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Discussion Starter #1
What the heck is up with this shortage of heartworm medication?!

I was playing with the sweetest pit bull last week at a rescue and found out she had heartworms. When I asked why they weren't treating her, they said they were with an organic formula, but that the medication that cures it is out and has been for quite some time! I was so close to adopting this dog, but I didn't want to adopt her without there even being a treatment left in the world! What's up with that?! I guess for now it's all about prevention... But still... I hope all the dogs affected by heartworms will get treated soon.
 

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There is a shortage of immiticide (used for fast kill treatment). But there's no shortage of ivermectin, which is used for the slow kill treatment. . .it's just as effective, only takes longer. I hope that's what they're using instead of some "organic" treatment.
 

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I hope so too... The volunteers there said organic. But, I also live in a hippy town that loves to throw around the word "organic". He said they used it to treat another pit and it worked, so I'm thinking it may just be the slow kill. Oh well! Sorry about that, it just alarmed me. Anyways, I hope she's okay and gets better.
 

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The only place that made the medicine to cure heartworm closed and so there is a shortage now and probably for a while until another company decides to take the companies place. As far as I know Ivermectin is a parasite control drug not a treatment for dogs??
 

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Ivermectin kills the microfilarae (baby heartworms). And it weakens the adult heartworms, too. So if you give ivermectin every 2-4 weeks, the heartworms can't reproduce, and eventually die of old age.
 

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So when would you want to start preventively treating a puppy? I remember with blue heeler I just gave him little pills covered in a treat, but is there a vaccination at all? Or is a constant pill treatment? Sorry, it's been a few years.
 

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Usually prevention is a monthly pill/chewable, although you can give liquid ivermectin, too. There is/was a 6-month injection, but I've heard bad things about side effects and I'm not even sure if it's still on the market.

Usually preventive meds are started on the first vet visit with the new owner.
 

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As long as the puppy is under six months and I would guess at least two months(call vet on that one) they can start the medicine, but they have to be tested at 6 months and then continue medication and get tested yearly after that. My puppy was four months when she started hers.
 
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