Preventative medicine is a standard part of pet ownership. There are many different illnesses and diseases that can affect our animals, with parasites being some of the most common. Heartworms are one of the most dangerous types of parasite to affect our canine pals. Fortunately, there are plenty of preventatives to choose from. Most are administered monthly, but there also a couple of alternatives.
If you have reservations about giving your dog a monthly preventative, perhaps because you are concerned about reliability or that you may forget or be late with a dose, it may be easier and more convenient to consider ProHeart 12.
What is ProHeart 12?
The U.S Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Center for Veterinary Medicine has given its approval to this latest version of ProHeart. Like ProHeart 6, ProHeart 12 is a heartworm preventative. However, this extended-release injectable suspension can now keep your pet safe for 12 months at a time. This makes ProHeart 12 the most convenient option for owners looking for simple and effective heartworm preventative for your pet.
ProHeart 12 is administered in exactly the same way as ProHeart 6 or any other injectable preventative. The process takes a matter of seconds and your pet shouldn’t feel anything other than a quick scratch. Protection from heartworms is immediate and will last your pet for the next 12 months before a further injection is required.
The importance of protecting your pet from heartworms
While there are many different parasites that can affect our pets, heartworms are arguably the most dangerous. This is because left untreated, an infestation of heartworms is almost always fatal. Here is what you need to know about heartworms.
Heartworms are transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. When the mosquito feeds on an infected animal they take some of the immature heartworm, known as microfilariae into their body, which they then transmit to the next host. When your pet is bitten, the microfilariae pass into her bloodstream and over the next six months, they travel to the blood vessels of her heart and lungs where they mature into adults and begin to reproduce.
Heartworms may be thin, but they can grow up to 12 inches long. As their numbers continue to grow, they begin to clog up the blood vessels, preventing the flow of oxygenated blood around your pet’s body. This leads to irreversible organ damage, and eventually, organ failure and death.
One of the biggest challenges of dealing with heartworms is that they are very difficult to detect. They do not start to produce any symptoms until at least 6 months after your pet has been bitten, and in the early stages, these indicators of a heartworm problem are very mild and easily overlooked. Often, the disease has already started to cause considerable damage to your pet’s health before it is diagnosed.
Another challenge of heartworms is treating the condition. Although there is a treatment that can be used to destroy heartworm infestations, it involves a series of steps and is unpleasant and not without risk. For this reason, prevention is a far better choice and should be a priority for any responsible dog owner.
Can ProHeart 12 be used to prevent any other parasite?
Whilst ProHeart 12 is primarily given to prevent heartworms, it also prevents and treats hookworm infections. Hookworms are another unpleasant internal parasite that can potentially affect your dog.
If you would like more information about heartworms or ProHeart 12, our experienced veterinary team would be happy to assist you. Please get in touch with our animal hospital in Carmel, IN by calling 317-548-6800.