Heartgard: Chewable Heartworm Prevention for Dogs & Cats


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Frequently Asked Questions

Heartgard is a once-a-month oral pet med used in cats and kittens as a combination heartworm preventive and intestinal wormer. Heartgard Chewables kill the immature form of the heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis). They are also used for the removal and control of hookworms (Ancylostoma tubaeforme and A. brasiliense).

For cats and kittens 6 weeks of age and over. Safe to use in pregnant and nursing cats.

  • prescription pet medication protects cats from heartworm disease

  • Heartgard also controls and de-worms pet cats of hookworms

  • Tasty chewable tablet is easy to administer

Heartgard is used in the prevention, control, and treatment of various worm infections. Heartgard contains ivermectin, which interferes with the parasite's nerve transmission, causing paralysis and death of the immature heartworms and adult and immature hookworms.

Heartgard must be administered monthly, preferably on the same date each month. It is recommended(and most manufacturer guarantees require) that Heartgard be given year round, although some veterinarians may recommend giving it only during the mosquito season. If given seasonally, the first dose must be given within 30 days of the cat's first exposure to mosquitoes. The last dose must be given within 30 days after the cat's last exposure to mosquitoes.

Most cats will accept the chewable tablet as a treat. The chewable should be administered in a manner that encourages the cat to chew, rather than to swallow without chewing. Heartgard Chewables may be broken into pieces and fed to cats that normally swallow treats whole or may be mixed with a small amount of cat food. Food should be available during the day of treatment. If the cat does not eat or the chewable is not broken, the medication may not be well-absorbed. Care should be taken that the cat 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 not entirely consumed, give another full recommended dose as soon as possible.

Heartgard will kill the immature heartworms the cat was exposed to in the preceding month. It will also remove immature and adult hookworms from the intestine.

Talk to your veterinarian about the heartworm testing that is recommended before starting your cat on a heartworm prevention program.

Some intestinal parasites, such as hookworms can be spread to people. Talk to your veterinarian about other measures you can take to prevent your pet from being infected with intestinal worms, and protecting yourself.

Notify your veterinarian of any other medications or supplements your cat is taking, and also if your cat has had any reactions to previous medications.

If a dose is missed and over 30 days have gone by since the last dose, give Heartgard immediately and resume a monthly dosing schedule. Tell your veterinarian that a dose was missed.

If the interval between doses is longer than one month, the efficacy of the drug is reduced.

Do not use in kittens less than 6 weeks of age. Considered to be safe to use in pregnant and lactating animals (female animals nursing their young).

This medication should only be given to the pet for which it was prescribed.

Side effects are very rare, but may include vomiting and diarreha. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you observe any of these signs.

Store between 68°F-77°F (20°C-25°C). Short time periods between 59°F-86°F (15°C-30°C) are permitted. Protect product from light. The chewable form of the drug is appealing to pets and children. Store in a secure area to prevent an accidental overdose. Keep out of reach of children and pets.

If you know or suspect your pet has had an overdose, or if you observe any vomiting or diarrhea, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Although there are no known drug or food interactions with this medication, consult with your veterinarian before using Heartgard with any other medications, including vitamins and supplements, since interactions may occur.