Best Heart & Intestinal Wormers
Seeing our dogs and cats happy and healthy is one of the simple joys of life. Investing in the right heartworm and intestinal worm treatments can help ensure that your beautiful furry family member isn’t plagued by parasites.
Sentinel Spectrum is made to protect dogs from heartworm, all major intestinal worms including hydatid tapeworm, and flea infestations. As a point of note, this medication doesn’t kill adult fleas.
- Value for Money2.5 (11)
- Side Effects None (6) and Short-term illness (5)
While Bayer Advocate for dogs and cats claims to protects pets from a wide range of parasites, extensive reports of severe side effects have left many reviewers unhappy with this product.
- Value for Money2.4 (35)
- Side Effects None (11), Short-term illness (22), Long-term illness (4), Personality change (2) and Death (3)
This topical treatment from Zoetis claims to offer protection for dogs and cats by covering a wide range of parasites to keep your pet healthy. However, it can be responsible for causing dangerous side effects, including death.
Designed to protect dogs from fleas and ticks, NexGard comes in the form of a small beef chew that provides 30 days of protection. However, this product will not suit all pets. Dangerous side effects have been reported in dogs, sometimes resulting in death.
Latest review: I just gave this to my 1-1/2 year old tomcat 5 days ago, it made all of his hair fall out where I put it on the back of his neck, and he started to act lethargic and walking funny in his back end. It
Latest review: This product isn't worth the money!! I won't ever spend $70 for this product!! I hate when they say a product works and it don't.My dog has been on this product faithfully. He has heartworms now. So
Latest review: I'm wondering if the formula has changed because my dog used to love these but now can't stand them and won't eat them. He just spits them out. I have to crush them up and hide them in his
Latest review: Warning all pet owners. This product made my cat froth at the mouth and have spasms. I genuinely thought he was about to die. I got it off in the shower and I will now be closely monitoring my
Latest review: We decided to give this product a go with our Ragdoll Cat . He is 6kg so 1 tablet was given. Within 30 minutes he started going cross eyed, lethargic then his "3rd" eyelids (the internal ones)
Latest review: I have used the pills in the past and not had any problems that i can remember. They get so crappy about the pills, I bought chewables this time. I gave my five dogs chewables before dinner tonight.
Latest review: My 12 year old male dog, desexed, in very good shape, chewed the correct dosage two days ago.. His motions were runny and bright yellow overnight. I gave him some electrolites and now his faeces
Latest review: I bought the 4 pack of Tasty Allwormer for Dogs a week ago. Not sure which of the Selected Listings it is as nothing on the packet to distinguish but assume the New Formulation as a recent
Latest review: My dog hates them and I have to hide them in pieces of meat then follow her around the house picking up the pieces as she spits them out. An entirely unfulfilling experience for all. And why are they
Latest review: I have never had any problems with this product. I have been using it for 6years and works amazing for my dog and always has. My dog copes wonderfully with them . Once i give her the chews, i give
Latest review: It looked like a wonder product. Wow was I wrong. Dog didn't like it at all. Fleas. Well I waited, and I waited. They didn't die. Shame about the
Latest review: Reading all the reviews on this has given me doubts ordering this stuff online. I ordered this through pet.co.nz. Usually their products are okay but reading these reviews gives me doubt about giving
Latest review: I bought troy wormer for.my kitten at vet it was cheap.so I bought a few bottles , ,Why bother making a kitten, puppy wormer that doesn't treat all worms...useless! no wonder it's
Latest review: Gave this paste to three of my cats. They all became very sick and vomited for days. Felt terrible for giving it to them. I would never buy this again. the problem is them won't take tablets
What is heartworm?
Heartworm refers to a parasitic worm that can infect your dog or cat. It’s transmitted via mosquito bite, if that mosquito has drunk the blood of another infected animal and then bites your pet.
Heartworm larvae hatch then live inside your dog or cat’s heart arteries. If the heartworm is left untreated, they will breed, then lay more eggs, leading to a worm infestation of several hundred worms.
A heartworm infection of this scale can cause congestive heart failure, which is potentially fatal. At this late stage, treating a dog in order to cure them from heartworm is very difficult - it’s not a promising prognosis for survival.
That’s why prevention is so important.
Heartworm tablets for dogs
Luckily, there are a variety of treatments available to prevent heartworm and ensure that your dog doesn’t have to suffer.
The medication kills off immature forms of heartworm larvae. Heartworm medication needs to be taken for the course of your dog or cat’s life for it to be effective.
Puppies can start taking heartworm medication when they reach 8 weeks of age.
Heartworm tablets for cats
While heartworm is much more common in dogs than it is in cats, cats have much smaller pulmonary heart arteries. This means they’re at higher risk of death if they do get infected and are left untreated.
With kittens, you can start giving them heartworm medication at 6-8 weeks old.
Does heartworm medicine kill intestinal worms?
