Heartworm medication, such as Heartgard® (ivermectin), is produced by Merial, an animal health company. Heartgard® is commonly prescribed to cats and dogs as a preventative treatment against heartworm disease. Veterinarians recommend that cats over the age of 6 weeks should take this medication, as an effective preventative treatment against heartworm, to control infections and remove hookworms.
If your vet has prescribed once-monthly chewable Heartgard® medication your cat will need to be tested for heartworm disease before preventative Heartgard® treatment begins. It is easy to forget to give Heartgard® to your cat at the same time each month, but administering the medication at the same time each month until the end of the course of treatment will be most effective and provide the best possible protection for your cat.
Enter Date Administered
While many cat owners have a very good memory and can easily remember dates, times and places of events, memory alone should not be used to determine when the cat needs to be given its next dose of Heartgard®. On the back of the Heartgard® packaging, cat owners will find twelve red hearts that correspond to each month of the year with the written reminder: “enter date administered”. Cat owners can cut this out and keep it somewhere safe but visible, such as on a memory board or on the fridge, ticking or crossing off the date each time the cat is given a dose of Heartgard®. This will also serve as an important reminder to other family members who see this visual prompt, so that they do not accidentally give the cat a second dose of Heartgard®. Overdose of Heartgard® can lead to very serious side effects, including death.
The manufacturer’s visual reminder is a good prompt for a lot of cat owners, but it might not work as well for you. Some cat owners prefer to write down on the calendar when the next dose of Heartgard® is due. Again, administering Heartgard® to cats on the same day of the month is a good way to go and can help you to get used to giving the medication on time every time without missing a dose. For example, if the first dose of Heartgard® was given to your cat on the 25th of September, make sure that you give the cat each subsequent dose on the same day each month.
Heartgard® (ivermectin) is an effective heartworm preventative treatment that can keep cats in good health if it is properly and carefully administered. Cat owners must take full responsibility for their cat’s health and follow their vet’s advice when their cat has been prescribed Heartgard®.