Heartgard Plus For Dogs: Uses, Dosage, Side Effects

Heartgard Plus For Dogs: Uses, Dosage, Side Effects

Heartgard Plus for Dogs: Heartgard Plus is a popular heartworm preventative for dogs that also controls certain intestinal parasites. It comes in chewable beef-flavored tablets that most dogs gobble up like treats. The main ingredient, ivermectin, is very effective at preventing deadly heartworm disease transmitted by mosquito bites.

Heartgard works by killing the larval stage of heartworms, called microfilariae, before they can develop into adult worms. When given monthly as directed, it is 100% effective at preventing heartworm disease. It also controls common intestinal parasites like roundworms and hookworms that can rob your dog of nutrients and cause other issues.

Veterinarians highly recommend year-round heartworm prevention for dogs, especially in warm and humid climates where mosquitoes thrive. Heartgard Plus is safe for puppies as young as 6 weeks, so you can get them on a prevention schedule nice and early.

The correct Heartgard dosage for your dog depends on their weight. The medication comes in chewable tablets for dogs from 25 to 100 pounds. Be very careful to give the right dosage for your dog’s size, as too much can lead to side effects. Most dogs experience no issues, but possible side effects include lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Heartgard Plus requires a prescription from your vet, who will want to do a blood test for heartworms before starting your dog on the medication. The good news is that with monthly prevention, heartworm disease can be easily avoided and intestinal parasites kept at bay.

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Heartgard Plus for Dogs Uses

Heartgard Plus For Dogs: Uses, Dosage, Side Effects

Heartgard Plus for dogs is a heartworm preventative medication. It contains ivermectin and pyrantel pamoate to protect your dog from dangerous heartworm disease and other parasites.

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1. Heartworm Disease Prevention

Heartgard Plus prevents heartworm disease by eliminating the immature form of the heartworm parasite, called heartworm larvae or microfilariae. It contains ivermectin, which kills the larvae before they can develop into adult worms. When given monthly as directed, Heartgard Plus is 100% effective at preventing heartworm disease in dogs.

2. Treatment of Intestinal Parasites

In addition to preventing heartworms, Heartgard Plus also treats and controls two species of intestinal parasites: hookworms and roundworms. The pyrantel pamoate in Heartgard Plus eliminates hookworm and roundworm infections, helping keep your dog parasite-free.

3. Dosage and Administration

Heartgard Plus comes in chewable tablets for dogs of different weights. The correct dosage for your dog will depend on their weight. The tablets should be given once a month, preferably on the same date each month. Heartgard Plus can be given with or without food. For the best protection, dogs should receive Heartgard Plus every month, year-round.

Heartgard Plus is very safe for most dogs when used as directed, but some dogs may experience mild side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness or lack of appetite. Contact your vet immediately if your dog shows more serious side effects. Only give Heartgard Plus to dogs, as it can be dangerous to other animals.

By using Heartgard Plus monthly and year-round as prescribed by your vet, you’ll give your faithful friend the best protection available against dangerous heartworm disease and other internal parasites. Be sure to keep your dog on the same monthly treatment schedule to ensure consistent and effective prevention.

Heartgard Plus Dosage Information

To protect your dog from harmful heartworms, it’s important to give them Heartgard Plus as directed by your vet. The dosage is based on your dog’s weight.

Dosage

For dogs up to 25 lbs, give 1 chewable tablet. Dogs 26-50 lbs get 2 tablets. 51-100 lbs is 3 tablets. And dogs over 100 lbs get 4 tablets. Give Heartgard Plus once a month, year-round. It’s best to give the medication within 30 days of the previous dose for maximum effectiveness.

While Heartgard Plus is very safe, some dogs may experience minor side effects like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy or loss of appetite. These effects are usually temporary, but contact your vet if they persist or seem severe. It’s also a good idea to give the medication with food to avoid upset stomach.

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Heartgard Plus should not be used in puppies under 6 weeks of age. For the first dose in puppies 6-12 weeks old, have your vet do a heartworm test to ensure there is no existing infection before starting the medication. After 12 weeks of age, puppies can begin a normal Heartgard Plus regimen.

By following the recommended dosage and schedule, Heartgard Plus is very effective at preventing dangerous heartworm disease in dogs. Be diligent, give it year-round, and your dog can live a happy, active life free of heartworms. Isn’t your dog’s health and well-being worth it? Protect them with Heartgard Plus.

Potential Side Effects of Heartgard Plus

Heartgard Plus, like any medication, can cause potential side effects in some dogs. The good news is, most side effects tend to be mild. However, it’s always a good idea to monitor your dog after giving them Heartgard Plus to ensure they don’t experience any negative reactions.

1. Digestive Upset

The most common side effect is digestive upset, such as vomiting or diarrhea. This usually happens within a few hours of taking the medication. To reduce the chance of this, give Heartgard Plus with food. If your dog does experience vomiting or diarrhea, withhold food for 12 hours and ensure they stay hydrated. Call your vet if symptoms are severe or last more than a couple of days.

2. Lethargy or Depression

Some dogs may become lethargic, less active or seem mildly depressed for a day or two after taking Heartgard Plus. This is usually temporary, but contact your vet if these signs persist for more than 48 hours or your dog’s behavior seems very out of character.

3. Skin Reactions

Rarely, dogs can experience skin reactions such as hives, rash, or itching. Seek vet care immediately if your dog shows symptoms of a severe allergic reaction such as swelling of the face or airway. Your vet may advise discontinuing Heartgard Plus and prescribing an alternative heartworm preventative.

4. Other Side Effects

In very rare cases, more serious side effects can occur such as seizures or liver damage. These types of reactions tend to happen within a few hours to days after giving Heartgard Plus. Seek emergency vet care right away if your dog shows any unusual symptoms after taking Heartgard Plus. It’s best to report any side effects to your vet so they have a complete record of your dog’s medical history.

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By closely monitoring your dog in the first few hours after giving Heartgard Plus and being aware of potential side effects, you can help ensure they stay happy and healthy while protected from dangerous heartworm disease. Don’t hesitate to call your vet with any questions or concerns about side effects.

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FAQs

Heartgard Plus is a heartworm preventative for dogs that also treats and controls hookworms and roundworms. It comes in chewable, beef-flavored tablets that most dogs gobble up like treats. However, some pet owners have questions about its use.

How often should I give Heartgard Plus to my dog?

Heartgard Plus should be given once a month, year-round. For the best protection, give the medication within a month of the last dose. If you miss a dose, give it as soon as possible, and then resume the monthly schedule.

Are there any side effects?

Heartgard Plus is very safe for most dogs when used as directed. Rarely, dogs may experience vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or loss of appetite. Reactions tend to be mild, but contact your vet if symptoms persist or worsen.

Can I give Heartgard Plus to puppies?

Heartgard Plus can be given to puppies as young as 6 weeks of age. The proper dosage is determined by the puppy’s weight. Puppies need to be on a heartworm preventative early since heartworm disease can be fatal, especially in young dogs.

What happens if my dog gets heartworms despite using Heartgard Plus?

Heartgard Plus is highly effective at preventing heartworm disease when given monthly as directed. However, no product is 100% effective. If your dog tests positive for heartworms despite using Heartgard Plus, the company will reimburse testing and treatment costs. You will need to provide verification that Heartgard Plus was purchased and given properly.

Does Heartgard Plus kill existing heartworms?

No, Heartgard Plus does not eliminate adult heartworms. It is meant to be used as a preventative before heartworm infection occurs. If your dog already has heartworm disease, your vet will recommend a different course of treatment to kill the parasites. Heartgard Plus can still be used monthly to prevent re-infection after treatment.