Immiticide Shortage Poses a Huge Problem Nationwide

Very interesting posts made regarding the nationwide shortage of immiticide.

“I work at a military installation small animal clinc in Georgia. We have heartworm positive test quite often. I have seen at least 8-12 in the past 6 months. It is really unfortunate. At any rate we too have ZERO Immiticide but we have been starting dogs on the “slow method” as well. We are giving them a combo of Doxy and Heartgard. The amount of Heartgard is increased to 1 chewable every 2 weeks (or twice a month) and the amount of doxy varies on the animal.

BoBo, shown right, heartworm negative after 8 months of slow kill treatment (heartgard and doxy). 

We give the 2 together for several months. With dogs that have been on ZERO Heartgard we start them off with a (free trial) puppy size 1 time, then move them up slowly to the appropriate size one step at a time. So the first time is a puppy size, then 2 weeks later the 26-50 and so on.. if needed to reach the appropriate size for their weight. (I call it a puppy size since it is a free puppy kit we get from the company).

As far as results we have been testing animals 4+ months later and we have seen some that have come back negative after the treatment. As far as cost goes it is fairly cheap because we only serve military and our prices for products are typically cheaper particularly for these products.On a last note, I have also heard that they are administering Immiticide for those “critical” cases that are in need. There is a form of sorts to fill out from the vet who sends it in and can apparently obtain the Immiticide. I haven’t seen any come through our doors that are showing any signs of an immediate need for the Immiticide and we haven’t orderd any that I am aware of. We will have to weather the storm with everyone else I guessOh I forgot! I have heard that the combonation of the 2 meds does something to the digestive tract of the heartworm therefore not allowing it eat or digest properly which then leads it to slowly die… again this is only what I have heard in conversations with other vets. “

Chas loves his Jeep!

But wait, there’s more!  Marjie Wolfe has been working feverishly to get the latest updates!

Read VIN News, Immiticide Supplies Run Dry.
And most important, published Alternative Therapies by the Heartworm Society.
Ivermectin/Doxycycline
In cases where arsenicals are contraindicated and the animal’s overall condition makes standard adulticidal therapy impractical, the use of a monthly ivermectin-based heartworm preventive along with doxycycline could be considered. It has been reported that ivermectin and doxycycline administered periodically over 36 weeks resulted in a 78% reduction in adult worm numbers. Moreover, microfilariae from dogs treated with doxycycline that were ingested by mosquitoes developed into third-stage larvae that appeared to be normal in appearance and motility, but these larvae were not able to develop into adult worms, thus negating the risk of selecting for resistant strains. The administration of doxycycline at 10 mg/kg BID for a 4 week period every three to four months should eliminate most Wolbachia organisms and not allow them to repopulate.”
Here’s an article from AnnArbor.com  “Current recommendations by the American Heartworm Society are to treat heartwormpositive dogs with a slow-kill method. This method involves continued use of preventative, antibiotics and possibly steroids.”
Shelters and pounds will have no choice but to either change their protocol to adopting out HW+ dogs or they will be put down, with no chance of rescue.
This is unfortunate because the treatment is easily obtainable, affordable and successful.  Shelters and pounds might consider allowing adopters to foster HW+ dogs, while they undergo the slow kill treatment, and adopt once the test results are negative.
New Article Dated 11/22/11 Posted by Dr. Becker.

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1 Comment

  1. This is really important and good information to have and to share. Especially with the many rescue groups that deal with HW+ dogs off and on.

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