Medical Info: Heartgard

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Which is the safest Heartworm medicine to give your OES? My vet recommended Heartgard. Is it necessary to give it all year or just during mosquito season?
My vet gave us heartgard for Jack and Annabelle. I give one pill monthly. I don't know of any other heartworm medicine to compare it with. My vet did tell me the last time we were there that whenever they got to a certain age or maybe weight that they could get a shot that would last 6 months instead of giving a monthly pill.
Stormi Razz
Our holistic vet provided us with Heartgard. She recommended that we give one pill every 45 days starting May 1st - the beginning of our mosquito season - and stopping giving the pills in October when cold weather kills off the mosquitos. Both the doctor and I agree that we just don't want to give the dogs any more medication than is absolutely necessary.

From what I understand, the pills are effective for 45 is just that it is usually easier for people to remember to give the dogs a pill once a month so that is what is usually recommend.
Hi! my vet always recomends Interceptor I belive it kills one more intestinal worm than heartgard.The shot is called Pro-heart and it is fairly new. The only problem is that it is not labled to kill all of the worms that the monthly's are.However it is so much less expensive if you have a giant dog.My vet also recamends every 6 month intestinal worm checks so if your dog gets worms you are sure to know.I am currently using pro-heart for my 2 older dogs it is so convenient.I must admit I am not the best about giving the monthly on time.(I even know better becouse I have woked for a vet for 8 years.)Grizzy is to young for pro-heart becouse he is a large breed and his weight will change so much between now and 6 months from now. He is on interceptor. I hope this will help but be sure to talk with your vet they usally are glade to help you make the right decision for your baby.
FYI - Just watching 11pm local news and there is a special report on Proheart 6 injectable heartworm medicine.

Apparently there have been a lot of adverse reactions after receiving the injection. They say over 400 dogs have died now. I didn't hear all of the symptoms but some were weekness in the legs along with some other muscle type failure symptoms.

They interviewed some local vet that was against the injectables since they are so new and recommended the oral meds that have been around for a while like Heartgard.
My husband picked up dog wormer at Walmart and was just wondering if it is just as safe and potent as what a vet would do. We are also planning to deworm all the cats and kittens too. On the box is says to continue deworming once a month. I would like anyone's opinion. Thank you, Stormi and company. Razz

Update Posted: 23 Mar 2004 05:36 pm

NEVERMIND, luckily I figured it out. The heartgard that the dogs are already on will take care of them, I have to find something for my cats to take. The reason I was asking is Marie my 6 months old kitten doesn't look like she is putting on weight like she should so my friend suggested that she might be wormy. I guess we will get her to the vet and try and get to the bottom of it. Stormi
I know a lot of people are looking for information about 6 month heartgard, or heartgard pro, but they're really confusing heartgard with a new medicine called Proheart 6 ( ProHeart6 ). There have been some serious side effects attributed to pro heart 6 so I personally would think twice before having my dog injected with pro heart.
Thanks Kristen, I never though about it being a reaction to heartgard. I know yesterdays episode wasn't related to heartgard, but it is a good possiblility that it has in the past. Stormi and co.
Thank you Ron. I had just recently talked to my mothers vet about Proheart 6. They hadn't heard anything negative about it and thought it was just as safe as any other product out there. I am glad I didn't choose to use it as well. My vet recommended to just stay using the heartgard. Thanks for keeping us updated. Stormi
I believe Becky's recommendation is a general one; I suspect that if you asked her she would defer to your vet's recommendation. (Send her an email... she'll respond). I have used Heartgard (with ivermectin) on Barney since he was 3 months old but give it every 1 months.
My Jakie is a beautiful sheepie. I brought home a fuzzball that was 4 months old. He had been in a kennel most all of his young life. He was afraid and very shy but nonaggressive. Now, Jake has had some difficulties and yes, hair loss is one of them. He has a condition that causes him to be mostly hairless, but to me, he is the most beautiful sheepie. He is not ill because of this nor is he suffering. When he itches (which he does sometimes), he is cooled with an oatmeal bath, seabreaze rub, or if all else fails, a benadryl once a day for a couple of days. I know the shock of a hairless sheepie, but I love my sheepie as if he were a show dog Very Happy Jake also takes Vit C (chewables) everyday and joint maintence vitamins for his hip. Not long ago, it was suggested we put him down as he could not bear weight in the rear, but now, he is walking again and he is happy and no pain. All he takes is those vitamins and his heartgard.
Well, my unnamed rescue dog from Ohio came through his neutering just fine today. He'll be already for me to pick up on Saturday. They told me that he's just a super happy dog to be around-- he's not barky, not jumpy, just a really sweet little guy.

