Archive for April, 2011

The Benefits of Giving Heartworm Medicine for Dogs

Dogs are one of the animals closest to man; some even treat them not as pets but as family members. These animals are showered with love and attention. However, there are times when no matter how much we take care of them, they still get sick. These illnesses are commonly caused by parasites and microorganisms that infest their bodies. In order to protect them against these possibly fatal diseases, healthy food, regular checkups, and nutritional supplements are necessary. One common problem that dog owners face is heartworm infection and one of the best products around that fight against these parasites is Heartgard medicine for dogs.

Heartworms are parasites that can be contracted through mosquitoes. When mosquitoes suck the blood of infected dogs, they also get the heartworm larvae that circulate in the system of that dog. They can transmit these when they bite your pet. Heartworm larvae reside in the arteries near the heart, specifically in the pulmonary artery. Once they reproduce, adult heartworms move into the heart and other blood vessels. Heartworm infestation is very dangerous as the parasites can obstruct blood flow.

Heartgard is a medicine that has been known to cure heartworm infestation. Many dog owners have commended this to be one of the most effective products against heartworms in the market. Heartgard contains the compound Ivermectin that is used as an anti-parasitic agent. In humans, this is used to treat river blindness, a disease caused by parasitic worms. Years after the release of Heartgard, another company released an anti-parasitic drug called Interceptor. Unlike the Heartgard, Interceptor has the active ingredient Milbemycin Oxime. That time, Interceptor had an advantage over Heartgard because the former kills all types of roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms while the latter only targets heartworms. Due to this, the manufacturers produced Heartgard Plus that has the same functions as the Interceptor. There are also generic types of Heartgard that allow you to save your money. However, you really cannot be sure about the safety of these medicines and some of them are not accredited by the FDA. Be careful in choosing the generic drug that is safe for your pet.

Heartgard Plus has to be prescribed by a veterinarian before you can give this to your dog. He first has to perform several blood tests to diagnose whether heartworms are present in your dog’s body. He will then give you instructions on how to administer Heartgard Plus. This medication is generally safer for different breeds of dogs compared to other medications but there are some claims that Collies are allergic to Ivermectin. Consult your doctor first to confirm this information. The prescribed dose of Heartgard is one tablet per month so be careful not to exceed this as overdosage can lead to vomiting and trembling. The manufacturers also made this desirable for dogs by incorporating beef flavor into the tablet. There are also dog owners that advice the removal of flea and other types of external parasites before using Heartgard Plus. In order to save money, you can look for pet stores in the internet that offer Heartgard Plus at a discounted rate.


The Benefits of Administering Heartgard for Dogs

Most dogs like to go to different places and interact with other dogs and this can cause them to catch certain kinds of diseases and infections. Since they are just animals, their immune system is all they have to shield them from these diseases. We, as their owners, are the ones responsible of ensuring that they are guarded against anything that can cause them harm.  The heartworm disease is one of the most common types of diseases dogs encounter and by administering Heartgard for dogs, you can protect your pet from this fatal disease.

Heartworm is a parasite that can be acquired through mosquito bites. Its scientific name is Dirofilariaimmitis and it does not only infect dogs but also animals like cats, foxes, and sea lions. This parasite stays in the pulmonary artery of its host and it can migrate to the right part of the heart and invade other blood vessels. Full grown heartworms are very dangerous because they can affect the proper functioning of the heart and the entire circulatory system. Blood flow can be hindered, an event which fatal for your pet. The infestation of heartworm can be difficult to detect and most of the symptoms appear only when the disease is already severe.  Moreover, the symptoms are very general and they can be mistaken as a symptom of another disease. Hence, prevention is very important and you can do this by having your dog checked by a veterinarian regularly and by giving it prescriptions that can immediately kill heartworm larvae and even those that are fully grown already.

Heartgard is one of the most effective treatments against heartworms and the manufacturers made sure that your dog will like it by incorporating beef flavor into it. These chewable tablets are given once a month so you need not spend a large amount of money in buying supplies of this product. There are different varieties of this drug depending on the weight of your dog; the normal dose of Heartgard for dogs weighing 25 lbs is 57 mg, for dogs weighing 26-50 lbs is 114 mg, and for dogs that are between 51-100 lbs, 227 mg.

Keep in mind that consultation with the veterinarian is needed before giving this drug. Heartgard generally works for all dogs but allergic reactions must be considered. You should also be careful not to give amounts higher than what the veterinarian prescribed as over dosage can lead to undesirable side effects. In case you forgot to give your dog its dosage for a particular month, do not give it two tablets for the following month because it can lead to over dosage.  Another thing that you should remember is to break Heartgard into pieces before feeding it to your dog; it should never be swallowed whole. Proper storage of this drug must be observed; keep it away from children and pets. It is very rare that heartworms can affect humans but it is always best to practice good hygiene. Always wash your hands before and after feeding your dog. Fleas and other external parasites should also be removed from your pet’s fur before giving Heartgard for dogs.


