Will Heartworm Medicine Kill Roundworms? Everything You Need to Know

If you’re a pet owner, you know that heartworm medicine is essential for keeping your furry friend healthy and free from disease. But did you know that some heartworm medicines can also kill roundworms? That’s right – these pesky parasites that infect your pet’s intestines can be eliminated with just one monthly dose of the right medication. So, if you’re looking for a way to protect your pet from a double whammy of disease, then heartworm medicine might just be the answer.

Roundworms are a common problem for pets, especially dogs. These parasites can be transmitted through contact with contaminated soil, feces, or even other animals. Once inside your pet’s body, they can cause a range of symptoms, from mild digestive upset to more serious issues like vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss. Unfortunately, they can also be tough to get rid of without the right medication. But, with many heartworm medicines containing ingredients that kill roundworms as well, you can take care of two problems at once.

So, whether you’re a new pet owner or simply looking for a more effective way to protect your furry friend from parasites, heartworm medicine might just be the solution for you. Not only can it prevent heartworm disease, but it can also wipe out roundworms in one fell swoop. If you want to keep your pet healthy and happy, then talk to your veterinarian about which heartworm medicine is right for you. With the right care and attention, you can give your pet the best chance at a long and healthy life.

Understanding Roundworms and Heartworms

If you are a pet owner, it is essential to understand the differences between roundworms and heartworms. Both are worms that can affect your pet, but they are very different in terms of how they infect and affect your pet’s health.

Roundworms are intestinal parasites that can infect both dogs and cats. They are normally transmitted when the pet ingests infected eggs that are present in the soil, water, or even through their mother’s milk. Roundworms can cause various health issues such as vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and a dull coat. In severe cases, they can cause blockages in the intestines, leading to death.

  • Roundworms are intestinal parasites that can infect dogs and cats.
  • They are transmitted when the pet ingests infected eggs present in the soil, water, or even through their mother’s milk.
  • Roundworms can cause vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and a dull coat.

Heartworms, on the other hand, are parasites that live in the heart and lungs of dogs and occasionally cats. They are transmitted through mosquito bites, and when left untreated, they can cause heart and lung damage, leading to heart failure and death. Unlike roundworms, heartworms cannot be transmitted through the ingestion of infected eggs.

It is important to note that roundworms and heartworms require different forms of treatment. While heartworms are typically treated with monthly medication, roundworms usually require deworming medication that targets the intestinal parasites.

RoundwormsHeartworms
Intestinal parasitesParasites that live in the heart and lungs
Transmitted through ingestion of infected eggsTransmitted through mosquito bites
Cause vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and a dull coatCan cause heart and lung damage leading to heart failure and death
Usually treated with deworming medicationTypically treated with monthly medication

In conclusion, understanding the difference between roundworms and heartworms is critical for any pet owner to ensure that their furry friends are healthy and happy. Always consult with your veterinarian about the best prevention and treatment options for your pet.

Types of Heartworm Medication Available


Heartworm disease is a serious health concern for dogs, and heartworm medication is crucial to keep them protected. There are different types of heartworm medication available, and each one may have different active ingredients that target specific parasites. In this article, we’ll discuss the different types of heartworm medication available and how they work.

  • Preventive drugs – Preventive drugs such as Heartgard, NexGard, and Trifexis are administered monthly and work to prevent heartworm infections. These drugs contain active ingredients that target heartworm larvae and prevent them from developing into adult heartworms. While some of these preventive drugs may kill roundworms, it is not their primary function, and they may not be effective against all types of roundworms.
  • Treatment drugs – There are also medications available that can treat heartworm infections once they have occurred. The most common treatment for heartworm disease is Immiticide, which contains an arsenic compound that is effective at killing adult heartworms. However, it is not effective against heartworm larvae or other parasites such as roundworms.
  • Combination drugs – Some heartworm medications combine preventive and treatment drugs, such as Revolution and Sentinel. These drugs not only prevent heartworm infections but also treat other parasites such as fleas, ticks, and some types of roundworms. They are a convenient option for pet owners who want a comprehensive solution to their dog’s parasite problems.

