ProHeart, Biannual Heartworm Prevention

I HATE having to remember to give my dogs their heartworm prevention monthly. No matter how many reminders I set, I always seemed to forget and give it after it was due. Especially for those medications that need to be administered every 28 days to be optimally effective (looking at you Heartgard), timing is key. Because I am not the only forgetful person, ProHeart is an awesome product. If I am talking to you about your dog and his/her health, I mention this product. I LOVE IT SO.

ProHeart has been around for a long time. It was briefly off the market due while the manufacturers investigated reports of severe side effects, but came on the market a few years back with an all clear. Like any medication your pet receives, consult your veterinarian. ProHeart is not recommended for all pets, but I am not a vet. Even if I was, I am not your vet, which is the important part.

As preparation for receiving ProHeart (which is administered by your veterinarian into the muscle of the pet's back), your veterinarian will examine your pet for potential contraindications. I usually have this done at the same time as the annual vaccination routine. My vet requires a signature acknowleding they reviewed the potential side effects of the medication, and a negative heartworm test beforehand, which means waiting about 10-15 minutes before the injection is given. Because your dog must remain as still as possible, it is usually best if the veterinarian brings a technician in to help stabilize your pet, or takes them into the treatment area away from you.

After the injection you must monitor your pet for any signs of side effects or an adverse reaction. Most occur within the first 24 hours. Obviously notify your vet if you suspect anything.

The injection lasts six months, so goodbye monthly reminders! (Bordatella vaccines are also every six months, so they're good to pair together as long as your vet clears it.) Some offices even offer a discount if you pay for both shots at once, making the second trip to the vet free. Just make sure you get there before the expiration date, or you may need to pay for another heartworm test!

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