View our How to manage Heartworms video.
What is Heartgard Chewables for Cats?
Heartgard is a once-a-month oral pet med used in cats and kittens as a combination heartworm preventive and intestinal wormer. Heartgard Chewables kill the immature form of the heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis). They are also used for the removal and control of hookworms (Ancylostoma tubaeforme and A. brasiliense).
Who is it for?
For cats and kittens 6 weeks of age and over. Safe to use in pregnant and nursing cats.
What are the benefits?
||prescription pet medication protects cats from heartworm disease
||Heartgard also controls and de-worms pet cats of hookworms
||Tasty chewable tablet is easy to administer
How does Heartgard Chewables for Cats work?
Heartgard is used in the prevention, control, and treatment of various worm infections. Heartgard contains ivermectin, which interferes with the parasite's nerve transmission, causing paralysis and death of the immature heartworms and adult and immature hookworms.
Is there a generic equivalent available?
How is it given?
Heartgard must be administered monthly, preferably on the same date each month. Drs. Foster and Smith recommends (and our guarantee requires) that Heartgard be given year round, although some veterinarians may recommend giving it only during the mosquito season. If given seasonally, the first dose must be given within 30 days of the cat's first exposure to mosquitoes. The last dose must be given within 30 days after the cat's last exposure to mosquitoes.
Most cats will accept the chewable tablet as a treat. The chewable should be administered in a manner that encourages the cat to chew, rather than to swallow without chewing. Heartgard Chewables may be broken into pieces and fed to cats that normally swallow treats whole or may be mixed with a small amount of cat food. Food should be available during the day of treatment. If the cat does not eat or the chewable is not broken, the medication may not be well-absorbed. Care should be taken that the cat consumes the complete dose, and treated animals should be observed for a few minutes after administration to ensure that part of the dose is not lost or rejected. If not entirely consumed, give another full recommended dose as soon as possible.
What results can I expect?
Heartgard will kill the immature heartworms the cat was exposed to in the preceding month. It will also remove immature and adult hookworms from the intestine.
What form(s) does it come in?
Heartgard for Cats
Common Drug Name
What should I discuss with my veterinarian while considering Heartgard Chewables for Cats?
Talk to your veterinarian about the heartworm testing that is recommended before starting your cat on a heartworm prevention program.
Some intestinal parasites, such as hookworms can be spread to people. Talk to your veterinarian about other measures you can take to prevent your pet from being infected with intestinal worms, and protecting yourself.
Notify your veterinarian of any other medications or supplements your cat is taking, and also if your cat has had any reactions to previous medications.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If a dose is missed and over 30 days have gone by since the last dose, give Heartgard immediately and resume a monthly dosing schedule. Tell your veterinarian that a dose was missed.
What is the most important information I should know?
If the interval between doses is longer than one month, the efficacy of the drug is reduced.
Who should not take it?
Do not use in kittens less than 6 weeks of age. Considered to be safe to use in pregnant and lactating animals (female animals nursing their young).
This medication should only be given to the pet for which it was prescribed.
What side effects may be seen when taking Heartgard Chewables for Cats?
Side effects are very rare, but may include vomiting and diarreha. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you observe any of these signs.
How is it stored?
Store between 68°F-77°F (20°C-25°C). Short time periods between 59°F-86°F (15°C-30°C) are permitted. Protect product from light. The chewable form of the drug is appealing to pets and children. Store in a secure area to prevent an accidental overdose. Keep out of reach of children and pets.
What should I do if I know of or suspect there has been an overdose?
If you know or suspect your pet has had an overdose, or if you observe any vomiting or diarrhea, contact your veterinarian immediately.
What should I avoid when giving my pet Heartgard Chewables for Cats?
Although there are no known drug or food interactions with this medication, consult with your veterinarian before using Heartgard with any other medications, including vitamins and supplements, since interactions may occur.
Where is more information available?
Ask your veterinarian, consult with one of our pharmacists at 1-800-447-3021, or see the Patient Information Sheet on this medication. For technical assistance or to report suspected adverse reactions, call the manufacturer, Merial, at 1-888-637-4251.