Generic heartworm medicine sells in much smaller quantities than the branded versions. It seems a lot of us are still unsure about opting for generic pets medications. But why shouldn't we buy generic heartworm meds?
There really is no reason to choose branded products only. I have to admit it's a good job someone buys the branded versions. After all, those brands such as Heartgard are made by huge pets medicine companies like Merial. These are the entities that are able to fund more research and development of new drugs and new medicines. Without your support they wouldn't bring out newer safer treatments. So, if money is of no concern please continue paying that extra amount to have a prettily packaged heartworm medication.
But, if cash-flow is not quite so forthcoming why not opt for generic heartworm meds instead? Many of us don't because we are so used to marketing and branding that we feel the branded product is somehow 'better', 'safer', or 'more reliable'. In actual fact all the heartworm medicines are governed by the same rules and regulations regarding safety and effectiveness. So choosing a generic product in no way changes the health of your dog.
Generics look different. They sometimes have to. Merial can patent the look of their heartworm pills. So for example a non-branded version of Heartgard Plus comes only in tablet form, not the fancy 'chewable' treat version that Merial sell. But, most importantly the active ingredients of that heartworm pill are exactly the same as in the chewables.
If you're not convinced just take a look at the ingredients list. All pet medicines must state the volume of the active ingredients they contain. So if your vet has recommended a particular brand compare the ingredients to the generic - they will be exactly the same.
So choosing generic heartworm meds makes no difference to the health of your dog. But, it will help the health of your budget. Nuheart, a generic version of Heartgard heartworm pills are half the price of the brand. That pays for an awful lot of extra dog treats!
No doubt, you have at some point used a store's own ibuprofen tablet. They get rid of headaches just as well as branded Nurofen, don't they? This is the same kind of thing. Generics don't have such a famous name, but to be honest, does it matter, when the active ingredient; ivermectin, contained in both is exactly the same?
Some pet owners are put off by the 100% guarantee which brands may offer. Generics don't use such complicated advertising. But, that doesn't mean their products are any less effective. Read the small print and you'll see that the branded products only guarantee your dog will not get heartworm, if your vet will vouch for you buying the heartworm pills from them, and that you definitely used them correctly. That is quite a lot of 'ifs' and to be fair on the vet, how would they know whether you used the medicine correctly or not? It is not the name 'Heartgard' that kills heartworm larvae, it is the ingredient ivermectin. So long as you use the heartworm pills correctly your dog will not get heartworm whether or not you pay double the price for the privilege of using the brand.
So why don't use use generic heartworm medicine?