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  • Author or Editor: Robert B. Grieve x
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Summary

Although cats are less susceptible to infection with Dirofilaria immitis than are dogs, the possibility of severe consequences from infection or adulticidal treatment renders preventive treatment a desirable alternative in endemic areas. To evaluate the efficacy of milbemycin oxime as a chemoprophylactic agent in cats, 48 cats were inoculated with infective D immitis larvae. Single oral treatment with 2.3 mg of milbemycin oxime (0.5 to 0.9 mg/kg of body weight) at 30 or 60 days after inoculation with infective larvae gave strong but incomplete protection. Treatment at 60, as well as 90, days after inoculation with infective larvae was completely effective in preventing development of infection. A control group of inoculated, but untreated, cats was monitored biweekly for hematologic changes and for changes in parasite-specific serum antigen and antibody concentrations. Pronounced increases in total leukocyte counts and eosinophil numbers were associated with the estimated time of in vivo molting from fourth- to fifth-stage larvae. Antibody reactivity correlated with infection status, but serum antigen concentrations through 161 days after inoculation were undetectable.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

SUMMARY

Three studies were conducted to determine the efficacy of milbemycin oxime in the prevention of Dirofilaria immitis infection in dogs. Dogs were given single or multiple experimental inoculations with infective third-stage D immitis larvae and were treated with milbemycin oxime at a target dosage of 0.5 mg/kg of body weight either once or at monthly intervals at various times after inoculation. The compound was effective in preventing infection when 1 dose was administered 30 or 45 days after inoculation. Significant, but incomplete, protection was achieved when single treatments were administered 60 or 90 days after inoculation. Multiple monthly treatments beginning 60 days after inoculation appeared to provide additive effects that resulted in restoration of complete efficacy.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research