Sentinel & Interceptor are the top Heartworm Preventatives
You need to be careful when choosing which heartworm prevention medication that you give your dog, given the seriousness of a heartworm infestation. The heartworm prevention medicine put on the market in 2001 called Proheart Six only required that your pet be injected two times within the year. At first, the heartworm prevention was believed to be a safe & easy way to administer care and prevention to pets, however the FDA of the USA intervened when reports of more than 5,000 pets became ill as a reaction from the medicine. Of the 5,000 reported there were 415 fatalities.
The FDA investigated and figures show the number of deaths per year caused by adverse reactions to ProHeart 6 were much higher than monthly heartworm medications. On average of 138 deaths a year compared with as few as 6 for Heartgard heartworm protection and Sentinel. (Source FDA: As of 05/03/2004)
As with most all medications, the possibility of an allergic reaction from the heartworm control is present and could cause death of the pet.
According to the FDA (2004), Revolution heartworm protection had reports of an average of 36 annual deaths from over 8,500 reactions. Keep in mind however, that the statistics read higher than Proheart 6, simply because the product has been on the market much longer and has been administered to many more pets. Proheart 6 has actually caused more than three times as many deaths.
Although these statistics can seem scary, you should remember that Revolution is used as a popular flea and heartworm prevention by many in which most all benefit greatly from it. Also available is Interceptor for your dog. It has been reported of having around 214 adverse reactions, which is eight times less than the flea and heartworm control of Revolution. Interceptor averages 9 deaths per year as opposed to the average 138 deaths per year from Proheart Six.
Indeed between 1995 and 2004 only 84 deaths were recorded for Interceptor heart worm protection. Heartgard, which uses ivermectin for heartworm protection in its Heartgard chewables, had an average of 355 reactions and 6 deaths.
Causing the very least amount of allergic reactions or deaths was Sentinel, a flea, parasite and heartworm protection medication. Statistics show that information gathered in the years of 1999 through 2004 that Sentinel heartworm prevention for dogs resulted in 900 reactions which is an average of 233 as opposed to Revolution heartworm treatment for dogs which had 1,737 reactions with a total of 25 deaths averaging to be 6 annually.
Proheart 6 is not recommended for established heartworm infections, but only preventative heartworm control for dogs. Many vets still believe Proheart to be safe if properly prepared and administered, but many choose monthly heart worm prevention and treatment as a safer option. Proheart 6 was recalled in September 2004 but is still available in 2007 as a heartworm protection medicine.
Of course you want what is best for your pet as it is a family member, not a statistical reading, however these adverse reactions in which you have been informed of are from millions of dogs throughout the world and are considerably low. If you are concerned about your pets health, choosing prevention is the best action for you. Discuss your options with your vet and ask all the questions in which you deem necessary.
Heartworms are devastating to any dog and should not be taken the least bit lightly. Choose a monthly dosage of heartworm preventive medicine for your beloved pet so as to provide the best care possible and protect him from any unnecessary pain and suffering.