Heartworm treatment - real or ridiculous?
DogForums.com is the premier dog Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Heartworm treatment - real or ridiculous?

  1. #1
    Member gracie_pie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Bedford, TX
    Posts
    65

    Heartworm treatment - real or ridiculous?

    My parents belive that the whole heartworm previnsion thing is just a way to make money, mainly because the dog can still get heartworm. I guess we really just don't know where we stand. My mothers friend gave her dog all the heartworm medications religiosly, and the dog still got heartworm. What are the chances of getting heartworm? Are those chances reduced if i give them the medication? How much does the medication cost? How much does it cost to rid them of heartworm? Our previos dogs didn't even go to the vet regularly, and they lived to be 18 years old! I love my dogs dearly, and really want the best for them, but my family and I see it this way...
    If we spend a whole lot of money for all that medication and then one of them gets heartworm, we have to spend a whole lot more money to rid them of it, and they could die in the process.
    If we don't give them the medication, and they don't get heartworm, we all win (except for the vet).
    If we don't give them the medication and they do get it, we will certainly treat them and do everything we can to red them of it, and after that we will give them their medication, having learned a lesson. If one of them does die because of heartworm, then we will feel absolutely terrible, but (I know this sounds really bad) we gave them a good life.
    You have no idea how much I love my dogs and my life rotates around them, but money is just not something we can really spend to much of, especially for two lovable mutts who wouldn't know the difference (I know that sounds bad too, but it's true I love my dogs to death, no matter what they do, I LOVE THEM) We are just a family looking for some truthful advice for our furry little family members.
    The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too.

    Samuel Butler (1835 * 1902), English author


  2. Remove Advertisements
    DogForums.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Senior Member TxRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    2,421

    Re: Heartworm treatment - real or ridiculous?

    Quote Originally Posted by gracie_pie View Post
    My parents belive that the whole heartworm previnsion thing is just a way to make money, mainly because the dog can still get heartworm. I guess we really just don't know where we stand. My mothers friend gave her dog all the heartworm medications religiosly, and the dog still got heartworm. What are the chances of getting heartworm? Are those chances reduced if i give them the medication? How much does the medication cost? How much does it cost to rid them of heartworm? Our previos dogs didn't even go to the vet regularly, and they lived to be 18 years old! I love my dogs dearly, and really want the best for them, but my family and I see it this way...
    If we spend a whole lot of money for all that medication and then one of them gets heartworm, we have to spend a whole lot more money to rid them of it, and they could die in the process.
    If we don't give them the medication, and they don't get heartworm, we all win (except for the vet).
    If we don't give them the medication and they do get it, we will certainly treat them and do everything we can to red them of it, and after that we will give them their medication, having learned a lesson. If one of them does die because of heartworm, then we will feel absolutely terrible, but (I know this sounds really bad) we gave them a good life.
    You have no idea how much I love my dogs and my life rotates around them, but money is just not something we can really spend to much of, especially for two lovable mutts who wouldn't know the difference (I know that sounds bad too, but it's true I love my dogs to death, no matter what they do, I LOVE THEM) We are just a family looking for some truthful advice for our furry little family members.
    My childhood dog got heartworms pretty bad, enlarged her heart. She was treated and lived a long time but it definitely hurt her, and definitely made her last years a lot harder. Every dog since has had the preventative as a monthly pill, and never got them. And this was gulf coast Texas where mosquitoes are thick.

  4. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    17,254

    Re: Heartworm treatment - real or ridiculous?

    Almost all untreated dogs in Texas will get heartworms. It's a much higher risk there than in other places. So know that if you don't use prevention your dogs will almost certainly get heartworms.

    It's nearly impossible for a dog to get heartworms if the prevention is given properly. The prevention isn't really "prevention"---it actually kills the baby heartworms before they can grow up and cause trouble. So I wonder if your mom's friend really did use the product properly. Do you know what brand she was using?

