HeartGuard vs interceptor?

cnvhSeptember 21, 2006

We normally get our dog's flea (Frontline) and heartworm (Interceptor) preventative directly from our vet, so as you can imagine, we've been paying through the nose. I've decided to start getting these meds online instead, and in searching a few different sites, it seems that Interceptor can only be ordered with a prescription, whereas HeartGuard can be ordered without a script.

I called my vet's office; the tech I spoke to said that they favor Interceptor because it "kills more types of worms" than HeartGuard. She also said that they charge a $16 fee for "records review" before providing a prescription, but that 1-800-petmeds refunds this fee on our first order.

I'm thinking of just ordering the Frontline and HeartGuard from petsuppliesnet.com (since I wouldn't need a script for either, and I believe their prices are better)...

But can anyone give me any insight on the Interceptor vs. HeartGuard difference? If indeed Interceptor kills more types of worms, should I be sure my vet does any additional tests during her annual checkup, to make sure she's still worm-free? (Our dog will be 2 in November and is as healthy as an ox, no health problems whatsoever.)

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Our vet prefers Interceptor. He doesn't stock Heartgard but special ordered it at my request for Hannah (recently adopted HW positive dog). Once she's tested to be HW free, he'll put her on Interceptor as are our other two dogs.

Sure these are expensive but what a small price to pay to prevent heartworms. Poor sweet "Hannah" had to endure a horrid, dangerous treatment that could have been avoided.


    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 9:53AM
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Just to clarify, our dog has been on HWP since we got her 18 months ago; we have no intention of not having her on ANY HWP, but at the same time, if we can get something cheaper that is just as effective, we're going to do that. It's not as if Heartgard DOESN'T prevent heartworms, right?

I've been trying to research them both online, and as far as I can tell, the only difference is that Interceptor prevents against whipworms, and Heartgard Plus doesn't.

I'm not sure how common whipworms are in my area (central PA), but I'm trying to get away from the concept of vaccinating and preventive-treating our pets for unneccessary stuff...

Our dog goes with us just about everywhere and has regular exposure to other dogs, so of course she needs the basics in terms of vaccines, but our house cats for instance... they never go outside and are never exposed to other cats; do they REALLY need every vaccine under the sun? Rabies, fine, I can deal with that, but I'm beginning to wonder if the risks outweigh the benefits with vaccines in certain cases...

    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 10:39AM
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I honestly don't know which one would be best. I totally agree with you & doing comparison shopping makes sense.

I've read that whipworms are common in warm humid climates & less prevalent in western dry areas of North America.


    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 11:08AM
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When we bought our dog from the breeder she told us that we should always use Interceptor for our Australian Shepherd as Heartgard uses a different type wormer than Interceptor. Seems that Heartgard can cause Sheperds to have seizures. She told us not to take that chance, and we never have. This does not happen in all Shepherds but you are taking a chance if you use it on a shepherd. Just thought you might like to know.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 1:15PM
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There is some unpublished work that showed that interceptor does not lower the seizure threshold as some other heartworm preventives do. I learned this a few years ago when I was trying to figure out how to minimize seizures in a foster dog. You're correct that Interceptor prevents whipworms, hookworms, roundworms and heartworms, while Heartguard does not prevent whipworms. They are a big problem in my area,(not that far from you in MD) so I use Interceptor for all of my dogs. If your vet was previously precribing Interceptor for you, the 'records review' should be darn easy. I still buy my Interceptor and Frontline from my vets, because I know that they use the margins on those products to run their office. However, when the cat's Tapazole (for thyroid) went to $59 for 40 pills, I switched to EntirelyPet.Com for that prescription. $34 for 100. You may want to check prices there and at OmahaVaccine. There are some distributors out there who sell knock-offs of these products, so be careful. The two I mentioned are reputable.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 3:26PM
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Cynthia, I am interested in knowing about that unpublished work showing that inceptor does not reduce the chances of seizures in sheperds. I was told that it did. What other heart worm med's are you using to prevent seizures? I have an aussie and am very concerned about seizures. Could you refer me to the reports about inceptor? Thanks for the info. Ellen

