Heartworm disease affects more than 250,000 pets each year. This disease is not only costly and difficult to treat, it can also be painful and life-threatening to a pet who develops it. 

We have come a long way, though, in understanding this preventable parasitic disease and have advanced considerably in prevention. Many pet owners have asked us about ProHeart Injections and if they are right for their four-legged companion. The team at Dickinson Animal Hospital & Pet Wellness Center wants to explain why this, along with other heartworm preventatives, are a necessary component in keeping your pet free from heartworm. 

What Is Heartworm Disease

Heartworm is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by the bite of an infected mosquito. This blood-borne parasite relies on a warm blooded host to grow into fully mature heartworms. The cycle of heartworm disease is complex but adult heartworms usually reach maturity within a 6 month time span, and can live up to 4-5 years, residing in the heart and lungs, where they reproduce. 

This disease, unfortunately, is often “silent” with symptoms coming on as the condition worsens, such as coughing, weakness, shortness of breath, weight loss, anemia, among others.

Heartworm disease can be fatal without intervention, which sometimes requires surgery. This is why prevention is a must for pets, especially our canine companions.

How Do ProHeart Injections Work?

Many oral heartworm medications are excellent choices in reducing the risk of heartworm in dogs. But one of the biggest challenges of oral medications is that they need to be used monthly. Any lapse in a dose can mean that your pet is at serious risk of heartworm and would have to be tested prior to starting a new monthly preventative.

ProHeart 6 is different in that it offers an injection that lasts for 6 months. ProHeart 12 is the same, but lasts for 12 months. Two vaccines, or even just one, each year is a big appeal to pet owners, especially those who often forget a dose of the oral medication. 

ProHeart contains the active drug moxidectin, which kills the larvae of both heartworm and hookworm, an intestinal parasite that is common in pets. The injection works by releasing microspheres, or tiny spheres of the drug, into the bloodstream where they dissolve and reside in the fat tissue. 

Is Proheart Safe for My Pet?

ProHeart can be used safely on both healthy dogs and those in specialized health situations, such as pregnant and lactating females. There are few side-effects, but some pet owners have reported hives, itching, and minimal facial swelling.

Most pets can use this effective parasite preventative without any symptoms.

Is ProHeart Expensive?

Many pet owners wonder if this new drug is more costly than their pet’s regular monthly heartworm medicine. The good news is that it is about the same cost of the same number of months of oral medication, plus you can enjoy the benefits of not having to give your pet a pill each month or having to remember every time!

Would you like more information on ProHeart 6 and ProHeart 12 for your pet? Please contact our team. We are happy to discuss this form of heartworm prevention as well, as any others pertaining to your sweet pet. Keeping your pet healthy and heartworm-free is our aim!