As a responsible dog owner, you are aware how important it is to get heartworm preventative medication for your dog. Many medications your Vet gives to prevent one problem sometimes have side effects. You need to be attentive to the pros and cons of giving your dog heartworm medication.
Heartworm prevention is extremely important in saving the life of your dog, especially if he spends a lot of time outside. Every year, along with your dogs' annual checkup and vaccinations, be sure to have him tested for heartworm. This involves a simple blood test. Although there are some ill side effects of heartworm prevention medication, without treatment, your dog can die from the infestation of heartworm. This is a parasitic worm that transmits through a mosquito bite.
Some of the side effects your dog can experience from heartworm medication are weakness, vomiting, convulsions, diarrhea, a weaker immune system and a strain on kidneys and the liver. With lowered immunity, your dog may be more susceptible to infections, other diseases and conditions such as skin allergies, arthritis, immune mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA), and even some forms of cancer.
The way heartworm medication works is it kills off the larvae circulating in your dog's body before they get to adult stage, which is when they cause damage. Though this is a preventative medication used in small amounts, damage to the animal's system increases when taken month after month. However, do not risk heartworm disease in your dog because you run across suggestions of danger and side effects. Heartworm infestation far outweighs any ill side effects your dog may experience from the medication.
Discuss with your vet the various heartworm medications available and their specific side effects. They come in chewable tablets, pills and topical ointments. Choose the option best for your dog, with the least side effects. The most common heartworm medications are HeartGard, HeartGard Plus, Interceptor, Iverhart Plus, Iverhart Max and Sentinel. There are ways to treat your dog naturally as well, with no ill side effects. You can use natural treatments alone or in conjunction with preventative medicine.
The natural approach also should be under veterinary supervision. Consider a natural, healthy diet of mostly raw foods and fresh water to protect your dog against infection and heartworm. Consider foods such as raw meat, raw bones, chopped raw vegetables and fruits. Speak with your vet for recommendations of a good natural holistic diet for your dog. A good natural diet is the best medicine to safeguard your dog as well as ensure a stronger immune system, an efficient healthy liver, kidney, heart and proper bodily functions.
If your vet suggests a preventative medication, do not overdose your dog. It is imperative to keep good medication records so as not to repeat the dosage earlier than necessary. Be sure to have your dog tested yearly and follow your vet's precise instructions to ward off heartworm with the least possible ill side effects.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.