Heartgard for dogs is a medication designed to protect your pet from heartworms, roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms. Merial Animal Health has developed it as a monthly preventative treatment in the form of palatable chewable tablets. The active ingredient ivermectin interferes with the larval stage of the parasite’s life cycle, preventing it from reaching adulthood. This effectively stops any potential infection from developing and reduces the chances of your pet becoming ill or suffering from long-term damage due to worm infestations.
What Is Heartworm?
Heartworm is a potentially fatal disease that affects cats and dogs caused by parasitic worms called Dirofilaria immitis. These worms can live in an animal’s bloodstream for up to 7 years before symptoms manifest and eventually cause serious damage to their vital organs, including their lungs, liver, and heart. Symptoms include coughing, difficulty breathing, lethargy, weight loss, poor appetite, abdominal swelling due to lack of blood flow through the intestines and more severe cases can lead to death if left untreated. Female worms also give birth to larvae which are then passed out through feces into water sources, where they become infective after 14 days under ideal temperature and humidity conditions.
How Does Heartgard Work?
Heartgard kills existing heartworm larvae already in your dog’s body and those ingested by ingesting infected mosquitoes carrying the parasite’s eggs or larvae. This is achieved by the active ingredient ivermectin, which acts quickly once it enters the bloodstream, but must be administered regularly each month to remain effective against new infections. In addition to killing heartworm larvae, ivermectin also kills adult roundworms and hookworms, which can cause gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea or vomiting if left untreated for too long, leading to further complications such as dehydration or malnutrition, especially in puppies or older animals who are more susceptible to parasite-related illness.
How often should I give my dog Heartgard?
For Heartgard to be most effective in treating existing infections and protecting against future ones, you should administer one tablet per month, ideally on the same day each month, until otherwise advised by your vet. It’s important not to miss any doses, so make sure you set yourself a reminder or put sticky notes around the house as a reminder! Never give two doses at the same time, even if you have missed one, as this could lead to an overdose as this medicine is specifically designed for dogs between 2 and 25 kg (4 – 55 lbs).
What are the side effects of using Heartgard?
The side effects associated with the use of this medication are minimal compared to other treatments available on the market today. However, some may still occur such as mild gastrointestinal upset (nausea/diarrhea) or skin irritation at the site of application (itching/redness). If you experience either of these, please contact your vet immediately as they will be experienced enough to deal with them without causing any harm or undue stress to your beloved pet! You should also be aware that, although rare, there have been reports of seizures occurring when high doses are used over a long period of time – but this should only be done under the guidance of a qualified professional!
Can I give my puppy or kitten an adult dose of Heartgard?
No – never give adult doses of medicines intended for older animals, no matter how tempting it may seem, as puppies & kittens require different formulations, not just dosages tailored specifically for them, due to their smaller size & immature immune systems; doing so could put them at risk of experiencing severe adverse reactions leading directly to organ failure & possible death! Always consult with your vet before administering anything, especially if you are unsure of the correct dosage required, taking into account the specific breed & age group being treated!
Heartgard offers a simple solution when it comes to battling intestinal worms & larval stages of heartworm inside our pets’ bodies helping keep them safe, healthy, happy lives free from pesky parasites invading their system and wreaking havoc and damage along the way…all while providing peace of mind owners knowing they are well protected! So don’t wait another minute, get some today, start protecting your beloved pup right away, sure to be here to help do whatever it takes to keep your furry friend safe, sound and furry forever!