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Caring for a Canine Heart: Should You Buy Generic or Branded Heartworm Medication for Dogs

Dog at vets

            Through your dog’s lifetime, you are expected to provide for all of your dog’s needs, from their nutrition, grooming and hygiene needs, and other accessories that your dog might need. Now, when it comes to most other things that you need to buy for your dog, you have two choices. If you have disposable income, you can purchase high-end branded pet items, which are usually more durable, stronger, and will last longer. However, if you’re on a tight budget, there are times when you might opt for generic 

items. They are cheaper, but they are not as strong and durable.

            When it comes to your dog’s medications, however, you might be wondering whether you should buy the branded medications or opt for the cheaper generic versions. Heartworm medication is one of these medications that you need to decide on.

 

Is Heartworm Medication Really that Important?

            In a word, yes. If you want your dog to live a long and healthy life, you need to regularly provide heartworm medication for your pet. As suggested by its name, heartworm medication treats heartworm disease and prevents its negative effects from affecting your animal.

            Heartworm disease is caused by a parasite with the scientific name Dirofilaria immitis. It is a type of parasitic roundworm that looks thread-like and is transmitted from one dog to another through an intermediary host: the common mosquito. When a mosquito feeds on a dog who is infected with adult heartworms, it will ingest the larvae of the parasite (called microfilaria) through the dog’s bloodstream. When they move on and feed on a healthy dog, they will then inject these larvae into the new host, starting the cycle again.

            If left untreated, heartworm disease is a serious and potentially lethal disease for dogs as the adult worms will continue to reproduce in their heart chambers and nearby blood vessels. Over time, the sheer number of the heartworms will block the blood flow inside your dog, causing heart failure, difficulty breathing, and eventually complete shutdown of other organs.

 

What are the Signs of Heartworm Infection?

            The problem with trying to detect heartworm infection early is that the symptoms are not noticeably severe until the situation becomes life-threatening. During the early stages of infection, you will just notice that your dog might have a loss of appetite, difficulty in breathing after strenuous play, and occasional lethargy. All of the symptoms can point to a host of other problems. Thus, the best way to handle heartworm is by completely preventing it from beginning in the first place.

 

Heartworm Medication: Generic vs. Branded

 

            If you try to look for heartworm medication, you will notice that there are both generic and branded forms. For generic medications, some of the most popular brands are Iverhart and Tri-Heart, while for branded medications, you will generally find Heartguard Plus and Sentinel. Some heartworm medications are considered as “broad-spectrum”, which means that they target more than one type of parasite. Some, such as Nextra Spectrum, works against internal parasites such as worms as well as external parasites such as fleas and ticks.

            In general, branded medications are more expensive compared to generic ones, however, you should not buy into the myth that branded medications work better compared to generic ones. In fact, let’s look at two of the most popular heartworm medications: Iverhart for generic and Heartgard Plus for branded.

            The most important thing that you need to look at is what kind of active ingredients they contain, as these will basically dictate how effective a certain medication is. Both medications contain the exact same active ingredients in the same dosages, which means that they will work the same in treating your dog.

            If there is a difference between the two medications, it’s in the flavor, texture, and customer reviews. Heartgard Plus has a soft and chewy texture and beef flavor, while Iverhart has a hard, crunchy texture and pork liver flavor. A slight number of customers have reported that their dogs prefer Heartgard over Iverhart due to the softer texture and flavor.

 

Which Should I Choose?

            In the end, it will be up to your personal preference to choose between generic and branded heartworm medications for dogs. Your budget will play some part, as well as the availability of the products, however, if you purchase online, it is quite easy to find both types of medication. The only important thing when it comes to heartworm medications is that you have properly consulted a vet with regards to the dosage and schedule that you need for your dog. 

Comments | Posted By Sally Marchant

Haqihana now restocked

12 May 2019 07:45:32

Good news to those of you waiting for new stock of Haqihana.  Supplies were getting low due to an unprecedented wave of orders.  Word is clearly getting around around about what great products these are.  I'm glad to report that a huge order arrived yesterday and has been added to the website.  There is now a terrific range of colours, sizes and styles available to purchase from our website

Comments | Posted By Pauline Rowe

Here to stay book

We've had plenty of positive feedback about the Here to Stay book on training your rescue dog.  The author now brings us Here to Stay - Training Your Puppy.

Of the book, Dr Ian Dunbar says "Readers of Here to Stay will vastly improve the quality of life for their puppies as well as themselves".

This title can be supplied on a wholesale basis.  Contact info@dog-and-bone.co.uk if you want to know more.

Comments | Posted By Pauline Rowe

Great seminar with Sian Ryan

14 Feb 2019 13:20:21

Sian Ryan seminar

We had a really interesting seminar with Sian Ryan last week, we discovered all about dog's natural impulsiveness and how the DIAS scale works. We tried it out on office dog Skyler and discovered she is fairly high up on the chart - not surprisingly! 

Sian had some great ideas about how to train some self control, especially useful for those dogs who do score highly for impulsiveness.

Comments | Posted By Sally Marchant

Truffle hunting comes to the UK

21 Jan 2019 16:57:44

Dog and Bone and Andrea Misto are bringing the (sometimes very lucrative) activity of Truffle Hunting to the UK!

Did you know there are a number of locations around the UK where truffles can be found? Dogs are perfect for helping to sniff out these highly prized fungi, and in April 2019, Andrea Misto is coming over from Italy to teach us how to train our dogs to find these truffles, known as "the diamond of the kitchen"

Check out the semianr page for full information and tickets

Comments | Posted By Sally Marchant

New Products

7 Jan 2019 11:36:34

We're excited to be bringing new products to Dog and Bone.  

Available now are the filmed seminars Dr Ian Dunbar did with us in 2017 - they can be purchased individually or as a set of all 4. 

Coming soon - 101 uses for a Poo Bag book - pre-orders can be taken now.

Comments | Posted By Pauline Rowe

Don't miss Sian Ryan

12 Jul 2018 12:23:57

We're very excited to be hosting Sian Ryan in September.  Sian is new to Dog and Bone but we feel we can gain some very useful insights from her expertise on Impulsivity and Self-Control.

Comments | Posted By Pauline Rowe

Thank you Kamal

12 Jul 2018 12:20:37

Many thanks to Kamal Fernandez for a very interesting and useful couple of days.

Day one was all about how to make your training classes fun and effective.One useful idea Kamal shared was the importance of attracting clients who share the same dog-training ethos and that one way to help achieve is by having the right website.It's something many of us might not have thought of.  Kamal explained how much the images and colours used can have a big impact on the impression the website gives.  He also demo-ed some fun games to play with clients and their dogs.

Day 2 was all you need to know about shaping. There were more practical demonstrations, this time, both with experienced and unexperienced dogs and even a game volunteer from the audience.  All in all, a lot of fun. 

Comments | Posted By Pauline Rowe

Discount Haqihana

12 Jul 2018 12:03:51

We're offering a chance to purchase Haqihana at discount prices.  You can get the brown reflective leads and harnesses - no longer aviailable from Haqihana themselves - and a wide choice of leads with the lario style clip.

Don't miss this opportunity to make great savings

Comments | Posted By Pauline Rowe

Pink is here!!

11 Jul 2018 11:37:55

We are excited to have added pink to our range of Haqihana colours.  We have it in sizes from XXX small to x large, long harnesses from XX small to medium and in 4 different lead types: 2m, 3m x 15mm, 3m x 20mm and 5m.  A fantastic range in a gorgeious new colour at our very reasonable prices.

Comments | Posted By Pauline Rowe

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