As part of the pets medicine series we took a look at heartworms and Dogs yesterday. Today I am going to be looking at the best prices for heartworm medicines and how to get some of them without a prescription. First I have a question.
Should you buy heartworm medicine without a prescription?
For those of you in the US (who make up the majority of my readers) heartworm medicine is almost exclusively available only by prescription. This is also the same in many other countries. This seems to be down to the fact that heartworm meds should only be given after a check up from the vets. This is to ensure they have no adult heartworms before starting a monthly preventative.
By being prescription based it is stated that there will always be records based at the vets for exactly what meds the Dogs have been taking and for how long. Personally I find this rather dubious logic and my choice of where to buy heartworm medicine is based on a site that is based in Canada so can issue many of the heartworm meds without the need for a prescription. This will save money and time. If you feel that you should have a prescription before starting the course then I would simply get one issued by the vets, but you don’t need it to make the purchase. I would be interested to hear what you think about this. As with so many pet related issues there are an awful lot of grey areas. I just can’t seem to be convinced on this one. If you go to the vets and they test for adult worms and give the OK then why can’t you simply ask the vet to make a record of what heartworm medicine you will be giving? In fact why can’t we make a simple note ourselves? It is easy enough to write down when we have given the meds. I am sure we all do it anyway for things like Frontline, don’t we?
Back to the point of this post which is to compare the different heartworm medicines and heartworm pills and their prices. All are based on a six month supply for a large Dog.
First we will look at Generic Nuheart Heartworm tablets. This is one of the generic forms of Heartgard. It treats against worms in exactly the same manner and has Ivermectin as the active ingredient. It comes in tablet form and is $19 for a six month supply. As with all heartworm meds it is now recommended by the heartworm society to be taken monthly all year round. This makes it harder for me to understand why prescriptions are needed for heartworm medicines. $19 for six months seems like a very reasonable price and it is a few dollars less for smaller Dogs. Next is probably the most well known of the heartworm medicines for Dogs. It has the additional benefit of guarding against roundworms and hookworms so is the only wormer you will ever need.
Heartgard Plus again comes in a monthly tablet form but at $54 is a fair bit more expensive. This is made by Merial who also produce Frontline for Dogs. The active ingredient is Ivermectin for the treatment of heartworms and Pyrantel for the roundworms and hookworms. This is a fair amount more expensive than many of the generics but does control all worms. I suppose it depends how much it is for a simple de-wormer to know if you are paying too much or not.
The added convenience is not to be ignored though. A single tablet will guard againsnt all worms rather than giving two tablets monthly if intestinal worms are a problem for your Dogs. As my good friend Maggie stated in an earlier comment lots of raw meaty bones can go a long way to keeping our Dogs insides healthy and clear of intestinal worms.
Next we have Revolution.
Revolution is $75 dollars for six months. Before you dismiss it let’s see what it does. As well as guarding against heartworms it also guards against fleas. It kills the adult fleas and their larvae. If you use a separate flea medication then it may be worth considering using this single application. It is a topical externally applied liquid that is put directly on to the Dogs skin monthly. The active ingredients are Selamectin. For me this is a little pricey and it does not guard against ticks. It depends what is the problem in your area. Ticks are much more of a problem for me than fleas so it would not be my ideal choice.
Finally we have Valuheart which is probably the best known of the generic heartworm medicines. It is $21.75 for six months and comes in a tablet form. It has no tasty flavor like Heartgard but is an awful lot cheaper. Mixed in with a treat what Dog would know the difference. Price comparisons for heartworm medicines means looking at the positives and the negatives and a lack of flavor is a minor point.
I think my heartworm medicine of choice has to be Nuheart. It is the cheapest by a few dollars but will effectively treat against heartworms. All the heartworm medicines act by destroying the larval stages of heartworms after they have been introduced by mosquitoes. It makes sense to go for a cheap solution especially if intestinal worms and fleas are not a problem. If they are of concern then one of the other brands may be preferable.
I hope this has allowed you to make a more informed decision on which heartworm medicine for Dogs is right for your Dog. I would be interested to know if you even use any heartworm medication. It can be scary just reading about all these problems our Dogs may have. Especially with the heartworm society now stating that they recommend year round treatment for the whole of the US. On the coast here and near the rivers heartworm problems are more of a concern than in the mountains. I must say that I am now really worried about the problem. I am sorry if I have made you concerned as well. As with all pets meds there is the difficult task of weighing up the advantages of prevention with the possible side effects and long term concerns of constantly giving our Dogs chemical based solutions.
Natual prevention can go a long way. Simply avoiding the times when mosquitos are out can greatly reduce the risk they pose to our Dogs health. A good healthy diet can also go a long way to keeping your Dog healthy and plenty of daily exercise helps them to better guard against many of the problems that I will be writing about this month.
Do you think it is simply better to try to avoid the mosquitoes that carry the heartworm larvae or would you always use a heartworm medicine? Whatever you decide please remember that if you are to give your Dog a heartworm medication then your Dog should be tested for adult heartworms before beginning a course for the first time.
May the Doggie Force be with you all.
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An interesting web site. I have bookmarked it and will read a lot more on it.
Great post! So informative. I think people are often mislead that the best medication for their pet is the name brand one or the most expensive. You did a great job breaking down the ingredients and showing the pros and cons of each. Thanks for sharing!
Chewie, Steve and Bobby,
Thanks for your kind words. It is much appreciated.
GREAT INFO!! Thanks for guiding me. Just what I needed.
My dog, Hannah, remains an energetic 45-50# golden shepherd mix…17-18 yr. old (Had her since Dec. 1995 when she was age 2-3…saved from the ovens).
During the past three years she has been dealing with a pituitary tumour causing “Cushings Dx.”-common for dogs, horses, and humans. My Vet. said to me 6 months ago, “Most dogs don’t last beyond a year after their diagnosis”.
I purchased Hannah: health & fixed from UCD, Calif. Vet. College, for 18usd. It is only right and fair that I am now spending 2500+ per year over the past 3 years for her meds (Lysodrine-for the tumour and DES so she does not evacuate her bladder when asleep), plus Lab ACTH tests (200usd) every 3-6 months, food, and treats with love for her love.
I just purchased 12 months more heart worm/flea med. I know Hannah will have a blessed life for another year. Presently, in people years she is 119. My vet. even guessed her at 12-13 without looking at her chart.
My purpose for writing this:
1) Thanks so much “3-dog Blog” for your info!! (am presently taking care of one of my sister’s three dogs.)
2) I want to let OTHERS know that:
1- if you feed&exercise your dog well,
2- look after them, are aware of changes, and do quick follow-up,
3- THEN YOUR dog/pet/companion will be with you for years longer than you can ever expect.
3DogBlog…Keep doing your good work!!
Sacramento, CA. USA
Hi Little Prince, thanks for the great comment and all the great information you presented. I am sure it will be inspiring to all who read it.