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Old 07-15-2007, 01:25 AM
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Default heartworm question

I have a Golden that has never been on a heartworm preventitive and I am going to bring him in next month to gt his thyroid medicine refilled. When I am there I want to ask the vet about this but I am so scared to find out he may have heartworms. He is 3 and only goes out at night to go to the bathroom. Is it possible he could have them? What is is all involved with the testing and what is a good heartworm preventitive? Does he have to get tested before he starts the medicine?
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Old 07-15-2007, 08:52 AM
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where do you live? that'll have a big impact on the chances of him having heartworm.

there are a couple different kinds of tests- some are done right there in the office and take about 10 minutes. others are sent out to the lab and the results come back the next day. he does need to be tested before he's started on the medication (interceptor and heargard are the most common meds but there are others available).

good luck!
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Old 07-15-2007, 09:54 AM
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Where you live certainly (and where he has lived throughout his life) certainly does influence the odds on heartworm.

Honestly, if it were my dog, I'd be driving him in for the test ASAP. The treatment can be a pain in the neck, but it can be treated - sooner is better. And yes, be sure to test before you give any treatment! If the dog is infected with heartworms and you give the meds to kill them off, you have to manage the dog's activity level very, very carefully. The dead worms can clog blood vessels and cause some serious problems. A friend of mine had to keep her (adopted) 15 month old rottie/coonhound on leash for a long time during treatment; a tough thing to deal with for sure, but he came out of it fine.
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Old 07-15-2007, 02:48 PM
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Most definitely have him tested !!! The preventive is much cheaper than the cure . I fostered 2 Goldens during the treatment . Please let us know !!
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Old 07-15-2007, 03:01 PM
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I live in Louisiana but my dogs are 100% inside except when they go out to the bathroom.
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Old 07-15-2007, 04:10 PM
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Heartworm is ONLY spread through infected mosquitoes.
So even though your dog doesn't go outside (which it should for walks/bathroom/ and play time) whenever you open a door a mosquito is bound to come inside one time or another.

Your just rolling the dice having yoru dog unprotected and an infected mosquito comes in a bites your pup.

Here, we have already had a few Positive results come back and its a LONG and drawn out recovery period(depending on how infested the dog is).

For a test, we only do it one way and its a simple blood draw from either a leg or the jugular. Fairly painless as well and very very quick. Its sent out to the lab and then we usually get the results back within 24 hours, sometimes less.

We dont dispense prevenative here unless the dog has HAD a Heartworm test, as some of the prevenative can cause more harm IF the dog is positive.

My dog Riot, is on year round prevenative. From December to April he is on Interceptor and from May to November he is on Revolution.

It all depends on what you'd like to protect your dog from as well. Usually if cost is a factor its Interceptor which covers all intestinal parasites(minus tape worm) and including heartworm.

Definately get your dog checked..

Its better to be safe then sorry...

IF, by chance your dog is positive and you keep procrastinating it might be too late to treat.

Let us know how things go!!
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Old 07-15-2007, 07:13 PM
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It only takes one bite at the wrong time from one infected mosquito . I will not take chances !! Have you seen pictures of them wrapped around a dog's heart and into their lungs ??
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Old 07-15-2007, 09:40 PM
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I'm going to bring him in soon. How much does the test usually run? Also he had an allergic reaction to cipro (it was really bad swelled up could not breathe) so I am very afraid to put him on anything. He is on soloxine for his thyroid and he has been on frontline plus maybe twice a year because we do not have a flea problem. He has flea allergy so if one gets on him he breaks out. I hate to put that on him but it is so rare that he needs it. I can't even tell you the last time I saw a flea and I have never seen ticks here. I don't want him to have any reactions to the heartworm medicine I was thinking if he comes back negative I should have him tested again every 6 months and not put him on it opinions?
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Old 07-15-2007, 09:47 PM
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Also he does go out to play but not at night I'm usually pretty quick about getting him back in. I just really worry about him having a reaction to the medicine I will pay any amount for the preventative if thats what it comes down to. I'm actually kind of surprised my vet has not mentioned this to me but he seems the type that does not want to push anything on you.
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Old 07-16-2007, 06:12 AM
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personally i wouldn't mess around with heartworm, especially where you live. i'd test him, put him on preventative, and keep him on it. heartworm is a big deal to treat. it's not that big a deal to prevent.
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