Generic Heartworm Medicine

Regular heartworm medicine treatment is essential to ensuring continued health among dogs and cats. Even though pet owners have good intentions by administering heartworm medications on a regular basis, sometimes a simple economic equation prohibits pet owners from providing them. Simply put, heartworm medicines are costly, yet essential, so the solution to this problem is to purchase generic heartworm medicines.

Generic vs. Branded Heartworm Medicine

The most common misconception amongst pet owners is that their dog or cat receives better care by using brand name heartworm products. However, what most people don’t know is that generic medications often use the exact same active ingredients that can be found in branded products.

For example, one of the more commonly used heartworm medicines, Heartgard, contains the active ingredient ivermectin. Ivermectin is responsible for destroying heartworm larvae during the early stages of reproduction. It does this by altering the nervous system so that the heartworms cannot function or reproduce.  

Generics and branded products use the same disease-fighting ingredients, so the only difference between them is the price. All veterinary medications using generic forms are required to have the same active ingredients and absorb within the body at the same rate.

Price Comparison When Considering Generic

Again, Heartgard is the most commonly used heartworm medicine by dog and cat owners. However, there are two generic forms that contain ivermectin and work in the same fashion, Valueheart and Nuheart. A 6-month supply of Heartgard for a dog weighing between 20 and 50 pounds can be purchased at around $40. Yet, the generic brands, Valuehart and Nuheart, sell that same medication at about $20 which represents more than a 50% cost savings.

Both Heartgard and its generic forms are sufficient for controlling and preventing heartworm infestations, but Heartgard Plus uses ivermectin and pyrantel pamoate to offer additional protection against roundworms and hookworms. Again, for the same sized dog, Heartgard Plus sells for an average of about $45. The generic form of Heartgard Plus is Iverhart Plus, which normally sells for about $35.

Yearly Cost Comparison

While the upfront cost may not seem like much initially, the way in which it affects your bottom line at the end of the year may cause you to take notice. Let’s look at the yearly comparison between Heartgard and Nuheart for a 30-pound dog over a 12-month period. Purchasing the Heartgard brand would cost you an average of $85 to $90 per year. The generic Nuheart, however, would only cost around $40 per year.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that dog and cat owners need to find a balance between caring for their pets and keeping themselves financially secure. Administering heartworm medicine on a monthly basis helps to ensure a healthy future for your pet, and buying generic heartworm medicines over branded medicines may help you find that perfect balance.