Message Number: FHL13177 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Sukie Crandall
Date: 2011-04-25 16:06:37 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] JM from FHL: on heartworms and preventing worms winding up in the heart (and more)

The most recent vet messages on this specific topic in the FHL Archives and other resources:

> Date: Thu, 3 Dec 2009 16:00:28 EST
> To:
> Subject: [ferrethealth] Re:Heartworms? treatment vs prevention
> Hi Tony
> For prevention of heartworms: ivermectin (Heartgard), selamectin
> (Revolution, also called Stronghold), moxidectin (ProHeart 6;
> Advantage multi, also called Advocate) are all just about 100% effective,
> and all 3 are safe to use.
> The other preventative is milbemycin (Interceptor).
> It is also just about 100% effective as a preventative and safe to use.
> When it comes to treatment options, they do not all work as well.
> Ivermectin and moxidectin (ProHeart 6) will slowly kill the adult
> heartworms, but this may take 6 to 18 months. Selamectin is not as good
> at killing the adult heartworms, so it is not recommended for treatment.
> Immiticide (the product that we use in dogs to treat adult heartworms)
> works great in dogs, but it is NOT safe enough for use in ferrets or cats.
> Thus ProHeart or ivermectin is recommended for heartworm treatment in
> ferrets.
> Pred is used during treatment to limit blood clots and to reduce
> inflammation
> in the lungs.
> Needless to say it is better to prevent heartworms than to treat heartworms!
> Hope that clears things up,
> Jerry Murray, DVM

> Date: Tue, 1 Dec 2009 19:36:01 EST
> To:
> Subject: [ferrethealth] Re:Heartworms? and Ivermectin
> Hello Amy
> Yes, ferrets can get heartworms, and heartworms can be hard to
> see on an ultrasound of the heart. The dog heartworm test (Idexx
> Snap) or Idexx labs (well test) are the recommended tests for heartworms.
> Ivermectin is quite safe in ferrets, dogs and cats at the right dose.
> However some dog breeds (collies, etc) can have a (genetic) problem
> with ivermectin. Turtles and tortoises are also prone to having problems
> with ivermectin. However I have never seen a ferret have a problem with
> ivermectin. First find out if there is actually heartworms, then you can
> use
> pred and ivermectin. The tumor by the kidney could be an adrenal tumor,
> possible lymphoma, or other cancer. Time to find out what that is too.
> Hope that helps,
> Jerry Murray, DVM

> Date: Tue, 10 Jun 2008 22:16:00 EDT
> To:
> Subject: [ferrethealth] Re:How to deal with heartworm exposure
> The Idexx SNAP heartworm test (ie "the dog test") can
> be used in ferrets. However the Idexx well test that Idexx
> runs when you send blood samples into an Idexx lab is
> even more sensitive and accurate. Thus the best test
> is to have your vet send a blood sample into an Idexx lab
> for a heartworm test. If it is positive, then a treatment
> protocol (ie ivomec and pred or proheart 6) can be used.
> Remember heartworms in ferrets is usually fatal, so
> prevention is your best option. You can use Revolution,
> Advantage Multi, Interceptor, Heartgard, Proheart 6 or ivomec
> to prevent heartworms. Heartworms cause damage to the heart
> and when they die, they cause damage to the lungs. Both can
> be fatal to a ferret.
> Hope that helps,
> Jerry Murray, DVM
includes these two sentences in its paragraphs:
> Heartworm medications work by halting heartworm development before the adult worms reach the lungs and cause disease. Compared to the cost of treating an animal with mature adult heartworms, heartworm prevention is safe, easy and inexpensive.
(In ferrets since most with heartworm die, the cost is way beyond financial.)
(Repeated because it is a "must-see")

Sukie (not a vet)

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"All hail the procrastinators for they shall rule the world tomorrow."
(2010, Steve Crandall)


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