I’m going to share a disturbing piece of news with you in the hope that you can help to inform your friends and family. We have known for some months about a severe shortage in the supply of the medication used to treat dogs that have contracted heartworm disease (adult heartworm infection in the heart and lung vessels). This week, we received notice that this drug (Immiticide) is essentially out of reach/unavailable for order from anyone anywhere. The factory that produced the drug was the only one and there are no other companies who produce the drug.
This means that it is more important than ever to have your pet on a monthly heartworm preventative year-round. Year-round administration is the best protection we currently have for patients.
We have an ample supply of heartworm prevention available at Pet Authority. We will, of course, continue to sell prevention in single doses, six packs, and twelve packs.
The American Heartworm Society has issued a set of guidelines for treating dogs that have heartworm infection/disease. Please bear in mind that these are last-choice options, ways to do something rather than nothing to try to help dogs that are infected.
I personally feel that we are on the edge of seeing a rise in the number of dogs with heartworm disease. The tough economy has caused many clients to be unable to provide prevention for their dogs, or to stop giving prevention year-round. These missed doses have put dogs at a much higher risk. Due to the fact that there is a 5-7 month space of time between a bite from an infected mosquito to a positive heartworm test, we won’t know how the missed doses this season (May – November 2011) will affect dogs until 2012.
Please, keep your dogs on heartworm prevention year-round. It’s more important now than ever!
For more information on heartworm prevention, please read the blog post on heartworm disease.