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Old 06-13-2009, 12:32 PM
 
35 posts, read 270,191 times
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I keep my dog on heartworm preventative all year, but the vet still wants to do a blood test each year. My dog is a little older, is sensitive, and does not like having blood drawn. He will urinate or defecate in fear, and he cries. He is a BIG wimp

Is it really necessary to get a heartworm test every year when the dog is on preventative year-round, or is the vet just trying to make a few more dollars? By all means, if he needs it, I will keep having him tested yearly. But I don't like my baby to be in pain, so if there is no reason to test yearly, I will likely refuse the test this year. Any input?
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Old 06-13-2009, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Manhattan, Ks
1,280 posts, read 6,145,562 times
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Some vets test yearly, some do it every 2 years but most insist on a regular heartworm test even if you give the preventative like clockwork. Even if you are perfect with giving the HWP, it doesn't mean your dog is perfect at taking it. Dogs have been known to spit the preventative out or vomit outside where the owner never sees. The preventative is good, but not 100% failsafe, and heartworm disease is not something you want to go on and on before you treat it. I had a coworker whose dog contracted heartworms despite gettting the preventative regularly. She was able to prove that she gave the preventative and the company payed for her dog's treatment.

It is, of course, your perogative to decline the test if you wish. But what your vet is doing is standard practice, and there is a medical reason behind it.
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Old 06-13-2009, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Georgia
399 posts, read 1,967,230 times
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For insistant owners, incredibly fractious dogs, etc. as long as they were on HEARTGARD, we would let them test every 3 years, of course we would prefer an annual test. Our philosophy was we would rather the dog STAY on Heartgard and be healthy rather than the owner not buy the product to protect the dog. It is important to keep testing. The ivermectin products like Heartgard are safe to give even if the dog is positive for heartworms, that's why the vets would relent about the testing in some instances. Other heartworm preventatives like Interceptor and Revolution can be very dangerous to give to a dog with a high heartworm load. So if you aren't testing annually they felt the safest product was Heartgard.
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Old 06-13-2009, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
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Agreed. It's standard procedure, and is usually done at the same time as yearly vaccinations.
Once a dog gets heartworms, they can be life-threatening and/or difficult or impossible to get rid of (depending on the amount of infestation.)
My vet is very no-frills and tries not to go beyond what is necessary, and she has and still does a heartworm test yearly for my pooch.
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Old 06-13-2009, 02:00 PM
 
35 posts, read 270,191 times
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Ok, thanks for the unbiased opinions. I will go ahead and let them test every year. I would rather subject my dog to a little discomfort for the extra piece of mind. I'll just have to make sure I give my big guy a Frosty Paws when we get home, to make up for the blood draw!
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Old 06-13-2009, 03:54 PM
 
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ITs nice to also run a blood panel on the older dogs to look at things like kidney and liver function....
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Old 06-13-2009, 04:23 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
4,033 posts, read 8,591,485 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grannynancy View Post
ITs nice to also run a blood panel on the older dogs to look at things like kidney and liver function....
Oh, Granny, good call!
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Old 06-13-2009, 04:38 PM
 
24,843 posts, read 32,379,951 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grannynancy View Post
ITs nice to also run a blood panel on the older dogs to look at things like kidney and liver function....
You are soooooo right!!!!!
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Old 06-13-2009, 05:34 PM
 
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And remember, NO medication to prevent heartworm is 100% effective. Pretty close, but not 100%!

And those geriatric blood tests ARE important!
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Old 08-22-2011, 01:07 PM
 
3 posts, read 8,528 times
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i took my dog to my vet which also does boarding 3yrs ago my dog had to board for 12 days and due for shots, i mentioned was i concerned he was coughing and concerned might be heart worms ,he was supposed to run test during his stay charged for worm test;; and was told no he had whip worms ,never heard of that nor authorize the test gave me the rest medicine to give to him,and also bordatella shot.
he said could be kennel cough however first time ever stayed in kennel except 6 mnts ago i had baby he stayed 21 days complications with preg. ok now. anyhow MY 6 YEAR OLD BEAGLE ME AND MY 6 YR OLDs LOVE. DIED YESTERDAY HE WAS BREATHING FAST HEART RACING I THOUGHT HE WAS POISONED FINE DAY BEFORE ON SUNDAY EMERGENCY CLINIC I TOOK HIM TO ASK ME IF HE AROUND POISON ANYWAYS CHARGED ME 1696.00 LOW END $479.00 WAS FOR HOUR OXYGEN ANY WAY TOLD ME PICK HIM UP 730 IN MORNING THEY CLOSE at 8am ?? BY THE TIME I MADE HOME HE CALLED SAID SHILOH DIED WENT INTO CARDIAC ARRESTit was HEART WORMS SEVERE. HE WAS 6 YR OLD SUPPOSED TO UP TO DATE ON ALL SHOTS RUNNING AROUND PLAYING WITH MY BOY DAY BEFORE-- SO WAS TOLD did test ,, VET DID WHIP WORM TEST WHICH COST ALOT and SAID IT WAS KENNEL COUGH WHEN IT WAS HEARTWORMS NOW MY DOG IS DEAD
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