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Interceptor vs Heartgard - Expert's Comments
Heartgard Plus and Interceptor do not prevent fleas and ticks. If you need flea and tick prevention, you'll need another medication. They do work to kill and prevent heartworm and other parasitic worms.
Interceptor Spectrum comes in four dosages. The brown package is correct for dogs weighing up to 10 pounds. The green package is for dogs weighing 11 to 25 pounds. The yellow package is for dogs weighing 26 to 50 pounds. Finally, the weight package is for dogs over 50 pounds.
Heartgard offers complete protection from heartworm, hookworm and roundworms. They do not offer protection against whipworm however. Interceptor does offer protection from whipworm, but only partial protection from hookworm. There is some evidence that Interceptor also treats demodectic mange infections. Neither medication protects against tapeworm.
Heartgard Plus comes in three dosages. The tablets in the blue package are meant for dogs up to 25 pounds. Dogs weighing 25 to 50 pounds need the green package. Finally, dogs 51 to 100 pounds need the brown package. If your dog weighs more than 100 pounds, you'll need to combine packages to get the right dosage. For example, if your dog weighed 115 pounds, you'd need to give him a tablet from the blue package and the brown package.
For more information, visit our product sites Interceptor Spectrum and Heartgard Plus.
Popular Brands Flea Control & Other Parasite Treatment Quick Guide
Interceptor vs Heartgard - Customers' Feedback
I have been giving Interceptor (mylbemycin) for heartworm preventative, but was recently given some Heartgard (ivermectin) by a veterinarian friend. Is there any advantage of one over the other? More problems with one vs the other?
Heartgard - came out first in the market so has a competitive edge, kind of like when you think toothpaste, you think Colgate. It does have side effects when overdosed. It comes in the conventional tablets or the chewable kind - problem with big dogs is that they often swallow the thing whole - no chewing - no good because the tablets need to be chewed to release the drug - so if you have one of these then you will have to break the chewable tablets up and feed it bit by bit or mix it in with the food. Collie breeders steer clear of the stuff because for some reason Collies tend to get reactions to it (ditto for Sheltie breeders).
Interceptor - came in the market much later. Milbemycine is a different class of drug and the advantage is that on top of heartworm, it also controls hookworm, roundworm and whipworm - which is why when it came out into the market, Heartgard released Heartgard Plus (to tackle the gut worm issue too). Has side effects too if given at too high a dose. The drug is also used to treat demodex mites if a dog has demodecosis. There is no mention as to what happens if the tablet is swallowed whole - so I'd say do the same with the Heartgard tablets and break it up.
I've used HeartGard for many years, FWIW. I didn't know that they needed to be chewed to be effective though! Yikes. Is that true? I have not had a dog test positive for HW ever, and no adverse effects I've ever noticed.
I use Interceptor - recommended by both my breeder and vet.
It seems the main difference is that Interceptor also covers whipworm & roundworm etc, while Heartgard only covers heartworm.
Heartgard Plus works on heartworms, roundworms, and hookworms. Interceptor works on heartworms, roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms.
We use Interceptor on all three dogs, because I like the product better and Aussies and other collie-type breeds can have reactions to the active ingredient in Heartguard (Ivermectin). I also deworm once a quarter with Safeguard, which is another broad spectrum dewormer.
I use interceptor on my aussie for the reason stated above and a generic form of Heartguard for my husky. I used to use Sentinal though. Imo they all work fine and I've never had a problem.
I prefer Interceptor. It gets heartworms and most of the intestinal worms (not tapeworms) with one pesticide. The chemical is out of the dog's system within 48 hours.
Heartgard gets heartworms, but not intestinal worms. Some think that the dosage (reduced so herding dogs can take it) is now too low to be dependably effective. Heartgard Plus does get intestinal worms (not tapeworms), but has second pesticide to do that.
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Interceptor Spectrum Chewables