It is essential to consult with a veterinarian to determine the best heartworm medication for your dog. They can evaluate your dog’s health status, lifestyle, and other factors to prescribe the most appropriate medication for your pet’s needs. In addition, it is important to follow the dosage instructions carefully to ensure your dog’s safety and effectiveness of the medication.

Side Effects of Heartworm Medication

Heartworm medications have proven to be an effective method for preventing heartworm infection. However, like any other medication, these drugs may come with undesirable side effects. Here are the top side effects of heartworm medication:

  • Diarrhea: One of the most common side effects of heartworm medication is diarrhea. This occurs as a result of the drugs disrupting the balance of useful bacteria in your dog’s intestines. In mild conditions, this side effect will wear off on its own, but severe cases may require veterinary attention.
  • Vomiting: Similar to diarrhea, heartworm medication can cause your dog to vomit, leading to dehydration and a loss of appetite. In case of excessive vomiting, it is recommended that the pet owner seek veterinary help immediately.
  • Lethargy: Some dogs may experience lethargy or low energy after receiving heartworm medication. This side effect tends to dissipate after a day or two. If it persists, report to a veterinarian.

Will Heartworm Medicine Kill Roundworms?

Heartworm medication influences heartworms, not roundworms. While some heartworm medication may be efficient against roundworms, there is no assurance that it will kill the roundworms in your dog’s system. Therefore, you will need to resort to using roundworm medication to address this issue with a different medicine altogether.

Frequency of Heartworm Medication Administration

Heartworm medication should be administered once every month to prevent the growth and development of heartworms in the circulatory system. However, you may want to adjust the medication administration schedule depending on factors such as the dog’s age, weight, and breed. Additionally, it is important to seek a veterinarian’s advice before altering your dog’s heartworm medication schedule.

Below is a table summarizing the FDA-approved heartworm medication for dogs and the brand name:

Active IngredientBrand Name
ivermectin and pyrantel pamoateHeartgard Plus
selamectinRevolution
moxidectinInterceptor

Preventing Heartworm and Roundworm Infections

Preventing heartworm and roundworm infections in pets is vital to ensure their good health and well-being. It is necessary to take preventative measures such as administering regular medications, maintaining cleanliness and hygiene, and avoiding contact with infected animals.

  • Regular Medications: Administering preventive medications such as heartworm medicine and dewormers can help protect pets from heartworm and roundworm infections. These medications work by killing the larvae or preventing their growth, thereby preventing their development into mature worms.
  • Cleanliness and Hygiene: Maintaining cleanliness and hygiene in the pet’s environment can help prevent the spread of heartworm and roundworm infections. Regular cleaning of pet’s bedding, toys, and litter boxes can help remove any eggs or larvae present in the environment.
  • Avoiding Contact with Infected Animals: Avoiding contact with infected animals such as stray dogs and cats, wild animals, and birds can help reduce the risk of heartworm and roundworm infections. It is essential to keep pets on a leash when taking them out for walks or visits to the park to avoid contact with infected animals.

Despite taking the necessary preventive measures, pets may still be susceptible to heartworm and roundworm infections. It is recommended to have pets tested regularly for heartworm and roundworm infections as early detection can lead to better treatment outcomes.

Heartworm Medicine and Roundworms

Heartworm medicine such as Ivermectin and Milbemycin, when used as prescribed, can also help prevent roundworm infections. These medications have a broad-spectrum effect, which means that they are effective against a range of parasitic infections, including heartworms and intestinal parasites such as roundworms.

However, it is important to note that heartworm medicine may not be effective against all types of roundworms. Some species of roundworms may require a specific type of dewormer or medication to ensure effective treatment.