Heartgard Chewable for Dogs: The Best Protection Against Heartworms

Dogs, just like any other pets, are prone to sickness and infection. They usually contract these due to contact with other dogs or other animals. Thus, we need to protect them against these possibly fatal diseases. Prevention, as they say, is much better than having tons of treatments. To guard your pet against a common parasite known as heartworms, it is advised that you give it Heartgard chewable for dogs.

Heartworms are very dangerous parasites because if their growth is not controlled, they can cause the death of your dog. These parasites are contracted by your pet through mosquito bites. When your dog has been bitten by a larvae-carrying mosquito, these parasites reside in the pulmonary artery of the dog where the develop and multiply. The adults move to the right side of the heart and other blood vessels near the area. This can cause the blocking of blood vessels and the hindrance of blood flow.

Mosquitoes are everywhere and you cannot really know when these insects can bite your dog so it is better to give it something that can protect it from heartworms all the time. Heartgard is a trusted brand that has proven to be effective against the said parasites. The generic name of Heartgard is Ivermectin, Pyrantel pamoate. Both of these compounds are known to be anti-parasitic so you can be guaranteed of Heartgard’s effectiveness. Ivermectin is also used in humans to treat onchocerciasis, a parasitic illness that causes blindness. Pyrantel pamoate affects the parasite in such a way that it is paralyzed and it losses its hold on the muscles.

The manufaturers of Heartgard has formulated Heartgard Plus for additional protection for your dog from other species of round worms and hook worms. There are different formulations of this drug depending on the weight of your pet: 68 mcg for a 25-pound dog, 136 mcg for those between 26-50 pounds, and 272 mcg for dogs weighing 51-100 pounds. These drugs are relatively cheap when you compare this to other brands. Aside from that, they are given only once month so you only have to purchase 12 chewables a year.

You can also order online to get discounts. You do not need prescription in order to administer Heartgard chewable for dogs but if your pet has allergic reactions, you may need to have it checked by the veterinarian first. You should also keep in mind that you have to break this into pieces before giving it to your dog; this should never be given as one whole tablet. Over dosage can be harmful and you shold never give your pet additional tablets in one month, strictly adhere to the prescribed amount of one tablet per month. You should observe this even though you missed giving your pet a tablet during the previous month. Additionally, practice proper hygiene when interacting with your dog because you might contract infections that you can pass on to other family members.


Heartgard for Dogs Side Effects: How to Prevent and Deal with Them

Heartworm disease is very dangerous infection that can lead your dog to death. Licensed veterinarians frequently prescribe heartworm preventative medication in order to protect dogs from this ailment. Heartgard for dogs is the most widely prescribed since it contains active ingredient, Ivermectin, which is very effective against microfilariae or the larval heartworm. Another main benefit of Heartgard for dogs is that it should only be administered on a monthly basis yet the medication is still very efficacious. Nevertheless, like any other medicines, it may cause some side effects though it has been designed to be very safe for various types of dogs. This article will try to give you necessary information on Heartgard for dogs side effects and how to deal with them.

Heartgard for Dogs Side Effects
Ideally, Heartgard for dogs side effects due to administering Heartgard are very seldom to happen. This is due to the fact that the dosage that should be given to dogs are very low. However, there are also some reports of dogs having very bad reactions after consuming Heartgard. The main reason behind this is usually the dogs overdose the medication. The dog owners do not give Heartgard for dogs as exactly as directed by the licensed veterinarian. Therefore, it is very crucial for dog owners to follow every instruction provided by the veterinarian.

Despite the fact that a licensed veterinarian will provide the dosage information for administering the Heartgard medication, understanding the appropriate dosage can be very helpful. The normal dosage for a dog weighing at 51-100 lbs is 272mcg/227mg. The normal dosage for a dog weighing at 26-50 lbs is 136mcg/114mg whereas the right dosage for a dog weighing up to 25 lbs is 68mcg/57mg.

Giving Heartgard to a dog more than the recommended dosage will increase the chance of the Heartgard for dogs side effects to happen. In addition, some specific breeds such as Australian Sheppard, Shetland Sheepdogs, Whippets, Bull Mastiffs, Irish Water Spaniels, Collies and related breeds might be hypersensitive to Ivermectine, the active ingredient in Heartgard. It is recommended that you consult your veterinarian prior to administering Heartgard especially to these breeds.

Merial, an international pharmacy company, which manufactures Heartgard for dogs and Heartgard Plus for dogs, has listed some adverse reactions to the Heartgard medication to their website. Heartgard for dogs side effects, which may take place within 24 hours after giving the medication, include diarrhea and vomiting in 11 animals among 1000 tested animals. During the test, they also found that longer-lasting Heartgard for dogs side effects include depression, lethargy, prolonged and abnormal dilation of the pupils or mydriasis, staggering, involuntary muscle movements (known as ataxia), excessive salivation and convulsions.  Other Heartgard for dogs side effects, which are potentially caused by the Ivermectin, are liver problems, loss of appetite, skin eruptions, tremors, paralysis, thyroid problems, dizziness, fever, auto-immune disorders, nose bleeds, coughing, sudden aggressive behavior, difficulty breathing, irritability, pneumonia, nerve damage, seizures and sudden death.

