elegy wrote:so here's my question for those who take their dogs off, then test in the spring and re-start: it takes 6 months for an infection to show up on an antigen test. if you're testing in, say, march, you're not covering the months that the dog was off preventative until the following year. but the dog'll be back on the heartworm preventative already.
i'm just so frustrated and perplexed by the whole issue, so i just give it year round and am done with it.
Insisting that dogs have to be tested annually for
heartworm before administering preventative: Ivermectin,
the active ingredient in Heartguard, is used as part of the
treatment a vet gives to an infected dog to remove the
microfilaria (heartworm babies that circulate in the blood stream)
at doses many times higher than in the monthly preventative. In
fact it has been found that if Heartguard (Ivermectin) is given
monthly to an infected animal for 12 to 18 months, it will actually
cure the infection. I know of no monthly preventative that will
harm an infected dog (short of an allergy) and the labels state
as much. Pre-testing is totally unnecessary.