know how it is with killing ticks.
 

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Topical flea/tick preventative such as Frontline Plus should be started as early as possible according to the manufacturer- the label will tell you when that is. You don't need a prescription for any of these but the modern products are much, much better than the older types.

I don't recommend any other approach to flea prevention - they don't work as well.

Ticks are a different issue and it depends on how bad the tick problem is in your area and what sort of outside activities that you do. But start with one of the modern topicals that control ticks and see how it goes.

The better heartworm preventative are given internally - there are a number of good ones around and they all do need a prescription. You will have to go through your vet in any case - so have him or her tell you the pros and cons of each product, when to start, and how you should use it. This is a big expense :( but you don't want to fool around with heartworm.
 
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