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Important Notice: “Heartworm medication” that doesn’t work…

By April 20, 2015 February 28th, 2019 Uncategorized

Protect yourself and your dog from the wrong medication. Products sold in pet stores may look like heartworm medication… but they are useless to protect your dog from this disease.

Markham veterinary hospitals have many different kinds of medication available against heartworm, fleas, mites, ticks, and internal parasites. However products being sold in pet stores resemble heartworm medication, but they are not protective against heartworm disease.

As a Veterinarian in Markham, it is important to educate all pet owners in Markham about the important differences between the heartworm medications.

To make it simple there are two groups of heartworm medications:

  1. Pills or chew tablets that kill heartworm larvae. These products are by prescription only and may contain other ingredients that inhibit fleas or other parasites. Most of them have to be given every month during the summer months.
  2. Drop-on medications given onto the skin that penetrate the skin, get completely absorbed and finally enter the blood stream, from where they kill heartworm larvae and often also kill fleas, internal parasites, and other skin parasites. They must be given monthly during the mosquito season and are by prescription only.

 Prescription free products are available in pet stores but they are insecticides and they are ineffective against heartworms. They include

  1. Flea pesticides: These products contain insecticides (not prescription medication) and are usually applied to the skin. The ingredient stays on the skin and usually kills fleas on contact. If you or your children pet your dog, you will contaminate your skin with a small amount of the insecticide. Insecticides are regulated under the Pesticide Act and they are not prescription medications, which would be regulated under the Pharmacy Act. Insecticides can be obtained in pet stores and pet hospitals. They DO NOT PROTECT against heartworm disease, but they look and feel identical to heartworm medications. Vets in Markham agree that only flea protection is not enough for your dog.

Some manufactures offer combination products of insecticides and prescription medications. These products may protect against heartworm disease and are only available through the veterinarian.

In summary: If you are giving your pet medication from the pet store, it will not protect against heartworm disease. Veterinaians are here to help you choose what is best for your pet.


Your Careteam from the Animal Hospital of Unionville

A Pet Hospital Providing Compassionate Advanced Health Care for a Long and Happy Life of ALL Your Pets.

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