Does Bravecto Kill Heartworms?

By | March 4, 2019
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a-dog-with-a-pack-of-bravecto-beside-himDoes Bravecto kill heartworms – this is a frequent question asked by many pet owners. They often get bewildered by the coverage of miscellaneous products claiming flea and tick prevention and treatment in the market. We all know Bravecto is a flavored chew used for flea and tick treatment and prevention in dogs; however, its use for heartworm prevention is unknown. So, here is a brief summary of what Bravecto actually does.

Bravecto For Dogs

Bravecto is a highly effective treatment that kills fleas and ticks along with their all life stages. One chew destroys and eliminates 100% flea population for the entire 3 months. It also kills paralysis causing ticks within 48 hours and prevents their recurrence for the next 4 months.  Since it is a powerful formula, Bravecto is suggested to use only in dogs over 8 weeks of age that weigh greater than 2kgs.


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How Bravecto works?

Bravecto contains fluralaner as an active ingredient which has insecticidal properties. Fluralaner works as a GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) receptor antagonist that binds to the chloride channels in the muscles and nerves connected to them. This hampers the transmission of neurological signals, in turn, paralyzing the critter. Paralysis eventually leads to the death of the affected parasite.

Coming to the question – Does Bravecto kills heartworms?

The answer is NO because Fluralaner is an ectoparasiticide which means it only kills parasites that live outside the body i.e on the skin or fur of the animal, like fleas and ticks. Fluralaner cannot hinder the activity of chloride channels or GABA receptors in the heartworms and thus doesn’t affect the parasite at all.

However, if you are looking for a perfect solution for heartworms, Nexgard Spectra is one of the best heartworm preventatives dominating the market currently. Though it is more renowned for its efficacy on fleas and tick destruction, the treatment also successfully prevents heartworms in pets.

What is Nexgard Spectra?

Nexgard Spectra is a combination of afoxolaner and milbemycin oxime that works synergistically to treat and prevent the infestations of fleas, ticks, heartworms, and intestinal worms. The product swiftly kills adult fleas before they lay eggs and is known to control flea allergy dermatitis as well.  Since it is a multi-spectrum treatment, the product also kills a variety of tick species, gastrointestinal worms (roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms), mites and juvenile forms of Dirofilaria immitis (Heartworms) called microfilariae.

Nexgard Spectra is supposedly the most complete protection for all kinds of external as well as internal parasites and its effect is stronger as well as long-lasting. The comprehensive action of Negard Spectra has been accredited to its ingredients afoxolaner and milbemycin oxime.


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How Nexgard Spectra Kills Heartworms?

Milbemycin oxime in Nexgard Spectra is a powerful endectocide that kills most of the intestinal worms and other internal worms, including lungworms and the immature stages of heartworms. The chemical kills microfilaria circulating in the blood of the pet within 24 hours of administration, thereby preventing further maturation of heartworms. Afoxolaner, on the other hand, acts as an insecticide that kills fleas and ticks by blocking the neurotransmitter which in consequence leads to paralysis.

What are Heartworms?

Heartworms also knew as Dirofilaria immitis are endoparasites that are transmitted in pets by mosquitoes. They mature into larvae inside the mosquito’s body and when this mosquito bites a dog or a cat, the heartworm larvae (microfilaria) are transmitted to the animal. This microfilaria then circulates in the animal’s bloodstream, derive nutrition from the blood and mature into adult heartworms. This complete transformation from larvae to adult heartworms takes almost 7 months. At times, these worms lodge themselves in the blood vessels of lungs and heart, blocking the blood passage which causes breathing issues and even heart attack in severe conditions. Adult heartworms are usually 12 inches long and can survive in the body for 5-7 years without showing any symptoms which is why it is necessary for pet owners to get their pets tested for heartworms annually.

Heartworm disease doesn’t have a cure. Once a pet is infected with heartworms that have already reached the maturity stage, it is extremely difficult to save the infected dog or cat. Therefore, prevention is the only way to save your pet from grave consequences in the future. So, make sure you administer a good heartworm preventative like Nexgard Spectra to protect your pet from this fatal disease. Also, continue the preventative year round to avoid any re-infestation.

Prevention Of Heartworm Disease

  • Get your dog checked by the vet every month and get him tested for heartworms at least once. Sometimes multiple tests may be required to confirm the presence of microfilaria in the blood because these larvae keep moving and may escape the sample derived for the test.
  • Use mosquito repellents to prevent the transmission of infection as a mosquito is the sole vector of heartworm larvae.
  • Feed a well-balanced diet to increase the immunity and strength of your pet.
  • A healthy and clean pet is also less attractive to mosquitoes and other parasites like fleas and ticks, therefore, make sure you keep your pet well-groomed and well-fed.

Nexgard Spectra vs Bravecto

  Nexgard Spectra Bravecto
Kills Fleas Yes Yes
Kills Ticks Yes Yes
Kills juvenile stages of fleas and ticks Yes No
Type Of Product Oral, Beef Flavoured Chewable Oral, Palatable flavor, Chewable
Kills Intestinal Worms Yes, roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms No
Prevents Heartworms Yes No
Min Age and weight For Administration >8 weeks of age and >4.4 lbs >8weeks of age and >4.4 lbs
Administration Monthly Every 3 months

 You may be interested in reading more about Heartworms. So, here are 4 Questions & Answers That Will Help You Learn About Heartworms in Dogs.


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