DewormerRoundworms
Pyrantel PamoateToxocara canis and Toxascaris leonina
FenbendazoleHookworms, whipworms, and roundworms
PraziquantelTapeworms

Consulting with a veterinarian can help determine the most effective treatment plan for your pet’s specific needs and ensure their good health and well-being.

Treatment for Roundworm Infections

Roundworm infections are common in both dogs and cats, and can range from mild to severe. The most common symptoms of roundworm infections include vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and a distended abdomen. Left untreated, roundworm infections can be fatal.

Methods of Treatment

  • Deworming Medication: Deworming medication is typically prescribed by a veterinarian to treat roundworm infections. These medications come in different forms, including tablets, liquids, and injections. Deworming medication works by killing the roundworms in the intestinal tract of the animal.
  • Natural Remedies: Certain herbs and natural remedies may also be effective in treating roundworm infections. Some examples include garlic, pumpkin seeds, and black walnut extract. However, it is important to consult a veterinarian before using any natural remedies, as they may not be safe or effective for all animals.
  • Preventative Measures: Prevention is key when it comes to roundworm infections. Keeping your pet on a regular deworming schedule can help prevent infections from occurring in the first place. Additionally, practicing good hygiene, such as washing your hands after handling your pet and disposing of their feces promptly, can also help prevent the spread of roundworm infections.

Precautions

While deworming medication can be effective in treating roundworm infections, it is important to take precautions when administering these medications to your pet. Some deworming medications may have side effects, such as vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. Additionally, some medications may not be safe for all animals, such as pregnant or nursing animals. Always consult with your veterinarian before administering any medication to your pet.

The Connection Between Heartworm Medicine and Roundworms

While heartworm medications are primarily used to prevent heartworm infections, some types of heartworm medication may also be effective in treating roundworm infections. This is because certain types of heartworm medication contain the same active ingredients as deworming medication. However, it is important to note that not all heartworm medications are effective in treating roundworm infections, and it is always best to consult with your veterinarian before using any medication to treat a roundworm infection.

Common Heartworm MedicationsActive IngredientsEffectiveness Against Roundworms
HeartgardIvermectinEffective
SentinelMilbemycin OximeEffective
TrifexisSpinosad/Milbemycin OximeEffective
RevolutionSelamectinNot Effective

It is important to note that heartworm medications are not a substitute for regular deworming and should not be relied upon as the sole means of preventing or treating roundworm infections.

Risks of Untreated Heartworm and Roundworm Infections

Heartworm and roundworm infections are common and potentially life-threatening parasitic infections in dogs and cats. Left untreated, these infections can lead to severe health problems and even death in pets. It is crucial for pet owners to be aware of the risks of untreated heartworm and roundworm infections and take necessary measures to protect their furry friends.

  • Heartworm infection: Heartworms are transmitted through mosquito bites and can live in the lungs, heart, and blood vessels of dogs and cats. If left untreated, heartworms can cause severe lung disease, heart failure, and even death. Symptoms of heartworm infection include coughing, fatigue, weight loss, and difficulty breathing. In advanced cases, dogs may exhibit a swollen belly and abnormal breathing sounds.
  • Roundworm infection: Roundworms are common intestinal parasites that can be transmitted through contact with infected fecal matter or contaminated soil. They can cause vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and a potbellied appearance in dogs and cats. In severe cases, roundworms can cause blockages in the intestines, leading to life-threatening complications such as bowel perforation and peritonitis.
  • Transmission to humans: Both heartworm and roundworm infections can be transmitted to humans through contact with infected animals or their feces. Children are particularly vulnerable to these infections, which can cause blindness, seizures, and other serious health problems.

If your pet exhibits any symptoms of heartworm or roundworm infection, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately. Treatment options include oral or injectable medications that kill the parasites and prevent further infection. Additionally, preventive measures such as regular use of heartworm and flea preventives, picking up after your pet, and practicing good hygiene can help reduce the risk of infection.

