Monday, September 19, 2011

Heartworm treatment drug UNAVAILABLE

I just read an article in my local paper that saddened me.

The headline was as follows:

Heartworm treatment drug unavailable

Now, I don't have any heartworm positive animals, however, I have seen many come in to the shelter (I do volunteer work for my local SPCA). It saddens me because for now, these animals won't be able to be treated, and for some, it will be too late.

The article says:
The only heartworm adulticide approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in canines is temporarily unavailable nationwide. Merial, it's sole manufacturer, warns of an outage expected to last several weeks to months.

Currently the SPCA is not scheduling any new heartworm treatments. We have only enough product to finish the second and third doses for those patients already in the treatment cycle said SPCA McClurg Animal Medical Center Director of Veterinary Services Dr. Boyd Harrell. 

Until Immiticide becomes available, the SPCA medical center has adopted the alternative treatment guidelines recommended by theAmerican Heartworm Society Dogs owned by the public and shelter dogs awaiting adoption will be subject to the same protocol. All heartworm positive dogs will be placed on a waiting list in the order they were diagnosed; high risk patients will be moved to the top of the list. Dog owners will be advised to restrict the dogs activity and exercise. The following interim treatment will begin immediately. Heartgard given monthly; Doxycycline given on a one month on, two months off schedule. When Immiticide is available, owners will be called to begin treating the adult heartworms.

The Immiticide shortage is a grim reminder of the seriousness of heartworm disease. A single bite from a disease carrying mosquito can infect any unprotected canine. Every Florida dog should be on heartworm preventative year round."


I will admit that while I try to be the best fur mommy I can be, when it comes to finances and cutting costs, while my pets are all(this includes four dogs and three cats!) up to date on their shots, when I have to cut costs, it has often been heartworm preventative because it's so stinkin' expensive.

This article has definitely convicted me and I need to take a look at our budget and see what I can work out.

If your pets aren't on preventative and you live in a mosquito ridden place such as Florida, I recommend you do the same.

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