    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 3:56PM
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We use Interceptor $40 for 6 pk. I have three dogs so I get a six pack every two months. What kind of price difference in the online meds? Does it really save you money after taxes and shipping and handling? I changed vets about 3 years ago after my daughter started volunteering at our new vet (love all the docs). Before I changed, I contacted my then current vet and got a list of the meds that my guys take and the costs. Compared with new vet, the old vet was making much more money off me and I had no idea. That was really the last straw/incentive to actually move 5 pets to another vet and the fact that my old girl has many problems and is on many meds. My oldest lab has epilepsy and had terrible seizures starting at age 2 1/2. She has been on Phenobarb for almost 10 years. Have had no problems. I think at some point we must have used Heartguard?? Are the posters asking about seizures owners of pets with epilepsy or are we talking about seizures induced by the heartworm meds? I am not following. Any event, I am curious about the savings. My vet would not be adverse to writing the scripts. Wouldn't your vet write the scripts without a fee at the yearly visit? I think I would be quite offended if I was a "regular" and was told there was a $16 record review fee?? Is that just me, or is the vet trying to recoup some of his lost revenue from meds? I give a crazy amount of meds to my oldest aside from the Interceptor and Advantage so I am interested in what I might be able to save. Thanks.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 4:32PM
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We are definitely "regulars" at our vet (have been taking 2 cats there for 6 years, plus the dog for almost 2 years), and I also raised an eyebrow at the $16 records review fee... the tech mentioned that 1-800-petmeds refunds this fee on my first purchase, which is good for me, but means my vet still pockets the extra profits he would have made if I had just bought the meds from him in the first place... so as much as I hate to admit it, I'm not getting the warmest, fuzziest feelings from my vet on this issue.

Heck, my HUMAN doctor doesn't charge me (or my insurance company) a records review fee to write me a script, so why should my vet?!

As for the cost difference, my vet charges $53 for 6 months of Interceptor, and $55 for 3 months of Frontline, for a total of $326/year. On petsuppliesnet.com, I can get 6 months of Heartgard Plus for $29, and 6 months of Frontline Plus for $47, for a total of $152/year. THAT'S LESS THAN HALF WHAT MY VET CHARGES.

I'm not quabbling over having to pay my vet for services-- vet degrees are expensive, and I'm sure running a clinic is extremely expensive. But I don't think I should feel guilty about saving a hundred and fifty bucks by buying the preventatives elsewhere; I mean, hubby and I aren't scrooges, but we certainly aren't rich, either.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 6:05PM
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Rthummer, I think you just misread my note. I said:"... does not lower the seizure threshold". We are saying the same thing :-) I don't know if it applies to shepherds, the reference was to greyhounds, but may be applicable to other breeds.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 6:14PM
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I used Petsupplies.net and found them cheapest for frontline plus(44.75). For heart worm purchased Proheart(14.95),which is a generic brand of Heartguard. 6 month supply of both was $59.70 (dogs 23-48lbs) plus shipping/handling of $3.99. Total was $63.69 Think it took about a week for delivery. Comes from Australia. No prescription required

    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 6:27PM
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Thanks airforceguy!! Went to petsupplies.net. Big, big savings. I use Revolution on one of my dogs. Revolution is for the prevention of heartworms, whipworms, roundworms, fleas and ticks. I was told by vet Revolution was less expensive to use in long run. Well it is now!!!! Price at vet for 3 months supply 68.00. Price at petsupplies.net for 6 months supply 55.99. What a big, big savings! Just great...

    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 7:40PM
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Cynthia, In my first post I stated that my breeder told us to use Interceptor for our Aussie as Heartgard was known to cause seizures in some collie breeds. I do use Interceptor as it was recommended by my breeder and my vet to use Inteceptor as it did reduce the incidence of seizures in collie breeds. I do not know about other breeds. You stated that interceptor "does not lower the threshold of seizures." I use interceptor but not Heartgard as I have been told by vet the the wormer ivermectin that heartgard uses can cause collie breed to seizure in some incidences. I am sorry if I did not make myself clear. I do not know anything about greyhounds, only that they are a beautiful dog.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 8:21PM
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I will chime in that I use Interceptor. However, teh only reason is because I have an aussie, a victorian collie, and a malinois. The first two are closely collie related and I avoided Heartguard because of the odd reaction collie-related breeds can have to an ingredient in Heartguard.

