ProHeart 6 is a medication that prevents heartworm disease in dogs. It can be started when dogs are 6 months old and is given via injection by your veterinarian. One injection of ProHeart 6 protects your dog from heartworm disease for 6 complete months. ProHeart 6 also prevents and treats the intestinal parasite, hookworms.
We believe that Proheart 6 is the most effective heartworm preventative currently available. Over the past years, the veterinary community has noticed an increase in the number of cases of patients testing positive for heartworms, despite owner’s reports of giving faithful, monthly heartworm prevention. We have not seen this trend with Proheart. Proheart 6 is a more convenient alternative to heartworm prevention for owners because your dog will only require heartworm prevention every 6 months rather than every month. With ProHeart you rest assured that your pet received its heartworm prevention because it is given by injection by either the veterinarian or a trained veterinary assistant. Overall, we recommend ProHeart 6 because we believe it is a more effective and more convenient option for heartworm prevention. If you would like additional information regarding ProHeart, please click here.
We recommend that all dogs and cats not intended for intentional breeding be spayed (females) or neutered (males) around 6 month of age. This procedure can be done sooner but we prefer to wait until 6 months of age to minimize the risk of anesthetic complications.
Read below for more information about why this is our best recommendation.
• Overpopulation: Animal shelters around the country are already severely overpopulated. Allowing dogs to breed freely only adds to this problem. Dogs in shelters have to be euthanized daily because there is simply not enough room to provide adequate care. Spaying females and neutering males helps to control this growing problem.
• Health benefits to females: Female dogs have an increased risk for developing mammary cancer with each heat cycle. Females spayed before their first heat cycle have a 0.5% chance of developing mammary cancer. Females’ first heat cycle usually occurs between 9-12 months. This protective mechanism drastically decreases with each allowed heat cycle, and there is a 7-fold increase in the chance of developing mammary cancer if spayed after 2 years of age. Intact females are much more likely to roam and will attract male dogs to your home. This could lead to more “headache” for you and could potentially result in harmful incidents like: being hit by a car, transmission of disease, dog fights, etc. Older intact females have a higher risk of developing other diseases, such as “pyometra”. Pyometra is a very severe infection of the uterus. This disease is life threatening and requires emergency surgery, hospitalization, and antibiotic therapy.
• Health benefits to males: Intact male dogs are at greater risk of developing prostate and urinary problems as they age. These problems include prostate enlargement, prostate/urinary tract infections, and prostatic cancer. Dogs with this condition may have trouble urinating or defecating. Treatment almost always requires neutering. Older intact males are at increased risk for developing testicular cancer, which can be life-threatening. Treatment also requires neutering. Intact male dogs are more likely to develop unwanted behavior patterns like urine marking, humping, aggressiveness and “roaming”. This could lead to more “headache” for you and could potentially result in harmful incidents like: being hit by a car, transmission of disease, dog fights, getting lost/stolen, etc.
• Overpopulation: Female cats are induced ovulaters, meaning that every time a female cat breeds she releases eggs from her ovary. Therefore, cats can become pregnant very easily. Cats often have large litters of kittens, who will very soon be able to have large litters themselves. You can imagine how quickly and easily it would be to have far more cats than you ever intended. Animal shelters around the country are already severely overpopulated. Allowing cats to breed freely only adds to this problem. Cats in shelters have to be euthanized daily because there is simply not enough room to provide adequate care. Spaying females and neutering males helps to control this growing problem.
• Health benefits: The stray/feral cat population plays a key role in the prevalence and spread of many diseases such as, Feline Leukemia Virus, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (Feline AIDS), Herpes Virus and many others. Sterilizing your cat helps to reduce the number of unwanted kittens who will enter the stray/feral cat population and continue spreading these diseases. Spaying a female cat reduces the risk of developing mammary cancer by 40-60%. Unlike in dogs, there is no correlation to the age at which they are spayed and the greatness of the risk of developing mammary cancer. Intact male cats are more likely to develop unwanted behavior patterns like urine marking within the home, aggressive behavior and roaming. This could lead to more “headache” for you and may result in harmful incidents like: being hit by a car, transmission of disease, cat fights, getting lost/stolen, etc. Abscesses secondary to cate bite infections are very common, and cats who remain intact are at a much greater risk.
The most common disease in companion animals is periodontal disease. This is the overwhelming cause for bad breath in our pets. Periodontal disease is a plaque-induced infection of the gingiva (gums) and supporting ligaments of the teeth. If left untreated abscesses will often develop and the teeth will become loose. Pets may experience pain while eating and systemic infections could occur. Because periodontal disease is a plaque-induced infection, the treatment and prevention of this disease is to have all the plaque removed. We also address any teeth that already show evidence of abscessation. We recommend that patients have their teeth cleaned yearly to prevent and/or treat this disease. If yearly cleanings is not financially feasible then we recommend discussions of your pet’s dental status at each annual visit so that we can make the best recommendation, working within each individual’s financial means.
Because our pets cannot talk to communicate early discomfort or low-level pain, diseases will often be masked until those pets show profound symptoms and are already in the late stages of the disease process. This is especially true for cats and any animal that spends a large majority of time outdoors away from someone’s direct, frequent observation. Bloodwork is our best way of screening a pet for underlying, low-level systemic disease, so that an appropriate treatment plan can discussed and implemented. This is especially important in the patient that is of geriatric age and those undergoing an anesthetic procedure.
A microchip is a means of permanent pet identification. A small device (the size of a grain of rice) is inserted via needle injection between your pet’s shoulder blades. This is quick, easy and does not require anesthesia or sedation. Once your contact information is registered to that device, your pet can be scanned and the device detected. Veterinary hospitals and local animal control centers and/or shelters have scanners that will detect this device, enabling them to contact you and return your lost pet. **We will take care of the registration for you at the time of implantation. But, any updates to contact information going forward are the responsibility of the pet owner. Visit www.homeagain.com for more general information. A microchip is not a GPS device, so it cannot be tracked. It is a means of permanent identification.