At 08:30 AM 4/29/99 -0600, mountainsong wrote:
>Speaking of the danger to collies of Heartguard, our veterinarian is adamant
>in his belief that it is not a danger to collies. He told us that awhile
>back there was a problem with some batch of the medicine being bad and
>causing illness/death, but that it is no longer a problem.
>... At any rate, he has given
>the Heartguard to many collies and never seen any cases of problems caused
>by it. So I am not sure how to take this. We had given our last collie
>Heartguard, not knowing of the supposed danger, and he was never adversely
>affected. Anyone else know anything about it?
This is something I wrestled with for some time and basically said I wasn't
going to take a chance and switched to Interceptor. What I found was one
dog that had periodic diarhea bad enough to take her to the vet, suddenly
has normal stools. Coincidence? Don't know but I'm not going to put her
back on Heartguard to find out.
What I "learned" while I was wrestling was:
- The claim is that invermectin, the ingredient in Heartguard, crosses a
membrane in the brain. I believe Heartguard lowered the dosage a while back
in response to this issue and the vet med community generally feels it is
- There was an article in the CCA Bulletin by a vet who provided statistics
on the use of Heartguard vs Interceptor. The statistics in my mind and that
of my vet was that the numbers did not support her conclusion that
Interceptor was safer than Heartguard. In fact the way I saw the numbers,
Interceptor was slightly worse than Heartguard.
- At a University of Florida seminar, their heartworm specialist said the
Heartworm Council found Heartworm completely safe. When I cornered him, he
said, statistically one or two dogs out of a 1000 might die from
Heartguard, so what. I said it was a big so what if mine is one of those 1
or 2, besides why recommend something that could be hazardous even to one
dog if there is an alternative. He said use the daily medication instead if
that's how I felt.
- My gut is that both Interceptor and Heartguard are perceptively more
dangerous than the daily medicine. (Figure any medication can be dangerous
and heartworm medication is designed to kill the parasites, either as
juveniles [Interceptor] or adults[ Heartguard].)
- I feel vets advocate monthly pills so much because JQ Public will forget
to get daily pills.
Just my view of heartworm from my little corner of the world. Nothing
conclusive but an awful lot of smoke. While I was contemplating my naval
during my wrestling, I wondered if giving Interceptor to a heartworm
positive dog would not be a good treatment. If the dog is otherwise healthy
and doesn't appear to be under a strain from the heartworm, why use a
lethal dose of medication to kill the adult worms. (That is why you are
suppose to have a dog tested before you start using Heartguard. It kills
the adults and they then can circulate in the bloodstream.) Why not use
Interceptor to kill the young and have the adults die off naturally? To me
this seems a safer treatment even if the worms live 3 years. What I don't
know is how dangerous one dead adult heartworm can be floating in the
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