- Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal condition that attacks the heart, lungs, and related blood vessels.
- ProHeart 6 is an injectable heartworm preventive medication that can be used in healthy dogs 6 months of age or older. ProHeart 6 is not for use in cats.
- ProHeart 6 injections are given once every 6 months by your veterinarian.
- Your veterinarian may recommend a complete physical examination and obtain a thorough health history before administering the injection.
- Side effects, although rare, have been reported, so owners should familiarize themselves with the signs and know when to contact their veterinarian.
- Your veterinarian will ask you to sign a consent form before administering ProHeart 6 to your dog.
Why Prevent Heartworm Disease?
Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal condition that affects dogs, cats, and up to 30 other species of mammals. It is caused by parasitic worms (heartworms) living in the major vessels of the lungs and, occasionally, in the heart. The scientific name for the heartworm parasite is Dirofilaria immitis.
Although heartworm disease is virtually 100% preventable, many dogs are diagnosed with it each year. Heartworm disease has been diagnosed in all 50 states. The American Heartworm Society (AHS) estimates that 1 million dogs in the United States are infected with the disease today, and this number may be rising.
What Is ProHeart 6?
ProHeart 6 is an injectable medication that is used in dogs 6 months of age or older to prevent heartworm disease. Your veterinarian will administer ProHeart 6 as a single injection under your dog’s skin. Once the drug is given, it continuously prevents heartworm disease for 6 months. Using ProHeart 6 means that you don’t need to remember to administer a monthly oral or topical heartworm preventive medication to your dog.
Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitoes. To properly protect your dog, ProHeart 6 should be administered within 1 month before mosquitoes appear where you live. If you are switching from another heartworm preventive medication, ProHeart 6 should be administered within 1 month after the last dose of the other product. This will help ensure that your dog is continuously protected.
In addition to preventing heartworm disease, ProHeart 6 treats hookworm infections. Hookworms are parasites that can live in the intestines of dogs. These parasites attach to the inner lining of the intestines and drink blood. Hookworm infections can cause severe diarrhea, blood loss, and weight loss. In young puppies, severe hookworm infections can even be fatal. Hookworms can also infect humans, so treating infected dogs also helps to protect other family members.
Important Safety Information
Before initiating heartworm prevention with ProHeart 6, your veterinarian may recommend a full physical examination for your dog. Some diagnostic testing may also be recommended, including a heartworm test. Any dog that tests positive for heartworm disease should be treated before receiving ProHeart 6.
Your veterinarian will likely review your dog’s medical history before administering ProHeart 6. Be sure to discuss any of your dog’s previous illnesses or medical problems with your veterinarian. ProHeart 6 should not be used in sick, debilitated, or underweight dogs or in dogs with a history of weight loss. It should be used with caution in dogs with a history of allergies, such as food allergy, flea allergy dermatitis, or allergic reactions to vaccines. Talk to your veterinarian about administering ProHeart 6 along with vaccines.
Allergic reactions to ProHeart 6, have been reported. For this reason, owners should closely monitor their dog for 24 hours after injection and should report any of the following side effects immediately: facial swelling, itching, difficulty breathing, and collapse. Other possible side effects may include lethargy (tiredness), reduced appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, weight loss, and pale gums. Contact your veterinarian as soon as possible if you notice any of these side effects or if you have any other concerns about your dog. The majority of patients with drug-related side effects have recovered when the signs are recognized, and veterinary care, if appropriate, is initiated.
Before ProHeart 6 can be administered to your dog, your veterinarian will ask you to sign a consent form stating that you are aware of the drug’s possible side effects and have been educated regarding what signs to look for. By signing the form, owners agree to seek appropriate medical treatment if they notice any side effects in their pet.
ProHeart 6 is only available to eligible veterinarians through a restricted distribution program. The program requires veterinarians to undergo specialized training before being able to administer the heartworm preventive. In addition, the program requires that owners be advised of the potential risks of administration and sign the consent form.