When it comes to matters of the heart, dog owners can be inattentive – at least in terms of complying with monthly heartworm protection.

Recent research shows that dog owners often forget to administer their dog’s monthly heartworm preventative as recommended. The lack of compliance concerns veterinarians, since heartworm is a potentially fatal, but entirely preventable, disease.

A nationwide survey of dog owners, conducted in the summer of 2000, found that more than 80 percent had failed to give their dogs the monthly heartworm preventative on the exact day as instructed. One third of the dog owners surveyed entirely missed a monthly dose, and 20 percent of those who missed eventually stopped giving the heartworm preventative altogether.

An earlier study, conducted by Merck Ag Vet, revealed that only 56.4 percent of heartworm mediations are administered as recommended by the veterinarian. Compliance problems put dogs at risk. Sadly, in most cases, these risks can be prevented.

“There is a problem with client compliance with heartworm prevention,” said Dr. Paul Black, a veterinarian in Rochester, New York. “Certainly, we see plenty of dogs that we dispense a seasonal supply of heartworm preventative, and when the pet comes back in the next year, the owner comments: ‘Oh, I still have a few of those left at home.’ Obviously, they did not give all the medication.”

“Unfortunately, we see cases every year of heartworm disease in dogs that previously have been dispensed a preventative,” added Dr. Black.

ProHeart®6 (moxidectin), recently approved by the Center for Veterinary Medicine, a branch of the Food and Drug Administration, provides veterinarians with a valuable new tool to virtually guarantee client compliance in heartworm prevention.

“Not only is ProHeart®6 a breakthrough product in terms of heartworm protection, it virtually eliminates compliance concerns by placing control of this potentially fatal disease with the veterinarian,” says Steve Hoffman, Marketing Manager for Fort Dodge Animal Health. “ProHeart®6 provides six months of continuous heartworm protection in a single, injectable dose administered by the veterinarian. This will provide a huge boost in confidence and peace-of-mind, which are very important in the client. It clearly represents the future of canine heartworm prevention.”

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the average dog is taken to the veterinarian 1.8 times a year for wellness checkups, grooming, boarding, dental work and other procedures, providing the opportunity for administering the twice-a-year ProHeart®6 treatment.

Further, in a national survey of 2,500 dog owners, more than 80 percent said they would switch to twice-a-year injectable heartworm protection if it cost no more than their current monthly preventative.

“Studies have shown that dog owners are aware of the importance of heartworm preventative compliance,” says Hoffman. “They are also aware that they sometimes fail to give their dogs their monthly dose as recommended. One of the biggest advantages of ProHeart®6 is that it remedies compliance problems by placing the control of canine heartworm in the capable hands of the veterinarian.”

ProHeart®6 (moxidectin) is generally well tolerated. Use with caution in sick, debilitated or underweight animals. A small percentage of dogs showed mild, transient swelling or itching at the injection site. While rare, digestive, neurological or hypersensitivity reactions may occur. Read the package insert for more information. To obtain additional information, including a copy of the product labeling, veterinarians can visit or call 1-800-533-8536.

Fort Dodge Animal Health is a division of American Home Products. American Home Products is one of the world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical and health care product companies. It is a leader in the discovery, development, manufacturing and marketing of prescription drugs and over the-counter medicines. It also is a global leader in vaccines, biotechnology, animal health care and medical devices.



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