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View Poll Results: Do you give heartworm medicine?
Yes 41 89.13%
No 5 10.87%
Voters: 46. You may not vote on this poll

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  #61  
Old Nov 10, 2014, 01:04 AM
The Quahog The Quahog is offline
 
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OK, now wait a minute. This is getting a little absurd. (Ignoring my signature once again.)

You don't want your dog to get heartworms. Trust me. Sure you can read internet silliness about how awful terrible horrible heartworm treatment is (its ARSENIC!!), which is over the top, but you don't want your dog to get heartworms.
Your dog gets roundworm, or the other intestinal worms- as long as you are on top of it no big deal. You give wormer, you kill the worms, they come out of the intestine digested or not, no biggie. Sure they can be stubborn, they can be threatening, but they are in the bowel.
Heartworms are different. Foot long worms that live in the heart, and if you kill them you have a heart full of dead worms with nowhere to go, which is actually more threatening than a heart full of live worms.We do not want to treat heartworms. We want to prevent them. Which is VERY easy to do.

So, sure, if you are in a non-heartworm area and your veterinarian seems to be trying to be overly alarmist, fair enough to raise an eyebrow. But showing you a model to demonstrate that heartworms are something you don't want your dog to get is hardly 'scare tactics', its perfectly legitimate.

When people ask me if they should continue flea prevention into the winter I say 'Up to you, chances of having a problem are small- but no one wants fleas.' They nod sagely - because they know that a flea infestation is miserable. But clients often don't understand the difference between getting roundworms and getting heartworms. A heart model drives home that simple, important point.
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  #62  
Old Nov 10, 2014, 08:58 AM
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trini gilmore trini gilmore is offline
 
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Thirty five years ago I was at an antique shop whose owner had 2 beautiful rough collies. That day only one of her dogs was in the shop and I asked her where her Laddie Boy was. Through tears she told me he had died 2 weeks ago from heartworms...something neither she nor I had ever heard of before. When I got home I immediately called our vet and asked about heartworm which they said was very new to our area (upstate NY) and they had only had one case come in but they were starting to recommend testing and preventative. Long story short, right away I took our 6 year old dog (mixed GSD) in to be tested (no visible symptoms) and she came up positive. We managed to save her but the treatment was hideous and it was 6 months+ before her eyes were bright again and she started to act, feel and look healthy. Personally, I would never take a chance on heartworm. I give preventative year round because even here where the winters can be frigid we still get hatches of mosquitoes every time the weather moderates to above freezing.

Trini
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  #63  
Old Nov 11, 2014, 10:03 AM
tesslynn tesslynn is offline
 
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Default not against them, just cautious of WHO they represent

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caro View Post
I can see why there is such a high suicide rate amongst vets in the US - such a lot of criticism.

Of course they are a business - they are hardly going to operate as a charity, they have to live too. And yes they offer more, so do the pet shops, because nowadays pet owners want more. The beauty is, it's not a monopoly, if you don't like one vet you can just go to another. But tarring every vet with the brush of 'they don't care, they just want to make money' is extremely disappointing.

And vets have to charge more for products - they don't get the distributor discounts large sellers get. I know from ordering for my dog club when you are small seller you can only use second tier distributors so everything is much more expensive. We were non-profit, just to cover costs I need a min 20% mark up, and that only makes us similar to the big stores (who make huge profits). The difference with my club is we offer a specialist service and could identify problems in classes and fit dogs on the spot. That's exactly the same as vets, they won't be making that much on selling heartworm meds, it's about offering the service they may recommend to make it easier for clients (or members in our case).
I think there are quality Vets, and there are merchandising Vets, and the two IMHO aren't the same breed, so to speak, so easy to decipher which camp they adhere to. I am all for getting a pet what it needs, but too often that isn't always what is offered. I don't give heartworm, but I do the blood test 2X a year...never had an issue, but not in a high infestation state, might choose differently if I was in a humid area. Never had a problem with ticks or fleas here either. I ADORE my Vet, but it is because he is rational, doesn't charge huge amounts, promotes wellness, is very CURRENT on stuff.

If you go back to previous postings on spaying, I had a HORRIBLE time with animal hospitals trying to get Kaleigh spayed. My vet doesn't perform surgeries-not his thing. But many of the animal hospitals/vets wanted to revaccinate her to be sure before a spay...I was FURIOUS, and wiped up the floor with a few about the issue. YOU DON'T VACCINATE and DO SURGERY-same day, that is STUPID and I SAID SO, any CARING, EDUCATED Professional outta know better, it increases risk, compromises their system unnecessarily, etc. I had paperwork, she was current, my vet is registered with the state. But they just wanted to PAD the bill, AH NO!!!!!!! And some wanted 1500.00 and up to spay her, that is INSANE. I found a place FINALLY, that would do it the way I wanted, although the breeders and their vet, and my vet had to fax them paperwork to back up what I wanted, and DIDN'T want. I wanted everything in writing BEFORE and understood that I didn't want "extra" stuff. I am older, in days gone by stuff wasn't complicated like now. You could trust people to do the right thing and the job you were paying for, now it is ALL about GREED and PROFIT, so to protect yourself everything has to be spelled out or you get taken. So if Vets are killing themselves, maybe it is because they don't know HOW to do the right thing. The country and holistic vets I know are happy, STABLE people doing quite well with their practices-must be a correlation.
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  #64  
Old Nov 11, 2014, 12:07 PM
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trini gilmore trini gilmore is offline
 
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With vets, as we do for ourselves with our own Drs, it is important to do our homework and choose a vet who fits well for us and our dog/s.

