Heartworm Disease Affects All Dogs

April represents National Heartworm Awareness Month, and for good reason. Heartworm disease is a serious disease found throughout the entire United States affecting both dogs and cats. Heartworm disease, a parasitic infection spread by mosquitoes, affects any dog. These include young, old, male, female, indoor, and outdoor dogs. Heartworm larvae circulate within the blood. Adult heartworms live for years within the heart, clogging blood vessels and interfering with the heart valves. As a result, the damage is caused to the heart, lungs, blood vessels, kidneys, and liver.

When is Heartworm Season?

Heartworm disease has been diagnosed in all 50 states. Because infected mosquitoes can come inside, both outdoor and indoor pets are at risk. For that reason, the American Heartworm Society recommends that you “think 12:” (1) get your pet tested every 12 months for heartworm and (2) give your pet heartworm preventive 12 months a year.

Signs & Symptoms

Dogs infected with heartworm disease in the early stages show little to no symptoms until eventually, the infection persists. In that case, look for these signs:

  • reluctance to exercise.
  • a soft, dry cough.
  • shortness of breath.
  • weakness.
  • fatigue after moderate activity.
  • decreased appetite.
  • weight loss.

Heartworm Disease Prevention & Treatment

Prevention is the best medicine since it can be very difficult and expensive to treat infected dogs. No treatment currently exists for cats. Heartworm preventative medications kill immature worms and prevent them from maturing into adults that cause illness. For this reason, you give preventive medications continuously every 30 days to kill the existing larvae, and cannot kill adult worms. All heartworm medications require a prescription from your veterinarian, for the purpose of annual blood testing to be sure your pet is not infected. This is including dogs already given prevention year-round. Preventative medications are highly effective, but dogs can still become infected. Consequently, even if you miss just one dose. Giving heartworm medication to infected dogs may lead to severe reactions. Learn more about Heartworm Positive Dogs.

VetRxDirect stocks a variety of heartworm and parasite preventative treatments for dogs. Because these require a prescription, choosing the right medication for your dog should be done with the help of your veterinarian so they receive the best protection.

Heartgard Plus Heartworm Disease PreventativeHeartgard Plus For Dogs

  • Effectively kills heartworms, hookworm, and roundworm
  • Tasty chewable dogs love
  • Convenient monthly dosing
  • Safe for dogs six weeks and older
  • Dog with food allergies or special dietary needs–Heartgard Tablets do not contain any flavors or beef


Related imageTri-Heart Plus

  • Triple protection from heartworms and intestinal worms
  • Kills hookworms and roundworms
  • Tasty chewable tablet
  • Same active ingredients as brand name heartworm medications



Interceptor Plus at VetRxDirectInterceptor Plus

  • Prevents heartworm disease in dogs
  • Kills tapeworms, whipworms, hookworms, roundworms
  • Contains milbemycin oxime and praziquantel
  • Provides 1 month of protection
  • Tasty chew



Trifexis at VetRxDirectTrifexis

  • Prevents heartworm disease
  • Kills roundworms, whipworms, and hookworms
  • Kills and control fleas
  • Provides 1 month of protection
  • For dogs 8 weeks and older


Which heartworm prevention do you give to your dog? Leave us a comment below.

Heartworm Prevention in Dogs

What are the chances of a dog getting heartworms?

A potentially deadly disease for many species of animals, dogs are highly susceptible to heartworm infection.  Spread by infected mosquitoes, incidence rates are highest along the coasts and near major waterway, such as the Mississippi River. A recent study found that nearly half of all dogs not on a heartworm preventative in these areas came down with the disease.  With that said, heartworm disease has been reported in all 50 U.S. states.

What is heartworm disease in dogs?

Once bitten by an infected mosquito, the heartworm larvae will take about six or seven months to mature into adult heartworms inside your dog. They then begin to reproduce and congregate in the lungs, blood vessels, and the heart.  These adult worms can grow up to a foot in length and have a lifespan of five to seven years.  A dog can survive with as many as 250 worms in its system, although the disease will cause a whole host of serious health problems.

Because they are parasites, heartworms must feed of their hosts, specifically on the nutrients in their blood. When the worms grow into mature bloodsuckers and there are a large number of them, your furry friend will begin to experience symptoms of heartworm infestation.

