Heartworms and intestinal parasites, such as roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms, can cause serious infection—and death—in
dogs and pose a zoonotic threat to people. Identifying these infections can be complicated because dogs may not show clinical
signs until these infections are fairly advanced. By following a few simple guidelines, you can empower clients to prevent
and control these parasitic infections in their dogs.
Prevention and control guidelines
By performing annual heartworm tests and recommending the administration of a broad-spectrum, monthly parasite control product
year-round, you can help prevent the needless negative health effects caused by these infections. The Companion Animal Parasite
Council (CAPC) recommends the following prevention and control guidelines:
Puppies: Deworm routinely, beginning at 2 weeks old. Repeat every two weeks until the puppies are 8 weeks old and receiving a monthly
parasite control product.
Nursing dams: Deworm concurrently with their offspring because dams often develop patent infections.
Adult dogs: Administer broad-spectrum heartworm preventives that protect against zoonotic parasites, and use them year-round.
"The CAPC guidelines are intended to improve pet owner compliance, prevent parasitic disease in pets, and prevent the transmission
of parasites from pets to people," says Dr. Byron Blagburn, MS, PhD, immediate past president of CAPC and professor of parasitology
University's College of Veterinary Medicine. "CAPC believes that the best way to accomplish this is to recommend year-round
use of heartworm preventives with broad-spectrum activity against gastrointestinal parasites."
For years, veterinarians have recommended that clients protect their dogs from heartworms, roundworms, and hookworms with
IVERHART PLUS®. IVERHART MAX® takes protection to the next level by offering complete protection against heartworms, roundworms, hookworms,
and now—tapeworms.* The product combines three active ingredients (ivermectin, pyrantel pamoate, and praziquantel) into a
once-a-month chewable tablet that dogs find highly palatable.
Dr. Blagburn says that because of the prevalence of these parasites across the United States, veterinarians should provide
complete prevention, treatment, and control through the use of broad-spectrum agents. IVERHART MAX is consistent in spectrum
with this recommendation .
It's that simple. An easy-to-administer tablet given monthly will keep dogs safe and free from these internal parasites—for
To monitor the efficacy of the deworming and client compliance with monthly preventives, you should perform a fecal examination
two to four times in a puppy's first year and one to two times per year in adults. All dogs should be tested for heartworm
infection before starting a preventive program. Following the use of IVERHART MAX, digestive and neurologic side effects have
rarely been reported. Use with caution in sick, debilitated, or underweight animals and dogs weighing less than 10 lbs.
* Please consult package insert for complete product information. Indications: For use in dogs to prevent canine heartworm
disease by eliminating the tissue stage of heartworm larvae (Dirofi laria immitis) for a month (30 days) after infection and for the treatment and control of roundworms (Toxocara canis, Toxascaris leonina), hookworms (Ancylostoma caninum, Uncinaria stenocephala, Ancylostoma braziliense), and tapeworms (Dipylidium caninum, Taenia pisiformis).
Clinical signs of canine heartworm disease
Although some dogs may show no clinical signs, veterinarians may suspect heartworm infection if a dog shows signs of:
- Lethargy or exercise intolerance
- Shortness of breath
- Weight loss.
If left untreated, the disease can progress and cause:
- Inflammation and blood flow interference in the right side of the heart and in the major vessels and arteries of the right
- Pulmonary thromboemboli
- Congestive heart failure
- Liver or kidney failure
Source: American Heartworm Society. Available at:
http://www.heartwormsociety.org/. Accessed February 27, 2008.