A dog sitting on a couch, featured in a watercolor painting.

ProHeart 12: A Year-Long Shield Against Heartworms for Your Dog


When Lisa adopted her lovable rescue dog, Bailey, she was determined to provide the best possible care for her new four-legged companion. However, during a routine checkup, the veterinarian informed her that Bailey was at risk for heartworm disease—a potentially deadly condition. Overwhelmed by the costs of traditional heartworm medications, Lisa started searching for a more affordable alternative. That’s when she discovered ProHeart 12.

As a responsible dog owner, safeguarding your pet’s health is at the forefront of your concerns. Heartworm disease is a significant worry among various health threats that our four-legged friends face. Traditionally, tackling this health issue has meant managing a regimen of monthly heartworm prevention medication, a task that can easily be forgotten amidst our busy schedules. But wouldn’t it be better if there was an easier, more efficient way to protect your dog from heartworms and intestinal parasites?

This article will introduce ProHeart 12, a revolutionary, FDA-approved medication that provides your canine friend with a full year of protection against heartworm infection. It’s time to bid farewell to monthly reminders and welcome a hassle-free, reliable solution that year-round protects your dog against heartworms and intestinal worms.

We will explore the benefits, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness of ProHeart 12, a one-stop solution for heartworm and parasite prevention for your dog. This powerful tool not only prevents the maturation of adult heartworm but also offers a shield against the risk of tick prevention. It’s an innovation that dog owners can rely on to keep their pets protected. We will delve into heartworm treatment and protecting your dog from such infections. So stay tuned to learn more about how ProHeart 12 can benefit your furry friend.

What Causes Dogs to Contract Heartworm Disease?

Heartworm disease in dogs is triggered by a parasite named Dirofilaria immitis. Dogs become infected with heartworm disease through the bite of a mosquito carrying the heartworm larvae, also recognized as microfilariae. According to a survey by the American Heartworm Society, heartworm disease remains a substantial concern in the US, with a staggering 83% of clinics documenting either a steady rate or increase in heartworm cases during 2019.

Let’s dive deeper into understanding this process:

  1. The life cycle of heartworms commences when a mosquito infected with heartworm larvae bites a dog, introducing the larvae into the dog’s bloodstream.
  2. These minuscule larvae navigate the dog’s body, maturing into adult heartworms within approximately six months.
  3. Upon maturation, these heartworms find a home in the right side of the dog’s heart and the pulmonary arteries. They can grow to 12 inches long and significantly damage the dog’s heart, lungs, and arteries.
  4. Adult heartworms can reproduce, introducing new microfilariae into the dog’s bloodstream.
  5. When a mosquito bites an infected dog, it ingests these microfilariae and can transmit them to other dogs, ensuring the continuation of the heartworm life cycle.

Dogs of all breeds and ages risk contracting heartworm disease without proactive preventative care measures like heartworm protection. This illness can be found in every state in the U.S. and several other regions worldwide. The disease doesn’t typically spread directly from dog to dog but requires a mosquito as a vector. Therefore, regions with larger mosquito populations frequently experience higher rates of heartworm disease.

In addition to heartworm testing, vaccines and other injectable products, such as ProHeart 12, can offer protection against this deadly disease. They can be administered alone or with vaccines, providing a well-rounded shield against heartworms and other parasites like roundworms.

Do Dogs Need Heartworm Medication?

Yes, dogs need heartworm medicine. Heartworm disease, caused by the parasite Dirofilaria immitis, is a severe and potentially fatal condition that affects dogs in all 50 U.S. states and many other parts of the world. It’s a disease that’s much easier, safer, and less expensive to prevent than it is to treat once a dog is infected.

Heartworm preventatives work by eliminating the heartworm larvae before they have a chance to mature into adult worms. They’re usually given every month, although longer-lasting options are available, such as injectable ProHeart 12, which protects for an entire year. It’s important to note that most dogs take these medications safely and well-tolerated.

heartworm medication

It’s worth mentioning that while heartworm medicine is typically administered year-round, it’s especially crucial during mosquito season, as the disease is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. However, most veterinarians recommend year-round heartworm prevention because mosquitoes can survive in some protected areas year-round, and the exact timing of mosquito season varies by region.

