Interceptor vs Heartguard Plus - Answered by Dr. Lee
When I took flash in to the vet on Friday, I had them do a full blood workup as well as a heartworm test. The heartworm test was negative and his blood work was all normal. The vet I took him to only dispensed interceptor, but she would write me a prescription for heartguard plus. Teddee, my other doodle is on heartguard plus and I thought I wanted to keep Flash on the same product. Can anyone tell me what the difference between the two are? My vet stated interceptor is safe for collies and they give the dog a higher dose in order to kill parasitic worms as well. I know the plus does that too. Would there be a benefit to keeping them on the same product, or does it matter. Any recommendations on which product may be better.
I don't know if one is better than another but usually veterinarians unless their practice is very large, will carry one or the other. Interceptor has the advantage of killing whipworms along with the heartworms prevention and hookworm and roundworm treatment that both Heartgard Plus and Interceptor have. If whipworms are a problem in your area than it may be a medication to switch to. Here is a link to whip worm info: [url]http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=2&articleid=778[/url]
Also both companies that make these medications are very good companies. Novartis makes Interceptor and Merial makes Heartgard Plus. We carry Heartgard Plus at my hospital because we also carry the Merial vaccines due to their high safety especially with cats and their flea and tick prevention (Frontline Plus). I also like Merial because they do a lot of rescue work and donations for dogs and cats. During hurricane Katrina they donated over a million dollars in the treatment heartworms and ticks for the rescued dogs. Also our patients LOVE the taste of the Heartgard as it is made from real beef. Also the safety is wonderful - it takes 83 tablets (83 month supply) on average to get into a toxic dose - so I always feel safe sending home a year supply with an owner.
There is also a medication called Revolution which is great because it is a topical medication that not only takes care of fleas and ticks but also heartworms, some internal parasites and mange. So the bottom line is that there are several top of the line medications to choose from.
I am not a fan of online companies due to their 'grey market' acquiring of the medications which I think is risky. So if you can get the HeartGard filled at PetSmart or another vet then great, if the choice is switching to Interceptor from your vet or HeartGard Plus from an online source, you might want to think about switching to Interceptor. Again, many pets are on this medication. Perhaps ask your vet about Interceptors guarantee. HearGard Plus/Merial will guarantee their medication. If your pet has been tested negative and ever becomes positive for any of the parasites it covers while your pet is on the medication - the company will pay for the pet's treatment [B]in full[/B]. I am not familiar with Interceptor's guarantee, if it is the same then that is another plus on choosing the medication. Hope that helps:pawprint:
Also here are some websites:
Thank you Dr. Lee. I am not sure if Whipworms are a problem here in Phoenix. I like the idea of Heartgard giving a guarantee on their product as well as all of their donations to animals.
My question now is, if my vet only wrote a 6 month prescription, do i need to go to the vet every 6 months to get a refill prescription and a heartworm test? If I have a year supply for my other dog, do I need to get him retested after 1 year or will vets generally refill the rx without another heartworm test?
[QUOTE=DoodleMan;588969]My question now is, if my vet only wrote a 6 month prescription, do i need to go to the vet every 6 months to get a refill prescription and a heartworm test? If I have a year supply for my other dog, do I need to get him retested after 1 year or will vets generally refill the rx without another heartworm test?[/QUOTE]
WOW, I didn't know we both lived in Arizona!
If your vet wrote a script for only 6 months without refills, then yes you would have to go back for another script. I do not know if they would ask for another heartworm test, I would doubt it. The American Heartworm Society recommends it only yearly.
Heartworm disease is thought to be increasing in Arizona so many vets (including us) require yearly testing. While the HeartGard is 99.9% effective at preventing heartworm, birth control is also of a similar efficacy and there are still problems in that area. For this reason and the fact that if a pet does have heartworm disease, there can be little to no signs for an extended period of time while sometimes irreversible heart and lung damage is being created - yearly heartworm testing is recommended and often required. Usually the test is fairly inexpensive and takes only a few minutes to run. (our test is 3 blood drops and 10 minutes and has fantastic accuracy).
Why is heartworm disease increasing? There was a study done in California that showed that heartworm disease was identified in the wild coyote population from all aspects of the state. There is a thought that the wild animal reservoir is increasing in many states. :pawprint:
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