Prevention is the key (Heartworm Medicine)

What is heartworm medicine?

Although treating your dog after infection with heartworms is mostly successful, it is usually cheaper and safer to prevent infection of your dog with heartworm medicine. A wide variety of options is available to your dog and preventative heartworm medications come in many forms : monthly tablets, chewables, monthly topicals (on the skin) and also a six-month injectable vaccine. All of those products are highly effective and, when properly used, will prevent heartworm infections.

Incidence of heartworms

Endemic areas (or native or indigenous areas), are shown on the map below. Most of the cases are reported on the east coast of the U.S., and correlates with areas where the climate is more humid. However, it is important to remember these numbers can change on a yearly bases, and no area can be always 100% mosquito and heartworm disease free. Also, since there are many other animals that can get infected (coyotes, wolves,etc), they can also help spread the disease.

Incidence Heartworms Map

climate U.S.

Heartworm medicine prevents…

In areas-regions known to have a high number of heartworm infections, year-round use of heartworm preventative medication is recommended, even if it mostly seasonal (i.e. during summer). This way, you will be assured of compliance and will avoid forgetting giving your dog a preventative heartworm medicine when the mosquito season starts. Also, most monthly heartworm preventives products are good against other intestinal parasites that can also infect people.

However, before you start a preventative program, have your dog checked for heartworm disease if you think your dog is possibly infected.


There are several brands of heartworm medication. Heartgard Plus for dogs are chewables (ingredients: ivermectin/oxibendazole) that also control other bugs, such as roundworms and hookworms in dogs.

If you are looking for more affordability, Iverhart is the generic version of  Heartgard heartworm medicine and also comes in chewables that you dog will love (ingredients:ivermectin/pyrantel) and also controls roundworm, hookworm, and tapeworm in dogs. Tri-Heart Plus (ingreadients:ivermectin/pyrantel), another generic version of the Heartgard heartworm medication, controls ascarid and hookworms as well.

A topical version of dog heartworm medicine is also available to dog owners. The topical Revolution (ingredient: selamectin) will also controls ear mites, sarcoptic mange, and American dog ticks.

The Sentinel (ingredients: milbemycin oxime/lufenuron) brand comes in pills and include flea, hookworm, adult roundworm and whipworm infections in dogs.

Prevention is better than treatment, heartworm medicine

“Prevention is much easier than treatment,” says Martine Hartogensis, D.V.M., a veterinarian in FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), because most heartworm preventive products are given to pets only once a month. Source :

Talk to your veterinarian today about heartworm medicine and symptoms in dogs.