Okay, because both my guys are pups, my vet put them on preventative without testing with the understanding that when they have their shots he will want to test. My question is...if they're kept on heartguard year round, will I still need to test them yearly for heartworm? What is your vet's recommendation in this? Because I have small breed dogs the heartguard only coasts $3 a month each and my vet allows me to buy as many doses as I want. --Meaning I dont have to buy a full box. Opinions on keeping them on it year round?
I can only speak for My Vet and My Dogs. If they are on it year round he says you dont have to have them tested. ( He makes sure they are on it) He says he looks at peoples charts and if they dont buy but once a month he makes sure they havent missed a dose) Because my dogs are on meds all 12 months I dont have them checked every year BUT.. Everyother year I have them checked as a percaution.
It depends on where you live too. If you have mosquitos year-round, they should be on it year-round. If you live somewhere where you have real winters, it's not necessary. However, if you do not have them on it year round, your vet most likely want to re-test them for HW before starting preventative. If you have them on it year-round, they shouldn't require a HW test, but like Majorlover said, it's wise to re-test every few years, just in case.
I have my dogs checked every year and they are on preventative all 12 months. The reason I check every year is because a 4 way test is all my vet has to check for lymes, heartworm and two other things....can't remember the names right off hand.
I would ask your vet and see what statistics they have for testing and not testing. Also depends on if the dogs are indoor or outdoor I believe.
My vet insists on checking yearly - which I have no problem with.
He also strongly suggests to keep them on year round since he feels the mosquitos can live in the house and get them that way. We do give them a break Dec and Jan and sometimes Feb if it is still pretty cold (and I haven't ever seen mosquitos in our house that time of year). We are in norther IL.
South Texas, no winter. Definately year round. My vet won't even sell you a one month supply if you've missed a month. (I buy a six month supply) Unless you can explain somehow that they were on them. Like when someone gave me some for Bailey because their dog had died. He knows me and trusts me, but I think anyone else he probably would have checked first. Plus, I did ask him about giving them to her before I did it, so he was aware. We have mosquitoes year round and I would be scared to death to skip even one month here. Actually, until I joined this forum I didn't know that anybody got to skip winters. See, I learned something :)
Mine are on it year around in SC too. We test yearly and its better to be safer than sorry. I had a German Shepherd on Interceptor years ago which still caught HW. The chances were slim to none but still happened so I always check yearly even though we give ours ivermec for prevention.
This is what the American Heartworm Society says in its treatment guidelines for veterinarians:
"Periodic but not necessarily annual retesting is an integral part of ensuring that prophylaxis is achieved and maintained...Annual testing may be indicated in highly endemic areas such as the Gulf Coast...."
I'm in Ontario. 6 months of preventative, and testing every other year if you were dilligant about giving it monthly. If you were lax or can't seem to remember if you were giving it monthly they test the dog yearly.