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They recommend that pet owners continue to give preventatives year-round, following label directions, as they continue to be effective for the vast majority of dogs.
In the past, we have recommended that people might safely extend the time between doses of heartworm preventatives to six weeks, and decrease the dosage when using Interceptor, based on the efficacy studies that were done when the FDA approved these drugs.
We still question the need to give preventatives year-round in cold climates, where mosquitoes cannot survive during the winter.
If you choose not to give heartworm preventatives year-round, keep in mind that these drugs work "backward," killing larvae that may have infected your dog in the previous month.
Health Canada maintains that other safeguards currently in place will ensure that Canadians are not presented with misleading or false preventative advertising claims.
Allowing advertising of preventative claims for Schedule A diseases represents a major policy shift away from the historical emphasis on protecting vulnerable consumers in advertising directed at serious diseases.
Allowing advertising of preventative claims raises a number of issues, such as concerns that the advertising will not be educational, may not be effectively monitored by Health Canada, and may lead to delays in treatment for serious illnesses.
There is a danger that the preventative claim advertising will not educate the public and, even worse, may be false and misleading.
In fact, most (certainly not all) holistic veterinarians consider the use of pharmaceutical preventatives to be less harmful than a heartworm infection.
The only way to know for sure that your dog is protected is to give heartworm preventatives.
I can't keep silent when I see people starting to believe that healthy animals don't get heartworm and that we can blithely forgo using preventatives if we don't overvaccinate and feed raw.
What is known, is that conventional heartworm preventatives are the best form of protection currently available.