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Economical Heartworm Prevention


Economical Heartworm Prevention

Heartworm disease is a very serious and potentially fatal disease of dogs and cats. It is caused by a parasitic worm that lives in the heart and lungs of infected animals. The disease is spread by mosquitoes and has been recorded in all mainland states of Australia. Once a dog is infected with heartworm disease, treatment is difficult and costly. Fortunately the disease can be easily prevented with the administration of a once a month heartworm preventative.

Heartgard tablets (which is also commonly misspelled as Heartguard) were the first once a month heartworm preventative commercially available. The tablets contained the active ingredient Ivermectin. Shortly after the manufacturer brought out Heartgard in a meaty chewable version and
Heartgard Plus which contained Ivermectin and Pyrantel. Heartgard Plus controls heartworm, and two of the gastro-intestinal worms - hookworms and roundworms.

Unfortunately it does not treat other gastro-intestinal worms such as whipworm or tapeworms, so most vets recommended treating with a separate gastro-intestinal wormer every 3 months to control these other worms.

In the last few years, the worldwide patent for Ivermectin expired allowing many other pharmacuetical companies to manufacture their own versions of Ivermectin, once a month heartworm preventative.
These generic versions cost a lot less than the leading brand name product. A generic drug is the same as a brand-name drug in dosage, safety, strength, how it is taken, quality, performance and intended use. Well made generic medications from reputable manufacturers are every bit as good as the brand counterpart.

Fir example Nuheart tablets are an alternative to Heartgard tablets. Nuheart is manufactured by a large and reputable Australian company called Pharmachem in a GMP licensed facility. All products they manufacture must comply with stringent requirements imposed by APVMA or the Australian Pesticides Veterinary Medicines Authority which is the Australian government authority responsible for the assessment and registration of pesticides and veterinary medicines. Pharmachem must ensure that the generic medications they produce have the same active ingredients as the brand name and works the same way in the body, in the same amount of time.

The cost of preventing heartworm for a year in a small dog with Nuheart tablets is $34.62 compared to $64.53 when using Heartgard Plus chewables, saving nearly $30.00 a year. For a large dog the savings are even greater.

Nuheart tablets contain Ivermectin, the same active ingredient as is found in the Heartgard tablets, but does not contain Pyrantel, which is found in the Heartgard Plus. When using Nuheart, we recommend worming with an all wormer which treats all of the gastro-intestinal worms, such as the economical
Drontal tablets, once every 3 months.