What Is Heartgard Plus For Dogs

Heartgard Plus (ivermectin/pyrantel) cures & controls 5 kinds of intestinal worms in addition to preventing heartworm disease.

My dog needs HEARTGARD Plus, but do I?

If left untreated, heartworms in dogs can result in irreversible blood vessel damage, make breathing extremely challenging, and even result in pet death. Preventative drugs like Heartgard Plus and Heartgard for Dogs are crucial for this reason.

How frequently should I give my dog HEARTGARD Plus?

When heartworm-infecting mosquitoes (vectors) are active throughout the year, HEARTGARD Plus should be administered on a monthly schedule. After the dog has been exposed to mosquitoes for the first time, the first dose must be administered within a month (30 days).

What distinguishes Nexgard from HEARTGARD Plus?

These goods differ from one another in certain key ways. Heartgard is primarily used to treat parasites like hookworms and roundworms. Nexgard concentrates on ticks and fleas. For your pet, both medications recommend taking 1 tablet each month.

What distinguishes Heartgard for dogs from Heartgard Plus?

Heartgard and Heartgard Plus have some similarities in terms of sound, but they differ significantly in that Heartgard only protects against heartworm disease, whilst Heartgard Plus also protects against hookworm and roundworm.

Do I really need to give my dog heartworm medication?

During an annual wellness visit, one of the questions our veterinarians hear the most is, “Do I really need to protect my pet from heartworms? Simply stated: absolutely! Even though your pet is regarded “All cats and dogs should take a heartworm prevention medicine, indoors only.

Previously, due to the minimal danger in Las Vegas, the majority of veterinarians did not advise heartworm prevention for pets. However, Nevada has seen a steady rise in the number of heartworm cases in recent years. It is now strongly advised that both cats and dogs take heartworm preventive medicine year-round due to the rise in cases.

Despite heartworm disease being avoidable, the American Heartworm Society believes that over a million pets in the US have heartworms. A heartworm-free nation is totally doable with the help of medicine and education. The disease’s ability to spread is decreased the more owners are aware of it and take preventative measures.

Does Heartgard Plus offer tick and flea protection?

For dogs 6 weeks of age and older, HEARTGARD not only prevents heartworm disease but also treats and manages hookworms and roundworms.


I have been utilising HEARTGARD Plus to prevent heartworm illness and manage intestinal parasites in my patients for more than twenty years. It has been demonstrated to be a delicious beef chew in addition to being a safe and efficient preventative.

I use HEARTGARD Plus because it has a well-established track record of success. The best-tasting heartworm preventive on the market is a favourite of my dog Sullivan, a 5-month-old sable German Shephard.

Since we adopted them, we have been giving our two dogs HEARTGARD Plus and NexGard (afoxolaner). Diesel enjoys exploring new places and exercising outdoors. Maxx enjoys playing fetch and swimming. To keep everyone’s pets safe from heartworm infection, fleas, and ticks, I always suggest HEARTGARD Plus and NexGard.

For a reason, veterinarians endorse HEARTGARD Plus as #1.

1 You can buy HEARTGARD Plus in the clinic or from their online store once your dog has a negative heartworm test and a prescription from your veterinarian. Start your search using the tool below.

Are heartworm and deworming the same thing?

The main rule for dealing with worm infestations is to avoid them in the first place. There are a number of measures to prevent worms, such as picking up after pets, avoiding contaminated areas, using effective flea control, etc. Additionally, you have the option of using a prophylactic drug. These drugs can prevent and/or treat some worm infestations in your pet and are often given weekly. Due to the seriousness and prevalence of heartworm infestation, practically all dogs must take heartworm prophylactic drugs. Due to the fact that heartworms are resistant to all worm preventative treatments, the products differ in terms of the other worms they treat or prevent. To lessen the likelihood that worms will reappear once your pet has an active infestation, you should also start worm prevention. Consult your neighbourhood vet for advice on how to keep your pet free of worm infestations.

The different dewormers available at VetRxDirect are listed in the two tables below along with the conditions they are intended to address. The first table lists the medications we offer for treating intestinal worm infestations in dogs and cats. Because heartworms are an infestation that needs prompt and serious medical attention from your veterinarian, please be aware that VetRxDirect does not offer any heartworm treatment alternatives. The second table lists the heartworm and intestinal worm preventatives we have on hand. These tables can be used as an addition to your veterinarian’s prescriptions for worm preventatives and treatments.

How long can a dog skip a dose of heartworm medication?