This depends on the specific product. While some heartworm medicines also kill some intestinal worms, one product is highly unlikely to be adequate to protect from all parasites. You also can’t forget protection from fleas, ticks and mites.
Always check which parasites a product specifically protects your pet from.
An ‘all-wormer’ is more likely to be an all-rounder product, but it still may exclude some types of protection. Tapeworm treatment may be left off the list, as it’s treated with a different chemical to most worms, which is called praziquantel.
There are a wide host of intestinal worms that your dog or cat may be infected by.
This includes roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, tapeworms, and common flea tapeworm.
Common types of worms
- Hookworms can cause potentially fatal anemia, especially in young puppies, with treatment resorting to hospitalisation, and/or blood transfusions. These short blood suckers have hook-like teeth and feed on blood vessels in the intestine, moving to the lungs then back, spreading infection.
- Whipworms feed off blood vessels in the large intestine of dogs, causing inflammation and bloody diarrhoea in dogs.
- Roundworms are long worms that feed off partly digested food, and can stunt the growth of puppies. When eggs hatch, the larvae can move into other organs and body tissues, and potentially cause blindness.
- Tapeworms are long and flat. They live in the small intestine, feeding off nutrients there and taking away nutrients from your pet. They can cause an itchy bottom in cats and dogs, which can lead to 'scooting' - pets dragging their bottoms across the floor. It can also cause vomitting and weight loss in both dogs and cats.
How do I know if my dog has intestinal worms?
There are plenty of potential symptoms your dog can present. These include but aren’t limited to: anemia, weight loss, blood in stools, and/or diarrhoea. A swollen belly can present itself, and look like a pot belly. Some worms are excreted in faeces as well.
How do you get rid of intestinal worms in dogs and cats?
The best way is to prevent the infection in the first place, by using intestinal worm tablets. Here is an example of a vet-recommended treatment regime for best protection, for both cats and dogs.
- Up to 12 weeks old: Treatment every 2 weeks
- 3 months to 6 months old: Monthly prevention treatment
- 6 months and older: Treatment should be a minimum of once every 3 months for both dogs and cats.
- Dogs who live in the country or frequently visit rural areas: should be treated every 6-8 weeks. They should also avoid contact with animal carcasses as much as possible and avoid feeding your dog offal (raw animal organs), as this can greatly increase their risk of hosting intestinal worms.
This will depend on the particular products you opt for, so always remember to check the dosage directions carefully. If you have multiple products that require administering dosages at different frequencies, creating a schedule or typingthe dates into a Calendar app may help.
For example, many heartworm products require a monthly dosage, whereas intestinal wormers frequently work by being taken once every three months.
Often the dosage is decided per kilogram of bodyweight, for example 1 square of a chew tablet to be eaten per 10kg of bodyweight, but again, this depends on the specific product.
Types of Medications
These will usually have to be crushed up and put into your dog or cat’s food. However, if you have a wily pet they may be able to sniff out the tablet and push it aside, or spit it out at the end of their meal.
It’s important to always check that your pet has consumed the medication after you’ve tried to feed it to them.
Cats in particular may be resistant to tablets, and there are medicines that you can spray straight into their mouth (though they might not especially like that, at least they’ll be healthy!)
These are made to look like food, and often have a meaty flavour and texture to be more palatable to pets. For example, the popular , is a chewy medicine with a beef flavour, and treats heartworm, hookworm and roundworm.
Spot-on treatments are medicines that you apply topically to your cat or dog’s fur.
Just keep in mind that this treatment requires that pets don’t come into contact with water, as otherwise the medicine will likely be rubbed off and rendered ineffective.
Additionally, as your pet goes about his or her day, their fur makes contact with human hands and furniture. Toxic chemicals can rub off, which can be risky if you have young children around who unwittingly ingest the medicine.
How much do heartworm and intestinal worming products cost?
Treatment at home
Tablets or tasty chews typically cost between $130-$200 for a yearly supply, taking into account products that treat heartworm, the major intestinal worms and sometimes also fleas, ticks and mites.
If you prefer to get a yearly heartworm injection at the vet’s, this slow-release medication lasts for a year.
It can cost $60 for very small dogs, to $250 for large dog breeds per year. You may also need to pay a consultation fee, and this doesn’t include the cost of extra medication for fleas, ticks and intestinal worms.
While this works out to be more costly than treatment at home, you don’t have to worry about your pet becoming sick if you forget to give them their heartworm tablet one day.
Both heartworms and intestinal worms can cause your pet to fall ill. Infection causes a number of unpleasant symptoms for your dog or cat, and can even result in death. Preventative treatment is a simple and cost-effective solution to help safeguard against this.
There are a variety of tablets, chews and liquid treatments you can give your pet from the comfort of home. In the case of heartworm prevention, a vet can give your pet a yearly heartworm injection. Also don't forget about flea, tick and mite medicine, and any other treatments your pet may specifically need to keep them healthy.