Heartworm infectionRoundworm infection
Can cause severe lung disease, heart failure, and even death if left untreatedCan cause vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and a potbellied appearance
Transmitted through mosquito bitesTransmitted through contact with infected fecal matter or contaminated soil
Symptoms include coughing, fatigue, weight loss, and difficulty breathingCan cause blockages in the intestines, leading to life-threatening complications such as bowel perforation and peritonitis

By being proactive in protecting your pet from heartworm and roundworm infections, you can help ensure their health and happiness for years to come.

Importance of Regular Pet Checkups for Heartworm and Roundworm Detection

As a pet owner, it is essential to understand the importance of regular pet checkups for heartworm and roundworm detection. Heartworms and roundworms are common parasites that can infect pets and cause significant health problems if left untreated. Regular checkups with a veterinarian can help identify these parasites early and prevent serious health complications.

  • Early Detection: Regular checkups allow veterinarians to detect heartworms and roundworms in their early stages. This helps prevent the parasites from causing significant health problems and can save both pet and owner from complicated treatment procedures.
  • Prevention is Better than Cure: Prevention is always better than cure. Regular medication doses for heartworms and roundworms can help prevent them from infecting your pets. A veterinarian can recommend the best medication plan suitable for your pets, depending on their breed and environment.
  • Effective Treatment: If heartworm or roundworm infection is detected during the checkup examination, the veterinarian can recommend the best treatment suitable for your pet. Timely detection and effective treatment can prevent further complications and even possible death.

Signs of Heartworm and Roundworm Infection

If you notice changes in your pet’s behavior, it is essential to consult a veterinarian for a checkup. Some common signs of heartworm and roundworm infection include:

  • Lethargy and weakness
  • Coughing and shortness of breath
  • Vomiting and Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss

Common Heartworm and Roundworm Medications

There are several medications for heartworms and roundworms that veterinarians can recommend. Some commonly used medication includes:

  • Ivermectin
  • Moxidectin
  • Pyrantel Pamoate
Medication TypeHow it Works
IvermectinInhibits nerve impulses in the parasite, thus killing it.
MoxidectinImpairs the parasite’s nerve and muscle function.
Pyrantel PamoateParalyzes the parasite’s nervous system and suspends its life cycle, making it easier for the body to remove the parasite.

Regular visits to the vet are essential for maintaining your pet’s health and preventing major health risks. By detecting heartworm and roundworm infections early, your pet can receive timely and effective treatment, which will prevent further complications and ensure their overall well-being.

FAQs: Will Heartworm Medicine Kill Roundworms?

1. Can heartworm medicine prevent roundworm infections?
Heartworm medicine is designed to prevent heartworm disease, but some medications may also be effective against roundworms.

2. Is heartworm medicine safe for dogs with roundworm infections?
It is generally safe to administer heartworm medicine to dogs with roundworm infections. However, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian to determine the best treatment plan.

3. Can heartworm medicine cure roundworm infections?
Heartworm medicine is not a cure for roundworm infections. It may only help prevent future infestations.

4. Does every type of heartworm medicine kill roundworms?
No, not every heartworm medication is effective against roundworms. Consult with your veterinarian to determine which medication is best for your pet.

5. How often should I give my pet heartworm medicine to prevent roundworms?
The frequency of heartworm medication administration varies depending on the brand and type of medication. Follow the dosing instructions provided by your veterinarian.

6. What are the signs of roundworm infection in dogs?
Signs of roundworm infection in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and a pot-bellied appearance.

7. Can humans get roundworm infections from dogs?
Yes, it is possible for humans to contract roundworm infections from dogs. This typically occurs through contact with contaminated feces.

Closing Thoughts: Thanks for Reading!

We hope these FAQs have helped answer your questions about heartworm medicine and roundworms. Remember to always consult with your veterinarian about the best treatment plan for your pet. Thank you for reading and be sure to visit again for more informative articles and updates.