Vet Blog

Recommended Heartworm Prevention

April 30, 2019

Preventative care is arguably one of the most important aspects of looking after your pet.

There are many different things that can affect the health and wellbeing of your pet, including parasites. Parasites survive by taking their nutrition for them blood of their host. However, in addition to this, parasites can have other negative effects on the health of an animal. Heartworms are just one parasite that you should definitely seek proper preventative care for. This is because heartworm disease is nearly always fatal when left untreated, and even those pets that are given treatment may have permanent damage to their body and health.

Fortunately, Birmingham owners can avoid their pet ever suffering from this potentially deadly parasite problem thanks to the vast array of heartworm preventatives that are now available. With so much choice, finding the right heartworm prevention may seem tricky. Your vet will be able to guide your choice, ensuring that your pet receives the protection that is most suited to them. In the meantime, here is what you need to know about heartworm preventatives including several that we recommend.

Combination preventatives

Not all heartworm preventatives are designed to protect your pet solely from heartworms. Some also contain other ingredients that are there to help with the control of other types of parasite including fleas, ticks and other types of worm including hookworms, roundworms and whipworms. This can be beneficial as it enables you to protect your pet from a multitude of harmful parasites in just one dose. These combination preventatives also work out to be more cost-effective in most cases too - something which can be extremely important to many pet owners.

Recommended heartworm prevention

When it comes to selecting heartworm preventatives for your pet, you could be forgiven for being overwhelmed. There are lots of different products to choose from and making the right decision can be stressful. That said, there are some heartworm preventatives that are more popular than other. These include the following:


There are various types of Heartgard within the product range, but all are very popular and successful heartworm solutions. They are all supplied in the form of a chewable tablet which is administered monthly. Heartgard is primarily for dogs, but there is also a version designed for cats.

Sentinel Spectrum

Another orally administered monthly heartworm preventative, Sentinel Spectrum is also a broad-spectrum medication that can protect your pet from various types of parasitic worm including whipworms, hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms as well as fleas. The Sentinel Spectrum preventative is a tasty, beef and bacon flavored chew that all dogs enjoy.


If your pet is not good at taking tablets or can sense a pill slipped into her food before she even sees it, a topical solution may be better suited to her. Revolution is a monthly spot-on solution that is quick drying and highly effective at preventing heartworms. In addition, it also kills fleas, flea eggs, ear mites, scabies and ticks.

ProHeart 6

ProHeart 6 is the only FDA approved injectable heartworm preventative. However, it can provide 6 months of continuous protection in a single dose. As it can only be administered by trained professionals, you will need to ensure that you visit your veterinarian to obtain ProHeart 6 heartworm protection for your pet.

When are heartworm preventatives not effective?

Heartworm prevention is only effective if it is administered as directed. This doesn't just mean the method used, although getting this right is important if your pet is to receive a full dose of the medication. It also means administering your chosen preventative on time, every time. The effectiveness of a preventative has a lifespan, and if further doses are not given within the designated time frame, your pet could be left unprotected. Since it only takes a single mosquito bite to pass on a heartworm infection, being late with a preventative is a risk that is simply not worth taking.

If you still aren't sure which is the best heartworm prevention for your pet, here at Valleydale Animal Clinic we strongly recommend that you speak to your local veterinarian. With unique insight into your pet's health and medical history, they are best placed to make a recommendation on your behalf.

Want more advice on heartworm preventatives? We'd be happy to help. Please contact us to schedule an appointment for you and your furbaby at our animal clinic in Birmingham, AL today.