One of the most serious diseases your pet can contract, heartworms are transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. If left untreated, the larvae will grow into mature worms that settle in the heart and the lungs. An affected dog or cat will tire easily, cough incessantly, and may succumb to the disease after a long and painful period of time. Because there is only one approved treatment for heatworms in dog and zero in cats, prevention is key.
Heartworm Tests for Dogs and Cats
It is important to start your canine or feline friend on a monthly heartworm preventative. First, your veterinarian may need to test your pet for heartworms before safely prescribing a preventative. Dogs should be tested every 12 months and pets should be on a preventative 12 months a year.
Monthly Preventatives for Heartworm Diesase
Advantage Multi: Available in both feline and canine versions, Advantage Multi protects your pet from heartworm disease and other parasites, including fleas, hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms. A single dose once a month is all you need to kill these fearsome freeloaders before they mature. Always consult your veterinarian before administering any prescription medication. In most cases, Advantage Multi is completely safe for puppies and kittens over two months old. On rare occasion, an animal may have an underlying health condition that prevents early treatment. The topical drug is safe, affordable, and easy to apply.
Heartgard Plus: Formulated for dogs, Heartgard Plus kills heartworms, hookworms, and roundworms. These tasty chewables are safe for dogs six weeks or older, although it is important to consult your veterinarian before administering any prescription medication. This goes double if your pet is pregnant or has any underlying medical condition, especially a chronic one.
Like other preventatives, these once-monthly chewables contain FDA-approved drugs to control heartworms and other parasites.
Iverhart Max: Because it is a common disease, there are a number of safe and effective chewables used to prevent heartworm disease in dogs. Iverhart Max tablets are flavored chewable tables sold in monthly doses. In addition to guarding them from heartworm disease, they can also be used to treat hookworm, tapeworm, and roundworm infestations. Although the label says it is safe for dogs eight week of age and older, it is always best to consult your veterinarian before you give your canine friend any drug or supplement. If he has an underlying medical issue, a new medication could cause complications.