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Photo: Andy Gin (Shutterstock) Heartworm disease is a potentially deadly condition that requires extensive treatment —think multiple medications and at least two months of complete rest—which is why veterinarians and dog owners work so hard to prevent it. The most common preventative treatment is an oral or topical medication given once a month, but recently, vets in the U.S. have started offering anti-heartworm shots that last for six or 12 months. The biggest difference between heartworm shots and other heartworm medications is the type of anti-parasitic medication they use. ProHeart injections use moxidectin, and come in either six- or 12-month formulations; many topical medications (Advantage Multi and Advocate) also use moxidectin. HeartGard, a popular chewable tablet, uses either ivermectin or a combination of ivermectin and pyrantel. All of these medications are FDA-approved and effective, so the choice comes down to which format works better for you and your dog. Here are the pros and cons of switching to a shot. The good: Convenience and price A once- or twice-yearly heartworm shot can be more convenient than monthly doses. As long as they’re not getting vaccine boosters at the same appointment, your dog can can get the shot as part of a checkup—and you don’t have to worry about it until the next one. (Your vet may decide it’s safe to administer future heartworm shots and boosters at the same time, but until they know how your dog reacts, it’s best to spread them out.) As you might expect, the […]