Advantage Heartworm for Dogs

Finding a good medicine to prevent heartworm for dogs is one of the most important things that you can do for your pet in the early part of his life. It's crucial that you keep your pet's heart healthy, particularly in his early stages when he is most susceptible to this potentially fatal parasite. By treating your pet with a regular dose of Advantage, you can ensure that he will not contract heartworms and that his heart muscle will remain healthy.

Advantage Overview

Advantage is a combination of two different drugs, each of which is designed to help eliminate and prevent certain types of parasites from being able to enter into your dog's system. The drug component of Advantage that is most responsible for preventing your pet from getting heartworms is moxidectin. This drug acts to paralyze heartworms by affecting the nervous system. This prevents the heartworms from being able to latch onto your dog's heart and cause an infestation.

Because it's much safer for your pet to prevent a heartworm infestation than it is to deal with heartworms after they've entered into your dog's system, Advantage is often recommended for use by vets before your dog has any indication of heartworms. It's a good preventative measure.

Using Advantage for Your Pet

Advantage is provided as a topical solution that you apply directly to your pet's skin. The medicine will collect in your pet's skin and in his hair follicles, and will then eliminate any heartworms before they're able to enter into his body. Advantage also comes with a special applicator system that you can use to apply the medicine directly to your dog's skin. This medicine is available over the counter, though it's a good idea to ask your vet for advice on how to best apply it.

Advantage is designed to be applied to your dog's skin about once every 30 days or so. It's a good idea to decide on a particular day each month as the time that you'll apply it. The exact amount of the medicine that you'll use will be dependent upon your pet's size and weight, as well as other preexisting health conditions from which he suffers.

Risks and Side Effects of Advantage

It's very important that you not give Advantage to a dog that has a heartworm infestation, as this might cause shock to his system. If your pet suffers from heartworms already, there are alternative treatment methods that you should discuss with your vet.

The most common side effects of Advantage include the following:

  • Oily spots at the site of application
  • Sensitivity or irritation at the site of application
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Stumbling
  • Vomiting and diarrhea

These side effects are very uncommon. If you notice any of them, take your pet in to the vet for an immediate examination and to adjust his dose. You may need to change to a different heartworm medicine in these cases.