Jul 042010

Do all dogs need heartworm medicine?

Heartworms are a nasty parasite that can cause severe sickness and even death. While it can be treated, it is expensive and not guaranteed.

Fortunately, heartworms are easy to prevent with heartworm medicine. The medicine is needed regularly and some brands, like Heartgard, include a sticker you can place on your calendar to remind you when to give it to your dog. There are other brands, like Advantage Multi that include flea as well as heartworm protection. You may find this more convenient.

While traditionally heartworm infections were seen in the south and southeast regions of the United States, cases are no longer restricted to these areas. Mosquitoes and other infected animals are carriers for the parasites. Mosquitoes can be blown to other areas, and infected dogs are also taken to other areas.

Cases of heartworm have been seen all over the US, as well as Canada and even worldwide. Therefore, all dogs need to be given preventative medicine.

Is heartworm medicine safe for dogs?

Heartworm medicine has been formulated for all dog breeds. Dosages are dependent on size of your dog, not his breed. They are also safe for pregnant females, stud dogs, and puppies as young as 6 weeks. No dog is immune to heartworms, so all dogs must be given preventative medicine.

All brands of heartworm medicine available for sale in the United States have passed FDA approval and are safe for your dog.

Merial Heartgard Plus for Dogs BROWN,51 - 100 lbs. 6 Month Supply Heartworm

How is heartworm medicine given to dogs?

There are two ways that this medicine is administered. The first is via a chewable tablet and the other is via a liquid on the skin.

Heartgard is a popular heartworm medicine; in fact, it may be the only one you are aware of. This medicine is in the form of a beef flavored, chewable tablet that is given once a month. In an effort to help pet owners make sure they keep up with the dosage, Heartgard includes heart shaped stickers to place on your calendar. They also offer an e-mail reminder service and a free app for your phone that will remind you.

Where can you get heartworm medicine for your dog?

Heartworm medicine must be prescribed by a vet. Most vets sell the medicine, although yours may charge more than online pharmacies. However, online pharmacies make it very easy for you to purchase through them. They will get the information needed and contact your vet for you then process the prescription.

If you are interested in giving your dog Heartgard, the Heartgard website has a coupon for $5 off that you can download and take with you to your vet.


1. Heartworms in Dogs: Facts and Myths

2. American Heartworm Society

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