Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Bad Reaction To Heartguard

Not long after my two year old had all his immunizations I gave him his first Heartguard dose of the season. He became lethergic, avoided water, barked at his reflection, barked at anyone not in a car when we were out driving ect. It took several days for the worst of it to resolve but he is still months later not the same happy energetic dog he used to be. How can I protect him against heartworm without killing him. It is mosquito season here. I have sprayed him with a special mixture of essential oils and given him supplements for parasites, and a small clove of garlic every other day. These things may help but I feel he needs more. Please share what you do. I have read and read without finding answers.

Comments for Bad Reaction To Heartguard

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NO Heartguard
by: Anonymous

We were told not to use Heartguard for our Aussies - to use Sentinel or Program Plus. I heard that the manufacturer for Program Plus is not going to be making it any more... so I guess Sentinel will be our choice.

NO Heartguard
by: Anonymous

We were told not to use Heartguard for our Aussies - to use Sentinel or Program Plus. I heard that the manufacturer for Program Plus is not going to be making it any more... so I guess Sentinel will be our choice.

Heart worm meds
by: suzan

We went through a similar situation with one of our Aussies. The heartworm meds that we were giving to our 3 girls was causing one of our girls, Paige, to have more ear infections and her allergies to fleas got worse. We took her to the vet and they tested her and they put her on Trivexis. It is expensive but it works for her.

I suggest to talk with your vet and see what he or she recommends. There are so many brands and each one does cause different reactions to dogs. He can find the right heartworm meds for your aussie. Turns out Paige is allergic to fleas and the Trivexis does keep her allergies clear. It does make her lethargic for a day, but the next day she's ready go play.

Response to Hearguard
by: Anonymous

Just my two cents, first, I don't know if you are aware of a gene that Aussie's can have but if they have this gene MRD1, certain meds can be deadly to them that aren't to other dogs. So, you may want to research that a little. 2nd I'm wondering if any major changes have happened in your dogs life. My last dog, an aussie/german shepherd mix loved the water, loved to play, and was an extremely happy lovey dog. Then I lost one dog and not soon after another dog passed. Do to the economy we lost our job and had to move two more times to relocate and find jobs. The constant moves for awhile and loss of his two buddies, I think triggered something in him. He became afraid to drink out of his dishes. We had to put him on clomipramine for anxiety because of his skittishness. We finally were able to use a frizbee to keep him drinking. But he was never the same. He loved to swim but once all this happened he wouldn't do it. He still had his happy moments with myself and my husband but anytime someone else came around the house he would hide. It was really hard for us to understand. Just a thought to throw out.

by: jcrply

Interceptor is still available online from Australia, and no prescription is required for this in Australia.

by: Lori

Hi, I have 3 herding dogs and was told never to use ivermectin (the ingredient in Heart guard) HOWEVER, you CAN use other heart worm preventives on herding breads such as sentinel etc...If you are concerned whether a product has ivermectin your vet or receptionist should be able to help with this.
I was sent an article on ivermectin stating that in herding breads and some other dogs ivermectin can cause brain lesions so I am VERY careful.

Please read this. I hope I helped ("")("")

Heart Worm Preventative
by: Anonymous

When I contacted our breeder about the Program Plus not being manufactured any more, she warned us about Trifexis also. You might want to do some more research.

by: gayle--big run aussies

Washington State University offers the MDR1 test [multiple drug sensitivity] at The test is $70, but is worth the peace of mind knowing if drug sensitivity is causing the problem. 50% of Aussies carry the gene, which is quite high. There is more info on the ASHGI website.
However, my Aussie went through similar problems when she turned 2 last year. Just a silly phase that she came through in a short time. She was horribly afraid of all kinds of things she hadn't been afraid of before. She just turned 3 and is back to normal loving everyone and everything
And since garlic is in the onion family, it can be poisonous to dogs. You can also try brewer's yeast supplements to guard against fleas. My vet assures me that Interceptor should be back very soon.

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