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Best Heartworm Medicine for Dogs

Published by Nanni on Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Photo credit by Army Medicine

There is an extensive assortment of heartworm medicine for dogs to select from. Some heartworm medicine offers heartworm protection alone, while others include protection for additional parasites. Heartworm medicine includes a beef or pork flavoring that most dogs enjoy.

All heartworm medicine for dogs requires a prescription from a veterinarian and should be given once a month throughout the entire year.

Dog owners should follow the advice of their own veterinarian in deciding what age to begin taking heartworm medicine. However, manufacturers of heartworm medicine recommend that dogs four weeks of age or older and weighing at least two pounds be taking heartworm medicine for dogs.

Test Your Dog First

Heartworm medicine for dogs is not a cure or a treatment for heartworm disease. It is not intended to kill adult heartworms. As a preventative measure, heartworm medicine destroys larval stages of heartworms and prevents them from growing into adult heartworm. Therefore, before heartworm medicine is prescribed and given, dogs should be first tested to make certain that heartworms are not present. If it is discovered that heartworms are present, your vet will determine the treatment necessary to kill the heartworms.

Interceptor Heartworm Flavor Tablets for Dogs

Interceptor heartworm flavor tablets for dogs are manufactured by Novartis. In addition to being a heartworm preventative, the active ingredient, milbemycin oxime, also prevents the development of roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms.

Sentinel Dog Flea Heartworm Tablets for Dogs

Sentinel dog flea heartworm tablets for dogs are also manufactured by Novartis. Like the Interceptor tablets described above, Sentinel protects dogs against heartworms, roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms with the same active ingredient, milbemycin oxime. However, another active ingredient, lufenuron, is also included in Sentinel. Lufenuron controls flea infestations by preventing flea eggs from hatching.

Heartgard Chews For Dogs

Heartgard chews are manufactured by Merial. The active ingredient in this heartworm medicine for dogs is ivermectin. Ivermectin is a heartworm preventative only.

Heartgard Plus For Dogs

In addition to the active ingredient, ivermectin, Heartgard Plus also incorporates another active ingredient, pyrantel, which prevents roundworms and hookworms.

Iverhart Plus

Inverhart Plus is made by Virbac. Like Heartgard Plus, Inverhart Plus contains the active ingredients ivermectin and pyrantel and prevents heartworms, roundworms and hookworms.

Iverhart Max

Inverhart Max also contains the active ingredients ivermectin and pyrantel and prevents heartworms, roundworms and hookworms. In addition, Inverhart Max also includes the active ingredient praziquantel, which prevents the growth of tapeworms.

Tri-Heart Plus

Tri-Heart Plus is produced by Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health. This heartworm medicine for dogs contains the active ingredients ivermectin and pyrantel and prevents heartworms, roundworms and hookworms.

Side Effects of Heartworm Medicine

Side effects of heartworm medicine for dogs are not common. However, a small number of dogs may display signs of depression, lethargy, nausea, allergies, skin irritation, diarrhea or seizures. If any of these side effects arise, it is recommended that a veterinarian be consulted. In some cases, it may be necessary to adjust the dosage or switch to another heartworm product.

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