    Heartworm "prevention" products aren't really expensive. Maybe $8.00 a month if you get it from your vet. Cheaper if you get a prescription from your vet and buy online. Really, really cheap if you use plain Ivermectin. Treatment, however, IS expensive.

    There are some other things you can do to save money---you don't have to give the products monthly; every 45 days is fine. And you might not have to use heartworm prevention year-round.....here's a good map that shows what months to use heartworm prevention depending on your area: http://www.tibetanmastiff.net/Heartworm.html

    Of course, it's up to you. But I can tell you that if I lived where you live, I'd make very sure my dogs got their Heartgard on the proper schedule.
    "Compassion for animals is intimately associated with goodness of character, and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man."
    Arthur Schopenhauer, The Basis of Morality

  5. #4
    Xie
    Xie is offline
    Senior Member Xie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    361

    Re: Heartworm treatment - real or ridiculous?

    In Texas heartworm medication is no joke. The cost of medication is nothing compared to the cost of treating a dog for heartworm. To treat for heartworm you are looking at hundreds of dollars and months of cage rest and extremely limited activity.

    When heartworm kills a dog it does it slowly and painfully. First they attack the heart, then they go after other organs. When the worms attack the heart they slowly kill it off leaving the dog unable to tolerate any exertion and with the heat in texas... Well I wouldn't do it. It's not a quick death, it takes years for a dog to die from heartworm and they probably won't show any outward signs until things have gotten really bad.

    Heartworm meds are NOT a big money maker for vets. If you don't want to pay what your vet charges get a prescription from them and go to petmeds.com or foster and smith. I promise you your vet will give you a prescription and will make no money off the meds just to know that your dogs are being protected. If they don't it's time to find a new vet since I've never met one that wouldn't allow an owner to get heartworm meds from petmeds.com or a similar place.

    Now, your vet might require a heartworm test previous to the prescription and that's totally appropriate, especially if you haven't been giving them the meds regularly. It can be dangerous for dogs with an active heartworm infestation to start heartworm medication.

    I'm very suprised to hear that you know someone who had a dog with heartworms who was on constant medication. It's beyond rare and to tell you the truth I've never heard of it in a case where there wasn't some other circumstances like a few missed pills or using a dosage that was to low for the dogs size.

    Heartworm medication really isn't an option, especially in a climate like texas. Other parts of the US you can get away with using heartworm pills only during certain times of the year but texas is an all year round state. For your dog's sakes get them tested and on medication asap. It's part of being a responsible owner.

  6. #5
    Senior Member CorgiKarma's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    901

    Re: Heartworm treatment - real or ridiculous?

    It is so very necessary, especially in areas like Texas. The heartworm medication reduces the chances drastically. It can be pricey, but petmeds.com has Heartguard Plus for $35 for 6 months worth. That way you aren't paying your vet for it if that bothers you.

    My aunt read that the preventative medicine was harmful and therefore stopped giving it. So, of course, a few months later they had to shell out a lot of money to treat their dog for heartworms. The dog recovered but only after loosing a lot of weight and becoming very lethargic. It is very rough on dogs and is not something you want to put your dogs through to "learn a lesson".

    Just because your dogs are mutts and didn't cost an arm and a leg doesn't mean they don't deserve the best care possible. By adopting a dog you are commiting to give that dog at least basic care. Heartworm preventative is basic care. I'm not sure where you adopted your dogs from but I'm suprised they didn't ask you if you plan on using heartworm preventative before adopting them out to you. The rescues in this area certainly do, and I am glad about that.

    Honestly though, it seems like you and your family have already made up your minds so I wish your dogs the best and hope you don't end up having to put them through heartworm treatment.
    Last edited by CorgiKarma; 05-01-2009 at 12:17 AM.
    Real dogs don't have tails

  7. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    17,254

    Re: Heartworm treatment - real or ridiculous?

