For dog and cat lovers, heartworms can be a scary disease. It's a disease that affects a growing number of our pets every year. Some die from it. And, as a result, many heartworm preventative medicines show up on the market to help protect our pets from this serious condition.
Heartgard is one of the most popularly sold heartworm preventative medicines among pet owners. It is also one of the most highly recommended medicines among veterinarians. But. . . many pet owners complain that Heartgard is too expensive. So, they turn to cheaper medicines that better fit their budget.
Are generic brands worth ‘the risk'?
When money's tight, the availability of a generic Heartgard can be a real blessing. But let the buyer beware. There are some implications and considerations for pet owners to keep in mind pertaining to generic brands.
Because the costs of pet medications are high we tend to resort to buying generic brands that may not be as effective as the branded versions-even though the generic may be a registered version.
While some forms of generic Heartgard are FDA approved, know that there are also several illegal forms of generics being circulated. These generics are not registered in the United States and they are not FDA approved-even though their packaging may look similar to the branded versions.
Even some registered generic Heartgard knockoffs failed to write an FDA approved label, warning against human consumption, especially among children.
Also know that the metric doses used in some generic medicines can be confusing, and could lead to an overdose (or underdose) if given to pets.
Furthermore, because some generic Heartgards are unregistered and not FDA approved (and look so similar to branded versions), unknown ingredients may be toxic to your pet.
Ivermectin is the chief proven ingredient used in branded Heartgard to prevent and control heartworms in pets. Registered, FDA approved generic competitors know this and use the same principle ingredient. The difference is in the insignificant ‘filler’ ingredients used in the generic products.
The availability of generic Heartgard-at almost half the price-is extremely tempting. But it may not be worth the risk. And you may just be wasting your money. It is always sound advice to check with your veterinarian before buying any pet care product. And, again, whatever you decide: be careful.
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