Mosquitoes are an identified threat to the wellbeing of both humans and their best friends, dogs. These tiny flying insects are super spreaders to both humans & dogs alike. In fact, they pose a much bigger threat to dogs than humans.
When it comes to dogs, mosquitoes are the main carriers of parasites & microfilaria most of which can turn out to be life-threatening to them. Among the many parasites, heartworms are the most dangerous ones mosquitoes often transmit to dogs.
Once these heartworms are transmitted to the bloodstream of dogs, they will begin to reproduce exponentially with each of these worms growing up to a foot long. If left untreated, heartworms can cause severe lung disease, heart failure and damage to other organs eventually leading to their death.
Since dogs are the most vulnerable of all pets, you must prevent this cancerous disease in them. It could take up to eight to thirty days for the heartworms to become completely infectious and six to seven months to reach the maturity stage. While there are treatments for heartworm infection, the best way is to prevent the infection.
Are mosquito repellents effective?
No matter how hard you try using mosquito repellents, one day or other these parasite carriers will bite them for sure. This is why it’s always better that you have an upper hand over these threats than just relying on mosquito repellents.
There are many preventive medicines available in the market approved by FDA which interrupt the heartworm reproduction phase and kill them. While there are many alternatives, most vets advise chewable medicines.
Among the many available medicines, Heartgard & Milbeguard are the most effective ones when it comes to preventing heartworm infection. Because the treatment with both these medicines have credibility, queries are flooding into our support team asking which product will be ideal for their canine friends.
In this article, we will do a one-on-one comparison of these medicines. So, the question is whether Heartgard or Milbeguard is the best available option in the market considering their efficacy and popularity.
To scale them on level terms we will discuss some of their common features and their advantages over the other.
- Target pets
Heartgard has specialised products made exclusively for both cats and dogs. Milbeguard is a generic product that can be used in both cats and dogs. So when it comes to target pets, Heartgard has an upper hand.
- Effectiveness in controlling other parasites
The main ingredient in Heartgard is ivermectin that’s proven to be effective against heartworm. Similarly, Heartgard plus contains both ivermectin & pyrantel making it effective in preventing & treating roundworm and hookworm infection in dogs.
Whereas, Milbeguard consists of milbemycin oxime which is effective against heartworm but they can’t control other parasites. So yeah, Heartgard has an edge over Milbeguard here.
- Mode of application
Both the products are given orally but Heartgard products are chewable tablets and Milbeguard are conventional tablet-shaped. But your tablet hating dog won’t bother because they are both flavoured with beef.
- Age of feeding
Heartgard could be fed to puppies aged 6 weeks or above which is the right time for the puppies to take medicines. Whereas, Milbeguard can be given to four-week-old puppies. But since the ideal time to give your dogs these preventive medicines is at 6 weeks, both these medicines score equally here.
Both medicines are strictly prescription-only and you should give the first dosage only under medical supervision.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How safe is it to give these medicines to a dog diagnosed with heartworm infection?
Ideally both these medicines are meant to be preventive medicines & not as a treatment option unless prescribed by a vet. Ivermectin derived Heartgard products are used by vets in the treatment of heartworm infection in certain cases and are mostly safe and induce no reactions.
Whereas, Milbeguard has a higher reaction rate and it also has a chance of triggering Anaphylaxis (shock) while the first stage larvae die. So, it’s a strict no when the microfilaria numbers are on the higher side.
As said, both these medicines are meant to be given to dogs that are tested negative for heartworm. It's always better to start with Heartgard but you must have a negative report.
- Minimum weight recommendations?
Heartgard doesn’t have any minimum weight requirements. But in the case of Milbeguard, there’s a strict mandate that your puppy should weigh 2 lbs or more.
- What should be the Interval between doses?
Both of these medicines need a registered veterinary doctor’s prescription and is advised to use once a month unless prescribed by a vet.
- Are these medicines safe during pregnancy?
Heartworm prevention medication is considered safe during pregnancy and lactation period irrespective of the product you use. But it is always advisable to take an expert opinion.
- What is the LD50 dosage?
LD50 is the measure of median lethal dosage, which is the amount of medicine that’s is necessary to take down 50% of the microbe population.
It’s greater than the 690mg/kg weight of your dog in the case of Heartgard but there is no information available about Milbeguard dosage.
To Sum Up
Now that we have completed a one-on-one comparison between Heartgard & Milbeguard, it’s evident that both these products are effective in preventing heartworm infection. It’s just that only a veterinary doctor can recommend which is the best for your canine friend depending on their health.
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