Unfortunately, I chose to have some extra vet work done and he tested slightly positive for heartworms. They said I didn't have to adopt him if I didn't want to but, the whole reason I rescued him was so he wouldn't die so it wouldn't make much sense to not try to save him again. Anyway, their vet offered a suggestion that since he was just slightly positive, a new school of thought was to just put him on Heartgard or Revolution to keep what he has at bay and let him live out his life like that, rather than put him through the arsenic poisoning and rest period.

I have to say, I'm pretty upset right now. Has anyone gone through the deworming process or heard of the alternative that the vet at the pound offered? I only want to do what's best for him and I'm leaning towards the arsenic just so we get rid of them completely. I'm just hoping it won't cost a fortune to do it. Am I an idiot for even considering putting a dog that I've never met through a potentially expensive treatment?
We were using Advantage but I've found with such fluffy dogs, I really don't care much for the neck drops. They did fine on it but it made the fur so hard and crunchy! We were just back at the vet the other day and switched back to plain old Heartgard. I have to say, I've never had a problem with fleas so we don't have them on anything for them.
No Ron, you didn't. DH is 70 and I don't know how much longer we can stay here and still maintain the place. It's a lot of work. Of course if he retires, then he'd have more time Laughing Laughing Anyway, if we were to get another dog family when this one goes....and one has a year left, two others maybe 2-3...then we are looking at old dogs with old husband. If I were to have to move then I wouldn't want a pack. We aren't ruling out another dog, but discussing it. We talked about it briefly again tonight after spending $300 just for Heartgard and Frontline and think maybe we could have a big dog to help deter unwanted people coming onto the property, but no more packs. If all goes well, we will have at least one of this family for about 5 more years.....Jack.
Miller, our 5 year old yellow lab, violently vomited after taking heartgard. He becam dehydrated and had to have an emergency visit to the Vet. He was given med to stop the vomiting and special food.
Has any one's pet experienced this reactopm/
Thanks you may email me directly at
I gave my 16 month old her monthly heartgard meds late last night but this afternoon I found the med in her stool. It was not chewed and was still whole. I called my vet's office (but could not speak to him directly) and was told that this would be fine...she will be protected...the receptionist could explain in a way I was able to understand: why would she still be protected? I am worried. Please does anyone have any advice or can explain to me?

Yeah, I don't think your dog is protected if you found it whole in her stool.
I'm pretty surprised that you happened to see that, given it's color and softness!

I'd call the vet again and ask to speak directly to him or her about redosing your dog.

You might want to mention that the instruction manual for Heartgard states that if a dog normally swallows treats whole that they be broken up nito small pieces, and if any piece is missed that the animal be redosed.

HeartGard Manual wrote:
The chewable should be administered in a manner that encourages the dog to chew, rather than to swallow without chewing. Chewables may be broken into pieces and fed to dogs that normally swallow treats whole.
Care should be taken that the dog consumes the complete dose, and treated animals should be observed for a few minutes after administration to ensure that part of the dose is not lost or rejected. If it is suspected that any of the dose has been lost, redosing is recommended.

I wouldn't worry too much; the likelihood of getting worms is fairly low in the course of a couple of days and she will be protected anyway if you and your vet determine that she should be redosed within the next few days.
If the med came out whole, your dog did not get the dose. The ivermectin is a liquid injected into the preformed treat - so they need to eat the whole thing. That's why you can't get the bigger size and break it in half for 2 dogs! It is not uniformly distributed in the treat.

The dosing in the Heartgard is low - well into the safe zone for toxicity in most dogs. (Collies have a record of being sensitive). Even if your dog got some of the med, I would still redose if it was my dog.
Yeah, it just didn't make sense to me that she can be girl does normally chew the Heartgard except for this last dose. For some reason she gulped it this time. I'm one of those overly-observant moms who examine poops::LOL::so I was able to see that it was undigested and "returned" whole!

I called the vet's office again and left a message for our vet to call me back. I'm waiting his call now. Thank you for your replies and I will let you know what the vet says.
Our vet told me to redose her...he said normally if a dog regurgitates meds (in this case Heartgard) prior to 5hours this means that the dog did not benefit from the medicine. And the receptionist, knowing this bit of info, likely told me it was alright because she had never had a question like mine before...The vet said the ivermectin/pyrantel in Heartgard is a low dose (you're right Dawn) that my girl would not be considered a "poison" case should she accidentally consume, say, 4 or 5 chewables at once.

Anyway, knowing now that this girl may not always chew, we are now prescribed tablet form instead of chewable.

Thank you again for your replies!! Hope my experience helps others...

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