As far as seizures, the only thing that seems to help Mocha is a strict diet and phenobarbitol. For those with seizure dogs, you might want to check out a website called the Epi Guardian Angels. They have been immensely helpful to me. Mocha started with a seizure every 2 weeks and some clustering. Today he has gone at least a year without one, and usually every 4 months -- which is definitely something we can live with.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2006 at 12:13AM
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Airforce Guy, Check the labeling on Proheart, I do not think it is a generic brand of heartguard - different ingredients. Also, I can not see that it protects against anything except heartworms. If it doesn't cover any other worms this is false economy as you will spend more treating the hookworms/roundworms/whipworms. Interceptor is the only one that protects against whipworms as well as the others, so consider the cost to your dogs health and the cost to your wallet if she gets other worms. Prevention is always cheaper than treatment.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2006 at 9:37AM
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Check this website out, Proheart is used for prevention of heartworms. Of course, I am sure Airforce guy already knows
proheart is a heartworm preventive.


    Bookmark   September 23, 2006 at 12:51PM
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Hi everyone I am new to this website. I have a 1.5 year old rough collie named Rio. He is on interceptor as was my old collie Misty. The reason they were both on interceptor is that the chemical in it is milbemycin oxime, while heartguard is ivermectin. Some breeds of dogs (example: collie) are sensitive to ivermection. Since the vet cannot tell which dogs are and which are not they just assume all are and treat them as such. The ivermectin can sometimes pass through the blood/brain barrier this is what causes the seizures. I feel that I would perfer to spend the extra money and not take the chance with my kids. Hope this was of help.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2006 at 1:45PM
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EXACTLY, cats6dogs1horses2. I was trying to say this all along, but this granny just couldn't seem to get the words out right!!! Welcome to this forum. I have horses also.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2006 at 1:53PM
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It's scares the 'bejeebees' out of me to think something I'm doing can cause seizures. I don't have a Collie but from what I can gather Collies are more sensitive to Ivermectin (an ingredient in Heartgard) than other breeds. However, the level of Ivermectin in Heartgard is lower than the amount needed to cause toxicity. Proper dosage is essential which is 6ug/kg or 12ug/kg using the recommended dose for a 50lb dog. From what I can gather, problems are likely at a dose of 50ug/kg such as cases where Ivermectin is used at a higher dose for killing heartworms which are present in Collies & related breeds. The recommended dosage for the prevention of heartworms supposedly is low enough to not cause problems. Don't know if this is the case. I will feel relieved when my dog (a Shepherd) is off this product & on Interceptor.


    Bookmark   September 23, 2006 at 11:30PM
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RThummer, Yes of course Proheart is a heartworm preventive. However it is not a generic form of the trademarked brand 'Heartguard'. Your link shows the primary ingredient in Proheart is Moxidectin. The primary ingredient in Heartguard is Ivermectin. It is accurate to say it is a generic heartworm preventive, it is not accurate to say it is a generic form of Heartguard because the primary ingredients are not the same. See the difference?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2006 at 6:38AM
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Point taken. Your were right, I was wrong. Thanks for correcting me on this.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2006 at 9:05AM
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Hi everyone, Thanks for the welcome. I was wondering about Proheart. The chemical in it Moxidectin has caused some problems in certain breeds of dogs also. It is the chemical in the injectable Proheart 6. I found a website that claims that it causes reactions in certain breeds of dogs also. My vet doesn't use the injectable Proheart because of the reactions and the recall in 2004. I also know that there were problems in horses with this chemical so I do not use it on my horses also. Anybody know anything else?

