Heartworm disease is a potentially fatal infection caused by heartworms. Heartworms are a type of roundworm that lives in the heart, lungs and surrounding blood vessels of affected animals. Although it can be successfully treated, a heartworm infection can cause lifelong damage to the heart, lungs, and other organs in the body. To learn more about what heartworm is and how it is spread, read our blog.

The good news is that this disease is easily prevented with medication or injections like ProHeart 12! The earlier heartworm disease is diagnosed, the better your dog’s chances of recovery. Knowing that, there are few – if any – early signs, which is why it is important to have your dog tested annually. A simple blood test will reveal the presence of heartworms.

The FDA recently approved a new heartworm prevention for dogs – ProHeart 12. ProHeart 12 is an extended-release injection for dogs over 12 months old. One injection of ProHeart 12 can protect your dog for 12 months – just one injection is needed per year. ProHeart 12 is also approved for the treatment of existing larval and adult hookworm infections.

The FDA has been working with the makers of ProHeart 12 for over a decade to improve upon ProHeart 6, which was previously voluntarily removed from the market. After years of testing, revising risk information and product labeling, and establishing criteria for eligibility for the injection, ProHeart 12 has finally been approved for use.

Five laboratories have evaluated the safety of ProHeart 12. The effectiveness of ProHeart 12 was demonstrated in two laboratory dose confirmation studies and a field study of 297 client-owned dogs that were administered the product. All studies demonstrated the product to be 100 percent effective in the prevention of heartworm disease for one year.

At Oxford Veterinary Hospital, we recommend a routine physical exam be done annually for dogs and cats under the age of 7 years. During these preventive care exams, our team will make recommendations for preventive care based on your pet’s individual needs.

To read the entire FDA report, click here. If you have questions, our team is here to help. Please don’t hesitate to contact us!