But let's not stray too far from the original topic of this poll/thread which was to discuss heartworm prevention medication and why we chose or don't chose to administer these meds to our little ones.

Trini
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  #65  
Old Nov 11, 2014, 04:58 PM
The Quahog The Quahog is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tesslynn View Post
So if Vets are killing themselves, maybe it is because they don't know HOW to do the right thing. The country and holistic vets I know are happy, STABLE people doing quite well with their practices-must be a correlation.
Quite a post.
Based on previous experience when I used to frequent this forum, I hate to think how fast I would get barked at and the thread shut down if I were to reply to this in kind.
I would be happy to discuss the high suicide rate of veterinarians and other professionals, particularly solo professionals and more particularly dentists, (hint- it is not because they are evildoers, self reliant people tend to blame themselves for their troubles, less productive people blame others,) but that is for another thread.

Returning to the topic, heartworm recommendations do vary, and some do appear excessive. I personally do not agree with the American Heartworm Association's recommendation that dogs in relatively low risk situations need to be on year round prevention and still tested every year, and do not do that in my practice.
But I can only repeat what I have said here many times- veterinarians are giving about 20% of the vaccinations we did 20 years ago, when it was every dog, every vaccine, every year. We now have core and optional vaccines and extended protocols. No one made us do that - we cut way back because we felt it was the right thing to do. I am not aware of any other profession that has taken similar positions on procedures which generate significant income.
So ask your veterinarian why they recommend the protocols which they choose for heartworm profession, do not assume from message board chatter that their decisions are based solely on income generation. That is demonstrably not true.
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  #66  
Old Nov 11, 2014, 06:14 PM
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Ann Ann is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fasb's Owner View Post
So reading this thread, it looks like some of you give Heartgard every 5-6 weeks. I normally give Fasb one Heartgard tablet a month. Just realized he's due this week (Friday will be 31 days since last dose), but we're out of town (Fasb is with us) for the next 9 days.

I don't have a dose with me. I'd like to wait until we get home to give him his next dose. Anyone see a problem with waiting a week?
Returning this thread to the original question (thank you, Dr. Mac, for chiming in with your professional opinion -- we do appreciate that!) you should be fine waiting a week if the information I see is any indication, which says that heartworm medication is effective for 45 days, or six weeks, which is how often I give it to my dogs based on that.

Just to underscore Trini's post....this is not a vet-bashing thread, or Forum. Many dogs here have been saved by veterinarians. As in any profession, there are some who may do less than we'd want for our pets. Do your due diligence when choosing medical care for your dog just as you would for yourself, and always question if you don't understand a diagnosis or explanation. Now, let's keep this on the stated topic please!
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  #67  
Old Nov 11, 2014, 07:28 PM
JLSOhio51 JLSOhio51 is online now
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Quahog View Post
Quite a post.
Based on previous experience when I used to frequent this forum, I hate to think how fast I would get barked at and the thread shut down if I were to reply to this in kind...


Returning to the topic...
Thank you for your last post Dr. Mac. I too read the "vet suicide" remark as a tad over the top (or at the very least a bit insensitive). I will admit, however, my initial reaction was that I had perhaps read more into the comment than was originally intended since I am generally out of sync with mainstream thought on SN.

But as suggested, I am trying not to go too far afield from the original intent of the thread. It would seem to me that there are nearly as many vet opinions on proper care and treatment of animals (not only re heartworm issues, but all pet care issues) as there are vets treating animals. Also, as several posters have mentioned, veterinarian practices are businesses even if that business is about wellness and life saving. As such, the business needs to make profits to continue in practice. Personally, I am not too concerned about a vet using (what might seem to be) a "scare tactic" as long as the information shared is accurate. It still remains my responsibility to make the ultimate choice as to whether or not to follow the vet's advice.

Interestingly enough, I had never really paid close attention to heartworm data until one of Dr. Mac's earlier comments on this thread. Based upon exposure data in both of the areas where I spend most of my time, there is no question that foregoing preventative treatment is totally out of the question. Which specific protocol I will choose will be a joint decision with my vet's input and what sounds right to me at the time. But, I agree with Dr. Mac. This is not an issue to be addressed if/when my companion tests positive.
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