In the comments area of my most recent piece about heartworm, Horacio posed an excellent question.

If, despite the fact that I have been providing my dog heartworm medication every month, she has missed a few appointments. Is it risky to resume taking the preventative medications?

Horacio, I can assure you that you are not the first person ever to forget to give your dog his heartworm medication. Your circumstance is typical.

Any time a dog goes more than six weeks without receiving heartworm medication, infection risk increases. Heartworm prevention in dogs with mature infections, in which the heartworms are reproducing and laying eggs in the blood, may cause a shock-like adverse reaction. It takes four to six months for infections to mature.

In other words, a dog taking heartworm medicine could be at danger four to six months following a six-week break.

I’m delighted to report that the adverse reaction I just mentioned is extremely rare.

Horacio, I advise you to have your dog’s heartworm tested by your veterinarian. Test again in four to six months (the test can only detect mature heartworm infections). Once you learn the outcome of the initial test is negative, you should restart your dog’s heartworm prevention. In almost every instance, the advantages of restarting the drug outweigh the risks.

What canine heartworm symptoms are there?

In the United States and many other countries across the world, heartworm illness in pets is a serious and potentially fatal condition. Heartworm disease affects pets and is brought on by foot-long worms (heartworms) that reside in the heart, lungs, and blood arteries nearby. These worms cause heart failure, severe lung disease, and harm to other body parts. Dogs, cats, and ferrets are the most common animals affected by heartworm illness, but heartworms can also infect wolves, coyotes, foxes, sea lions, and, in rare cases, people. Wild animals like foxes and coyotes are major disease vectors because they frequently reside close to urban areas.

Dogs. The dog serves as a natural host for heartworms, allowing them to develop into adults, reproduce, and create offspring. Dogs have been known to have hundreds of worms in their bodies, and their numbers can grow if left untreated. Heartworm disease damages the heart, lungs, and arteries permanently and can have an impact on a dog’s health and quality of life even after the parasites have disappeared. Because of this, prevention is always the best course of action, and when treatment is required, it should be given as early in the course of the disease as feasible.

Cats. Heartworm disease in dogs and cats is significantly distinct from one another. The cat is an unusual host for heartworms because few worms in cats mature to adulthood. Heartworm-infected cats frequently have no adult worms and only one to three adult worms in their bodies. This means that heartworm sickness in cats is frequently misdiagnosed, but it’s crucial to realise that even juvenile worms can harm an animal by causing heartworm linked respiratory disease (HARD). Cats can only be protected from the effects of heartworm disease through prevention because the medication used to treat heartworm infections in dogs cannot be administered in cats.

How is heartworm disease transmitted from one pet to another?

The mosquito is crucial to the life cycle of the heartworm. Microfilaria, tiny baby worms produced by adult female heartworms afflicted dogs, foxes, coyotes, or wolves, circulate in the bloodstream. These tiny worms are picked up by a mosquito when it bites and drinks blood from an infected animal. Over the course of 10 to 14 days, these baby worms grow and mature into “infective stage larvae.” The infectious larvae are then left on the skin’s surface of the new host and enter through the bite wound of the infected mosquito when it bites a different dog, cat, or susceptible wild animal. The larvae take about six months to develop into adult heartworms once they have settled inside a new host. Heartworms can survive once they reach maturity for up to 2 or 3 years in cats and for 5 to 7 years in dogs. Due to the lengthy lifespan of these worms, an infected pet may develop an increasing number of worms with each mosquito season.

What are the signs of heartworm disease in dogs?

Many dogs have little or no symptoms in the early stages of the disease. The likelihood that symptoms will appear increases with the length of the infection. Dogs that are active, have severe heartworm infections, or have other health issues may exhibit strong clinical indications.

A slight chronic cough, resistance to exercise, weariness after moderate activity, decreased appetite, and weight loss are all potential heartworm disease symptoms. Pets who have heartworm illness may eventually experience heart failure and a large belly because of an excess of fluid in the abdomen. Large heartworm infestations in dogs can cause sudden obstructions in the heart’s blood flow, which can result in a potentially fatal form of cardiovascular collapse. The symptoms of caval syndrome include dark crimson or coffee-colored urine, pale gums, and an abrupt beginning of difficult breathing. Few dogs survive without prompt surgical removal of the heartworm obstruction.

How significant is my pet’s risk for heartworm infection?

