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Hello,

we adopted a 11 week-old puppy a couple of weeks ago and went to a vet with her this past week for a puppy exam.

I did not feel very comfortable after leaving. First off, they did a fecal test and found out that she has worms. We were given some pills for her and they also told us to start her on heartworm prevention, gave us a 1-month free sample of Sentinel.
I did some research and found out that you should not start your dog on heartworm prevention until the dog was tested for it. They did not test her though and still told us to start the pills. :confused:
We did not give her the pill yet and are thinking about switching to another vet.
Another thing is that the technician was talking to us about how to housetrain our dog and after we told her that we are not crate training she basically told us we are not doing it correctly then and that dogs her age can hold it for about 8 hours! She is only 3 months old so i always thought they can only hold it the number of months they are plus one??

What do you guys think?
 

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Hello!

It is true, that you really should start your dog on heartworm preventative after the blood test, but having a 11 week old puppy infected with heartworms is quite rare. Unless if your puppy was abandoned outside, been outside bitten by misquitios, or anything of the like.

In any way of how you housetrain your puppy should NOT be the techinician's opinion. She may offer advice..should say, "Have you learned about crate training and its methods?" or "Would you like to know different options of housetraining?", etc. Usually crate training is high on the list of various ways. If you are considering of not using the crate, the technician should NOT say, "You're doing it incorrectly". It's putting you down.

I don't think a puppy at 11 weeks can hold it 8 hours straight...that's a little too much to ask for. 4 hours to 5 hours seems reasonable..that a puppy can hold in the crate. Any longer than that will pretty force the puppy to pee in the "den", which is what you want to avoid.

When I got my puppy at 4 1/2 months (two months ago), she was able to hold it for 7 hours in the crate. Mainly because she sleeps, so the body functions slows down. I haven't had any accidents.

If you ever feel uncomfortable for whatever reason, I do suggest you to find another vet. You want to be comfortable with the animal hospital and its staff. I got lucky with mine. It's about 30 minute drive, but it's all worth it.

Rule of thumb - More expensive vet doesn't mean better staff, or the bigger the hosptial doesn't mean the better the vet/staff is.
 

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Good for you for questioning before starting the meds! I don't like the idea of starting a puppy on heartworm preventative before testing! I would not do it and I wouldn't go back to that vet.

There's a blog for everything nowadays! LOL

Heartworm Medicine Blog
 

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I agree that if you don't like your vet, go some place else. In this case, it sounds like your vet failed to explain things to you. Let's say the vet is 100% correct and you must use a crate and you can start the dog on a preventative right away, the vet still failed to explain to you exactly why this is. I would not do business with a vet who simply tells me what to do and expects me to do it with out questioning.
 

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Doesn't a dog have to be 6 months old before testing for heartworms? My understanding is that any heartworms the pup may have wouldn't even show up on a test until that age. My dog started getting the preventative at 16 weeks when he went to the vet for the last of his puppy shot series.
 

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Hi! You are absolutely right to look around for a vet you are comfortable with. Even if the vet suggested all the right things but you dont feel at home there or with him/her you must look for a better fit. It is no different than looking for a Primary care physician for yourself.

Just to reaffirm to you the standard is to start the new pup or dog on heartworm preventative care. With that said I am not an advocate of any kind of medication if it is not absoutely necessary. Preventative care for specific elements depends on the pup's lifestyle.

Is it going to be an inside or and outside dog?

Do you use pet boarders or pet sitting services often?

What part of the country do you live in (mosquitos).

Genetically is the pup prone to any particluar ailment and is it at this time showing symptoms of anything.(parvo)

Just like human bodies animal bodies have to process medication. If you feed the pup good quality food, maintain its regular check ups with the vet, look out for anything out of the odinary,you shouldnt have to give it meds of any kind.

The vet Tech was absolutely wrong to put his 2 cents in. It was condescending and rude. I would call the office and speak with the vet and mention his behaviour. He took it upon himself to mentor you and it was unprofessional the vet should be aware of that and possibly correct it in the future. I understand you are a new pet owner and it is natural to be unsure about things in pet care but remember no question is too silly to ask. So on your visit with a new vet ask.ask.ask
Good luck on your search for a good vet and congratulations on your new baby! One dog lover to another you will make beautiful memories with your darling as I have with all of mine!:)
 

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It takes 6 months after infection with HW for adult worms to appear. So an 11 week old puppy can't have them. Heartworm meds kill any pre-adult worm larva in the dog, so if the puppy was infected at 11 weeks (very rare, but possible) it's totally okay to give them medication for it. HW Tests can ONLY detect adult worms, so it's pointless to test that young of a pup.
 

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Thanks for all the help!
I think we will start looking for a new vet. Do you think I will have to have another puppy exam at the new place?
She was supposed to only get some shots and another fecal sample at the next appointment, i dont really want to pay another exam fee but i am not sure if they will do it without examining the pup again :(
 

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Thanks for all the help!
I think we will start looking for a new vet. Do you think I will have to have another puppy exam at the new place?
She was supposed to only get some shots and another fecal sample at the next appointment, i dont really want to pay another exam fee but i am not sure if they will do it without examining the pup again :(
Mara1983,

I think when you call around for a new vet that would be a good question to ask. Tell them the truth about your experience and let them know you would rather not pay for the same thing twice.

Also you can get in touch with this vet and get any results from the first visit so you can give them to the new vet. Personally I would go for the shots and the second fecal sample so they can finish up with your pup's initial exam. And while you are there just get the results so you can start fresh with a new vet and they will have test results and wont have to do the initial.
the key to shopping for a good vet is just havind face time with them and not proceeding with tests until you are sure they are right people for you.
 

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Hello,

we adopted a 11 week-old puppy a couple of weeks ago and went to a vet with her this past week for a puppy exam.

I did not feel very comfortable after leaving. First off, they did a fecal test and found out that she has worms. We were given some pills for her and they also told us to start her on heartworm prevention, gave us a 1-month free sample of Sentinel.
I did some research and found out that you should not start your dog on heartworm prevention until the dog was tested for it. They did not test her though and still told us to start the pills. :confused:
We did not give her the pill yet and are thinking about switching to another vet.
Another thing is that the technician was talking to us about how to housetrain our dog and after we told her that we are not crate training she basically told us we are not doing it correctly then and that dogs her age can hold it for about 8 hours! She is only 3 months old so i always thought they can only hold it the number of months they are plus one??

What do you guys think?
Take the dog to another vet. Every dog needs to be tested for heartworm before starting a heartworm preventive program. The only time that a heart worm test is not required is when you have faithfully given the dog it's heartworm preventive year round and even then the vet will have you sign a release.

As for a puppy holding his or her bladder for 8 hours I would have asked her if she can hold her bladder for 8 hours. She probably would have said no and then I would have said then what makes you think a puppy can. Do babies hold there bladder for 8 hours?.

Ask friends and relatives what vet they use and if they are happy with them. If they are then go to that vet. If this vet was recommended to you that gave you the WRONG answers then tell the person that recommended that vet to find another vet also.
 

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Why go to another vet simply because he didn't test for heartworm? Neither did MY vet, for the same reason stated below:

It takes 6 months after infection with HW for adult worms to appear. So an 11 week old puppy can't have them. Heartworm meds kill any pre-adult worm larva in the dog, so if the puppy was infected at 11 weeks (very rare, but possible) it's totally okay to give them medication for it. HW Tests can ONLY detect adult worms, so it's pointless to test that young of a pup.

The vet tech was rude, and gave inaccurate information. Let your vet know what she said, and how you felt about it, and request a different tech during your visits.
 
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