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Canine Heartworm Disease

By April 9, 2014 June 30th, 2022 PETCARE Blog

Heartworm disease is a contagious disease caused by the heartworm Dirofilaria immitis. This fatal disease has been a common cause of death in dogs in most of the United States for decades. It has been found in Utah since 1993.

This is transmitted to your dog with a single bite from an infected mosquito. ANY DOG IS AT RISK FOR HEARTWORM DISEASE. The infestation leads to progressive heart and lung failure and death.

The infestation is curable when diagnosed early in the course of the disease (when few dogs actually show any clinical symptoms). Unfortunately, treatment is costly and the medications used in the treatment can also have harmful side effects on occasion. Hence, it is much better to prevent the disease.

PREVENTION is the best way to deal with heartworm disease. We have several very effective preventative medications that help to protect your pet against infection.

In keeping with the recommendations of the American Heartworm Society, leading researchers and the manufacturers of heartworm preventatives, we recommend yearly testing of all dogs for current infection and the administration of preventative medications every month (all-year-round).


Puppies younger than 6 months may be placed on heartworm preventative initially without testing (the test is not accurate on dogs under this age).

Dogs who are over 6 months of age must be tested for heartworm every year, even if they are on medication.

Heartworm medications are Prescription Medications. Federal and State laws prohibit us from dispensing these medications without having examined the pet first.[/well]

If your pet has been examined in the past 6 months then we can perform a heartworm test without an additional office visit. The blood test takes about 20 minutes. If it is negative then we can prescribe enough medication for the next year.

Proheart-6 & Proheart-12

One of the biggest problems with monthly preventative medications is that many clients forget to give them! When not given monthly, the medication is not going to work properly.

Proheart should NOT be given to pets who have auto-immune diseases OR have had a vaccine and/or allergic reaction.

ProHeart-6 is an injectable heartworm preventative medication that we recommend highly for many patients. Patients over 6 months of age. It is given as a single injection of ProHeart-6 every 6 months instead of as a monthly tablet.


There is also now the option of Proheart-12 for dogs over 12 months old!

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