Heartgard VS Heartgard Plus
In order to protect your dog or cat from the potentially fatal heartworm disease, it is highly suggested to embrace one of the best preventive measures offered on the market. Heartgard and Heartgard Plus come in oral applications of heartworm prevention that provide a safe and effective approach for owners to safeguard their pets against disease. While both products contain ivermectin, it is Heartgard Plus that goes beyond the typical heartworm prevention – using pyrantel to combat other common pet concerns.
The Difference Between Heartgard and Heartgard Plus
Heartgard Tablets aim to prevent heartworm disease in both cats and dogs. The tablets accommodate a wide-range of animal needs, including the rare instance of an animal possessing a beef allergy. The level of safety for all sizes and breeds of dog has captured the attention of many pet owners, who take note of its approved status for treating puppies as young as six weeks old, small breeds, pregnant or nursing dogs, stud dogs, as well as Collies, who have shown a noticeable susceptibility to heartworm.
In cats, Heartgard offers a once-a-month chewable tablet that assists in the removal and control of hookworms and heartworms. The product has received a satisfying seal of approval for cats of any weight – six weeks of age and older.
Heartgard does not contain wheat gluten and lacks the questionable ingredients that have plagued many other brands of pet products in the United States. Overall, Heartgard has been used as an effective anthelminthic (better known as a dewormer) that prevents heartworm disease in dogs and cats, which also benefit from the control of hookworm. In order for a dog to enjoy the advantages of hookworm and roundworm protection – the consumption of Heartgard Plus (with pyrantel pamoate) is required.
Both products work to prevent the presence of heartworms (Dirofilaria immitis) in a pet, but also eradicate the tissue stage of a worm – hindering its advancement to a harmful stage. However, it is Heartgard Plus that provides the added protection against other health threats. The use of Heartgard Plus has become a favorite amongst veterinarians when it comes to preventing heartworm disease, where pet owners find comfort in the extra protection against roundworm and hookworm in dogs.
The Use of Heartgard Products
In order to bring home the effectiveness of Heartgard products, a pet owner receives a prescription for unflavored or flavored chewable tablets for Heartgard or flavored chewable Heartgard Plus tablets. For the prevention of heartworm disease, Heartgard products are given to pets one time per month throughout the course of an entire year.
A typical Heartgard dose for a dog weighing up to 25 pounds is 68mcg; 136mcg for dogs weighing between 26 and 50 pounds; and 272mcg for canines weighing between 51 and 100 pounds. If your loyal companion weighs more than 100 pounds, a combination of tablets is administered. The typical Heartgard dose for cats weighing five pounds or less is 55mcg, whereas cats between the weight of six and 15 pounds will take a dose consisting of 165mcg.
It is important to keep in mind that the chewable tablets are meant for chewing. A pet should not swallow their dose whole. If your pet has a habit of swallowing their treats whole, it is advised to break the tablet into small pieces. Additionally, some pet owners avoid year-round dosing and prefer to administer the medication during the mosquito season and for the following month after this time period ends.
Possible Side Effects
When taking Heartgard products, the possibility of side effects are rare. However, dogs that take higher doses may experiences tremors, dilated pupils, and weight loss. Cats face the rare risk of decreased appetite, dilated pupils, tremors, blindness, and disorientation.
It is also suggested to have your pet tested for a heartworm infection before starting any medication. While a cat can safely take medication even when infected with heartworm – remember that a dog requires treatment before prevention.