Collies and Heartgard for Dogs Side Effects

It is already explained above that some collie breeds are more susceptible to Ivermectin. Giving Heartgard at elevated dosage to such breeds may induce depression, tremors, ataxia, drooling, mydriasis, paresis or impaired movement, stupor, excitability, recumbency, coma as well as death. Merial states that the Ivermectin dosage required to induce these side effects in collies is 16 times higher than the appropriate dosage in dogs. According to the test conducted by Merial, administering Heartgard with 10 times greater than the advised dosage to collies resulted in no adverse Heartgard side effects. This brings to the conclusion that Heartgard for dogs is safe for collie breeds as long as taken at the suggested dosage.

Puppies, Lactating Dogs and Heartgard for Dogs Side Effects
Heartgard for dogs is safe to be administered to lactating or pregnant dogs. Moreover, you can also give the medication to puppies of which the age is more than six weeks.

Some Important Notes to Prevent and Overcome Heartgard for Dogs Side Effects
Though the side effects described above sound very horrible, it is important to note that they take place very rarely and generally just occur at very high dosage. The most important thing to stick with is always giving the medication according to the dosage recommended by a veterinarian or by the instruction available in the product label.

Heartgard for dogs should not be administered together with certain medicines for instance some tranquilizers. Likewise, dogs are not supposed to consume Heartgard while being under treatment of Amitraz tick collar. Some medications or treatments, which are monoamine oxidase inhibitors, have the inherent capacity to be interactive with Heartgard for dogs and may lead to serious problems like neurological effects.

Some veterinarians also suggest to broke the tablet into smaller pieces. The dog, then, needs to chew the tablet and not to swallow the whole tablet. Typically, your veterinarian will give you more detail information and advice about giving the medication properly.

Here are some additional notes that you need to know to minimize the possibility of Heartgard for dogs side effects occurrence:
1. You need to keep your veterinarian informed if your dog has certain allergies to any ingredient comprised in Heartgard or to protein, in this case beef.
2. Heartgard medicine should not be given to your dogs more than once a month. This is important to allow the canine to get over melosomine dihydrochloride. Melosomine dihydrochloride is a compound that might be toxic when given in high amounts.
3. Do not give Heartgard medication if your dog is prescribed other heartworm treatment.
4. As a dog owner, you must read, understand and follow the package instruction prior to administering the Heartgard. Should you are in doubt, it is very crucial to consult your licensed veterinarian about the most appropriate treatment and medication for your dog to avoid Heartgard for dogs side effects and overdose.
5. If you think that your dog is experiencing bad reactions to Heartgard medication, contact your veterinarian or the local emergency pet hospital as soon as possible and talk to one of the pet doctors there. They are professional and can evaluate how severe the side effects or the reactions are, and thus can give you useful advice about actions you need to take in order to help your dog get over the reactions.

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Is a Generic Heartgard for Dogs Worth the Risk?

Our pets are very dear to us and we want them to be as healthy as possible. However, the contraction of diseases and infections is inevitable and all we can do is to protect them. To cater to the needs of animal lovers, countless nutritional products have been formulated and made available in the market. Of all these products, you can be confused as to which is the right medicine or supplement for your dog. There are high chances that a dog will be infected by a parasite once in his life unless you are a very protective owner. Dogs tend to wander around and most of the time, they come in contact with foreign objects and microorganisms. Heartworm infection is one of the most common problems of dog owners as this puts the life of the dog in danger. This can be prevented by drinking medicine that can counter these parasites but the drugs can be expensive especially for those who are on a tight budget. Due to this, some resort to buying generic Heartgard for dogs.

Heartworm infection can be obtained through mosquitoes. The larvae of the heartworm circulate in the dog’s system and when a mosquito bites the dog, the some larvae are transferred from the dog to the mosquito. These larvae can then be transmitted from the mosquito to another dog once the insect bites the animal. Heartworms mature; they increase in size and move into other areas near the heart. They block arteries and veins and restrict blood circulation, resulting to the death of the organism. Just like any other parasite, heartworms gradually infest the body and if the condition becomes severe, the host dies.

Heartgard is among the popular brands known to fight heartworms. Its main ingredients, Ivermectin and Pyrantel are guaranteed to kill all worms and their larvae. A disadvantage of Heartgard is probably its relatively expensive price. Generic medicine is popular to people who are on a tight budget because they are cheaper and these allow them to save money. Some may say that this is more practical but when you look at this closely, you will see that maybe generic medicines are not worth the risk. It is true that both branded and generic Heartgard contain Ivermectin but usually, the problem lies with the drug components the manufacturers add aside from the main component which is Ivermectin. Some sellers also have products that are not even accredited by the FDA and these tablets are not advisable to be given to your pet.

Aside from safety and effectiveness, a plus factor for the branded Heartgard for dogs is its taste. The manufacturers incorporated beef flavor which is a favorite of dogs so that they will not dread taking the medicine. Nonetheless, not all generic Heartgard for dogs are bad for your pet, you just have to be careful in choosing which one to purchase. If you want to be sure, it is better to buy the branded ones because the companies have made an effort to have these drugs tested and accredited by the FDA.

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