As a responsible dog owner, you are aware how important it is to get heartworm preventative medication for your dog. Many medications that your Vet is administering to prevent one problem sometimes may 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, usually in the spring, along with your dogs’ yearly checkup and vaccinations, be sure to have him tested for heartworm. This involves a simple blood test, as proper treatment cannot begin until the results are in. Even though there are some ill side effects of heartworm prevention medication, without treatment, your dog can die from the infestation of heartworm (which is a parasitic worm that transmits through a mosquito bite).
Some of the side effects your dog can experience because of taking heartworm medication are weakness, vomiting, convulsions, diarrhea, a weaker immune system and a strain on kidneys and the liver. With a lower immune system, 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 that heartworm medication works is that it is a way of killing off the larvae circulating in your dog’s body during the early stages, before they get to adult stage, which is when they cause damage. Though this is a preventative medication, used in small amounts, the 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 heartworm medications.
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 that would be best for your dog, with the least side effects. The most common Heartworm medications with proven effectiveness are Heartgard, Heartgard Plus, Interceptor, Iverhart Plus, Iverhart Max and Sentinel. There are ways to treat your dog naturally as well, which have no ill side effects, can be used alone, or in conjunction with preventative medicine.
The natural approach should still be used 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 records of when your dog has been given the medication so the dosage is not repeated earlier than it should. Be sure your dog is tested regularly each year and follow your Vet’s precise instructions to ward off heartworm with the least possible ill side effects.