Did Fake Heartworm Preventive Cause Suzy To Contract Heartworms?

This is Suzy Q and her owner.Suzy Q has heartworms. Is it because he received fake heartworm preventive?

Suzy Q has heartworms.

As discussed in a first and second post on the topic, we know that dogs who have never been on a heartworm preventive, and dogs who have missed one or more doses of their preventive are at greater risk for developing heartworm disease at a later date. Even if they have a negative heartworm test today.

Suzy Q’s last heartworm test was February, 2011 at the Humane Society of South Mississippi, from whence she was adopted. On February 5th her owner and I had “the script” about the significance of the test result, at which time I advised him that she wasn’t out of the woods until she had another test in August, 2011.

He purchased a single dose of Revolution from us that day and, against my recommendation, made a purchase from an online source in New Zealand.

The FDA has published checklists and warning signs for online “pharmacies.” The first red flag in Suzy Q’s case was that the company sent “Revolution” to their home without asking for a veterinarian’s prescription, as required by federal law.

I put “Revolution” in quotation marks because we don’t know for sure that what they sent was actually even Revolution.  Click Counterfeit Revolution Flier to see some slick desktop publishing that fooled at least one unfortunate pet owner.

Overseas online “pharmacies” have been causing problems with behavior such as this for years. This is my first encounter with a New Zealand “pharmacy.” Obviously, it is not a happy encounter.

Did Suzy Q get heartworms because what her owner bought from New Zealand is not actually heartworm preventive? Or, were the unstoppable heartworms already there in February of this year? There is no way to know now.

What we do know, however, is that heartworm preventive purchased from your pet’s doctor:

  • is fully guaranteed and vouched-for by the manufacturer he orders from,
  • carries your veterinarian’s full responsibility and good will,
  • and is business done locally, keeping your money in local circulation.

See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.

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