With heartworm season rapidly approaching, having dogs and cats on prevention products is more important than ever. There are a couple of unique circumstances that clients and pets are facing this year due to drug shortages.
The main medication we use to treat dogs that have contracted a heartworm infection is still not readily available. Veterinarians have to directly contact the company to request a supply on a case-by-case basis. There were “technical issues” with production of the medication that have led to the shortage. We’re unsure when the product will be available again. There are still ways we can treat patients with heartworm disease to lessen the damage this parasite causes. It’s far from ideal.
One of the monthly preventive tablets (Interceptor) that we offer at Pet Authority is also not currently available. The factory that produces the product was cited for a number of quality control problems and was shut down for an overhaul of their production procedures.
Many of the violations the FDA cited were repeat offenses from as far back as 2008 that Novartis had failed to properly correct. Citations included inadequate cleaning of equipment, failure to follow procedures designed to prevent microbiological contamination of drugs, and lack of investigation of failed products.
As far as I am aware, there were NO problems with the heartworm prevention tabs (Interceptor). I still firmly support the effectiveness of this product. I fully intend to continue to prescribe it when it becomes available again. NO recall was issued for Interceptor.
There are plenty of options for every pet! Please, please keep your pets on heartworm prevention. It really is vital for their health and safety.
We’ve tried to make it as easy as possible for clients to afford prevention. Heartworm prevention is included in our new Canine Wellness Plans (feline plans are on the way soon!).
We also sell single doses of prevention. There are deep discounts when you purchase 6 or 12 months of prevention, some with additional manufacturer rebates.
Our prices are very competitive with online pharmacies, too. In almost every case, we are within $5 of the online prices. Please note that when you purchase prevention products from the hospital, the manufacturers will offer their full guarantees! This is not the case with many mail-order companies.
Please contact me via blog comments or a call to the hospital with concerns/questions regarding heartworm prevention and your pet. In order to protect patient/client confidentiality, I will not publish any comments that contain specific questions about your pet.