    Bookmark   September 26, 2006 at 8:43AM
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I heard many recommendation for interceptor. Does anyone know a trustworthy online website that sell interceptor for cheap without prescription?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 10:43AM
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All "trustworthly online sources" will require a prescription. Your vet should be willing and able to provide that.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 4:37PM
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I have seven dogs; shar pei, shar pei/pug, cocker spaniel, chiuaua/dauschund, 3 heeler/chow/etc. Are any of these breeds sensitive to Heartguard? Shar pei, cocker, and chi/dox are the only ones that take Heartguard; the others are on interceptor. My vet did this due to poop eating (poop eaters get interceptor) I don't mind at all to switch them all to interceptor, however, in my area tha vets really push heartguard. The cocker and the shar pei have noth been heartworm free for over a year. [In case anyone is wondering, one of the heeler/chow/etc mixes was a stray who decided to come live with me the day she gave birth to three puppies. So, I have her, and two of her babies (my best friend happily took the other) The cocker followed me home from the park. The shar pei/pug I adopted from a rescue, the chi/dox I found in the newspaper, and the shar pei was a foster dog who had nine puppies (only two survived; one went to my mom and the other to another friend) and then decided she wanted to stay.] I do NOT hoard animals; everyone is VERY well taken care of. They eat science diet, gourmet treats, heeler mixes go swimming most days (ok, they float around on rafts in the pool-but they love it), obedience classes, dog behavioralist, doggy daycare (at one time), agility toys, kongs, crates, etc. I get a little defensive because I like to rescue and help fix things and get frustrated that I cannot save them all. I always get a raised eyebrow when I say how many dogs I have. Anyway...original question, are any of my breeds (mixes) at risk of seizures from heartguard????

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 10:57PM
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Any breed dog can be sensitive to ivermectin, but collies and shelties are the ones more frequently affected. Even so the dose of ivermectin in Heartgard is low so that even most ivermectin-sensitive dogs do not have problems. There is a genetic test available from Washington State University veterinary school if you are really concerned.

Here is a link that might be useful: MDR gene mutation test

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 3:37PM
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BEWARE OF Petsuppliesnet.com, I purchased Advantage for my cats and at the low price I purchased several boxes seeing as I have three cats. The website appear legit as mentioned above and the picture was the same as the US version (along with weight specs), but upon receipt of the Advantage, the weight, active componenets, etc were all in metric. The product was in fact from Austria. I immediately contacted the vendor to get a return number, package the items back up and mailed them back. Now they claim they never received the return and I am having to battle it with my credit card. BEWARE OF THIS DIRTY COMPANY THAT LIES AND CHEATS!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 11:51PM
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Sorry meant to type Australia not Austria.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 12:03AM
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And guess what? Australia uses the METRIC system and frontline is made by Merial, which is a huge company with worldwide office and an Australian manufacturing plant! So it should be in metric, since your ordering it from an Australian supplier! I have (and many friends) ordered from them for the past 2 yrs with success,and will continue to do so!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 6:13AM
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Hi everyone I have 5 dogs 4 HeartWorm free other a stray that was tested positive. My other 4 have been on interceptor for over a year now and gus my HW+ is on Heartgard. My vet will not reply to any requests to online services as they are money grubbers and want me to have all 5 retested ($$$$$) I do not feel that they need to be retested and have been looking for somewhere that does not require an RX but as you know, IMPOSSIBLE so, I have been thinking of switchin all dogs to Heartgard plus. I have 2 pits, a Peekapom and a golden mix whos 13yo and I know at one point in his life my old vet in NY gave him that. So. my question is, does anyone know if its safe to switch them all to heatgard plus? I read everyones inputs and I think we are just all frustrated.

Thanks everyone

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 9:20PM
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Pooches- there should be no reason not to give the 4 heartworm free dogs Heargard. I would recommend speaking to your vet about what to use on the one that is HW+.
You may not feel they need to be retested but unfortunately due to laws to obtain the medication they need to be retested or given a PE. Some clinics require the test and some an exam and they usually have to be valid within the last year.
You can use Heartgard, Interceptor, Tri-Heart, or the advantage multi- but laws require an RX to obtain them.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 12:34AM
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We are switching from Revolution to Interceptor.

Please note:

Revolution does NOT treat for ticks. It is fleas only.
Revolution has had significantly more adverse events since its approval than Frontline (hence our decision to change).

If you visit any of the larger dog forums it is noticeable that some products (Advantage, Frontline, etc.) seem to be dog and geography xxx. Ex. Someone in one state may have great success with Advantage, while someone in another state will still have fleas).

