Happy Heartworm-Free December

Good News Wrap-Up for the Year

  • I have not personally diagnosed or treated any heartworm positive patients this year.
  • Most of my dog patients and an increasing number of cat and ferret patients are on monthly heartworm preventative year round.
  • As far as I know, the awful flooding in and around Nebraska this past spring has not caused the huge regional increase in heartworm cases that many, including me, feared.

Bad News Wrap-Up for the Year

  • Immiticide, the only approved canine heartworm preventative is still not available in the United States.  Melarsomine, the active ingredient in Immiticide, is being imported by Merial in very limited quantities with the blessing of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  Anyone hear anything more recent from Merial?
  • I missed the November dose of Wormshield for both dogs and the November dose of Revolution for Max the Cat.  If you have a perfect record of heartworm preventative dosing for every dog, cat and ferret you have ever owned ever from adoption forth, you may call me a slacker and throw a box of Heartgard at me.  *ouch*  You are right.  I deserved that.

Cool News Wrap-Up for the Year

  • Some veterinarians are offering surgical removal of adult heartworms as a treatment.  Most notably, University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine has done quite a few of these surgeries since Immiticide became unavailable.

Noodle the Poodle – Wormshield tablet

Joy the Puppy – Wormshield tablet

 

Unrelated Cute Picture of My Dogs by the Purple Christmas Tree, 2009

Happy, Happy Holidays!

I hope this season is the best yet for you and your family.

If you miss a heartworm dose, do not be too hard on yourself.

Notice, as seen in this picture, that your pets think you are unconditionally awesome.  And they are very good judges of character.

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