Heartgard is a common and very popular medication used to prevent heartworm disease in dogs. Heartworm is a dangerous and sometimes fatal disease in dogs that is common throughout the United States. Mosquitoes carrying the heartworm's offspring from an infected dog to another spread a microscopic parasite, the heartworm. When finding a new host, the heartworm lives and feeds inside the dog's blood vessels particularly in the lungs and heart, growing longer than one foot. Dogs with heavy parasite infections become listless and may suffer heart failure. Fortunately, using Heartgard makes the disease easily preventable.Heartgard Features to Consider
The active ingredient in Heartgard is ivermectin, a drug that specifically kills parasitic worms. Ivermectin is one of the most common drugs used for treating parasitic infections and many vets recommend it. Heartgard comes in various dosages of invermectin to work with different sized dogs and is given monthly. You can also purchase Heartgard Plus, which additionally contains Pyrantel to treat hook and round worms. Your veterinarian has to prescribe the drug in order for you to purchase it, but you can shop around with your prescription and try to find the best price. Heartgard Desirable Features
Heartgard comes in chewable squares that taste good and are easy to administer to your dog. There is no guessing involved in dosage, just buy the Heartgard prepackaged for your dog's weight. One dose will keep your dog safe for a month and there are six chewable tablets in each box. When you consider the cost of treating a dog with a heartworm infestation, a difficult disease to get under control, Heartgard is well worth the price. Features to Avoid in Heartworm Prevention
It is essential to buy the correct dosage of Heartgard for your dog. If you use a dose for a smaller sized dog, then Heartgard may not be effective. Also be sure to check the expiration on all your medication and throw it away if it has expired. Heartgard Shopping and Safety Tips
You should visit your veterinarian for a blood test before starting your dog on Heartgard to ensure that your dog isn't already infected, unless your pet is under six months of age. You may also want to ask your vet if she can match prices with any online pharmacies. Frequently, your vet will.
Be sure to give Heartgard to your dog monthly as recommended. Use the stickers that come in the packet to mark a calendar for when it's time for a dose of Heartgard. If possible try to start you dog on Heartgard on a day that is easy to remember like the 1st of the 15th of the month. If you do forget, the medication may not be effective.
As with any medication, read the directions carefully before administering Heartgard to your dog, reviewing age and weight for the appropriate dosage. It's always best to get Heartgard from your vet so that you can be sure your dog is in good health and get the appropriate dosage. Remember also, that you should never give a cat or any other animal medication that is specifically for dogs and take care to store your Heartgard out of reach of children.