Sentinel and Interceptor News & the Importance of Preventing Problems from Whipworms

Thank you to our wonderful clients for being so understanding during the shortage of Sentinel and Interceptor. As you know, it is very important to have your pet on a preventative for heartworms, hookworms, roundworms and whipworms twelve months a year!  We have prescribed Sentinel for years to prevent heartworms, intestinal parasites including whipworms, and fleas.  Interceptor has been prescribed as a cheaper alternative to prevent heartworms and intestinal parasites including whipworms (but Interceptor does not prevent fleas). 

Due to the fact that we were able to buy a large quantity of Sentinel and Interceptor at the outset of the shortage, we thought that we could ration our Sentinel and Interceptor to make it last so that our patients could avoid switching to a different drug.  The shortage of Sentinel and Interceptor is now in its tenth month which is much longer than originally predicted, so we now find it necessary to switch our patients to the best alternative drugs available. If your pet is now on Sentinel or Interceptor, please be aware that at your next refill, we will need to discuss an alternate drug choice with you.

There are several products that prevent heartworms, hookworms, and round worms, but whipworm control is also very important in our area of the country.  Some of the lower priced preventatives (besides Interceptor) do not cover whipworms. For the health of your pet, it is important to prevent problems from whipworms rather than try to identify why your pet is having health problems and then treat for the whipworms.  Even if the maker of a cheaper alternative that does not cover whipworms promises to reimburse you if whipworm treatment is needed, it is much better to prevent problems from whipworm infections. Please know that at Animal Hospital of North Asheville we make all drug choices very carefully and always keep your pet’s best interest and health as our goal.


A few years ago, before Sentinel came out, and all there was for heartworm prevention was Ivermectin, one of my dogs who had been coughing for a while gagged and threw up a huge writhing ball of whipworms! Was I grossed out or what! I got all my dogs treated immediately, of course. I was so happy when Sentinel came on the market! What's the backstory to this shortage? Is is real, or is the company holding out to create a shortage and then raise the already exhorbitant price?

We are so sorry to hear that you had that experience as that would be alarming for anyone! We, too, remember the days before Sentinel and all the health problems that were so common from all sorts of parasites. As you know from your experience, taking your chances that your pet will not get worms has the huge drawback that if your pet does get them, he or she may get pretty sick before you realize it has happened. Additionally, your yard will then have many, many intestinal worm eggs in it, causing your pet to reacquire the worms for some time necessitating more than one treatment (unless they then go on a preventative). Pets are kept so much healthier now with the year around preventatives. Thankfully there is a good alternate product called Trifexis that can be used in most dogs to take the place of Sentinel to prevent problems from heartworms, hookworms, roundworms, whipworms and fleas. The cost of the Trifexis is similar to Sentinel. The shortage of Sentinel is real as the company is not presently producing it. When they resume production (we have not been told a date), it will be available to you, and we do not expect the cost to be any higher.