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Discussion Starter #1
I was curious if anyones dog is on a heart worm preventative?  Our vet has mentioned it and encourages us to consider it, it is not very prevalent where we live in Souther California but we do intend to move up north in the state within a few years, I guess my main concern is whether or not there are severe side effects from these meds since it's something she'd take all her life.
 

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I never skip a month of heartworm preventative. I'm in southwest florida and there are mosquitos year round so I just don't take the chance.  As far as side effects, I'm not sure, but I have never experienced any, at least not that I know of!  :)
 

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We have ours on Iverhart.
 

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The disease can be found in all 50 states so I tend to agree with the majority of vets who say all dogs should be on heartworm prevention.  I've never heard of any side effects.
 

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I use it on mine too, we skip the winter months and get heartworm tests done early early spring like now usually and then start back up again.
 

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Side effects that i have seen (not with my own dogs, but when i worked at the e-vet) were tremors/seizure like shakes, lethargic, sometime vomiting or foaming around the mouth. Now keep in mind when i saw this it was because the poor animal was overdosed and it was usually with the liquid preventative not the pill form.

We do heartworm preventative as well, never miss a month
 

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We use liquid Ivomec (can buy it at local farm stores).  We also use it year round and have for over 13 years.  The heartguard pills are expensive if you have larger dogs or more than one dog.   There have never been any side effect with our dogs from it.  Our Calli was on it for 12 years and lived until she was one month shy of 15 years.  I do know that if you decide to use the liquid there are certain breeds it isn't  recommended for and can hurt them if they take it.  You also don't want to get the plus Ivermectin.  It is about $40.00 or so a bottle which can last for 2 years or more depending on how many dogs you have.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
thanks everyone! i feel better knowing that it's a commonly used medication, I'd rather not put her on regular pills but i guess it's a safer route than taking the risk of her becoming infected, those things look horrible!
 

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It is much better to use preventative measures then to treat heartworm infestation!

Fiona also uses it monthly and year round!
 

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Visit www.heartwormsociety.org - the Veterinary Guidelines section, Epidemiology information - to see when the climate in your area supports heartworm maturation to a stage where it's even possible for the larvae to be transmitted.  I know a number of dog owners in CA who don't need to give heartworm meds (per their vets) because they don't have the right climate.  Remember the meds don't prevent infection; they prevent contracted larvae from maturing.  Annual testing is always recommended, of course.  Most dogs do reasonably well on heartworm meds, but I've known of a few Boxers who were given the meds and then had stroke-like symptoms - disorientation, facial paralysis, weakness on one side - the heartworm meds were the only common factor among them, and all did get back to normal several weeks after the meds were given.  This is an uncommon reaction, but certainly one to consider.
 

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Not sure where in So Cal you are but these were the last statistics I could find of "reported" heartworm positive cases.

Heartworm Incidence

in Southern California


County
# cases canine heartworm

San Diego
123

Imperial
23

Riverside
32

Orange
30

Los Angeles
35

Ventura
5

San Bernadino
65

Santa Barbara
17

Kern
4

Total 334 cases


Compared to the southern states that is pretty low but that is generally due to the lower mosquito rate
 

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Wow, thanks Sharon, those stats are a lot lower than I would have thought; 35 cases in LA county, out of 1.7 million owned dogs and another 24,000 strays!  I really would have expected to see a larger number of cases just due to the strays....(Of course, LAAS is notorious for fudging numbers, so maybe HW falls into that area as well!).  Very, very interesting. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
thanks guys! i think we will get her started on something soon, even though it's not very prevalent here we just don't want to take the risk she is our first baby and it would break my heart if she got sick  8O
 

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I've got Gaby on revalution....there's lots of mosquitos around here so I can't take any chances....I had my previous girl Sexy on sentinel....as far as side effects i haven't seen any yet....but i would deffinately recommend putting little Maple on some sort of protection
 

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[quote="Newcastle\";p=\"82806":2tcbxbkz]I really would have expected to see a larger number of cases just due to the strays....(Of course, LAAS is notorious for fudging numbers, so maybe HW falls into that area as well!).
 
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