Heartworm disease occurs in all 50 states but is particularly common in the South. The disease spreads when infected mosquitoes bite a dog, transferring the heartworm larvae into the wound. The larvae then make their way into the lungs, heart, and blood vessels of the host, where they mature. In six months, the female heartworms begin releasing larvae into the host’s bloodstream to infect more mosquitoes. Heartworms can live in untreated dogs for up to seven years and, in extreme cases, can lead to death. Furthermore, the disease is much easier and less costly to prevent than it is to cure.
Despite health concerns, only 17 to 38 percent of dogs under veterinary care receive heartworm preventative prescriptions, and 49 percent of dog owners do not have current information on heartworm prevention techniques. A common preventative measure for heartworm disease is Trifexus—a monthly pill that prevents fleas, heartworm, and intestinal worms. The pills come in beef-flavored chewable tablets and must be given orally. An alternative heartworm prevention measure is Proheart 6, which was recently reintroduced to the US market. Proheart 6 is shot that can prevent heartworms for up to six months. There are strengths and weaknesses to both medications.
• Kills and prevents fleas, prevents heartworms, and treats and prevents intestinal worms
• Comes in a monthly chewable tablet and must be given with food for maximum effectiveness
• Is for use in dogs eight weeks of age or older and five pounds of body weight or greater
• Does not control ticks
• Combines two active ingredients
• Has no generics available
• Does not require you to isolate your dog from other pets or children
• May be difficult to administer consistently, and one missed dose can put dogs at risk
• Has some possible side effects, including vomiting, itching, decreased activity, diarrhea, inflammation of the skin, redness of the skin, decreased appetite, and redness of the ear
• Was recently reintroduced to US market after voluntary recall in 2004 for further testing
• Main active ingredient is Moxidectin
• One injection provides six months of heartworm protection
• Does not kill, treat, or protect against fleas, ticks, or intestinal parasites
• Eliminates inconsistent appliance for six months
• Must be administered by a qualified vet affiliated with restricted distribution program
• Has no generics available
• Should not be used in dogs that are sick, underweight, or have a history of weight loss
• Has some possible side effects including anaphylaxis, drug toxicity including digestive, hematological, and neurological reactions, and mild transient swelling or itching at injection site
In short, the main differences between Trifexus and Proheartt 6 are as follows: Trifexus is a monthly pill given at home that prevents heartworm and other intestinal parasites, while Proheart 6 is a shot given by your vet every six months that exclusively prevents heartworm. While we hope this article is useful to you, the best way to find out what is best for your pet is to consult a qualified veterinarian. If you would like more information visit the Proheart 6 and Trifexus, websites.