Heartworm: Prevention is Key

Heartworm disease may seem like one of those things that “won’t happen to your pet,” but prevention is far worth its weight in gold.  Treatment of heartworms in dogs can range anywhere between $1000-$3000 and there is no available treatment for cats.  Preventing this fatal disease is as easy as a once-a-month pill or topical medication.

With all of the heartworm prevention products available, it can be difficult to choose the right one for you and your pet.  Here are just a few of our favorite heartworm prevention products.

For Dogs:

Trifexis

This is a monthly, chewable tablet for dogs.  This product prevents heartworm, kills fleas, as well as treats the intestinal parasites hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms.  Trifexis is beef flavored, so some dogs will take it as a treat.  (Others need the help of peanut butter or cheese.)  While Trifexis is a great product, it should not be used in dogs with pre-existing epilepsy or other seizure conditions.  Though Trifexis does not cause an animal to get seizures, it can trigger seizures in dogs who already have the condition.

Advantage Multi

A once-a-month topical medication for dogs which kills adult fleas, prevents heartworm, and kills roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms.  Because Advantage Multi is a topical product, we recommend putting it on before just before bed.  It is put in a line along the spine but should not be touched until the product is dried.  This means that children and other pets should be kept away from any dog whose Advantage Multi has recently be applied.

Both Advantage Multi and Trifexis typically range from $15-20/dose depending on the size of your pet.

For Cats:

Heartgard

Heartgard is a once-a-month chewable tablet used in cats and kittens used to prevent heartworm and hookworm infections. Although some cats do like the flavor, Heartgard can be crumbled into a small amount of the cat’s normal food if your cat is one of those picky eaters.  This product does not control flea infestations.

Revolution

This once-a-month topical product protects against heartworm, roundworms, hookworms, fleas, and even ear mites when used as directed. This product is applied directly to the back of the neck, on the base of the skull.  This way, your kitty can’t groom the product off before it is absorbed through the skin.

For Both Dogs And Cats:

Interceptor

This monthly oral pet medication can be used in dogs, puppies, cats, and kittens to prevent heartworm disease.  Interceptor also controls hookworms and roundworms in both cats and dogs. Interceptor gives dogs an extra benefit by also working against whipworms in canines.  This product does not control flea infestations.

Again, these are just a few of the heartworm products available for your pet.  The combination flea and heartworm products [Trifexis, Advantage Multi, Revolution] typically cost $15-20/monthly dose depending on the size of your pet, while the heartworm only products [Heartgard, Interceptor] range from $7-10/monthly dose.  In addition, most of these companies offer rebates or discounts if you buy their product in bulk doses of 6 or 12 to drive the cost per dose down even farther.  Year-round monthly heartworm prevention is vital to fully protecting your pet from this terrible disease.

All heartworm prevention products are prescription only, so consult with your veterinarian and be sure to test your pet annually for heartworm disease.

 

Sandstone Animal Hospital offers all of these products as well as diagnostic testing and decades of experience to determine the best product for you.  Set up an appointment with one of our veterinarians to find out which one is right for you and your pet!