As a dog owner, keeping your furry friend healthy and happy is a top priority. Protecting your dog's well-being is crucial to protect them from heartworm disease. Heartgard Plus is a medication that can help prevent heartworm infection in dogs. This blog will discuss what Heartgard Plus is, its potential side effects, and other important information.
What is Heartgard Plus?
Heartgard Plus is a monthly medication for dogs that is used to prevent heartworm disease. The medication comes in a chewable tablet form and contains two active ingredients: ivermectin and pyrantel. Ivermectin is an anthelmintic that works by killing heartworm larvae before they have a chance to mature into adults. Pyrantel is a deworming agent that helps to remove and prevent the reinfestation of other intestinal parasites such as hookworms and roundworms.
Heartgard Plus is available in various strengths based on your dog's weight, and it's essential to give the correct dosage according to your dog's weight. Giving an incorrect dose can result in ineffective treatment or overdose.
How Does Heartgard Plus Work?
Heartworm disease is transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes. When a mosquito carrying heartworm larvae bites a dog, the larvae can migrate into the bloodstream and eventually mature into adult worms that can cause severe damage to the heart, lungs, and blood vessels.
Heartgard Plus works by killing heartworm larvae before they can mature into adults. The active ingredient ivermectin binds to the heartworm larvae's nervous system receptors, leading to paralysis and, ultimately, their death. Pyrantel works by paralyzing and killing hookworms and roundworms in the dog's intestinal tract.
It's essential to give Heartgard Plus every 30 days as directed by your veterinarian to ensure your dog is protected from heartworm disease.
Possible Side Effects of Heartgard Plus
While Heartgard Plus is generally considered safe, there are potential side effects that you should be aware of. The most common side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. These side effects are usually mild and go away on their own. However, if they persist or worsen, you should contact your veterinarian.
In rare cases, dogs can experience severe allergic reactions to Heartgard Plus. Signs of an allergic reaction may include difficulty breathing, hives, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat. See veterinary care immediately if your dog shows any signs of an allergic reaction.
Missed a Dose?
If you miss a dose of Heartgard Plus, give it as soon as you remember. However, if it's been more than two months since the last dose, you should consult your veterinarian before resuming treatment.
Human Side Effects
Heartgard Plus is formulated specifically for dogs and is not intended for use in humans. The active ingredient ivermectin can be toxic to humans in high doses, leading to symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you or someone in your household ingests Heartgard Plus, contact a healthcare provider immediately.
Your veterinarian may recommend periodic testing to ensure that your dog remains free of heartworm disease. In addition, the American Heartworm Society recommends annual testing for all dogs, even those on year-round heartworm prevention.
Call Your Vet If:
Contact your veterinarian if you notice any unusual symptoms in your dog after giving Heartgard Plus, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy. Additionally, seek veterinary care immediately if your dog experiences an allergic reaction.
Heartgard Plus Overdose Information
An overdose of Heartgard Plus can lead to severe symptoms, including tremors, seizures, and coma. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your dog has ingested too much Heartgard Plus.
Heartgard Plus Storage
To ensure the effectiveness and safety of Heartgard Plus, it's essential to store it properly. The medication should be kept in a dry and cool place, away from direct sunlight and heat. Keep the tablets in their original packaging until it's time to give them to your dog. Additionally, keep the medication out of reach of children and pets.
In conclusion, Heartgard Plus is a monthly medication that can help protect your dog from heartworm disease and intestinal parasites. While it's generally considered safe, following your veterinarian's instructions carefully and monitoring your dog for potential side effects is essential. By providing your dog with regular preventative care, you can help ensure its health and happiness for years to come.
Heartgard Plus FAQs
Here are some frequently asked questions about Heartgard Plus:
Q: How often should I give my dog Heartgard Plus?
A: Heartgard Plus should be given to your dog every 30 days.
Q: Can Heartgard Plus be given to puppies?
A: Heartgard Plus is safe for puppies six weeks and older.
Q: Can Heartgard Plus be given to pregnant or nursing dogs?
A: Consult your veterinarian before giving Heartgard Plus to pregnant or nursing dogs.
Q: Can Heartgard Plus be used for cats?
A: Heartgard Plus is formulated specifically for dogs and is not intended for use in cats.
Q: Can Heartgard Plus be used to treat heartworm disease?
A: Heartgard Plus is used to prevent heartworm disease, but it's not effective in treating an existing infection.