Heartgard Chewable for cats, Manufactured by Merial LTD, is a microfilaricide monthly, oral preventative medication used in cats to prevent parasites.
WHAT THIS PRODUCT CURES
Heartgard Chewable for cats is formulated to kill the immature heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) and is also used to treat/control hookworm (Ancylostoma caninum, A. brasiliense, and Uncinaria stenocephala) infestations.
Hookworms are potentially dangerous to cats, dogs, rodents, and humans. In other words hookworm disease is Zoonotic, meaning a disease of animals that is transmitted to humans. The hookworm that takes host to canines is called Ancylostoma caninum. This hookworm can penetrate the human skin causing a condition called cutaneous larval migrants, more commonly called creeping eruption or ground itch in lament terms. The life cycle of the hookworms begins like many others, as eggs. These eggs pass through fecal matter of infected mammals and under warm conditions, hatch into larva within approximately one to two days. These larvae thrive in the fecal matter and soil for about a week, where they then proceed to molt two more times.
The hookworm searches for a host at the stage three life cycles. The hookworm will hook onto the skin of a host, penetrating the skin deep. Once inside the host, they are carried through the blood vessels to the heart and then into the lungs. The worms now begin to move quickly, piercing through the pulmonary alveoli, reaching the bronchial tree to the pharynx (lung and throat region) and the host swallows them. The larva then move toward the intestines where they will mature, reproduce, and thrive. A pet infected with hookworms will display severe diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, become weak, develop a poor hair coat, and lose weight.
The early stages of the heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) and the hookworm (Ancylostoma caninum, A. brasiliense, and Uncinaria stenocephala) do not permit symptoms in cats. It is not until the parasites have thrived within the pet will symptoms be noted. The heartworm is transmitted into a cat through the mosquito bite. As the mosquito takes his blood meal, he injects the larvae stage heartworm into the dermal layer of the cat’s body. Once the heartworm has matured into mature larvae he will travel into the blood stream of the cat until he reaches the heart.
After several years definite signs will develop as the parasite reproduces, invading the heart and lungs. A cat will develop a cough due to worms beginning to crowd the lungs. This cough could be very mild or severe. Your pet may also appear to be tired or worn out. You would notice these symptoms quickly in a high spirited pet. Loss of appetite and weight loss are also common signs your pet could be infested with heartworms as well as jaundice and fever. Jaundice, or a yellowing of the mucus membranes, occurs when the liver is failing. These signs are more serious and are reaching the stage of no return.
As the migration of mosquitoes (the vector of heartworm filarial) enters into new locations of the world heartworm disease has become a number one problem for cats. Pet owners should take heartworm disease as well as hookworm infestations very seriously as pet aliments include; sudden collapse, harsh cough, drowsiness, diarrhea, and sudden death.
PETS WITH ALIMENTS
RELATIVE INFO ON BREED MOST ASSOCIATED WITH THIS AILMENT
Heartworm disease and hookworms affects all dogs and cats around the world. There is only one breed of heart worm; Dirofilaria immitis and two breeds of hookworms; Ancylostoma caninum, A. brasiliense, and Uncinaria stenocephala.
QUESTIONS FOR MY VET
How safe is this product safe?
Chewable tablets are FDA approved as safe when administered according to enclosed directions.
Can chewable tablets be given to pregnant females?
Active ingredients; Ivermectin/pyrantel are extremely safe ingredients. These ingredients make the product safe enough to be used in pregnant and lactating females.
I accidentally administered two tablets of the product in one day, will my cat be alright?
Contact your veterinarian immediately if accidental overdose occurs. A good rule of thumb when it comes to treating your pet is to have a calendar of the day you administered product.
I realized my cat has not had his dose from last month administered. Could there be a chance he is no longer protected?
Doses which are more than 30days apart decrees protective effect of product. Consult your veterinarian to have a heartworm test taken to insure your pet is not infected. Administer dose once you remember.
One of the tablets within my package of the product came out of its blister pocket. Is this pill still good?
Each tablet is placed within a foil blister pocket to shield said tablet from light and moisture. A pill which has come in contact with either element should not be administered to your pet.
I have a dog which also needs a heartworm preventative; can I use a larger dose of my cat’s medication?
No. The active ingredients in this product are hazardous to some dogs and should never be given off label.
Is this product still effective to administer after the expiration date?
Never be administered after the expiration date.
Not to be used in canines.
Keep away from children.
Do not use in young cats.
PET: to be used in cats over 6 weeks of age. Do not use in dogs. Follow weight regiment for dosage to avoid overdose.
HUMANS: Not intended for human consumption. If accidental ingestion occurs contact your physical immediately.
Storage and disposal
Storage: Store away from sunlight and moisture. Store at room temperature.
Disposal: Empty containers should be disposed of as directed and never re-used. Recycling or garbage disposal is viable as directed upon product label. Consult a medical waste agency for directions to depose of remaining drug and container. Contact 1-800-CLEANUP1-800-CLEANUP for additional information.
BRAND VS GENERIC COMPARISON
The generic form of Heartgard chewable for cats is Ivermectin. These two product forms are proven just as effective as when stored appropriately. Generic forms of medications not purchased from a veterinarian may have come into contact with sunlight, decreasing effectiveness.