Lastly, Interceptor covers many intestinal worms as well as heartworms. The company has approval for another product called Safeheart. It is the SAME product, but different dosage. The lower dosage prevents heartworms only.

Many of us have printed the FDA page for our vets and use this dosage since for my area I am not concerned with intestinal worms and prefer to use less pesticide. The safeheart dosage is also approved for application every 45 days (vs. 30 days on interceptor dosage).

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 2:19PM
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I too have been looking for Interceptor without a prescription. I found this link on a border collie website. You can get it w/out RX, but I have never tried it to see if they are legit.
I have aussies but the vet still recommended Heartgard Plus and said it was still safer. He would not switch the prescription to Interceptor.
I just placed an order for Heartgard Plus at petsuppliesnet.com

Here is a link that might be useful: Interceptor

    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 4:55PM
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Going through the board above and it was written early in the discussion:

"Revolution is for the prevention of heartworms, whipworms, roundworms, fleas and ticks."

Well, this is patently false. I know it's been 2 years since this was written, but just wanted to point out that Revolution Does not prevent Whipworm, Roundworm or Ticks (as pointed out 2 posts above). (It does prevent Dog Tick, but not other types of ticks that Frontline will work against.)

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 8:18PM
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After, just a bit more internet research, I've found out that Revolution might be marketed as a drug, as such the company can only make label claims for what it actually tested for which was American Dog tick, but it is possible (probable?) that it protects against other ticks as well (such as Deer Tick that causes Lyme disease)

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 9:12PM
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Hi, I came for the same reason---HOWEVER, I wanted share with those of you who have had SEIZURE probs with your doggies. I went to "Allergicpet.com" and have had my 14.5 yr old Black Labrador on their ANTI-SEIZURE HERBS for over a 1.5 yrs. She actually had a STROKE and the VET had her in the hospital on Steroids for a while and thought she would die. She got better and was weaned off and then I put her on Vit C & Vit E--(this was supposed to help her NOT have another stroke) About 4 months later ---she had another. It presented as her legs being wobbly and her eyes were darting back and forth-just as the 1st time. I called the same GREAT SURGEON VET-(several hours away) -I put her on the remaining steroids--then quickly weaned her off--as the symptoms faded.

I then found ALLERGICPET.com and ordered the "Vet Select SEIZURE Formula" because both SEIZURES & STROKES are neurological. (I pay $75.00 for 360 capsules) My Black Lab is about 80'lbs and I give her 3 pills 2x a day in her wet food. If she seems a bit wobbly-- I up to dose till she is better then go back down to the 3 pills -2x a day--for maintenance.

That was over 1.5 yrs ago and not another STROKE or SEIZURE-the VETS are flabbergasted.

I have studied ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE for 25 yrs for animals and humans and found that HERBS for and Healing methods have saved all of my animals. We have also used the "Vet Select LAME-EZE" ($50.00 for 240 capsules-she takes 4 capsules 2x a day with her wet food) with great results (it's for Arthritis & Hip Dysplasia etc) and the herbs for ALLERGIES & Itching. They are faster shippers ($4.00) too.
My VET was surprised my dog was still thriving. I have turned many of my "friends" onto this website. http://www.allergicpet.com

I found a HEART FORMULA from another website----http://www.petwellbeing.com/--this formula helped with her HEART and her panting and her back legs which all are related to the heart and get affected in old age.

It's much better to go to HERBS for our pets and family.

So, in regards to HEARTWORM PREVENTATIVE MEDS---It's ridiculous to have to take my dogs into the VET every year to get a prescription for "Heartgard Plus" or "Interceptor". I am trained in HOLISTIC MEDICINE and have done MORE for my animals by my training and giving HERBS than any VET save one. My dogs have been on INTERCEPTOR for the past year--non-stop (before that HEARTGARD) and need a new prescription but I am NOT gonna waste money to take them to our horrible VET here for NOTHING --just to get a prescription. That is crazy. Any ideas on this??? THANKS

