3 Heartworm Prevention F.A.Q.s

What should you do if your dog misses a dose of heartworm prevention?

I Missed Giving a Dose of Heartworm Prevention Medicine. Does My Pet Need to Be Tested for Heartworms?

We’ve all been there at least once in which life’s daily routines can cause us to forget important reminders. So, what happens in the event you mistakenly forget to give your pet his or her heartworm preventative and a month goes by without protection?

Despite potential misinformation given to pet parents, it is not necessary to have a pet immediately tested for heartworms if a pet has missed one month of heartworm preventative medicine. The reason for this is because it can take several months for a pet to become heartworm-positive if he or she is bitten by mosquitoes carrying heartworms. Also, most of the monthly heartworm preventatives have a safety factor of at least 15 days of protection if a dose is missed.

When Should I Resume Heartworm Preventative After a Missed Dose?

The simplest answer to pet parents who forget a month of heartworm prevention is to simply give the pill or administer the application and restart their monthly preventative schedule. At the time of an annual or semiannual exam, a routine blood test is recommended, along with a wellness exam and other laboratory testing if necessary. While I encourage pet parents to maintain their monthly heartworm preventative scheduling, accidentally missing a dose will not be a health risk or harmful to one’s pets in these isolated circumstances.

Why Does My Dog Vomit After Taking Heartworm Preventative?

In some cases, pet parents may notice their pet experiencing a digestive upset after administering an oral heartworm preventative. For some pets, this may be a one-time only instance and I will advise pet parents to resume the monthly heartworm medication the following month. If vomiting occurs with subsequent administration, it is possible your pet may have an allergic reaction to the ingredient. As a result, consider changing to a different brand of monthly heartworm prevention, or consider topical preventatives such as Revolution or Advantage Multi.

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26 Comments

  1. Hi Michelle. We hope your dog is feeling better! We always recommend you consult your vet, who best knows your pet’s health. However, for non-emergency questions, you can contact Dr. Dym directly using our Ask the Vet form.
    ~ Abby, PetMeds Pro

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