When should my pet start on heartworm medication?

Photo by Alec Favale on Unsplash

As part of our series on heartworm, we’ve highlighted the dangers of not putting your pet on heartworm prevention. Some of you must be wondering when you can get your fur-child protected against this nasty disease.

What if my pet is a kitten or a cat?

Your kitten or cat can start on Broadline or Revolution from 8 weeks of age! You can start on either of these products without doing a heartworm test beforehand. In order to be protective, these products have to be applied once a month for life. Do not skip any doses!

My puppy is younger than 6 months old. When can I start him/her on heartworm prevention?

Your puppy can start on Nexgard Spectra and Heartgard from 8 weeks of age. If your puppy is younger than 6 months old, you can start on either of these products without doing a heartworm test. There are a few different brands of heartworm preventatives in Singapore.

At ZumVet, we recommend Nexgard Spectra as a heartworm preventative. It protects against heartworm, fleas, ticks and most intestinal worms too.
Nexgard Spectra and Heartgard should be given once a month for life.

My puppy/dog is older than 6 months old. When can I start my pet on heartworm prevention?

If your puppy/dog is older than 6 months and has never been on heartworm prevention before, you will have to bring him/her to a veterinarian for a heartworm test. This is because it takes 6 months for heartworms to mature. If a dog has mature heartworms, it is dangerous to put that dog on heartworm preventatives.

If your dog has had heartworm prevention before, it may be still unsafe to restart your dog on heartworm prevention straight away (especially if your dog has skipped doses in the past).

You will have to consult a veterinary clinic for advice like Zumvet. If you decide to purchase heartworm prevention from us, you will have to answer a series of questions and the vets at ZumVet will decide whether it is safe to dispense heartworm prevention for your pet.

My vet has told me about an injection called ProHeart 12. What is this injection about?

Proheart-12 is only for dogs. It protects against heartworm only. It lasts for 12 months and can be given yearly along with your pet’s annual vaccine. You can choose to switch your dog’s heartworm prevention to Proheart-12 when s/he is at least 1 year old. Until then, your dog should be on monthly heartworm prevention (such as Nexgard Spectra).

My dog is up-to-date on his/her heartworm prevention. Do I still have to do any heartworm testing?

Even if your dog is up-to-date on heartworm prevention, it is always best to do an annual blood test (4dx) to check for heartworms. This is a recommendation by the American Heartworm Society, to check if any resistance is developing to the currently available heartworm preventatives.

I see online stores selling heartworm prevention such as Nexgard Spectra, and I don’t have to answer any questions, provide a prescription, or sign a waiver before I buy from these stores. Why can’t I buy from them?

It is dangerous to buy heartworm prevention without checking if your dog may have adult heartworms. If heartworm prevention is given to a dog that has adult heartworms, there could be fatal implications.

It is much safer if you purchase heartworm preventatives from a licensed veterinary provider (ZumVet, or your local veterinary clinic). If you would like to purchase from us, you can do so here.