Every month on the same day you have to remember to give heart worm prevention to your dogs. Sometimes you remember, other times you’re a couple days to couple weeks late. Well, luckily, there is a different medication that can help with this dilemma! The medication is a 6 month heart worm injection!
Now, before you google this product, let’s first discuss what happened and what you will likely find on the vast internet. Proheart first came out in mid 2000s. It is an injection that protects against heart worms and last for 6 months. It quickly became very popular and widely used. Within a year of using the medication, the internet exploded with reports of animals becoming sick because of Proheart(not unlike the issue Trifexis is having now). The main complaints were animals becoming sick and dying. There were reports of liver disease and auto immune diseases. Now, these “reports” were not proven that Proheart had caused these issues. How these reports work is by people calling in and saying something happened to their pet after an injection was given. It could be that this dog jumped out of the back of the truck after giving the shot- does the shot cause that, no. Now, this isn’t to say that the injection is 100% safe, no medication is. EVERY medication we use will have some sort of side effect. No one wants to be the owner of the one pet out of 5000 that has a reaction. But, in terms of medication, that percentage is really low. Proheart was taken off of the market about 10 years ago in order to do more research and see if it really was unsafe. Despite what some people may say, if the product is unsafe, it will not last very long in the market and the drug company will not be around. If I, as a veterinarian, discover a product is unsafe, then I will simply stop using it. It makes no sense to keep prescribing something that does more harm than good. They have been using this product in Australia, Canada, and Japan. The product was never take out of those markets and they did not see any large amounts of adverse events.
This product is ideal for the owners that have a difficult time remembering to give the monthly heart worm prevention on the SAME DAY every month. The product is no longer guaranteed to prevent heart worm disease if you don’t give it the same time each month. With the injection, you don’t have to worry about anything for 6 months! At the 6 month mark, you just come back in to the clinic and get another injection and you are good for the other 6 months of the year!
This product, unlike most monthly heart worm preventions, is not a labeled monthly dewormant. The company will cover treatment for your pet if they come up positive for an intestinal worm at their annual visit. Intestinal worms are easily diagnosed and treated as apposed to the life threatening treatment of adult heart worms.
In the end, if you have trouble remembering to give heart worm preventative every month, this would be a good six month product for you to use. You will, however, still have many alternatives such as Heartgard, Trifexis, Sentinel, etc.