Your vet can help you choose the right heartworm prevention medication based on your dog’s size, breed, age, health status, lifestyle, and the prevalence of heartworm disease in your area. Regular testing for heartworms is also an important part of ensuring your dog’s health, as no preventative is 100% effective, and it’s crucial to catch and treat any heartworm infections as early as possible.

What is ProHeart 12?

ProHeart 12 is a prescription medication used to prevent heartworm disease in dogs. It contains the active ingredient moxidectin, eliminating the heartworm larvae tissue stage for 12 months. The key advantage of ProHeart 12 is that it provides continuous protection for a full year, compared to other heartworm preventatives that need to be administered monthly.

The medication is delivered through an injection administered by a veterinarian, which ensures that the dose is accurately given and reduces the chance of missing a dose at home, a common problem with oral or topical monthly preventatives.

ProHeart 12 is typically used in healthy dogs aged 12 months and older. Aside from providing heartworm protection, it also treats existing hookworm infections at the time of administration.

Before starting ProHeart 12, a veterinarian must confirm that the dog does not currently have heartworm disease, as administering the preventative to an already infected dog can lead to severe complications.

It’s important to note that, as with any medication, there are potential side effects, although they are generally rare. They may include vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, anorexia, and hypersensitivity reactions. Discussing these potential risks with your veterinarian ensures that ProHeart 12 is the right choice for your pet.

Is ProHeart 12 Safe and Effective Against Heartworms?

ProHeart 12, deemed safe and effective in preventing heartworm disease in dogs by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), offers a simpler solution to this grave health issue. This extended-release injectable contains moxidectin as its active ingredient, a robust parasiticide targeting heartworm larvae. This grants 12 months of solid protection against canine heartworms with just one dose of ProHeart 12, giving dog owners a reassuring sense of security that their pet is protected year-round.

However, testing for any existing heartworm infection is crucial before you give your dog this preventative treatment. Administering ProHeart 12 to a dog already hosting heartworms could lead to severe complications.

Regarding the safety of ProHeart 12, it has been generally well-received by dogs in clinical trials and post-approval surveillance. Yet, like any medication, it may cause side effects. The side effects of ProHeart 12 may encompass vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and hypersensitivity reactions. It’s noteworthy that serious adverse reactions, including anaphylactic and anaphylactoid, can occur, although rare. Dogs with pre-existing allergic diseases may be at a higher risk for experiencing these adverse reactions.

Typically, ProHeart 12 is used in healthy dogs who are 12 months and older. However, it’s always recommended to consult your veterinarian to determine if ProHeart 12 is optimal for your pet, considering their age, breed, overall health status, and lifestyle. It’s also essential to note that ProHeart 12 is not a 100% guarantee against heartworm disease, so regular heartworm testing remains a necessity, even for dogs that receive a yearly dose of ProHeart 12. Treat any severe reactions immediately with the same measures used to treat hypersensitivity reactions to vaccines.

Is the ProHeart Suitable for My Dog?

Whether vaccine hypersensitivity reactions ProHeart 12, a product by Zoetis, is the right heartworm preventative for your dog, requires a deep understanding of your pet’s overall health and lifestyle. This decision should be made collaboratively with your trusted veterinarian. Age plays a key role in this decision, with ProHeart 6 suitable for dogs as young as six months, while ProHeart 12 is approved for those 12 months and older. A thorough physical exam, and potential laboratory tests conducted by your vet, will ensure your pet is healthy and doesn’t harbor a hidden heartworm infection, as administering a product that prevents heartworm disease to an infected animal can lead to serious complications.

Your pet’s lifestyle is another vital factor. Dogs that enjoy a lot of outdoor time, frequent pet boarding facilities, or regularly socialize with other dogs might be excellent candidates for ProHeart due to their elevated risk of heartworm exposure.

For pet owners, the convenience of ProHeart may be alluring. If you often struggle to remember monthly preventative doses, ProHeart’s infrequent administration—semi-annually for ProHeart 6 and annually for ProHeart 12—can guarantee consistent heartworm protection for your pet.

pro heart suitable

Your vet will also consider your pet’s response to previous medications. If your dog has previously exhibited adverse reactions to other heartworm preventatives, ProHeart might provide a suitable alternative with its unique active ingredient, moxidectin. Reported side effects for ProHeart 12 include vomiting, and although rare, anaphylactic and anaphylactoid reactions can occur, especially in dogs previously found to be hypersensitive.

