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Which Heartworm Preventative Is Safe For My Border Collie?


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#41 Liz P

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 09:03 PM

I  should have been more specific since NY is so large- I am in Western NY and hardly ever see mosquitoes except during warm summer nights or near ponds.  Guess I am glad for that, both for me and my dog.  Do you see many HW positive dogs that live inside and are typically 'well cared for' by most standards?  It always seems that dogs in rescue that are positive around here are dogs that lived outside and were in general, neglected.  I have read some about the failure of some brands (many Heartgard) where dogs that were dosed yearly still came up positive.  Do you see many of those cases?    

 

Yes, I see cases that are well loved pets that rarely go outside.  Those are the hardest to see, because the owners are so upset at themselves for forgetting a dose or two of prevention.

 

I haven't see a true prevention failure (client swears they never missed a dose) in the northeast, but I suspect that has to do with numbers (fewer months of exposure up here).  I did see it when I lived in a heartworm endemic area.  The companies paid for treatment as long as the owners could prove they purchased a full 12 months worth of prevention from a vet (they don't honor that guarantee if you purchase via other sources).  I went to a conference where the comment was made that most of the failures were with topical products, but the suspicion was that it was a client problem (failure to apply the entire vial) in most cases.

 

BTW, the worst problem I have seen to date from spinosad is self limiting vomiting.  I do use a private label version of Trifexis on my dogs.  When it wasn't available I was using a product with the same active ingredients as HG+.



#42 Gideon's girl

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 09:22 PM

Down here we were seeing cases where long time multi dog, experienced owners were having dogs come up positive that were on Heartgard, to the point that many vets down here quit using Heartgard for many years, until Novartis stopped production of Sentinel and Interceptor for a while.  Now they are all carrying Heartgard again.



#43 Gary_and_Karen

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 09:53 PM

You said "I do use a private label version of Trifexis on my dogs." - is there any difference between a "private label" and any other Triflexis ?

 

Yes, I see cases that are well loved pets that rarely go outside.  Those are the hardest to see, because the owners are so upset at themselves for forgetting a dose or two of prevention.

 

I haven't see a true prevention failure (client swears they never missed a dose) in the northeast, but I suspect that has to do with numbers (fewer months of exposure up here).  I did see it when I lived in a heartworm endemic area.  The companies paid for treatment as long as the owners could prove they purchased a full 12 months worth of prevention from a vet (they don't honor that guarantee if you purchase via other sources).  I went to a conference where the comment was made that most of the failures were with topical products, but the suspicion was that it was a client problem (failure to apply the entire vial) in most cases.

 

BTW, the worst problem I have seen to date from spinosad is self limiting vomiting.  I do use a private label version of Trifexis on my dogs.  When it wasn't available I was using a product with the same active ingredients as HG+.


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#44 Gary_and_Karen

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 09:58 PM

Thanks, but wouldn't the preventative be better based on what some have said that the dose to cure would be nuch higher and potentally more toxic ?

 

I meant year round, meaning every month.  Right now, I dose from June until November because I am in NY where the climate just does not support mosquitoes year round.  In the south, every month of the year is what I would do if that is where I lived.  I suggest reading the link I posted.  HW should not be the biggest worry you have for your dog, even in the south.  It isn't an automatic death sentence-if you test yearly, you will catch it early and can treat it.    


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#45 Gary_and_Karen

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 10:05 PM

You did not mention Triflexis, how popular is Triflexis compared to other options ?

 

Our vet recommended Triflexis that is why we started using it, and even though some things I read on the web  recently gave me some concerns, what people are saying on this forum are making me feel like using Triflexis is ok.

 

 

Down here we were seeing cases where long time multi dog, experienced owners were having dogs come up positive that were on Heartgard, to the point that many vets down here quit using Heartgard for many years, until Novartis stopped production of Sentinel and Interceptor for a while.  Now they are all carrying Heartgard again.


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#46 Beach BCs

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 10:30 PM

I know many people using Trifexis on their dogs. They are very happy with it and their dogs have had no issues with it.
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#47 Gary_and_Karen

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 07:57 AM

Thanks for the input !

 

It would be interesting to see if there is a study that can show that most dogs have no serious side effects even after years of use because I was concerned about reading where owners said they did not have any problems till after their dog was on it for a while, but the thing is how can we be sure if it is the Triflexis or not without an actual study ?

 

I just did some more searching online and here are some more things to consider -

 

 

I found a dog forum where there were owners that had concerns about Triflexis and/or Comfertis -

 

http://www.shibainuf...my-question-/p1

 

below are just a few quotes from the above link:

 

(start of quotes)

 

Yesterday, around 4/5ish in the evening Merritt took his Trifexis (he's gotten this in the past and the dose is appropriate).     Around 9:30PM Merritt began acting very bizarre.

 

All his vital signs, CBC and chem panel were were within normal limits. With the exception of his ALT, this liver enzyme was almost double. Merritt was given a dose of charcoal, which he managed to get all over himself and both the vet techs (acting more like his lively self).

