regardless of where you live, it is always a good idea to have your dog tested for heartworms. All it takes is one mosquito bite from a carrier mosquito to infect a dog. Even in places where heartworm isn't all that common, why risk it? The treatment is very hard on a dog's system and is not cheap.
What state do you live in? IMHO it's smart to put your dog on heartworm medication as well, regardless of where you live in the states. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In addition, most heartworm meds like Interceptor for example, don't just prevent heartworms. They also prevent and/or treat hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms. These worms are very very nasty, and are best prevented.
I live in the deserts of Arizona where heartworm was hardly ever seen because it was so dry.
Now that the population has grown and there is more pools, man made lakes, and irrigation, heartworm is becoming more common. So, if my dogs never had another vaccine or preventative, I would make sure they would have their heartworm protection.
To rid an infected dog, they will literally have to be poisoned. It's six one way, half a dozen the other that the dog will die, from the heartworm or the treatment. Only a physically healthy dog with a good immune system will survive.
i heard somewhere the medsa re actually god for about 45 days, but we are told to give it monthly. true? i am guessing if it is true its because its easier to remember every month on the same day rather than counting 45 days every time?
I highly recommed taking the small investment! Warning-there is a shot that is called Proheart 6 that the manufacturer is still selling (I believe) that the initial risks were not made to sound as prominent as they were. We vaccinated our dogs with it and now have a cairn that has seizures that never had them before. This is one of the symptoms that was reported in dogs that have had the vaccination and now we believe that is the cause of her seizures. We use Iverheart and it works great. If you have any trouble with your puppy taking it-just hide it in a small piece of cheese or in some peanut butter.
Heartworm preventative is one of the most important things you can do for your dog. Even indoor dogs need heartworm preventative. All it takes is one mesquito to infect your dog. The treatments for heartworms if they get them can be hard on the dog. I've seen some even have severe reactions to the treatment. We were always able to save them, but I've heard of some cases where the dogs even die due to the treatment.
Preventative is the best way to go. With most preventatives there is a window where they are still protected. So if you are off by a week or two in giving it, then you shouldn't have to worry about your dog not being protected. However, it's easier to remember if you give it once a month. Remember all it takes is one mesquito and the disease can kill your dog.
Proheart was taken off the market recently. I'm sorry that there were problems with it because the idea of a preventative you only have to give every 6 months was great. Hopefully they'll keep doing research and come out with another preventative like it that won't cause the problems.
Heartworm testing is very important too. We always recommend testing once a year. One reason being is that many are not consistant in giving the preventative, but to me the biggest reason to check is that in most clinics the test they use also checks for erlichia and lyme disease. These two diseases are transmitted by ticks. We have quite a few ticks in our area and actually saw more cases of erlichia than heartworm disease. Erlichia can cause hemorraging and even death if not caught early, but if caught early it can be treated with antibiotics. And there are no preventatives for these diseases except treating for ticks.
thomp- if your puppy is 5 months old then you don't have to test him before putting him on preventative. Heartworm disease won't show positive on a test until they've been infested for 6 months. This is because when your dog is infected they are only infected with the microfilaria (baby heartworms). The test actually tests for the adult heartworms. Heartworm preventatives like Heartgard kill the microfilaria thus keeping your dog from becoming ill. Some preventatives should not be given if your dog is infected with adult heartworms. However, because of the life cycle of the heartworm it is still safe to give your 5 month old puppy any of the heartworm preventatives, as it has not been long enough for him to become infested with the adult worms. At our clinic we would recommend putting him on a preventative and then doing his first heartworm test at his first yearly exam. Anyway, good luck! Hope this doesn't confuse you!
Interceptor was the brand that my vet reccomended Tucker to use. She quoted me 6 months of treatment for $35 is this in the normal price range? How much should I expect to pay. Also I was going to switch to Frontline Plus, in the next week or so when he is due for a flea treatment. Will Interceptor be okay with that?
Yes, that's about the average price..In fact, Collies can only have interceptor because the other products have a drug called ivermectin which can kill them. Interceptor can also kill a small amount of heartworm in a dog . One of the collies I rescued had heartworm. She's been on interceptor for about 6 months and its now gone. Thank goodness she didnt have to have the treatment. It is imiticide which is arsenic that is needed to kill the worms. I have eight dogs now and everyone gets their pill the first of every month
thomp- you can ask your vet if they will match online pricing. my vet is $52 for a years worth, but i take in prices for online and was able to get 12 mos for $23. if they wont match pricing, ask for an Rx and order online, even with shipping you can save a fortune. when we got our second dog i started shopping prices because as i am sure everyone here knows, that is the stuff thats pricey. not twice the food or treats. thats nothing compared to hw and FLEA meds. flea meds are a killer!