- Pets and Animals»
- Dogs & Dog Breeds
Is Heartgard And Heartguard Plus Safe For Dogs
What is Heartgard?
Heartgard is a medication used to prevent your pet from getting heartworms. Unlike many pet meds, this one is preventive in nature as much as it is a cure. Also, this is one of the few pet meds you can safely give to your pet without a prescription. However, before rushing out to buy this med you might want to familiarize itself with it a bit.
In this article we will discuss the usage, the recommended dosage, and the side effects for Heartgard Plus. We will also talk about where heartworms come from and why it is wiser to prevent them now, rather than to cure them later. And finally, we will also discuss how this pet med can benefit your cat as well.
As always, being a knowledgeable pet makes you a worthy one, so we will do our best to give you all the facts necessary before treating your pet.
Where Do Heartworms Come From?
Heartworms are carried by mosquitoes and have been seen in all fifty states. If your pet is ever exposed to the outdoors - which all dogs inevitably are, as that is where they do their business - then they are susceptible to being bitten and having heartworms transferred into their body.
While these worms are of little consequence to the mosquito, they can be life threatening to your pet. One worm becomes many, as they reproduce around the right side of the heart and filter through the bloodstream into the arteries of the lungs.
You pet can be infected for years without you knowing it, but when the symptoms finally manifest themselves the prognosis is rarely good. For, by this time, the worms have had time to multiply to a point where surgery is often needed to remove them, and any major surgery is dangerous to your pet - and thankfully, in this case - preventable.
By providing your pet with heartworm medication year round, you virtually eliminate the risk of your pet contracting heartworm. As an added benefit, this medication also aids in killing a current infection, provided it hasn't progressed too far.
What are the Signs of a Heartworm Infection?
Your pet might have a slight cough periodically, but this often goes ignored. Another sign to look for is a lowering of activity in a dog that normally is highly active. Of course, there are those dogs that aren't so active, and for them the heartworm is most dangerous, as they are the most difficult ones to see as having this condition.
Prevention is the best cure with heartworm. Periodic and regular dose of Heartguard, followed by regular veterinarian visits, will help insure your pet does not fall ill to this unkind organism. Knowing that a heartworm infection can easily go on for months with no visibly seen signs should be enough to convince you that a regiment of prevention easily beats out the cost of possible surgery later - and perhaps - the loss of your pet's life.
Unlike many pet maladies, heartworm is preventable.
Side Effects of Heartgard
Heartgard is very safe, but there are some known side effects. As always, if your pet exhibits any of these symptoms, take them to the vet to have them checked out:
Note: collies are a bit more sensitive to this med, so they should be watched over carefully after the first few doses.
Great Books On Dog Health
Can I Buy Heartgard Online?
In this rare instance I will recommend buying this pet med online without a veterinarian's prescription, as this is a pet med made to be purchased and administered directly by pet owners. As always, read all precautions before administering the dose and watch over your pet carefully for a few days after doing so for any allergic reaction.
I recommend buying for a year at a time and administering each monthly dose on a regular schedule. Just mark the calendar and consider it a date with your pet, all in the name of keeping them healthy. Also, I recommend a heartworm screening once a year, to insure that the meds you are providing are doing their job. Remember, your pet counts on you to remain healthy!
Is Heartgard Safe for Cats?
Yes! However, know ahead of time that they make a special version for felines, and that's the version you should purchase. Dogs and cats often experience the same problems but have different medicinal needs. This is one of those instances.
How is Heartgard Prescribed?
Heartgard is given to your pet via a chewable tablet. However, if your pet is not much of a chewer, you will want to break up the table into smaller pieces, as it doesn't work as well if it's swallowed.
Also, be aware that Heartgard and Heartgard Plus aren't the same product. Heartgard plus provides added protection against roundworms and hookworms, which is actually a good idea. Why prevent one, when you can prevent all three? Right?
So, if you love your pets, as I know you do, protect them from heartworm!