It’s important to note that ProHeart 12 also treats certain types of intestinal parasites. Maintaining open communication with your veterinarian is crucial in making the best health decisions for your pet and reporting any adverse event related to animal health products.

ProHeart Formulations

ProHeart is available in two formulations for preventing heartworm disease in dogs: ProHeart 6 and ProHeart 12.

ProHeart 6

This is an injectable solution that provides six months of heartworm prevention. The active ingredient, moxidectin, works by eliminating the tissue stage of heartworm larvae (Dirofilaria immitis) for a half year. ProHeart can be used in dogs six months of age and older. In addition to preventing heartworm disease, ProHeart 6 also treats common hookworm (Ancylostoma caninum) infections that might be present at the time of injection.

ProHeart 12

ProHeart 12, as the name implies, provides a full 12 months of protection against heartworm disease with a single injection. It also uses moxidectin to eliminate the tissue stage of heartworm larvae. Still, its long-lasting formulation means less frequent vet visits for heartworm prevention, which is particularly beneficial for pet owners who have difficulty remembering monthly doses. ProHeart 12 is indicated for use in dogs 12 months of age and older and also treats hookworm infections present at the time of injection.

It’s important to note that ProHeart 6 and ProHeart 12 are prescription medications and must be administered by a veterinarian. Before starting either of these medications, dogs should be tested for existing heartworm infections, as administering the preventatives to an infected dog can lead to severe adverse reactions. Regular heartworm testing is still necessary, even for dogs on these preventatives.

Other Options for Heartworm Preventatives for Dogs

Many effective heartworm preventatives are available for dogs, and the best one for your dog depends on factors like age, size, breed, health status, and lifestyle. Here are a few options:

Heartgard Plus (Ivermectin/Pyrantel)

Heartgard Plus is a monthly chewable tablet that prevents heartworm disease and controls and treats hookworm and roundworm infections. It’s usually well-tolerated and is often used due to its broad spectrum of protection against multiple parasites.

Interceptor Plus (Milbemycin Oxime/Praziquantel)

Another monthly chewable tablet, Interceptor Plus, prevents heartworm disease and treats and controls adult hookworm, roundworm, whipworm, and tapeworm infections. This offers comprehensive protection against a range of common parasites.

Advantage Multi (Imidacloprid/Moxidectin)

Advantage Multi is a monthly topical medication that prevents heartworm disease kills adult fleas, and treats and controls hookworm, roundworm, and whipworm infections. It also treats sarcoptic mange. This product offers the added benefit of flea control, making it a good choice for dogs with fleas.

Revolution (Selamectin)

Revolution is a monthly topical medication that prevents heartworm disease, kills adult fleas, and treats and controls ear mites, sarcoptic mange, and American dog ticks. It also treats and controls roundworm and hookworm infections. This product’s broad spectrum of action against internal and external parasites makes it popular.

Simparica Trio (sarolaner/moxidectin/pyrantel)

Simparica Trio is a monthly chewable tablet that prevents heartworm disease, kills fleas and ticks, and treats and controls hookworm and roundworm infections. This product provides comprehensive protection against various common internal and external parasites.

It’s important to remember that while these medications are typically very safe, they should only be used under the guidance of a vet, as some breeds are sensitive to certain drugs. All dogs should be tested for existing heartworm infections before starting preventative medication.

Frequently Asked Questions

ProHeart is a heartworm prevention medication veterinarians recommend to protect dogs from heartworm disease. Heartworm disease is a potentially serious and life-threatening condition caused by parasitic worms that can infect dogs through mosquito bites. ProHeart is designed to provide long-lasting protection against heartworms, eliminating the need for monthly dosing. While heartworm prevention is essential for all dogs, the specific choice of preventive medication may vary depending on the dog’s age, health status, and lifestyle. It is important to consult with a veterinarian to determine the most appropriate heartworm prevention strategy for your dog.

ProHeart 12 is a prescription medication, and it is generally only recommended to purchase prescription medications, including ProHeart 12, online with a valid prescription from a veterinarian. It is essential to consult a veterinarian who can evaluate your dog’s health, conduct necessary tests, and provide a proper prescription for ProHeart 12 if deemed appropriate. This ensures that the medication is used safely and effectively and that your dog receives the appropriate dosage and administration instructions.