He has never acted like this with past doses. The vet said it could be side effect from medication and that she has seen dogs come in super doped up from it, but it mainly causes GI upset (which he had none).
 

Has anyone had a similar experience - with Trifexis? From anything else?

 

There have been other forum members who have reported problems with Trifexis/Comfortis. This anecdote is embedded in an intro thread, but we had a little discussion you may find useful:

http://www.shibainuf...ings-from-yoshi

I would also point you to this old post on the vet blog Fully Vetted, specifically the comments, where many people have reported side effects:
 

http://www.petmd.com...ce#.TwfVqCP6NCY
 

(end of quotes)

 

I know many people using Trifexis on their dogs. They are very happy with it and their dogs have had no issues with it.


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#48 waffles

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 09:05 AM

Thanks, but wouldn't the preventative be better based on what some have said that the dose to cure would be nuch higher and potentally more toxic ?
 

I am not sure what you are asking. HW pills are not a preventative, they are a treatment. That is part of why many people take issue with giving it or giving it year round. You are treating for something that tr dog can't get (in the winter months here there are no mosquitoes ). In the south your temps are higher, this is why many people give a pill monthly for the whole year or most of the year. What are you referring to about doses being higher or more toxic?

#49 waffles

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 09:14 AM

Gary I think you need to stop looking for problems where there are not any. Many people have dogs killed from choking on kibble or from toxic commercial dog food. You can find stories online to comfirm any concern you have about anything. It doesn't mean it will happen to your dog. Any medication can cause side effects, millions of dogs take HW pills and do just fine on them. Dont go looking for sad stories just to freak yourself out. I think your dog is more likely to be struck by lightening than die from the HW pills you give her. Did you read the link I posted and all the comments on Terriermans blog? No drug is 100% effective or safe- just decide on a brand you like and go with it. Every time I see a house fire on the news I start to worry that my house will burn down. Sometimes you need to just turn the news off and turn google off. :)

#50 Tommy Coyote

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 09:16 AM

I don['t know about other areas of the country but I do know that Kansas City and south are all high danger areas for heartworm.  I wouldn't take the risk of not having my dogs on heartworm preventative.  The whole southeast is high risk. 

 

I did read something interesting about first hand reports of problems with heartworm meds - sometimes the competitors put those stories out.  You really need to check with your vet and find out what the safest thing to do is.  And they will also be aware of problems.

 

When my dog was having problems with her auto immune disease my vet had her on Revolution because it wasn't as stong as some of the others.



#51 Gary_and_Karen

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 10:08 AM

I will be asking our vet about my concerns next visit soon, and as far as what was said about competitors it would be unprofessional for them to post false info about other companies meds, but I guess that doesn't mean it might not happen.

 

 

I am not sure what you are asking. HW pills are not a preventative, they are a treatment. That is part of why many people take issue with giving it or giving it year round. You are treating for something that tr dog can't get (in the winter months here there are no mosquitoes ). In the south your temps are higher, this is why many people give a pill monthly for the whole year or most of the year. What are you referring to about doses being higher or more toxic?

 

 

Gary I think you need to stop looking for problems where there are not any. Many people have dogs killed from choking on kibble or from toxic commercial dog food. You can find stories online to comfirm any concern you have about anything. It doesn't mean it will happen to your dog. Any medication can cause side effects, millions of dogs take HW pills and do just fine on them. Dont go looking for sad stories just to freak yourself out. I think your dog is more likely to be struck by lightening than die from the HW pills you give her. Did you read the link I posted and all the comments on Terriermans blog? No drug is 100% effective or safe- just decide on a brand you like and go with it. Every time I see a house fire on the news I start to worry that my house will burn down. Sometimes you need to just turn the news off and turn google off. :)

 

 

I don['t know about other areas of the country but I do know that Kansas City and south are all high danger areas for heartworm.  I wouldn't take the risk of not having my dogs on heartworm preventative.  The whole southeast is high risk. 

 

I did read something interesting about first hand reports of problems with heartworm meds - sometimes the competitors put those stories out.  You really need to check with your vet and find out what the safest thing to do is.  And they will also be aware of problems.

 

When my dog was having problems with her auto immune disease my vet had her on Revolution because it wasn't as stong as some of the others.


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#52 Mark Billadeau

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 01:30 PM

I have a few thoughts to add to this discussion.

 

Heartworm preventatives prevent a heartworm infection by killing off microfilariae before they can mature into heartworms; dogs still have a microfilariae infection.  The duration of effectiveness of the monthly preventatives is not related to the drug but to the lifecycle of the microfilariae maturing into heartworms.

 

All heartworm preventatives are in the same class of drug; they all work the same way.  Just because one drug has a lower minimum effective dose (microgram/lb body weight) does not mean it will be less likely to cause an adverse reaction than another. Each drug has a unique minimum effective dose (microgram/lb body weight).  The key number to compare is the difference between the minimum effective dose and the dose at which adverse reactions occur; or the multiple of the minimum effective dose at which adverse reactions occur.  This gives the safe working range for each drug; the wider the working range the safer the drug.

