Is ProHeart Injection Safe for My Dog?

ProHeart injection is a popular heartworm prevention product manufactured by Zoetis. It is given to dogs once every year by injection. Its active ingredient is moxidectin. But a lot of pet owners are asking the same question, does ProHeart injection kill dogs?

ProHeart 12 Injection Killed My Dog

“ProHeart is a very dangerous heartworm injection for dogs. I am writing this on behalf of all of the dogs that have been killed by this drug. My six-year-old dog, Katie, died after getting a ProHeart 12 injection. She never had any health problems before that shot and was full of life up until the last day.”

“My dog, a golden retriever named Finn, went to the vet for his yearly checkup on January 20. The vet said he was fine and gave him a ProHeart injection to prevent heartworm for six months. He said it was safe and effective. My dog was dead on January 23. I had never heard of this drug before and the vet assured me it was safe and had been used for years in the US. I am including a link to a Facebook page that has many stories of dogs dying after being given this shot (and others who are having serious reactions). Please be aware of this drug if your dog needs a heartworm medication. There are other drugs available and this one is not worth the risk.”

“This drug can cause liver failure, seizures, and death. The manufacturer states that these are rare side effects but there are actual cases documented on the internet where this has happened to other dogs. I was not told about these potentially fatal side effects when my dog got her shot and neither were the owners of other dogs who were killed by this drug.”

Can ProHeart injection kill a dog?

Adverse reactions associated with ProHeart include injection site reactions, gastrointestinal issues, and central nervous system effects such as depression, lethargy, and seizures. Although rare, some dogs have experienced life-threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) after receiving ProHeart injections. Anaphylaxis can result in death if not treated promptly with epinephrine (adrenaline).

The most common side effect reported after administering ProHeart injections is injection site reactions such as abscesses, lumps, or swelling. These reactions typically resolve on their own within a few days after injection. Gastrointestinal side effects including vomiting and diarrhea have also been reported.

Most adverse reactions are mild and resolve within 24 hours without treatment. If serious adverse reactions have occurred, your pet should be examined by a veterinarian immediately.

Is ProHeart injection safe?

Yes, ProHeart is a safe and effective way to protect your dog from heartworm disease. ProHeart is the only long-term injectable heartworm preventative available. It eliminates the need for monthly dosing and provides continuous protection.

ProHeart 6 is a prescription medication given by injection to dogs six months of age or older to prevent heartworm disease for six months. ProHeart 12 is given every 12 months and is approved for dogs 12 months of age or older.

What are the side effects of ProHeart?

Side effects of ProHeart include anorexia, vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, and changes in liver enzyme levels. Some dogs may have a sudden allergic reaction to ProHeart. Symptoms of a reaction can include facial swelling, hives, scratching, sudden onset of diarrhea, vomiting, shock, seizures, or coma.

Do not give ProHeart to sick dogs or dogs that are taking other drugs without consulting your veterinarian first.

Can dogs overdose on moxidectin?

Yes, dogs can overdose on moxidectin. Moxidectin is used in the treatment of heartworm disease and some parasitic worms. It can be fatal if ingested by a dog in large quantities.

Signs of moxidectin toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and disorientation. These symptoms may occur hours to days after ingestion of the medication. A veterinarian may treat moxidectin toxicity with intravenous fluids and activated charcoal which absorbs the medication from the stomach before it can be absorbed through the intestinal wall.

Is heartworm injection necessary?

Heartworm injections are a relatively new method of heartworm prevention. An injection is given every 6 or 12 months, and this protects against heartworms.

Injections are an alternative to monthly pills or topicals. Like other preventative measures, they are not 100% effective. The main advantage of the injection is that pet owners do not have to remember to give a pill or apply a topical each month.

The injection does have some potential side effects, so it is important to talk to your veterinarian about whether it is right for your pet.

Heartworm disease can be fatal to dogs. Pets become infected when mosquitoes carrying heartworm larvae bite them. Once inside an animal, the larvae mature into adult worms, which live in the heart and blood vessels of the lungs. They can grow up to a foot long and cause damage to organs, including the lungs and heart, which can eventually result in death.

Heartworm treatment is often expensive, so many people opt to use preventive medication instead.

What are the first signs of heartworms in dogs?

Early signs of heartworm disease are often non-specific and can resemble other diseases. Your dog may cough, have decreased appetite and stamina, or seem depressed. Some dogs show no signs at all, despite having heartworms. These early symptoms can be easily missed or confused with other health problems, so it’s important to have your veterinarian perform an annual physical exam and heartworm test to look for these worms.

