Health & Wellness
It’s not the most pleasant topic to talk about, but parasites or insects, like heartworms, hookworms, roundworms, whipworms and even fleas, really love dogs. So your veterinarian might have suggested putting your pup on a preventive medication called Sentinel.
But even if you don’t think your pup has been exposed to any parasites or bugs, Sentinel is still a great preventive measure to protect your dog from getting sick in the long run. Here’s what you need to know about this medication.
“Veterinarians prescribe Sentinel to dogs primarily to prevent heartworm disease but also for the prevention of hookworm, roundworm and whipworm infections and flea infestations,” Dr. Aliya McCullough, Fetch’s on-staff veterinarian, says.
Since Sentinel is a preventive medication, you likely won’t spot signs or symptoms before your veterinarian prescribes it. According to Dr. McCullough, all dogs should be on a heartworm and flea preventative (like Sentinel) year-round for their entire life as long as your veterinarian recommends it.
You might notice some extra tail wags from your pup when pulling out this medication. Sentinel comes in flavored chews that you should give to your pup once a month, Dr. McCullough says. The amount of Sentinel you give to your dog depends on their weight, and you should follow your veterinarian’s instructions when feeding the medication to your dog, she adds.
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There’s a chance your pup could have an adverse reaction to Sentinel. Watch out for signs like vomiting, lethargy, hives, itchiness, diarrhea, decreased appetite, weakness, incoordination, seizure-like movements and drooling, Dr. McCullough shares.
“Pet parents should contact their veterinarian or go to an emergency veterinary hospital if their dog is having a reaction to Sentinel,” she adds.
And when it comes to testing new medications (and preparing for the “what if” situations), it’s best to have a pet emergency preparedness plan in place in case your pup has a negative reaction to Sentinel. Here are some tips to get you started:
If your pup has a bad reaction to Sentinel, there are many other alternatives for heartworm, roundworm, whipworm and flea prevention, Dr. McCullough explains. Talk to your veterinarian about the best preventive option for your pet.
The Dig, Fetch's expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too.
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