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My 8 year old yellow lab, (Scotch) was diagnoised with heartworms…

My 8 year old yellow...
My 8 year old yellow lab, (Scotch) was diagnoised with heartworms apox. 2 months ago. I was told by my vet that the treatment was not available (due it being held from market by the FDA ! I checked again today and still..not available ! Meanwhile I've been watching for any advanced signs, but he is doing fine. Scotch still plays and runs like his usual lab. self! The vet has keeped him on the preventative..He is a very beloved dog and my best friend. He has defended me many times in his life ! What do I do ? Can I help the cause to get this med. back on the market ? How can I help scotch ?? Teresa...don't want to lose my dog in Ok.
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Answered in 12 minutes by:
6/29/2010
Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20,006
Experience: DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
Verified
Hello,

You have a couple options:
1. Call around to other local vets to see who has the Immiticide treatment. Many vets stocked up on it when they heard it was going to be back ordered. Somebody in the area is bound to have some.

2. Ivermectin Therapy- this is a bit risky, but we can use Ivermectin at higher dosages to kill the adult worms. There is a higher chance of post-treatment reaction with this therapy and I'd probably not go this route but it is an option.

3. Slow Kill method- If you just put the dog on heartworm preventative and give it enough time (1-3 years), the adult heartworms will die off on their own. The lifespan of a heartworm is only 1-3 years, so waiting for them to die is something that many do. If there are a lot, then we run the risk of going into heart failure. If there are just a couple or a few, then they may not cause much damage and recheck heartworm tests every 6-12 months will tell you when they are all dead.

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Part of your answer is unclear to me. What is ivermectin? And if he has been diagnoised in the early stages, should he continue the use of preventative ? Also, is there any way to help with getting this drug back on the market ?
It's a drug that can be used to treat heartworms. In low doses, it's used as a preventative but in high doses it may effect adult worms.

Yes, he should be continued on preventative lifelong.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Thank for your help ! You have helped ! Just 1 more thing, is there a way to help get the medicine on the market for the vets and dogs who need: if you do not know, please send 411 if you hear.
There's not, we're in a waiting process just as owners are. Hopefully it won't be much longer as that's really the only effective adult heartworm treatment we have.
Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20,006
Experience: DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
Verified
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Thanks ! I will try other vets offices and continue with the preventative ,forever...with all 4 of my dogs(the others are not infected) Have a good night..Teresa
Steve O.
Steve O., Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4,277
Experience: I have 20 years of canine clinical and surgical experience
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Hi, I'm Dr. Steve

I agree with Dr. Gary, but there may be one more alternative. The adult treatment isn't readily available, BUT the company that makes immiticide has told us that they have set aside a supply of immiticide specifically for positive dogs. So if your vet calls the company directly and tells them he has a positive dog and if they still have some supply, they should still be able to sell it to him. I did this in my practice 10 days ago and they sent me enough medicine to treat the positive dog that I had. Now maybe in the last 10 days the company has truly exhausted its last supply, but it would be worth checking into. I hope this helps you. Thanks

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Thank you !! Very helpful !

Good Luck and I hope there is still some immiticide available . The company that makes immiticide didn't do a very good job of letting veterinarians know about the supply they held back for positive dogs. That may be why your vet and Dr.Gary didn't mention it. I happened to find out because I called the company to find out why there was a shortage and that's when they told me about the small supply they still had available to sell for positive dogs on a case by case basis.

 

 

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