"Heartgard Side Effects...
Heartgard is a medication for heartworms in canines. It is a real beef chewable tablet that is given once a month and requires a prescription from a veterinarian. Heartgard treats roundworms and hookworms as well.
Heartgard is the most effective against larval heartworms that circulate in the blood. A major benefit of Heartgard is that it only needs to be given once per month and it is still effective. Heartgard is designed to be extremely safe for several types of dogs.
Heartgard is approved for use in puppies that are at least 6 weeks old, stud dogs, pregnant bitches, small dogs, cats, and Collies. The active ingredients in Heartgard are ivermectin and pyrantel pamoate. Dogs should be tested for allergic reactions to Heartgard before it is given to them.
Side Effects of Heartgard
Side effects from Heartgard are rare. This is because most doses for Heartgard are extremely low. However, a dog can overdose on Heartgard if it is not given exactly as directed by a veterinarian. The most important thing to do in order to avoid an overdose is to follow every instruction given by the veterinarian.
Although a veterinarian should be able to provide dosage information, knowing the proper dosage for dogs can be helpful. The typical dose for a dog that is up to 25 pounds is 68mcg/57mg. For dogs that are 26-50 pounds the typical dose is 136mcg/114mg. For dogs that are 51-100 pounds the typical dose is 272mcg/227mg.
With higher doses for problems like skin mites, the chances for side effects increase. Certain breeds might be more susceptible to side effects from Heartgard such as Collies, Shetland sheepdogs, and Australian shepards.
Noticeable Side Effects
Noticeable side effects in dogs may include: dilated pupils, drunken gait, tremors, and loss of body weight. In cats, Heartgard may cause loss of appetite, agitation, drunken gait, dilated pupils, tremors, and disorientation. However, again, these side effects are extremely rare and typically only occur at very high doses for skin mites that are given to susceptible breeds such as Collies or Shetland sheepdogs.
Heartgard should not be combined with certain medication such as some tranquilizers. Also, it should not be used with Amitraz tick collars. Any medications that are monoamine oxidase inhibitors are potentially interactive with Heartgard and may cause serious problems such as neurological effects.
Heartgard is not a problem for lactating dogs. It also has a bitter taste that dogs may not enjoy, and a veterinarian should be able to provide more information on how to get a dog to take the medication.
The tablet can be broken up into smaller pieces if recommended by a veterinarian. The tablet must be chewed by the dog and not swallowed whole, and a veterinarian will be able to describe how the tablets can be given in more detail.
What to do if Overdose Occurs
If an overdose occurs, it is important for pet owners to seek the assistance of a veterinarian immediately. Some of the symptoms of overdose in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, and incoordination. In cats, signs of overdose include disorientation, tremors, blindness, and incoordination.