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 8:39PM
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I realize this is an ongoing topic and started in 2006 and maybe original poster isn't following anymore but ... I adopted a rescue lab from TN 2008 at 8 mos old. He was tested after a year by our vet for his annual and came back positive for heartworm - he had been on Interceptor for the whole year we had him and supposedly on heartguard in his foster family b4 that... His heartworm test came back POSITIVE at his annual with us and I was so upset since we had him on the meds the whole time.... We researched and found out that he could have contracted it in TN, not have it show up for several months and then be on the meds that don't treat the adults .... So we had to have him treated by the harsh needle/arsenic method to rid him of the adults.. that was last Nov.--- fast forward to today. He is not positive for adult heartworm but still has babies in his blood. We just gave up on Interceptor and are giving him Heartguard. This fall he's going to be blood tested again for the babies in his blood... Interceptor stood by their product and helped pay for his 2-day treatment at the vets and gave us a year's supply. I commend a company today doing that. BUT I just don't feel that their product is as effective at killing off the babies in the dog's bloodstream. Our vet said she had never seen the babies last in the blood like they have with our dog so she was happy when we changed to Heartguard to as she recommends it over Interceptor.

Our previous vet changed to Interceptor b/c she said it took care of more types of worms, as a previous poster on here mentioned ( always wonder if the med company gives them better bonuses to plug their brand). BUT after seeing what a dog has to go through (and possibly death) for heartworm treatment I will never miss a dose or take him off Heartguard. He had to have xrays and tests b4 the treatment for adult heartworm and it showed that he has an enlarged heart which can be due to the adults that were in his heart.... this is a serious disease not to be messed with by herbal remedies, do the research.. nothing has been proven to work except these prescriptions, and even now they are showing that they are becoming less effective though still necessary.

Since we always raised our dogs from puppy we kept them on heartworm pills from the beginning, adopting an older dog with a shady past caught us offguard as to the importance of testing when adopted or soon after for this horrible disease.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 10:31AM
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Also, Interceptor told us that they would not have helped pay for our dog's heartworm treatment if we had purchased the meds online and not through our vet. I bargain shop for everything but not with this. It's just not worth the risk of getting fake meds, or no coverage from the company.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 10:35AM
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Since this thread is still very active, I want to add that my aussie "Mocha" has epilepsy that is NOT caused by using Heartguard. I do use Interceptor. However, I did not want to give a dog already prone to seizures a drug that might cause seizures in that particular breed - aussies (a collie breed). Not using Heartguard for me had nothing to do with Heartguard causing seizures in a normal dog. It only had to do with having a dog that already had a seizure problem and being a collie-related breed to boot. Had he been a daschund or min pin or whatever, I really would not have given it a second thought.

Do check out http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/ if you have a seizure dog.

Here is a link that might be useful: epi guardian angels for dogs

    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 3:06AM
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I found a new source today. This formulation of Interceptor is in the form of chews, and ships from Australia. It includes a tapeworm preventative. It protects against the two kinds of tapeworm, whipworm, roundworm and hookworm, in addition to the heartworm. The American Interceptor (chewable tablets) does NOT protect for tapeworm.

A few years ago I switched from Interceptor tabs to ProHeart (from canada or austr., can't recall) for awhile, and while it successfully prevented heartworm, my dog did get tapeworm while on it. I had to treat the tapeworm but it was 2 pills, not a big deal. I switched back to Interceptor. I'm pleased to note that the formulation being shipped to me protects against tapeworm.


Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.petsarmy.com/

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 4:55PM
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I just adopted a heartworm positive dog. She's a dalmatian and went thru the treatment. The rescue said to continue Heartgard for 1 year and then I can switch to Interceptor, my vet doesn't agree and wants to know why they suggest that. I can't get a hold of the rescue. Is it because my vet wants to make more money?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 8:24AM
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spedigrees z4VT

I have purchased my heartworm meds for my dog from this place in Australia for the past 5 years and am very pleased with their service.
I buy Valuheart (which is a generic Heartgard but without the pyrantel that supposedly controls worms.) Their prices are about half that of US pet pharmacies, much less than from the vet, and no prescription is required for any HW preventative or de-worming med in Australia (or in most other countries.)

