As I reported here several days ago, the treatment for Heartworm disease in dogs, IMMITICIDE®,(melarsomine dihydrochloride), is now unavailable.
First let me clarify - preventatives for heartworm disease in dogs (and cat) are available and they work. In fact, the idea all along - if you give your pet a preventative - there's no need for treatment for disease. At the moment, for dogs the approved treatment is unavailable (By the way, for cats there is no known treatment). Of course, it is all about prevention.
For dogs who do have heartworm disease - because owners have not treated or formerly stray dogs with heartworm adopted, there is a management plan for dealing with heartworm in dogs now posted on the American Heartworm Society website.
Because there are no other approved products available for killing adult heartworms, the American Heartworm Society Board and Scientific Committee has developed and approved the following management plan for heartworm positive dogs during this period of adulticide unavailability. While the unavailability persists, heartworm-positive dogs should be managed to achieve three primary goals:
• Reduce potential pathology from the infection.
• Maintain the health of the dog until it can be appropriately treated.
• Prevent additional heartworm infection of the dog.
A Merial spokesperson told me, "(IMMITICIDE®) Product outage that will last from several weeks to months. However, we are working diligently to mitigate this situation, and there is a possibility that an alternate source of supply may be identified. Merial and the IMMITICIDE® manufacturer fully understand the critical need for the product and regret this outage. We are working together to return to full supply as quickly as possible."