    Do you know how much heartworm treatement costs in your area? Say it costs $500 (I've heard of it costing WAY more and I've heard of it costing a bit less, but this is the easiest math ). So, if it costs you $15 a month for 2 dogs to get heartworm treatment, that would be about 3 years worth of heartworm prevention (year-round). 6 years worth if both dogs needed to be treated. I guess I'd rather buy 6 years worth of Heartgard than pay for the treatment and risk my dogs' health and comfort.
    "Compassion for animals is intimately associated with goodness of character, and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man."
    Arthur Schopenhauer, The Basis of Morality

  8. #7
    Senior Member TxRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    2,421

    Re: Heartworm treatment - real or ridiculous?

    Yup I would never keep a dog in Texas without heart worm meds.

    I notice your in Bedford, I now live only a few miles away.

    You dogs will get heartworms if they spend any time outdoors here, and it will kill them eventually.

    My childhood dog I wrote about cost $500 to treat for a full blown infection of them back in the 1970's. It's got to be a lot more now. The pills are pretty cheap really, the hard part is remembering every month to give them, at least for me.

    I remember my dog being very sick after treatment for a long time, and then later in life having problems with a lot of internal fluid buildup. Her body would blow up like a balloon and had to be drained from under her skin, and other issues related to the heartworms and the treatment for full blown infection.

    My parents back then only learned about heartworms after she was diagnosed with them.

    I've never let another dog get them nor has any other family member since. The meds do work and do keep them away.

  9. #8
    Senior Member sw_df27's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    760

    Re: Heartworm treatment - real or ridiculous?

    I will always give prevenative but I want to let people know they are doing a study right now in the southern states because this last summer several dogs that were on prevenative came up positive including my own vets dog however the companies that make it do give a warraty and will pay for the treatment but for some reason it's like they are getting immune to the pills I have started ivomec with mine now but I spoke with my vet about the switch first...............

  10. #9
    Member gracie_pie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Bedford, TX
    Posts
    65

    Re: Heartworm treatment - real or ridiculous?

    Thank you all for your help. We've decided to give them heartworm medication. We do take them to the vet regularly, but I just have a few more questions...
    We've had 2 dogs previosly and they lived outdoors, ALL the time. We never gave them heartworm medications and they never got heartworm. They lived for 18 years; healthy, happy dogs. I just thought that was wierd because everyone was saying that they would for sure get heartworm. Also, a friend of ours lived on a ranch in fredericksburg and had about 7 dogs and never gave any of them heartworm medication. They all never got it and lived past 16 years.
    The reason we did not give the medication to our current dogs was because we were informed that it was hard on their 'digestive system' and 'bloodstream' (whatever that means). When I say they are mutts, I am just proud of that fact . Now that we know that it only costs $15/25, we will be happy to pay, especially for all they do for us (for some reason we all thought it cost like 100/200 dollars a month)
    Thank you all agian!
    The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too.

    Samuel Butler (1835 * 1902), English author


  11. #10
    Senior Member CorgiKarma's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    901

    Re: Heartworm treatment - real or ridiculous?

    Glad to hear you are making the decision to give your dogs heartworm medication,they will appreciate it!
    Real dogs don't have tails

  12. #11
    Senior Member Sunshyne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Marshfield, MASS
    Posts
    691

    Re: Heartworm treatment - real or ridiculous?

    If you go online to drsfostersmith.com and request a catalog (comes in a week!) it comes with a $5 off coupon for your first order. The 6 month supply of Heartguard I just bought from them cost me an average of $3 a pill, with free shipping. Half the cost my vet was charging.

    Shop around, you can find a good deal.

  13. Remove Advertisements
    DogForums.com
    Advertisements
     

+ Reply to Thread

Quick Reply Quick Reply

  • Decrease Size
    Increase Size
  • Remove Text Formatting
  • Insert Link Insert Image Insert Video
  • Wrap [QUOTE] tags around selected text

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
SEO by vBSEO 3.5.2 ©2010, Crawlability, Inc.