 

Heartworm preventatives are not just the active drug; they all contain other ingredients (a drug formulation).  Some dogs can and do react to these other ingredients; just because a dog reacts to one of these drug formulations (given within the safe working range) does not automatically mean the dog reacted to the active drug.  The dog could have an underlying condition that predisposes it to react to one of the other ingredients.  This phenomenon occurs with vaccines which are also complex formulations with many ingredients.

 

There is evidence that in some regions the monthly heartworm preventatives are not 100% effective.  This may be related to the percentage of mosquitos that are infected with microfilariae, the level of infection of microfilariae in infected mosquitos (dose of microfilariae being given to dogs), or the genetics of the microfilariae (or a combination).  Studies continue as to the source(s) of the loss of effectiveness.

 

As someone else pointed out, you can treat with monthly preventative to kill of microfilariae or you can gamble your dog won't get bitten by an infected mosquito and then have to treat with a much more dangerous drug and the risks associated with killed heartworms being pumped through your dog's heart.  If your dog is one of the few that has adverse reactions to one monthly heartworm preventative (one manufacturer's drug formulation), work with your vet to find another (different drug formulation) to which your dog does not have adverse reactions.


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#53 2 Devils

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 08:25 PM

One of my border collie/jrt mixes seems to have a sensitivity to heartworm meds. He has become quite ill with at least 3 different ones.  I did have some Sentinel leftover from when I was hoarding it and thankfully he is ok with it.  When I run out I will have to decide what to try next.  His great-grandfather almost died from heartworm meds (they believe he does have a ivermectin sensitivity).  He no longer gets HW meds but he is also in a low risk area.  VA is a higher risk area but will do what I have to do... it was also suggested splitting the dose into 2 different doses (am and pm).

 

With any meds there is a possibility of a reaction.  You just have to decide how to handle it and you may have to go through some trial and error to find a solution.

 

Trip's reactions: fever, diarrhea, lethargy, etc... so yes he has a bad reaction but I will continue the trial and error when it is time.  I will just keep an eye on him when he is given the meds.


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#54 Liz P

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 08:48 PM

Sentinel is being produced again.  I just bought a bunch.



#55 juliepoudrier

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 05:19 PM

Thank you Mark for adding some well-reasoned comments to this discussion.

 

If you live in the south, you are in essence playing with fire if you don't use HW preventives. As Mark points out, there are other ingredients that can cause reactions.

 

I also agree with whoever it was that cautioned against taking everything you read on the internet as gospel. It's anecdotal evidence. I'd think that if thousands of dogs had died after being given Trifexis, it would be in the scientific literature.

 

Humans, being what they are, will often try to relate cause and effect, and usually they will assume the cause is the last thing they did (I ate cabbage and got sick later therefore the cabbage must have made me sick). Cause and effect doesn't work that way.

 

I gave my 10 week old puppy Trifexis and she's still alive and kicking. I've used it on the LGDs without incident. Like Liz, the biggest caution I've ever seen was the possiblility of vomiting, which of course means that the meds might not have been absorbed, leaving the dog unprotected.

 

I also use Comfortis for fleas. I use ivermectin (egads! Haven't killed a dog yet.) There aren't a great number of truly new HW or flea/tick preventive chemicals, just new combinations.

 

I know we've had this discussion before, but I'll repeat it: each person has to determine what risk vs. benefit scenario they are comfortable with. I have an epileptic dog. I still give her HW preventive and use flea/tick meds on her, because I personally believe that treating her for HW or TBDs is more likely to cause problems than using the preventives. If I could correlate seizures with any drug use, then of course I'd try to find some other means of prevention or control.

 

Nothing is 100% safe--that's why even the TV ads for various medications provide a long list of possible side effects for the drug in question.

 

If I were you, living in SC, I'd most definitely be using HW preventive year round. If you're lucky enough not to have fleas or ticks, you could skip that, but chances are, given your location, that you'll need those preventives too. You can always try to use the  absolute minimum dose that is effective, but that would probably be something I'd do with flea/tick preventives rather than HW preventives.

 

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#56 Crawford Dogs

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 08:54 PM

Luckily my vet clinic is carrying Sentinel again.  Sadly Interceptor isn't back on the market but I'm stocked up on it until Christmas.  My older Border Collie Rose cannot take ivermectin based products any more due to her eye condition.  The opthamologist says he's seen Border Collies and other collie breeds showing similar eye conditions after exposure to ivermectin.  She is tentively diagnosed with Immune Medated Retinopathy/SARDS and is on treatment with immunosuppressive drugs.  Although studies have shown Ivermectin to be safe at the levels found in Heartguard I am reluctant to use it anymore on any of my dogs.  Since the very expensive (argh!) opthamologist doesn't want any BC's (and Rose specifically) on Ivermectin products I no longer feel comfortable using it.  But I think it's important to realize that all drugs can cause side effects and that each individual may respond differently to these chemicals.  I have known a few Border Collies  that had seizures after getting Heartguard but it seems safe in others.  I personally avoid using any drugs until they have been on the market long enough for some safety data to be available from the population at large. 




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