Should Heartworm Medication be sold over the counter?

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Should Heartworm Medication be sold over the counter?

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Should Heartworm Medication be sold over the counter?

Post  runarabbit on Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:20 am

Should Heartworm Medication be sold over the counter?

Quote taken from: http://www.veterinarypracticenews.com/web-exclusives/why-heartworm-preventive-sales-should-not-go-over-the-counter.aspx

Veterinarians who treat heartworm cases with Immiticide are aware of the recommendation to treat dogs first with a monthly preventive (usually ivermectin), and thus are aware that the medications can be safely administered to microfilaremic dogs.

And if you read the labels for the canine products Heartgard Plus, Interceptor, Sentinel, Revolution, Iverhart Max and Advantage Multi, you will see that they all say they are safe for dogs with circulating microfilariae.

Thus, there are those who argue that there is no reason to check a dog before beginning a preventive program, because it is not dangerous for the dog, it will “slowly kill” the adult heartworms over a number of months, and any microfilaremia will eventually resolve after the adult worms are removed.

If the above arguments are true, if you can treat existing infections with a monthly product, if you do not have to check heartworm status before you start preventive and if annual checks are pointless because the worms will ultimately be killed by the product anyway--then, why not just sell heartworm preventives over the counter?

Make the products available in Target and Wal-Mart. There are people out there who firmly believe that this is what should be done and that veterinarians are positioning themselves between the products and consumers simply to make money.
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Re: Should Heartworm Medication be sold over the counter?

Post  Angelboys3 on Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:40 am

You would think it would be fine, after all people are mixing up their own anyway. IMO it would be safer for the dog dosage wise, if their owner could simply buy it OTC in the pre-measured tablets. I actually like the tabs better since I feel like there is less chance for me to make an error with it. I could purchase the tabs we used to use for $11.99 box of six, so $24.00 per dog for a yr of prevention if I were able to buy it online, vs double that plus the test and office visit required. Living out in the country has its benefits as far as low cost vet care typically, one of the drawbacks is that I don't know of any vets close (ours included) that will fax a prescription to an online pharmacy. They say they don't even have Rx pads because they fill everything in-house. I know because we needed a Rx eye ointment for one of the dogs, could get it for 5.50 thru Drs. Foster&Smith with free shipping. Same thing at the vet was 20.00 but they couldn't fax them the order. Would be much easier if we could just order it or go pick it up!

And as far as it being ok in active HW cases, I heard this from our vet. We took in a dog who was HW+ and we have the option of injections for treatment with 3 months of crate rest for a faster treatment, or just start on the monthly pills and take a slow approach which could take 12-18 months to be fully rid of it. (We chose the fast option just because we wanted her better faster though)
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