The single most common sign your dog is suffering from heartworms is a precipitous decline in energy level.  Since the heartworms steal the nutrients your dog needs to stay active, your pouch may refuse to engage in activities once enjoyed, such as walking, playing fetch, or swimming. Your pet may seem lethargic or dazed, even during the day.

In extreme cases, your dog may lose a significant amount of weight, even if the diet remains unchanged.  A persistent, hacking cough is another unmistakable symptom of heartworm disease, since the worms also migrate to the lungs. Rapid breathing may ensue shortly thereafter.

Diagnosis of Heartworm Disease in Dogs

According to most veterinarians, your dog should be tested for heartworm disease at least once a year. If caught at an early stage, the immature worms are relatively easy to exterminate.  But once they have reached maturity, heartworms can cause serious health problems, even death. The diagnosis involves a simple blood test for antigens and is inexpensive and extremely accurate.

If your dog tests positive for the disease, treatment can take several months if the worms have reached adulthood, since they are more difficult to kill than immature worms.  It can also be quite painful and your furry friend will have to rest for several months following treatment to prevent dead worms from entering the lungs.

Prevention of Heartworms in Dogs is the Key

Heartworm disease is completely preventable.  A tasty and inexpensive monthly chewable is all you need to protect your dog from the potentially deadly condition. These medications must be given year round, even during the colder months when mosquitoes are less prevalent.   Let us take a moment to discuss two of the most popular heartworm preventatives on the market today.

Heartgard Plus for Dogs

Heartgard Plus for Dogs is Ready to Ship from VetRxDirect

Heartgard Plus for Dogs

In addition to eradicating immature heartworms, Heartgard Plus tasty monthly chewable kills hookworms and roundworms as well.  Safe for canines six weeks and older, the powerful FDA-approved chemicals in Heartgard Plus for Dogs can control heartworms in your canine friend.  As with any prescription medication, it is important to speak with your veterinarian before giving it to your pet. Heartgard Plus is sold in packs of 6 or 12 and must be administered once a month, either with food or on its own.

Iverhart Max Flavored Chewables for Dogs

Iverhart Max is Available to Ship from VetRxDirect

Iverhart Max for Dogs

One of the most complete monthly medications on the market today, Iverhart Max Flavored Chewables protects your pouch from hookworm, tapeworm, roundworm, and heartworm.  Classified as an anthelminthic or dewormer, it contains ingredients that destroy immature worm infestation in short order.  In fact, each ingredient is designed to target a specific type of worm.  Ivermectin, for example, kills heartworm larvae soon after it is ingested.

Safe for canines over the age of 8 weeks, most veterinarians will test for heartworms before prescribing this medication.  Owners should follow dosing instructions while making sure not to miss a dose. If a dosage is missed, you should contact your veterinarian.

Now is the time to visit your pet’s veterinarian for a heartworm blood test and to talk about the best heartworm preventative for your pet and your area. There are other preventatives than those listed above. Leave a comment below and let us all know which heartworm prevention you use for your dog and your area.


Pet Meds for Heartworm Prevention

Placing pets on monthly medications for the prevention and treatment of heartworms not only saves pet’s lives, it also saves you a lot of money. Treating a pet with advanced heartworm disease is not only costly, but the outcome is not always pleasant for pets due to the harsh treatment on their bodies.

Here are some ways you can protect your pet from heartworm disease.

Oral Heartworm Disease Preventatives Available at VetRxDirect

Oral Heartworm Preventatives Available at VetRxDirect

Oral medications used to protect your cats and dogs from heartworm disease are now available in great tasting flavors pets will love. Some brands that supply these oral medications are:

Revolution for Cats Available at VetRxDirect

Revolution for Cats Available at VetRxDirect



Topical solutions for preventing and treating heartworms, as well as fleas and ticks, can effectively safeguard your pets. Talk to your veterinarian about these great products:


Most veterinarians prescribe a year supply of heartworm preventative after performing an annual heartworm test on your pet. After this exam, place your order at VetRxDirect.com. We will contact your veterinarian for prescription approval as soon as possible, usually the same business day. Placing orders at VetRxDirect is always easy and we ship fast- and FREE when your order is over $39.

The prevention of heartworm disease is always better than treatment. Do not let your pet live another day with the risk of heartworms. Talk to your veterinarian about protecting your pet with an oral medication or topical solution today!

Which preventative are you currently using on your pet? Does your pet like the taste or was it easy to apply? Let us know your experiences by leaving comments below.

Have a great weekend,