Is Your Dog At Risk For Canine Heartworm Disease?

Canine heartworm disease is a prevalent infection affecting dogs worldwide. In the US alone, one in every 100 dogs inadvertently becomes host to these foot-long parasites that could reach and damage their heart, lungs, and other organs.

According to the American Heartworm Society, over a million dogs in the country are infected with heartworm disease. Spread through the bite of a mosquito, it puts the lives of dogs and other animals like cats, ferrets, coyotes, and foxes at risk.

If you want to protect your pet from contracting heartworm disease, Heartgard is a chewable medication for dogs that can prevent heartworm disease while controlling five species of parasitic intestinal worms.

This article will help you gain a better understanding of canine heartworm disease and how you can use Heartgard to protect your dog.

Canine Heartworm Disease: Signs And Risks

Heartworm disease is fatal if left untreated. This serious disease is easy to underestimate since it may not show symptoms in its early stages. Active dogs and canines with severe infections or existing health issues are usually the ones that become severely infected and are generally the first to show noticeable symptoms.

Signs of infection include coughing, breathing difficulties, loss of appetite, weight loss, and fatigue. In addition, animals experiencing its advanced stages develop heart failure, skin discoloration, blood spitting, and bloated bellies caused by excessive abdominal fluids. 

How Does Heartworm Infection Spread?

Heartworm disease is due to a parasitic worm called Dirofilaria immitis, which is transmitted through mosquito bites. When a mosquito bites an infected animal, it catches microfilariae or the offspring of female adult heartworm. 

When the carrier mosquito bites your dog, the larvae inside are transmitted to the dog through its tissues. Within the dog’s body, they can travel to pulmonary arteries and the heart and spread to other organs where they can do damage. An infected mosquito acts as an intermediate host where the worm lives before it transitions into an infective state. 

This cycle repeats itself when mosquitoes bite wildlife animals and domesticated pets. Once an area has several instances of heartworm disease among the animals, the transfer rate is high. Since stray dogs can easily transmit the infection, a simple walk in the park can be risky, especially if there are mosquitoes around.

In a dog’s body, it takes about 6 to 7 months for the larvae to mature into adult heartworms and develop offspring in the dog’s bloodstream. 

Treatment And Cure

If you suspect that your dog may have heartworm disease, have it undergo an antigen test administered by a vet. If the test comes out positive, there are treatments such as injectable drugs, but it can be a long, complex process that may result in complications. 

There may also be irreversible damage even if the disease gets treated. Since the risk is high and the cause and signs are almost invisible, it’s best to prevent the disease by giving your dog monthly preventive medications and having it regularly tested for infection. 

Protect Your Pet With Heartgard

The leading preventive medicine for canine heartworm infection is Heartgard (ivermectin). This chewable medicine, with its beefy flavor and real beef ingredients, will seem more like a treat for your dog, so administering it is easy. 

How Does HeartGard Work?

Heartgard targets heartworms in their larval stage to prevent them from maturing into adult heartworms. 

Can I Give My Dog A Lower Dose Of Heartgard?

Heartgard chewable medicine should be given to your dog orally every month using the recommended minimum dose of 6.0 micrograms of ivermectin for every kilogram of your dog’s weight. A lower dose isn’t recommended. 

Can You Split Heartgard In Half?

Heartgard shouldn’t be split in half because it’s possible to cut it unevenly, which could affect its formulation and potency.

Can I Give My Dog Higher Dose Of Heartgard?

Though Heartgard has a wide margin of safety and does not cause toxicity even at 10 times the recommended dose, elevated doses (such as 16 times more than the required dose) may have adverse effects, especially on sensitive dog breeds like Collies. 

Do Dogs Need Heartgard Year-round?

Veterinarians recommend administering Heartgard as preventive care for dogs year-round because the risk of heartworm infection is constant in almost all environments. Where there are mosquitoes and possible animal carriers, there is always a risk of contracting the disease. 

Is Heartgard Necessary In Winter?

There may be fewer mosquitoes during winter, but there is still a risk of getting the infection, so yes, Heartgard is necessary even in winter. When it comes to this deadly disease, there is no “downtime” worth risking your dog’s life for.

Can Nexgard and Heartgard Plus Be Given On The Same Day?

Yes, it is safe to give both to your dogs on the same day. They target different health concerns, and there are no contraindications.

Can Nexgard and Heartgard be given at the same time?

It is safe to administer both at the same time to protect your pet against ticks, fleas, and heartworms. 

How Long Does It Take For Heartgard To Be Digested/Absorbed?

It usually takes between 2 to 8 hours for a dog to digest and absorb Heartgard, depending on their age and breed. 

Does Heartgard Plus Kill Fleas And Ticks?

No. Heartgard Plus prevents heartworms while treating and controlling parasites such as ascarids and hookworms. If you’d like to prevent fleas and ticks as well, you can use Heartgard Plus with NexGard, another chewable supplement by Boehringer Ingelheim.

Can You Give Comfortis And Heartgard Together?

Yes. Comfortis and Heartgard are safe to use together. Comfortis focuses on fleas while Heartgard protects against heartworms.

Can You Use Heartgard Plus And Frontline Plus Together?

Yes, Heartgard Plus and Frontline Plus can be safely used together. Heartgard prevents heartworms, while Frontline treats fleas and ticks while repelling mosquitoes that can cause heartworms.

Heartgard: Your Dog’s Best Defense Against Canine Heartworm Disease

Heartgard is an effective preventive medicine for dogs 6 weeks and older. It is easy to administer because dogs love its beefy flavor and chewy form. For efficacy, the initial dose should be given within 30 days from the dog’s first exposure to mosquitoes. 

Heartworms can damage the heart and other vital organs, so making it part of your dog’s regular healthcare regimen is vital for its safety and wellness. The risks are everywhere, so keep your dog protected at all times with the right treatment. One dose of Heartgard every month can stop heartworm disease in its tracks and give you peace of mind.

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Best Selling Combo

Best Selling Combo

Heartgard Nexgard Combo for Dogs Flea, Ticks & Heartworm Treatment