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Old 08-23-2013, 01:49 PM
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Picklepaige Picklepaige is offline
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Default Heartworms?

Maggie has a mild case of heartworms, and has had them for a couple of years now. My mom, who is in charge of giving her heartworm preventative while I'm at school, skipped a month during the winter because she figured it wasn't possible to get them during the winter, and Maggie got heartworms after that.

We have been treating using the slow kill method, and every time we "finish" the treatment and get her tested, she still comes up as a mild positive, so we have to start over. Is this normal? I think we've done three treatments. It's a very, very mild positive so we're not really worried about it, but we're a bit frustrated that it's been about two years, and she's still coming up positive.
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Old 08-23-2013, 02:56 PM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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It can definitely take years for the test to come back negative. As long as there are still heartworms there, the test will be positive. Ivermectin doesn't kill adult heartworms, so you have to wait until the heartworms die naturally. Heartworms have a lifespan of 5-7 years, so expect it to take 5-7 years to come back negative.
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Old 08-23-2013, 08:30 PM
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What do you mean "finish treatment?" The slow-kill method is just giving Heartgard each month, +/- courses of doxycycline depending on your vet's recommendation.... so there is no end of treatment. It ends when a heartworm test comes back negative, but then technically you should be giving preventative year-round anyway so the routine would just continue....

Like Sael said you're not actually killing adult worms, by giving Heartgard you're basically preventing the infection from getting worse. You're just killing the babies, the adults just have to die naturally which takes a few years.

Happy's been doing the slow-kill method for 1.5 years, her test this spring came back "weak positive." Her symptoms are subsiding but I don't know what that necessarily means!
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:59 PM
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Is there a reason you're doing the slow-kill method instead of treatment? The heartworm treatment sucks because you have to keep them confined for 3 months, but it's much more ideal than the slow-kill method. Heartworms are actually becoming resistant to ivermectin because of this method. If you do the Immiticide treatment your dog is completely heartworm free after three months.
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:14 PM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MollyD View Post
Is there a reason you're doing the slow-kill method instead of treatment? The heartworm treatment sucks because you have to keep them confined for 3 months, but it's much more ideal than the slow-kill method. Heartworms are actually becoming resistant to ivermectin because of this method. If you do the Immiticide treatment your dog is completely heartworm free after three months.

I'm curious about how slow-kill is making heartworms resistant to ivermectin? The heartworms in the dog do not reproduce when using the slow-kill method, and ivermectin is used monthly in many/most dogs as heartworm preventative, anyway (Heartgard, Iverhart, generics, etc).
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:07 AM
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MollyD MollyD is offline
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I recently went to a conference about this topic. I live in the Mississippi River Valley and heartworm resistance is very real here.

Here's an article about it:

http://veterinarynews.dvm360.com/dvm....jsp?id=818797

This one is a little easier to read:

http://www.pethealthnetwork.com/life...ange-treatment
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Old 09-25-2013, 07:13 PM
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Airn Airn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogdragoness View Post
Wow it's closer to $30 here, yeah this person who doesn't believe in it ... I to I its crazy, she only has one dog, try $30 x 4 lol ... But for me it's worth it to save them from the suffering of severe heart worm infection I have seen the heart from a seriously affected dog in a jar ... It's mind blowing.

Our vet is nice, he lets us get a years supply & gives us a discount
Wal Mart pharmacy just recently became a small supplier of heartworm meds. My vet charges me around $40. But if I go through my pharmacy it's closer to $20. Might be worth checking out.
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