Generally, it takes about one day for a dog to digest Heartgard. However, the digestive process can take anywhere from 12 to 24 hours. It all depends on when the Heartgard tablet passes through the dog’s system and how long it takes to break down in the body.
Heartgard is sold in chewable tablets that are given once a month as part of a preventative treatment against heartworms. It should be administered with food or right after your dog has eaten. The medication is absorbed into your pet’s bloodstream, where it targets and destroys any heartworm larvae in early stages of development before they reach maturity and damage your pet’s blood vessels and lungs.
Heartgard is a medication used to prevent heartworm disease in dogs.
Heartworm disease is a very common condition in dogs. Also called heartworm disease (HD), it’s caused by the parasite Dirofilaria immitis, also known as the dog heartworm. Over 1.4 million dogs fall ill with HD each year in the United States alone, and it kills one to three thousand of those infected annually. Heartworm infection can be prevented by monthly administration of a medication called heartgard, which is given orally to dogs every month at the youngest age possible for safe use.
Since we’re talking about a medication here, I feel like I should explain what the medication actually does before I go further into its uses and potential side effects. The active ingredient in heartgard is milbemycin oxime (also known as mebendazole). Mebendazole has been shown to have an antimalarial effect on humans, many species of fish and birds, and parasitic worms such as those that cause human tropical diseases such as malaria and river blindness. This antimalarial activity has led to some speculation that it may have an effect on parasites that affect humans too—but this speculation remains unproven and controversial among academic researchers.
Heartgard, like many medications, can be dangerous if not administered properly.
As with any medication, Heartgard carries some risks and side effects. These include:
- loss of appetite
- diarrhea or constipation
- lethargy or hyperactivity (especially in cats)
If you believe your dog may be suffering from a side effect related to Heartgard, discontinue use and consult a veterinarian as soon as possible.
If you suspect that your pet has ingested more than the recommended dose of heartgard, contact your veterinarian immediately.
If you have taken the time to research a product before giving it to your dog, it means that you care about your pet. Unfortunately, sometimes mistakes are made, and you may give your dog too much heartgard. If you notice that this has happened, contact your veterinarian immediately and ask for advice. Do not give your dog more than one dose of heartgard per month and do not double up on doses if you miss a month. It is also important not to use heartgard chews if your pup has an existing heart condition or is allergic to them.
Don’t worry if your dog doesn’t finish his heartgard right away as it takes about a day to digest.
Don’t worry if your dog doesn’t finish his Heartgard right away, it takes about a day to digest. Heartgard is an oral medication that is used to prevent heartworm disease in dogs. However, this medication can be very dangerous if not administered properly. If you suspect that your pet has ingested more than the recommended dose of Heartgard or if you have any other questions, contact your veterinarian immediately!