In February, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced the approval of the first generic drug to treat heartworm disease in canines, Diroban. We are excited about this new development at Compounding Pharmacy of America, because it’s a cost-effective option.
A parasitic worm that looks like a piece of thread causes heartworm disease. Though tiny, these parasites can be deadly. They live in the lungs, heart, and major blood vessels after entering a dog’s body. Untreated, heartworm disease can cause severe lung complications, organ damage, and heart failure. It’s almost impossible to prevent, because the disease spreads through the bite of an infected mosquito.
How Does Diroban Work?
Diroban works by deep injection into the muscles of an infected dog’s back. Veterinarians use it to treat dogs throughout the disease, from no symptoms to severe respiratory symptoms. However, if your dog is showing extreme respiratory symptoms, it may not be the best course. Discuss options with your veterinarian.
How Long Does Treatment Take?
Treatment generally takes six to eight weeks. Your pet may feel some side effects, including pain, swelling, or tenderness at the injection site as well as decreased appetite, nausea, vomiting, coughing, and fever. Vets can have other medications mixed with Diroban to relieve some of these symptoms. You must closely monitor your pets throughout the entire course of treatment.
If your vet prescribes Diroban for your pet, restrict its physical activity until the entire course of treatment is complete. It can be a challenge to keep energetic dog still, so your veterinarian may advise kenneling your dog and restricting walks. Keep curtains and blinds closed, as even barking at things outdoors could prove too taxing. Offer time-consuming food and treats to keep your dog occupied.
Are Preventive Options Available?
Six months after your pet’s last Diroban injection, your veterinarian will do a final test and declare your pet heartworm free. This is the perfect time to discuss preventive options with your vet – a compounding pharmacy can mix preventives with other meds your pet takes.
Can I Administer The Treatment?
A licensed veterinarian must administer Diroban. Expertise is necessary to diagnose the severity of your pet’s condition and approve the proper dosage. The treatment might be uncomfortable, so it’s your job to keep them happy and comfortable during their recovery.
Why Can’t My Dog Exercise?
We think of exercise as a good thing, but not when a dog has heartworms. Since these parasites live in the blood vessels around the heart and lungs, activity during treatment can cause a deadly condition called pulmonary embolism, or blood clots in the lungs. It’s best to keep pets calm and as immobile as possible.
Compounding Pharmacy of America creates custom medications for all your dog’s health care needs.