FYI for me... For people working in vet clinics in the states, is Lyme Disease a big problem? Is the Vacc asked for often? And do you have many people who refuse HWT + meds?, if you get positive animals w HW do most poeple get tx, or euthanasia? Just asking because here we do have some problems with some going on the preventatives/Vacc's because of rare poss's.
I dont think it's a matter of refusing treatment. Its more like, people take their dog to the vet. They may or may not have the money for more than shots. If they have the money for the heartworm test and preventative, they buy a 6 month supply of it, and forget to give it half the time. If they do remember it, they don't get a refill when they run out.
alot of our clients are on the monthly heartworm preventatives and if they are faithful about giving it year round we only test their dogs every two years. if they can't afford to buy it from us we write them scripts for the catalogs. we have worked out payment plans for hw treatment for those that couldn't afford it. we have had 2 this year and both dogs were recent adoptees. we have a high rate of lymes disease in new jersey so about 80 percent of our clientele are vaccinating for lymes. i had a dog die from lyme vaccine induced autoimmune problems so i stopped vaccinating my animals. i use frontline on them to help prevent ticks and thus prevent lymes.
So where are you? Anyway - as far as I know the efficacy of the Lyme Disease vaccine has still not been proven. It is mostly a problem in the Eastern U.S. - very generally, the farther north you go the heavier the concentration of incidences (check out the Morbidity and Mortality report put out by CDC - Center for Disease Control) for more specific info. It is transmitted by the common dog tick, Dermacentor sp. So basically, in the more endemic areas, the vaccine is requested more often - but other than that I don't think most recommend it (again, especially due to lack of efficacy studies). As far as HW tx and meds go - I don't think the majority of people really refuse it as much as they are uninformed about it. Even though vets are trying more to educate clients, there are still a lot of people out there that just don't know or understand the implications of HW infection/disease. (gosh, I remember when it was recommended not to start HW prev. until your dog was 6mo. old or older - can you imagine!!!) And of course, there are those that just have dogs, and either never take them to the vet or just take them to a rabies vaccination clinic - because a Rvac is required by law. I would say that my experience has been that the majority of people that find out that their dog has heartworms get them treated, (with the key factor here being that they have taken the steps to find out). "rare poss's"? I'm not sure what you mean by that - Do you mean false positive ELISA or SNAP tests?
HW prev = heartworm preventative You want to start on preventative ASAP - The earliest a heartworm infection could be detected is at 6mo. due to the lifecycle of the worm --- As long as your dog is less than 6mo old you can start preventative w/out testing - older, you need to have a negative test in order to begin preventative -
In Ontario (Canada) rare Poss's=we don't have to many positives around here, so many people are difficult to convince on the importance of the prevention. In the clinic I work for (they have 3) the clinic in Stoney Creek Ontario has had one positive in the 16 years that I've been there. Not only that people don't beleive we have mosquitos??? I'm just interested in the differences in the States compared to here, thats all.
oh, o.k. Well in the south of course, with all the mosquito's, people are a little better. It has taken longer to catch on the farther north and west you go (again relatively speaking). Have you ever seen one of the maps of the US that tracks the incidence of heartworm disease over the last 20 or 30 years. Its quite interesting - HW disease really wasn't a problem were you are, or in the colder climates of the US for that matter, but the movement of people (with their dogs) is one of the main factors influencing its spread. Hope this makes sense.......