Are you giving your dog an anti-heartworm medicine on a monthly basis? Are you having a hard time making your dog swallow it? If your answer to these questions is “yes”, then Heartgard Plus might be the solution. It’s a chewable tablet for the prevention of heartworm in dogs. If you want to know more about it, just keep reading.

Heartgard Plus is manufactured by Merial Limited in NJ, USA. It is imported and distributed to the Philippines by Merial Philippines, Inc. It contains ivermectin and pyrantel and is used for dogs to prevent canine heartworm disease. It eliminates the tissue stage of heartworm larvae for thirty (30) days after infection. It also treats and controls ascarids and hookworms.

How is it packaged?

Heartgard Plus is available in three dosage strengths for dogs of different weights. Each strength comes in cartons of 6 and 12 chewable tablets. But the most common packaging that can be found here in the Philippines is the 6 chewable tablets per carton.

What is the prescribed amount for my dog?

Heartgard Plus should be administered orally on a monthly basis. You must know the weight of your dog so that you can determine which of the three dosage strengths of Heartgard Plus to give your dog. The recommended dosing schedule is as follows:

Dog Weight                    Ivermectin Content        Pyrantel Content       Carton Color
Up to 25 pounds                       68 mcg                                  57 mg                   Blue
26 to 50 pounds                      136 mcg                               114 mg                   Green
51 to 100 pounds                    272 mcg                               227 mg                  Brown

If your dog is over 100 pounds, you can use the appropriate combination of these chewables. For example, if your dog weighs 120 pounds, you can give your dog one tablet of the 51 to 100 pounds and one tablet for dogs up to 25 pounds.

How do you administer Heartgard Plus?

Most dogs find Heartgard Plus palatable so you can offer it to your dog by hand. Another method is to stuff it in your dog’s food. However, since it is a chewable tablet, it is recommended to administer it to your dog in a way that encourages your dog to chew rather than swallowing it without chewing.

Heartgard Plus can be broken into pieces. Just make sure that your dog consumes the whole dose. You must observe your dog for a few minutes after administering Heartgard Plus to make sure that no part of the dose is left uneaten. If you suspect that your dog wasn’t able to consume the whole dose, redosing is recommended.

It should be given at monthly intervals during the period of the year when mosquitoes, potentially carrying infective heartworm larvae, are active. Initial dose must be given within 30 days after your dog’s first exposure to mosquitoes. The final dose must be given within 30 days after your dog’s last exposure to mosquitoes. But the usual practice here in the Philippines is different. Most vets recommend giving Heartgard Plus on a monthly basis starting at the age of 6 months since mosquitoes are common in the Philippines. Note that prevention is better than cure.

If your dog uses a different brand and you want to shift to Heartgard Plus, you should give the first dose of Heartgard Plus within 30 days of the last dose of the previous medication.

Make sure that the interval between doses does not exceed 30 days or the efficacy of ivermectin can be reduced. It is advisable to give Heartgard Plus on or about the same day of every month. So make use of the sticker that is included in the carton of Heartgard Plus (ask the shop for a sticker if you’re buying it per piece). Place the sticker in the corresponding date in your calendar to serve as your reminder.

Are there any precautions with the use of Heartgard Plus?

You should test your dog for existing heartworm infection before starting treatment with Heartgard Plus. The reason is that it is not effective against adult heartworm. It cannot treat dogs that are positive with heartworms. Infected dogs should be treated first to remove the adult heartworms and microfilaria before starting with Heartgard Plus.

Where can I buy Heartgard Plus?

You can buy Heartgard Plus in vet clinics. You can also find it in pet shops. In fact, you can buy it at Petness and Beauty. Price of each chewable tablet could cost from Php 145.00 to Php 250.00. The price depends on the strength and the shop where you will buy. You can buy it per chewable tablet or you can buy it by the carton.

Heartworms can be deadly to your dogs especially if left untreated. So why wait for your dog to get infected? Act now! Buy Heartgard Plus before it’s too late. Remember, “Prevention is better than cure”.

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