The American Heartworm Society recommends giving heartworm prevention year round starting at 8 weeks of age. Heartworm prevention works by killing any larval forms of the heartworm before they can become an adult, when they can reach up to 16 inches in length. Heartworm prevention comes in a flavored chew or tablet. There are many types of prevention, so it is easy to find one that fits your budget and is a treat your pet will look forward to taking once a month!

Here at Byron Center Animal Hospital, we carry Sentinel as our main heartworm preventative for dogs.  Sentinel is a chewable flavored tablet that also prevents against intestinal parasites - Roundworms, Hookworms, and Whipworms - and also has a flea growth inhibitor.  If your pet doesn't care for Sentinel, there are other options, like Heartguard, that we can order for you.  We want heartworm prevention to be easy!  For cats, we have Revolution, which is a topical product.  Revolution also protects against fleas, ear mites, hookworms, and roundworms.

If you have questions about heartworm disease

or prevention, we would love to discuss it with

you! Together we can help our pets live the

good life, free of heartworms!  Give us a call

at 616-878-7387!

For more information please visit:

The American Heartworm society:

Companion Animal Parasite Council:


If your pet has heartworm disease, it may take months to see any side effects from it. Often, heartworm disease goes unnoticed until your pet has a heartworm test performed. Heartworm disease is treated with injections of an expensive arsenic solution. These injections go deep into the muscle tissue and can be quite painful. During treatment, dogs must be cage rested up to 8 weeks to prevent serious side-effects. If you average the cost of preventing the condition for a pet’s lifetime, it ends up being less expensive to prevent than to treat it once. Currently there is no effective treatment for cats.

Would you rather…….?

 HEARTWORM DISEASE: The down and dirty truth


by Natalie Weaver

B. - Give your pet a monthly flavored treat!

I think we would all choose B. We all love our pets and would not want them to suffer unnecessarily. Heartworms were first discovered in 1847 and continue to problematic for our pets today. Heartworm disease is transmitted by a single mosquito bite by an infected mosquito. Almost 300,000 dogs are infected with heartworms every year. One of these dogs could live in your neighborhood. This is concerning because a mosquito can fly up to 3 miles!

A. - Have your pet's heart full of worms? Worms that will damage heart and lung tissue if left untreated? Would you want to cage rest your pet for 4-6 months due to complicated treatments of heartworm disease and have your pets endure painful arsenic injections? Possibly spend $1,500-$3,000 on expensive treatments that could have been avoided?

September 2017