Even if heartworms don’t appear to be an issue in your neighbourhood, there are still several things to take into account. Heartworm disease may be more prevalent in your neighbourhood than you realise, or you may unintentionally take your pet to a location where heartworms are more prevalent. Each year, new areas of the nation are becoming infected with the heartworm illness. Heartworms can be carried by stray and neglected dogs as well as some wild animals including coyotes, wolves, and foxes. Heartworm illness is spread by mosquitoes carried far by the wind and by sick animals being moved to previously unaffected areas ” (this happened following Hurricane Katrina when 250,000 pets, many of them infected with heartworms, were “adopted and shipped throughout the country).

Heartworm illness has been identified in each of the 50 states, and risk variables are illogically unpredictable. Infection rates vary significantly from year to year, even within communities, due to a number of factors, including climatic fluctuations and the presence of wildlife carriers. Additionally, both indoor and outdoor pets are at risk since sick mosquitoes can enter buildings.

The American Heartworm Society advises that you as a result “consider 12: (1) Have your pet tested for heartworm every 12 months, and (2) administer heartworm preventative to your pet every month of the year.

What do I need to know about heartworm testing?

Heartworm infection is a dangerous, developing illness. The more quickly illness is discovered, the more likely it is that the animal will recover. When a dog or cat has heartworms, there are very few, if any, early symptoms of disease, so it’s crucial to check for them with a heartworm test performed by a veterinarian. The test only needs a tiny amount of blood from your pet, and it works by looking for heartworm proteins. While some vets send the samples to a diagnostic lab, others handle heartworm testing in-house. Results are acquired fast in both situations. Additional testing might be requested if your pet tests positively.

When should my dog be tested?

Dogs. Every dog should get an annual heartworm test, which is typically performed as part of a regular checkup for preventive treatment. The testing and timing recommendations are as follows:

  • Although puppies under 7 months old can begin heartworm prevention without a heartworm test (it takes at least 6 months for a dog to test positive after it has been infected), they should be tested 6 months after your initial visit, again 6 months later, and then annually after that to make sure they are heartworm-free.
  • Prior to beginning heartworm prevention, adult dogs over 7 months old who had not previously been on a preventive need to be tested. They must also be tested after six months, after a year, and then once a year after that.
  • Dogs should be tested right after, then once more six months later, and then once more annually after that if there has been a break in prevention (one or more late or missed doses).

Even when dogs are treated year-round for heartworms, annual testing is required to make sure the preventative regimen is effective. Although heartworm medicines are quite successful, dogs can still contract the disease. A single missed dose of a monthly medication—or giving it late—can render your dog defenceless. Your dog may spit out or vomit a heartworm tablet or rub off a topical medicine even if you administer it as directed. Although they are very effective, heartworm preventives are not perfect. You won’t know your dog requires treatment if you don’t get your dog tested.

What happens if my dog tests positive for heartworms?

The good news is that the majority of heartworm-infected dogs can be successfully treated, which is something no one wants to learn about their dog. If your dog is exhibiting symptoms of a sickness, the objective is to first stabilise him before killing all adult and young worms with the least amount of negative effects possible.

What to anticipate if your dog tests positive is as follows:

  • Verify the prognosis. An extra and different test should be used to confirm the diagnosis when a dog tests positive on an antigen test. Your veterinarian will want to make certain that therapy is required because the heartworm treatment regimen is both expensive and complicated.
  • Limit your exercise. It could be challenging to follow this rule, especially if your dog is used to being active. However, as soon as the diagnosis is established, your dog’s typical physical activities must be limited since physical activity speeds up the rate at which the heartworms destroy the heart and lungs. Your dog should be less active the more serious the symptoms are.
  • Cure your dog’s illness. It could be necessary to stabilise your dog’s condition with the appropriate therapy prior to starting the actual heartworm treatment. The procedure can take several months in severe heartworm disease cases or when a dog has another significant ailment.
  • administering care. After determining that your dog is healthy and prepared for heartworm treatment, your vet will suggest a treatment plan that includes a number of steps. The American Heartworm Society gives recommendations for creating this strategy. The success rate of treatment in dogs with no or minor heartworm disease symptoms, such as coughing or exercise intolerance, is high. Although there is a greater chance of complications, more severe disease can still be successfully treated. Dogs with many worms may have little or no symptoms early in the course of the disease, and the severity of heartworm disease does not usually correlate with the severity of symptoms.
  • Test (and guard against) success. Your veterinarian will do a heartworm test about 6 months following the end of the treatment to ensure that all heartworms have been eradicated. For the remainder of his life, you should give your dog heartworm prevention year-round to reduce the chance that he may get the disease once more.