Heartworm is one of the worst possible parasites that plague dogs. A fairly common parasite, heartworm lodges itself on major blood vessels including the dog’s most vital organ: its heart. In left unchecked, heartworms multiply over time and grow big enough to block major blood vessels, which is usually fatal in most cases.
Fortunately there are many effective heartworm medications for dogs. Here is a review of some of the most popular heartworm medication for dogs and how they should be used.
Best Heartworm Medications for Dogs
There is a wide range of heartworm medicine for dogs. These medications come in different brands and prices, and, like everything else, pricy brands are usually better in quality; after all, your best friend deserves the best. These medicines are easy to purchase in pet stores, over the counter, and even online.
Some of the most popular heartworm medications for dogs are: Heartguard Plus, Iverhart Plus, Iverhart Max, Interceptor, Advantage Multi, and Sentinel. They are priced slightly higher than the numerous other brands out there, but they are of superior quality. There is also a wide range of holistic medicines in the market, but they vary in nature from one holistic vet to another. However, caution should be taken when consulting holistic vets as some are not credible.
Administering Heartworm Medication for Dogs
Many heartworm medication brands emphasize the need to administer the medicine monthly. This is a proven precautionary measure, but it should be guided by several factors.
For starters, the dog should be tested to determine whether it needs the medication in the first place. Since microfilaria takes five months to develop into adult heartworms, testing should be conducted once every four months. The tests should be consistent, and medication should begin immediately after the parasite is detected.
Administration should not be taken lightly either. Some of the heartworm medicines available are very strong and can have differing effects on different dogs. As such, it is recommended to consult a vet before administering any medication as factors such as immunity, size, and age have to be taken into consideration. With time you will know the ideal medication for your dog which you can administer yourself at home.
The issue of how often heartworm medications for dogs should be administered is a controversial one. On one hand, brands recommend monthly administration for optimal safety. Holistic vets, on the other hand, recommend a waiting period of two to three months since they argue that heartworms take five months to grow to adulthood. The solution, however, depends on the level of infection. A veterinarian should be consulted to determine how wide-spread the infection is before administering dosage.
Preventing Heartworm Infections
Prevention is always better than cure especially when your pet’s life might be at risk. There are a number of guidelines for preventing heartworm infection, but most of them are not effective. Your dog’s best bet is to keep mosquitoes out as the parasite is mainly transferred from an infected dog to a healthy one via mosquito bites.