New Heartworm Preventative Released

You won't have to struggle with your dog to give it daily or monthly heartworm medication. Thursday, Auburn University's College of Veterinary Medicine and Fort Dodge Animal Health announced that a new medicine will let your vet give your dog a shot that will protect them for six months from heartworms. Heartworms are a fatal parasite transmitted by mosquitoes.

The medicine is called ProHeart 6, and the USDA approved it last week. Dr. Byron Blagburn performed tests over the course of five years on the medication. Dr. Blagburn said, "It's very effective and safe, and it should provide some advantages in that dog owners won't have to give monthly or daily oral medication, which can be difficult if their dog doesn't like to swallow. Since it last six months, it will be effective for the entire heartworm season in some parts of the country."

Fort Dodge officials say that current heartworm products on the market only work if they are given monthly or daily. "Dog owners often forget to administer their dog's monthly heartworm preventative as recommended, and this lack of compliance is a concern, since it (heartworm infestation) is an entirely preventable disease," said David Rock, Fort Dodge's director or animal health research new product development.