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Ask the Veterinarian/vaccinations and heartworm medications


I have a 2 yr. old chihuahua mix. She seems in good health.  She has had her rabies shots to travel to Florida.  For general good health should she be having any other vaccinations?  I have been treating her with Sentinol to prevent heart worm.  Is this something that is recommended or is it possible that the medication could could more harm if not needed?  I have no problem doing what is necessary for her good health but do not want to spend money foolishly or do not want to jeopardize her health by doing things that are not needed.

If you want this dog to stay healthy do NOT miss a single month of Sentinel and especially in Florida! Heartworm is SO BAD down there that even dogs on year round medication that are tested twice a year still can get it.

It's extremely prevenlant there. Companies like Norvartis (Sentinel) and Merck (Heartgard) do studies in Florida on heartworm disease because it's so bad down there.

You are doing the best thing for her. She should have a three year distemper/parvo vaccination as well. Dogs of any age can get both of these diseases and parvo is especially hard on Chihuahuas.

So make sure you get her vaccinated before you leave and keep her on that monthly Sentinel. I have used it for 15 yrs and I love it.

It is very safe for your dog. Believe me, fleas and heartworm disease is a lot worse for your dog then a flea hormone/heartworm prevention combo. This where the adage of an ounce of prevention is worth (hundreds) of pounds of cure!!

Safe travels to you both.  

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT


PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!


I have over 42 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love. I also Teach Veterinary Technology to working technicians who are studying to take their California Tests to become Licensed Technicians. They have to take both the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Exam) and the California boards.

Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.


Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 1500 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

Awards and Honors
Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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