Ulysses 2009-09-17 11:57:36
Are annual heartworm tests really necessary? Isn’t that like saying the
heartworm medicine doesn’t work?
The reason I ask is because one of my dogs is extrememly frightened of going
to the vet (changed vets 3 times) and thinks he’s going to die or something
when they take him in the back to draw blood. It’s really horrible to watch
and I’m just not a mean enough person to make him go back there unless it’s
absolutely necessary. They won’t let me go back there with him and they
(usually) won’t draw blood in the room.
Aside from all that my dogs are exposed to mosquitos in areas where
heartworm has been diagnosed in dogs and they have always had negative
results on their heartworm tests presumably because I give them their
medicine every month.
Rene 2009-09-17 11:57:45
I would search until I found a vet that either draws blood in the room where
you can help or lets you go in the “back”. My vet does both. At other vets
I would never let my dogs out of my sight. I completely trust the vet I
have now since he has the same beliefs on treatment, vaccinations, etc., as
In my limited experience with heart worm (mostly in books), I would say it
is a necessary thing to do the blood tests.
Where does the vet draw the blood from? For some reason my Roxy freaks when
they try to draw blood from her leg, but stands there very calmly for a draw
from her neck. Maybe it is because she can’t see what they are doing:-) Or
maybe it is the flower essences the vet uses before procedures such as
these. But then she would also rather have her temperature taken in her
rear than her ear;-)
Wolfje 2009-09-17 11:58:05
The heartworm test is necessary each year simply because now and then
there will be a dog that does still get heartworm, and requires
treatment. Discuss the reasons this hapens with your vet… or maybe
someone will pop up with it here.
Note that sometimes a dog (or a child) does better during minor
procedures like blood draws, nail clipping, ear cleaning, a*** gland
expression, etc. when the owner (or mom) is not present. Also, the vet
techs are going to be better skilled at holding your dog than you
probably will be. It would be a very unusual clinic where your dog
would be in any way “hurt” when out of your sight.
I have one acquaintance that I used to think was wacky as they come.
She takes her dog to the vet clinic now and then just to weigh the dog
or have the receptionists, techs, or vets give the dog a treat, or just
to sit in the waiting room for a few minutes and a few treats. The
younger the dog, the more often these visits. Then I realized that her
dogs are always happy to go to the vet’s and very well-behaved in the
waiting room. The dogs are relaxed and cooperative with exams and
procedures. And so is she. You might consider trying a smimilar
routine to help your dog…..
Dermer 2009-09-17 22:46:02
In article <9648-40E7B56Afirstname.lastname@example.org> email@example.com (Jo Wolf) writes:
Wacky? This approach would be consistent with standard approaches
for reducing phobic behavior.
But I bet you already knew this. 🙂
Tee 2009-09-17 22:46:13
I don’t think they’re necessary for 90% of the pet dog population whose
owners keep them on hw preventative. However there’s no way for anyone to
know who these owners are. Just because they buy preventative doesn’t mean
they remember to give it. They may also forget a month and double dose the
next, or just give a single dose. While a heartgard & interceptor pill are
actually good for 45 days, if someone forgot to give their dog a monthly
pill then you figure there were 15 days of exposure there.
Its sooo easy to forget that monthly pill for some people so relying on a
person’s word that they never missed a month with their dog just doesn’t cut
it. There are also, very occasionally, weak or bad batches of preventative
that hit the market so a dog who was on preventative, getting a weak or bad
batch, could still contract a hw infection. If the preventative was
purchased at the vet’s office then a dog who does get hw is normally treated
at the vet’s expense as they will back up the products they sell. Places
like PetMeds and others where you can get a batch of preventative,
particularly companies not located in the US, will not back up the product
and you really don’t know that you’re not getting a bad batch.
So the idea is pretty much “better to be safe than sorry” with regards to hw
tests than to assume that people remember to give the preventative, that
they don’t get a bad batch, that they aren’t buying it from who knows where
w/old shelf life, etc.
Michael a. bal 2009-09-17 22:46:23
Yes, they are necessary. It’s more like saying “modern pharmacology is
not infallible.” The yearly test is merely insurance–and IMHO the best
insurance money can buy.
When I die, I want to go where dogs go!
Ulysses 2009-09-17 22:46:32
I’ve only seem them draw blood one time and it was from the leg. But come
to think of it they do not mind getting vaccinations etc in the back of the
neck, and generally prefer the rear over the ear too for temp.
For some reason my Roxy freaks when
Ulysses 2009-09-17 22:46:35
I understand what you are saying here and in most cases (except in cases of
extreme incompetence) the dogs probably do fine “in the back.” I think the
problem all started when they were at the vet while a dog was being “put
down.” Ever since then they won’t get out of the car. Before that it was
no big deal for them.
Sounds like it a good idea. I suspect however that it may work better with
some dogs than others. For one thing my dogs won’t accept a treat from
anyone but me and my immediate family. I’ve taken treats offered by vets
and they didn’t eat them until they got home.
Ccdox 2009-09-24 21:07:48
My vet, knowing that I am paranoid about my dog’s health and give her the
preventative religiously, only does the test every other year. I would be fine
with testing every year; $12 for a hw test isn’t a lot to insure your dog’s
Dorothy, owned by C.C., a very spoiled dachshund