When it comes to the prevention of heartworm disease, there are a lot of different options out there. Your vet can give you advice on choosing the best medication, but the choice also depends on your dog. If it’s hard for you to convince your pet to swallow a pill or chew a tablet, then a spot on treatment might be a better option. Also keep in mind that some medications are hard workers, warding off other parasites like fleas and ticks, as well as killing larval heartworms.
Generic or Brand Name?
Heartworm preventatives should be taken year-round. You may want to consider opting for a generic medication, which is cheaper than the brand name options. Generic pet medications have the same active ingredients as brand name medicines. Regardless of name, all heartworm medications use one of the following four ingredients: ivermectin, selamectin, moxidectin, or milbemycin oxime. Generic medications may not be available at the veterinarian's office, because they often do not have the space and finances to store a wide variety of medications.
Take a look at the various medicines to get a sense of which is the right choice for you. Note that all of these medications will require a prescription from your veterinarian.
Ivermectin-Based Treatment Options:
Selamectin-Based Treatment Options:
Heartgard Plus - A monthly chewable beef-flavored tablet that protects dogs from heartworms, roundworms, and hookworms. If you think your dog will attempt to swallow the tablet whole, break it up into pieces. Dogs need to chew it in order for it to work. You can also mix the broken up tablet with food. Pyrantel pamoate is another active ingredient. This is a very commonly prescribed, name brand heartworm medication.
Valuheart - This is a generic version of Heartgard, available in a monthly tablet.
Nuheart - This monthly tablet is another generic option, with ivermectin as an active ingredient.
Iverhart Plus -- Another generic option, with ivermectin and pyrantel pamoate as active ingredients. This medication comes as a chewable tablet, which should be given to dogs on a monthly basis. It protects against roundworms and hookworms, as well as heartworms.
Tri-Heart Plus - This monthly chewable tablet is a generic alternative to Heartgard Plus, with ivermectin and pyrantel pamoate as active ingredients.
Moxidectin-Based Treatment Options:
Revolution - This topical treatment is a powerhouse, warding off heartworms, ear mites, fleas, and ticks. Revolution can be given to cats and dogs. Apply the topical on the base of the cat or dog’s shoulders, using the entire tube. Put the topical treatment on your pet once a month, year round.
Milbemycin Oxime-Based Treatment Options:
Advantage Multi - A monthly topical, Advantage Multi treats and prevents fleas, controls roundworms, hookworms, and heartworms, and treats ear mites and biting lice. This drug comes in formulas that are suitable for cats and dogs. Imidacloprid is also an active ingredient.
Proheart Tabs - This monthly tablet is only available for dogs.
Interceptor - This monthly tablet can be given to cats or dogs, and handles heartworm, hookworm, roundworm, and whipworm. The active ingredient is milbemycin oxime.
Sentinel - The monthly pill protects against heartworms, roundworms, hookworms, whipworms. It also stops flea eggs from developing to the next stage. The active ingredients are milbemycin oxime and lufenuron.
Trifexis - A chewable tablet, this medication works against fleas, heartworm, hookworm, roundworm, and whipworm. This monthly medication is for dogs only and has spinosad and milbemycin oxime.
How to Prevent Heartworm in Dogs
Heartworm Tests Explained
Heartworm Disease in Dogs: 5 Things You Should Know
This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.