OVERLAND PARK, KS | June 2001
The Center for Veterinary Medicine, a branch of the Food and Drug Administration, has just approved ProHeart®6 (moxidectin), aground breaking development in heartworm protection for dogs and dog owners from Fort Dodge Animal Health.
Unlike conventional, monthly heartworm protection products that are given to dogs by their owners, ProHeart®6 provides six months of continuous heartworm protection in a single dose that is administered by the veterinarian.
“”ProHeart®6 is a breakthrough product in terms of heartworm protection,”” said Steve Hoffman, Marketing Manager for Fort Dodge Animal Health. “”With ProHeart®6, the veterinarian, instead of the dog owner, controls the timing, administration, accuracy and efficacy of the heartworm dose, as efficacy is no longer dependent upon pet owners remembering to give the medication. It virtually eliminates compliance concerns by placing control of this potentially fatal disease with the veterinarian.””
Heartworm is a life-threatening canine parasite transmitted by mosquitoes that affects dogs in all 50 states. While research shows that America’s dog owners do understand the importance of protecting their pets from this deadly disease, adherence to properly administering traditional heartworm preventatives remains a serious problem for dog owners and veterinarians.
“”Current monthly heartworm products can only be effective whenthey are administered on time. Missed doses obviously compromisethe efficacy and confidence of the products to control heartworm,””explained Hoffman. “”Clearly, ProHeart®6 (moxidectin) represents thefuture of heartworm protection. It is safe, effective and virtuallyeliminates concerns about compliance by placing complete controlover canine heartworm protection with the veterinarian.””
A nationwide survey of dog owners, conducted in the summer of2000, found that more than 80 percent had failed to give their dogsthe monthly heartworm preventative on time. One third of the dogowners surveyed entirely missed a monthly dose, and 20 percent ofthose who missed eventually stopped giving the heartwormpreventative altogether.
Similarly, the Merck Ag Vet Veterinary Survey of Heartworm Compliance, conducted in 1996, indicated that only 56.4 percent of heartworm preventatives are administered as recommended.
“”There is a problem with client compliance with heartworm prevention,”” said Dr. Paul Black, a veterinarian in Rochester, NewYork. “”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 themedication.””
“”Unfortunately, we see cases every year of heartworm disease in dogs that previously have been dispensed a preventative,”” added Dr.Black.
With ProHeart®6, veterinarians now have a valuable new tool to virtually guarantee client compliance in heartworm prevention.
“”The availability of a sustained-release heartworm preventative will certainly have great advantages,”” said Dr. David Knight,President of the American Heartworm Society, and a professor of cardiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. “”For one thing, it would put a little more of the controlin the hands of the veterinarian, since it would be administered bythe veterinarian rather than the client-owner themselves. With ahigh level of efficacy for a six-month period, everyone could beassured of complete protection.””
ProHeart®6 contains the active ingredient moxidectin, a new generation milbemycin molecule, in combination with a unique microsphere technology delivery system. A single-dose injection provides unprecedented sustained-released protection against canine heartworm disease for six continuous months.
ProHeart®6 (moxidectin) has been proven safe and effective in multiple U.S. field trials. It has been extensively tested intarget animal safety studies in a wide variety of adult dogs,including heartworm-positive dogs, and collies with knownsensitivity to ivermectin. Efficacy and safety studies wereconducted by researchers from Cornell University, AuburnUniversity, University of Pennsylvania and University ofGeorgia.
“”Throughout the extensive field trials, ProHeart®6 proved safe fora variety of dogs participating in the test,”” said Kathy Heaney, DVM, Senior Manager Global New Product Development for Fort Dodge Animal Health. “”These studies confirmed that ProHeart®6 is a safe,effective and valuable alternative to conventional monthly heartworm preventatives.””
Dr. Thomas Saunders, a clinical investigator from Dana Point,California, participated in one of the studies, and now plans tooffer ProHeart®6 to his clientele. “”We administered ProHeart®6 to client-owned dogs in a 12-month study,”” said Dr. Saunders. “”Nonetested positive for heartworm. None of the dogs I treated with ProHeart®6 showed injection-site swelling or other side effects.Overall, we were impressed with the safety of ProHeart®6.””
“”Dog owners rely on their veterinarians to provide the highest level of health care available for their pets,”” said Hoffman.””ProHeart®6 (moxidectin) provides year-round, superior protection against canine heartworm disease with just two visits a year to the veterinarian.””
Fort Dodge Animal Health conducted extensive consumer-based research that indicated that dog owners are extremely receptive to the idea of twice-a-year visits to the veterinarian for heartworm prevention. In fact, a national survey of 2,500 dog owners revealed that more than 80 percent would switch to twice-a-year heartworm protection if it cost no more than their current monthly preventative. The average dog already is taken to the veterinarian 1.8 times a year for wellness check ups, grooming, boarding, dental work and other procedures, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
ProHeart®6 (moxidectin) is generally well tolerated. Use withcaution in sick, debilitated or underweight animals. A smallpercentage of dogs showed mild, transient swelling or itching atthe injection site. While rare, digestive, neurological orhypersensitivity reactions may occur. Read the package insert formore information. To obtain additional information, including acopy of the product labeling, dog owners should contact theirveterinarian, or call 1-800-772-5040.
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. Itis a leader in the discovery, development, manufacturing andmarketing of prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines. Italso is a global leader in vaccines, biotechnology, animal healthcare and medical devices.