Missed Heartworm Pills

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.


Barked: Sat Aug 19, '06 9:53am PST 
I am mad at my mom. We were on vacation for the last 2 months, and she forgot to give me my heartworm pills. We just got back and my mom is really NOT HAPPY. My vet is away for the next week. What should I do?

Edited by author Sun Aug 20, '06 4:21pm PST

Mingus, CGC,- R3GL

Barked: Sat Aug 19, '06 11:20am PST 
I might be wrong on this, but I think you need to go get a heartworm test and be sure you are not infected before you start taking the pills again, as it can be dangerous for an infected dog to take the preventives.

Such a Happy- Girl

Barked: Sat Aug 19, '06 11:27am PST 
Missed heartworm preventatives is of more concern in the summer than in later months, because of all the mosquitoes! So like Mingus said, you might want to do a simple test from the vet's (if you don't want to wait for your vet to get back, are you able to go to a different one?) just to be sure you don't have heartworms, and then start up on the preventatives again once you're clear. puppy

My mum was a bad mommy and forgot our pills for several months too. In fact we are due for them sometime soon. Thank you for the reminder!!


My new name: - SUPER GLUE
Barked: Sat Aug 19, '06 11:58am PST 

I just opened my box of HEARTGARD PLUS.

They sent a note saying that if you go to their Web Site, you can sign up for free E Mail reminders each month.


What do you mean- I can't chew on- that??
Barked: Sat Aug 19, '06 1:01pm PST 
Definitely go to the vet for an HW test. You can go 6 weeks in between pills, but you don't want to go any longer than that. HW pills actually kill any heartworms that are in the system and can be done safely for up to 6 weeks. The medication is not a "preventative," and giving it to dogs that have heartworms that are too large to be killed by it can be very dangerous!

Edited by author Sat Aug 19, '06 1:02pm PST


No- sleeping...only- playing!
Barked: Sat Aug 19, '06 7:54pm PST 
Any vet can do a heartworm test. Its just a simple blood test that takes a few minutes while you wait.

'I'm Really a- Doberman'
Barked: Sat Aug 19, '06 8:10pm PST 
SARA....thank you so much for the info on Heartguard. Mommy has put the little hearts that are provided on the calendar in the kitchen, but an email reminder will doubly ensure that she is on time!
I am off to email them right now!
Buster, CGC

Barked: Wed Aug 23, '06 12:46pm PST 
Ms. Texas-Belle
I missed one month for Buster and I was in a panic. I spoke to the vet and she said "I'm not supposed to tell you this, but the pills are good for 3 months." So not to worry. As long as your mom does everything back to normal the next month.
Whiskey- Breanne

Are you gonna- throw that? Huh?- Are ya?
Barked: Wed Aug 23, '06 2:13pm PST 
My mom the Registered Veterinary Nurse gives me and my brother something she calls HeartGard once a month. I think that means "tasty beef treat" in human.

Anyway, if you miss one chewy, just make sure your mommy gives you your chewy NEXT month. If you miss TWO chewies, then you have to go to the vet! They have to draw some of your blood to run a Heartworm test. If you're test is negative, then you can continue on your HeartGard but still have to get re-tested in six months (since it takes that long for the babies, which are killed by preventative, to become worms, which are detected by the test).

Also, we live in the Southwest and everyone here used to only give their pups preventative during the Spring and Summer. However, my mom says that with the influx of Katrina Rescue dogs spreading across the country, that we have to start treating year-round since over SIXTY PERCENT of those dogs are heartworm-positive. It only takes ONE mosquito, my doggy friends.

So tell your momma not to give you any more preventative chews until you've had a heartworm test at your vet's office.
Sophie Sue

Check us out at- Dolittler.com!
Barked: Wed Aug 23, '06 5:25pm PST 
Truth is...it depends on your method of heartworm prevention.
While Revolution (Pfizer's selamectin) has a "reachback effect" of three months, it's only approved by the FDA for one month. The others (ivermectin and milbemycin based products) are typically not so forgiving.
Either way, don't chance it. Get tested.
Dr. Patty Khuly