The price of ProHeart 12 can vary depending on various factors, including the geographic location, veterinary clinic, and specific requirements of your dog’s health. It is best to consult with a veterinarian or contact local veterinary clinics or pharmacies to inquire about the current pricing of ProHeart 12 in your area. They will be able to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding the cost of the medication.

ProHeart 12 is an FDA-approved medication for preventing heartworm disease in dogs. When administered according to the recommended guidelines and under the supervision of a veterinarian, ProHeart 12 is safe and effective. As with any medication, there is a potential for side effects or adverse reactions. It is important to consult with a veterinarian, discuss your dog’s health history, and follow their instructions and recommendations regarding ProHeart 12 to ensure the safety and well-being of your dog.

Both Heartgard and ProHeart are FDA-approved medications for preventing heartworm disease in dogs. Heartgard is administered orally every month, while ProHeart is administered as an injection that protects for up to 12 months. The choice between the two depends on various factors, including your dog’s individual needs, preferences, and your veterinarian’s recommendations. It is essential to consult a veterinarian to determine the most suitable heartworm prevention option for your dog based on their health status, lifestyle, and preferences.

ProHeart 12 is an injectable heartworm prevention medication that protects against heartworms for 12 months. This means that a single injection of ProHeart 12 can provide continuous heartworm prevention for a full year. This extended duration of action eliminates the need for monthly administration of oral heartworm preventives and ensures that your dog is protected against heartworm disease throughout the year.

It is recommended to perform a heartworm test before starting ProHeart 12 or any other heartworm prevention medication. This is to ensure that your dog is not already infected with heartworms. Administering heartworm prevention medication to a dog with heartworms can potentially cause severe adverse reactions. A heartworm test can detect the presence of heartworms in your dog’s system. If the test results are negative, your veterinarian can prescribe and administer ProHeart 12 for ongoing heartworm prevention.

If you wish to switch your dog from another heartworm preventative to ProHeart 12, it is best to consult with a veterinarian. They can provide guidance and specific instructions based on your dog’s health needs. The veterinarian may recommend discontinuing the current heartworm preventative at the appropriate time and administering ProHeart 12 according to the recommended schedule. They will also guide you on any necessary testing, such as heartworm tests, to ensure a smooth transition and uninterrupted heartworm prevention.

While ProHeart 12 is generally safe and well-tolerated, some dogs may have side effects or adverse reactions. Common side effects may include lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, or injection site reactions such as swelling or pain. Rarely, more serious reactions, such as allergic reactions or anaphylaxis, may occur. It is important to monitor your dog closely after administration of ProHeart 12 and contact your veterinarian if you notice any concerning signs or symptoms. Your veterinarian can provide detailed information about potential side effects and how to manage them.

It is essential to consult with a veterinarian before using ProHeart 12 or any other heartworm prevention medication. A veterinarian can evaluate your dog’s health, discuss their risk factors for heartworm disease, and provide appropriate recommendations for heartworm prevention. They can also assess whether ProHeart 12 is the most suitable option for your dog based on their needs, health history, and lifestyle. They can guide you on proper administration and potential side effects and address any concerns or questions.

The main difference between ProHeart 6 and ProHeart 12 is the duration of protection they provide against heartworms. ProHeart 6 offers protection for six months, while ProHeart 12 protects for 12 months. The choice between the two depends on factors such as your dog’s risk factors, your preferences, and the guidance of your veterinarian. Both options have been proven effective in preventing heartworm disease when used as directed.

Protecting your dog from heartworm disease is crucial because heartworms can cause serious health issues and even be life-threatening. Heartworm disease is transmitted through mosquito bites and can affect dogs of all ages and breeds. If left untreated, heartworms can cause damage to the heart, lungs, and other organs, leading to heart failure and potentially death. Preventive measures, such as administering medications like ProHeart 12, help ensure your dog remains protected from heartworms and can live a healthy and happy life. Consulting with a veterinarian is essential to determine the best preventive strategy for your dog’s needs.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this veterinary website is intended for general educational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult a licensed veterinarian for any concerns or questions regarding the health and well-being of your pet. This website does not claim to cover every possible situation or provide exhaustive knowledge on the subjects presented. The owners and contributors of this website are not responsible for any harm or loss that may result from the use or misuse of the information provided herein.

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