Neither Heartgard or Interceptor are very good at controlling intestinal parasites. I buy Vetafarm Wormout All Wormer (praziquantel and oxfendazole) and administer this preparation to my dogs and cat 4 times a year. It kills ALL worms as the name implies (tapes, rounds, hook.)

I treat fleas and ticks in my dogs with Frontline plus, and buy Revolution for my cat to control external parasites and prevent heartworm.

I buy all the above from petsmegastore (link above) and the savings are considerable as well as the convenience of not needing a script.

A sub-population of collies and related herding dogs have a mutant gene that makes them sensitive to ivermectin, as well as a long list of other drugs. There is an urban rumor that, for these dogs, the ivermectin in Heartgard poses a danger and that Interceptor is safer. However the active ingredient in Interceptor (milbemycin) is in the same class of drug as ivermectin and poses the same risk.

Despite this, the active ingredients in all the monthly HW preventative meds are safe for dogs with the mutant gene. They would have to ingest 10 doses of a monthly HW drug to be at risk.

From the researchers at
Washington State University who discovered the mutant gene:

Ivermectin (antiparasitic agent). While the dose of ivermectin used to prevent heartworm infection is SAFE in dogs with the mutation (6 micrograms per kilogram), higher doses, such as those used for treating mange (300-600 micrograms per kilogram) will cause neurological toxicity in dogs that are homozygous for the MDR1 mutation (mutant/mutant) and can cause toxicity in dogs that are heterozygous for the mutation (mutant/normal).

Selamectin, milbemycin, and moxidectin (antaparasitic agents). Similar to ivermectin, these drugs are safe in dogs with the mutation if used for heartworm prevention at the manufacturer's recommended dose. Higher doses (generally 10-20 times higher than the heartworm prevention dose) have been documented to cause neurological toxicity in dogs with the MDR1 mutation.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 11:32AM
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In 2007, my then 3 dogs were we inadvertently exposed to the Menu dog food that killed many many dogs and cats. Regretfully, my friend's two dogs did not survive due to their longterm exposure to the bag of contaminated food. I ended up at Cornell with one of my dogs (the most heart-wrenching ride and days of our lives), who thankfully recovered. As a result, I am very leery about dosing any of my dogs with any toxins. Truthfully, I feel very guilty every time I dose the dogs with Frontline Plus. My vet has not recommended treating my dogs with any heart worm medication (I live in the Northeast, the dogs are on Frontline Plus, 4 of the dogs are Shih-tzus with longer hair, my fifth dog is a golden/lab. mix and she is the one that ended up at Cornell). Not treating the dogs for heart worm is always a concern on my mind, but given that their livers were already bombarded by toxins when they were so young, I worry about long term damage all these chemicals have on my dogs. Is there a safer alternative to these heart worm meds?

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 12:40PM
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spedigrees z4VT

No, you either provide your dogs with protection against HW or you don't. All of the heartworm preventatives have excellent track records for safety. Frontline plus provides protection against tick borne diseases, but it will not protect against HW.

Testing annually for heartworm is a wise idea, even for dogs who are on HW preventative year round.

I don't know the statistical data for HW infestation in the northwest, but here in the northeast, not keeping a dog on monthly HW prevention would be an almost automatic guarantee that that dog would contract heartworm within several years if not sooner. In the southeast and over into Texas, heartworm is rampant. Once infected with HW, a dog must undergo painful and risky treatment.. or die.

The melamine in petfood (and in baby formula) deliberately put there by Chinese manufacturers was a tragedy of epic proportions. I've home cooked for my pets since that time and will never trust commercial petfood again. I feel that I and my pets dodged a huge bullet. I'm very glad your dogs recovered and very sorry that your friend's did not.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 2:19PM
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Other countries don't require an prescription for heartworm meds? Boy, we in the states are always being taken by someone. Thanks for the info spedigrees: much appreciated.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 9:21PM
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We've had ours on Interceptor for a few years now with good results. We have been getting it for the last couple years from dogbuffs with no prescription needed. We like the price and no problems. They sometimes have a good discount coupon too. Hope this helps!

Here is a link that might be useful: Interceptor for dogs without prescription

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 3:35PM
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