What about the new (old) 6mo HW injection?

brutusesOctober 24, 2008

Has anyone used or heard about the come back of the HW injection that killed some animals back when it was on the market the first time around? I questioned my Vet's office manager today about the sign they had up advertising the 6 mo. HW injection. She said it's the same injection and medication, but this time there are safety precautions that must be followed, i.e., bloodwork at certain intervals and some other criteria.

I don't care what new protocol it has. All I know is it killed animals so I'd never use it on my dogs. Anyway, with Heartguard being so easy and inexpensive, I see no reason to switch.

Is anyone else considering using this drug? Dr. Meghane you have any thougts on this?

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Meghane

The hospital where I work has it. So far, I've given ProHeart to 2 dogs in the same family- they absolutely could not remember to keep their dogs on prevention, and in fact 1 had been treated for heartworms and they STILL missed doses.

The protocol is this:
Veterinarian must take an online training course from Fort Dodge and sign a statement that they will follow the protocol.

Dogs must be in good health and 1-7 years old, not pregnant.

A CBC and chemistry profile including at least liver enzymes must be done prior to the first injection of Proheart.

A negative heartworm test must be done prior to the first injection, and then once yearly.

Cannot administer any vaccines 30 days before or after Proheart injection.

With all those criteria and the extra expense of bloodwork, most people choose to remember oral HWP, except that one family.

ProHeart also does not protect against intestinal parasites nearly as well as oral products, which is a huge concern here in NC, especially in families with young children.

I wouldn't use ProHeart in my own pets because 1) previous safety concerns 2) insufficient intestinal parasite protection. My dogs get CBC and chem profiles every 6 months anyway, so that wouldn't be an issue for me, but the additional expense would be an issue for some people. Plus 2 of my dogs are over 7 years old.

We carry Iverhart products, which are less expensive than Heartgard but the same medications. For 51-100# dogs, it costs $30 for a 6 month supply; little dogs cost $20/6 months. Ivermectin has been used for many years safely, and for collie breeds and those with ivermectin sensitivity there's always Interceptor (milbemycin) that is just as safe and effective and also has excellent intestinal parasite control- in fact even better than ivermectin. Iverhart Max even has praziquantal to kill tapeworms, for about the same price for 6 months as our Drontal Plus!

I can't see a reason to use ProHeart except in situations where the owners cannot remember to give a pill once a month. I know ProHeart was never recalled in Australia, Europe, or Japan, and they never experienced the problems the US did. ProHeart changed manufacturers of component in the microspheres that caused the problem with overdosing, so theoretically there should be no more problems. They can also be certain that any problems are caused by ProHeart and are not vaccine reactions or coincidence with a sick dog or something. Maybe the new protocols will help screen out specific diseases or conditions that predispose dogs to reactions.

All the same, I use Interceptor or Iverhart on my dogs and will not be switching to ProHeart.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2008 at 1:19PM
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shellm

Hi I am a long time lurker.I hope Meaghane see's this.I took in severly abused choc lab 3 years ago who tested positive to heartworms when I got him>I immediately had him treated for HW and had him on sentinel up until 9/15/08 when he went in for yearly checkup and shots.His vet rec prohart.it sounded great not having to make sure he took the pill.He never mentioned any bad sidde affect.The only precaution he took was to make sure HW test was negative.He administed the prohart inj AFTER he had given all vacines.I am now quite upset that this was not done properly.I assume Drake( 4 1/2 yr old choc lab) will be fine this time since he has suffered no ill affects 5-6 weeks later.I would love to hear you thoughts on this.TIA

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 10:19AM
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Meghane

I've heard about some vets not following the protocols. Many vets had used proheart before with no problems, and really like it. I wasn't a vet when it was out before, so I have no personal experience with it, except as a vet tech. I'd ask the vet about why the protocols weren't followed- it clearly states in the FAQ on the proheart-6 website that you are not supposed to administer vaccines within 1 month of Proheart. Though the client website does not specify any lab work has to be done, which is odd I think.

Here is a link that might be useful: ProHeart6

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 11:26AM
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shellm

Meghane thank for your quick response.I could kick myself for not asking more questions about the porhart and the vet for not following the correct protocol.I guess in march I will go back to sentinel.What are your thoughts on sentinel or can you rec something you like better?Thanks for all your help.I just want this sweet boy to have the very best for a long and much deserved happy,healthy life.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 12:22PM
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Meghane

In most cases, Sentinel is overkill if you are using a separate flea control product. Sentinel is Interceptor HWP plus Program flea control. Program sterilizes fleas, but does not kill adult fleas. Topical flea control products such as Frontline Plus both kill and sterilize fleas, so you don't really need Sentinel on top of that- it's a waste of money, plus Program stays in the body for a month. I personally use either Iverhart or Interceptor for HWP and Frontline Plus for fleas and ticks and have been very happy with that combination for many years. Both ivermectin (Heartgard, Iverhart) and milbemycin (Interceptor) get absorbed and are out of the body with a couple of days. Frontline is not absorbed into the body at any appreciable amounts at all.

Don't beat yourself up about the Proheart. You're not supposed to know all this stuff- the vet is supposed to tell you and do things correctly. I'm just glad Jake is doing well and he has such a concerned owner.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 1:38PM
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shellm

Meghane I only sentinel on Drake,no other flea control products.I have had great luck w/the sentinel for a number of years w/another lab who died last oct at 12 years of age.I am definitely going to talk w/the vet monday morning.I am really disapointed in him,to say the least.Thanks for all your help.You sound like a great vet.I wish you much success.The animals you treat are truly blessed to have you.Shelley

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 2:01PM
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mir21_bigpond_com

THANKYOU FOR YOUR HONESTY, MY VET MENTIONED NOTHING ABOUT PROHEART & I CHOSE THE INJECTION ON RECOMMENDATION NOT BECAUSE I FORGET THINGS, AS TINKABELLA IS A CHUIACHUIA, WHO HAS SEVERE DIAGNOSED PANCREAITITIS , SHE WAS GIVEN THIS INJECTION WHILE COMING OUT OF THE LAST ATTACK & IN HOSPITAL, HAD JUST BEEN THROUGH HELL FULL OF MEDICATIONS & GIVEN TAKE HOME AMOXYCLAV 200MG & METACAM INJECTION 20ML, ALSO HAS THE NEW COMFORTIS (SPINOSAD), FOR FLEAS & DERAMTITIS WHICH SHE DOESN'T HAVE & A DRONTAL ALLWORMER. SHE IN THE LAST 12MONTHS HAS HAD 6 BIG PANCREA ATTACKS, SO AS YOU SEE I AM CONCERNED NOW WITH THE GIVING OF PROHEART, AS HER LIVER READINGS WHEN FIRST DIAGNOSED WERE SKY-HIGH!! WE ARE NEVER INFORMED OF ANYTHING TO DO WITH PROHEART, & ARE VERY WORRIED!!! ESPECIALLY BECAUSE OF THE LIVER SHE IS ON A STRICT DIET OF LOW-FAT GASTROINTESTINAL WET FOOD & BIKKIES. AS WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN VERY CAREFUL BEFORE ALL OF THIS WITH FOOD, SHOULD SHE NEVER BE ON PROHEART? IF NOT THEN WHAT IS THE BEST FOR HER SHE IS FOUR YRS OLD.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 8:55PM
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