As the disease progresses, your dog may show more advanced symptoms like labored breathing, fainting spells, or sudden death. This is why it’s so important to test regularly and start your dog on preventative medication as soon as you get him. If left untreated, heartworms can cause severe lung disease, heart failure, and death in dogs.

Proheart reviews

ProHeart reviewers say the effectiveness of the injections against heartworm disease is worth the side effects. They note that pets who experience problems after getting ProHeart often feel better when given an antihistamine or another medication to counteract the reaction.

The product is available in a 6-month injection and a 12-month injection. The 12-month injection lasts longer, but it is more expensive than several of the brands we reviewed.

Overall, ProHeart Injection receives some of the highest ratings among heartworm preventatives. Most users report that their dogs experienced no side effects after taking it. Those who did have problems say their dog’s symptoms were gone within 24 hours, and they would use the product again because it is so effective at preventing heartworm disease.

“I have been using ProHeart 6 for many years and have always been satisfied with the product. I have never had any adverse reactions from my patients. The only problem I have is the price of ProHeart 6 which has increased dramatically over the last several years.”

“We love this product! It is safer than other heartworm treatments, lasts longer, and is much easier to give! There is no need to worry about a missed dose!”

“I have used the ProHeart 12 injection for many years and have found it to be very effective. I know that my dog does not like getting the shot because he is always very nervous when we get to the vet’s office but I felt comfortable in the knowledge that he would be protected against heartworm for 12 months. He has never had a reaction to his shots and we have never had an issue with him getting heartworms. My vet is also very satisfied with this product.”

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Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

5 Responses

  1. My dog has had constant itching and scratching since the shot. Never itching before. But now has to have a shot for itching monthly. We were told she has a food allergy. Never before the shot.

  2. My dog was perfectly healthy and my vet recommended pro heart 12. We had taken him off of heartworm medicine previously due to allergies. Within the first month, he had vomiting issues. Two months later (and many vet trips) he started experiencing chronic diarrhea. Steroids were a bandaid for a short time and every kibble we switched to eventually made him sick. Then it switched to nausea which cause my dog to shake for almost two weeks and numerous vet visits more. Tonight, we had to put him down because of the GI issues which became so painful it put him into shock and he wouldn’t walk.

    It’s July 16th and my dog received pro heart 12 on December 21st. Perfectly healthy prior – no health issues as well. This drug poisoned my dog and I wish I was made aware of the side effects. Please don’t risk this medicine on your dog. it could be life threatening. I wish I knew this 8 months ago.

  3. Proheart 12 heartworm injection killed my healthy 4 year old Bulldog! He had an instant reaction and was revived by my vet, BUT he never fully recovered and died within 3 weeks. He could no longer be outside, slept continually by the a/c vent and was unable to climb the stairs to sleep with me. He had blood work and dental cleaning 3 months earlier with no adverse effects.

  4. Our dog is fighting for her life because of this drug. She was a healthy, happy, energetic dog, and now she has seizures and her blood platelets dropped to almost 0%. The first time she received the shot a year ago, we had no idea what was happening. She just started seizing and she almost died that night. The vet at the EV wanted to put her down. But she pulled through. We got her blood platelets up, and she remained on seizure medication and went back to being her normal, goofy and playful self (though, it caused many medical complications that took many months to address). The vet didn’t know the cause of the original attack.

    Now, this year she received another heartworm injection and it’s happening all over again. Platelets dropping, break-through seizures, weak and miserable — only this time we caught the connection. We’re fighting for her life all over again — all because of a drug that is SUPPOSEDLY “safe.” And based on the outrage online, I think the number of “rare” cases aren’t actually “rare” as much as “not the majority.”

    It’s certainly more common than they’re implying. Thousands of dogs seem to be suffering and dying from this…

  5. My healthy 7-year-old German Shepard received ProHeart 12 and rabies shot on 8 August. There was nothing wrong with him and was 110 percent healthy and a strong dog. It is October and he can’t no longer stand up. I believe it was the ProHeart that had killed his central nervous system. Everyday you just see your dog dying before your eyes. Zoetis’s response was that this was an “unfortunate outcome”. Their product killed my dog. Period. FDA, AMVA, USDA and my state legislatures is going to know. No one needs to endure what we are. I should of never have gotten his shots.

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