In the United States Sentinel is a prescription only pet medicine. The good news is that dog owners can still benefit from the convenience of buying Sentinel for dogs without prescription. The product is the same, but we have found a supplier based in Canada able to ship to the States without pet owners providing an RX.
The legality of all this is extremely gray, it has to be said. But Americans are purchasing a lot of RX medications for both themselves and their pets, from Canada without bothering about the RX. So for now at least, it is great to enjoy the ease of purchasing without RX for as long as it lasts!
By purchasing stocks of Sentinel (and other heartworm medicines) from regions such as Australia, where they are over the counter products), suppliers circumvent the need for an RX in the US.
It is a bit annoying that heartworm prevention is RX only in the States, but not in other countries, particularly when the products are identical. But the reasoning behind the RX is that even though these products are extremely well tolerated, effective and safe, there are some important points about them that must be understood. In the US, this means relying on vets to ensure owners are using the products safely, rather than relying on pet owners own ability to read the label!
So, if you are considering buying Sentinel flavor tabs without a prescription, just make sure you know the “rules” regarding monthly heartworm preventatives:
- Only dogs that definitely do not already have heartworms should ever be treated with a preventative. This means a simple blood test before beginning any new regime of heartworm prevention.
- The medication must be used every month, year round. If you miss more than one treatment speak to your vet before continuing the medicine since a new test for the parasite will probably be required.
- Sentinel is sold in different sized doses based on the weight of dog to be treated. Always use the correct tablet that is labelled for use on your size of pet.
- Only use Sentinel flavor tabs on dogs. There are heartworm medicines available for cats, but this isn’t one of them!
- Only ever use one heartworm preventative at a time.
- Side affects are very rare, but always read the label and speak to your vet immediately if you suspect any problem.
- If you are a little late giving your dog their heartworm tablet, do so immediately and continue every month from then on. If more than one treatment has been missed speak to your vet about a new test.
So long as you understand the above points there is no real reason not to take advantage of purchasing Sentinal, no RX required!