What heart medication do you recommend for dogs?
Heartguard? Interceptor? Trifexis (also has flea medication in it)? Or other? Do you think any are ineffective or dangerous?
I use Ivermectin, which is the medicine in Heartguard. I don't use the tablets for dogs, though, to save money I use a liquid that is made for sheep. I got 8 ounces of it for $30 at Tractor Supply, or you can get it on Amazon for that same price. The bottle will last me a long time. I'll have to throw it away when it expires in a few years, and it will still be mostly full. It is a great money saver, instead of paying about $300 per year for two dogs for the tablets from the vet.
DrMark1961 gave me the idea in a hub of his. Here is a link to his article where he lists the dosages for different sized dogs: http://drmark1961.hubpages.com/hub/Hear … ars-a-Year
He also talks about cattle ivermectin in his hub, but I use the sheep ivermectin as it is already diluted and I can easily measure it up straight from the bottle. You'll have to read down a ways to find the info on the type for sheep.
Be sure to read the part about ivermectin possibly being dangerous for certain herding dog breeds, in case that is the kind of dog you have.
It depends on the breed of your dog actually. Sheltland Sheepdogs (Shelties), Aussies, Rough Collies and other herding dogs can have a genetic defect that causes their livers to improperly metabolize Ivermectin - found in Heartgard and other heartworm medications. For those breeds, a genetic blood test can be performed to see if the dog is positive for this defect - the MDR1 gene. If he/she is, then any drug with Ivermectin in it can cause seizures, neurological disorders and even death.
These dogs used to take the drug Interceptor, however the manufacturer quit making the product, leaving the herding group community out in the cold. Most of my Sheltie friends have tested their dogs for the MDR1 gene, as have I. Three of my shelties are free of the gene and are on Heartgard. The fourth is still a pup, and he hasn't been tested. He's on Sentinel, which uses the Interceptor drug plus flea medications.
I, personally, don't like giving my dogs a lot of chemicals, so the flea/tick medication is undesirable to me. I treat for fleas when I find them, which is only in September of each year. As my pup is too young to sit still for an easy blood draw and as it's nearing September, I'm putting him on the Sentinel for two months until he grows up enough to test for the MDR1 gene.
If your dog is a herding dog or a mix thereof, I suggest getting him tested for the MDR1 gene. Otherwise, I suggest going with a stand alone product that only treats heartworms especially if your dog is in a heavily populated metro area where ticks will be rare. Then you can treat for fleas as needed. If you are in a rural area, then tick preventative is vital, and a combo product may be required.
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