Heartworm Question

Food, Fitness and how to keep them healthy.

Postby katiek0417 » March 31st, 2006, 11:08 am

Okay....so, I have had my Sacha since she was 8 weeks old. I put her on heartworm preventative immediately (Interceptor) and have kept her on it ever since.

I follow the directions religiously, and make sure she gets her meds every 30 days (as prescribed). In fact, I even go through the calendar and count every 30 days (rather than just giving it on the 12th of every month).

I do the same for my puppy.

Well, I went to my vet's office the other day to get more Interceptor for Sacha, and was told that I could not get more without a heartworm test. They told me that they were making it a policy to test EVERY dog EVERY year, regardless of whether they never come off the heartworm.

Several of my friends in the area (who have dogs) say their vets don't do that (they only do it if the dog is off of medicine in the winter, then goes back on). My friends said it sounds to them like my vets are just trying to "buy a corvette" (i.e., get more money out of their patients).

I wanted to know what your vets do...and what you think of this situation.

Thank you
"Rumor has it, compulsion is evil."

Katrina
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Postby cheekymunkee » March 31st, 2006, 11:12 am

My vet does it yearly, we have a HUGE heart worm problem here. WHile things like Interceptor & Heartguard work to prevent heart worms, they can & do fail. The preventative is not 100%.
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Postby Maryellen » March 31st, 2006, 11:13 am

my vet tests for heartworm every year for my 3 dogs.. but he will renew my heartguard plus for me anyway.. we live where its a big problem, and the vets out here like to be extra careful... i dont see anything wrong with doing it both ways.. i give the heartguard only from spring to fall, but get them tested every year just to be sure.. i think its up to the owner and the vets discretion, but the heartworm test is not expensive, and i feel its better to be safe then sorry...
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Postby katiek0417 » March 31st, 2006, 11:19 am

Maryellen wrote:but the heartworm test is not expensive,


He's charging $55 for the test....multiply that by 2 is $110...then add a 3rd dog (which I'll have at the end of the summer), and you're up to $165.

That's (essentially) equal to 3 6-month supplies of the Interceptor...

So, that's like paying $495/year just to treat each of 3 dogs for 12 mos....as compared to $330 without the test....

That's a big difference....

I don't mind doing it, if I thought there was a problem....but I think it should be left up to the owner
"Rumor has it, compulsion is evil."

Katrina
Sacha CGC - Dumb Lab
Nisha CGC, PDC, PSA TC, PSA 1 - Crazy Malinois
Drusilla SLUT- Pet
Nemo - Dual-Purpose Narcotics
Cy TC, PSA 1, PSA 2, 2009 PSA Level 3 National Champion
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Postby Maryellen » March 31st, 2006, 11:21 am

what?????????????? OMG .. my vet charges $26.50 and i have 3 dogs, (but i dont pay office visit fees)
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Postby katiek0417 » March 31st, 2006, 11:32 am

Maryellen wrote:what?????????????? OMG .. my vet charges $26.50 and i have 3 dogs, (but i dont pay office visit fees)


I swear...I have the receipt right in front of me:

HW Snap test: 55.00
Medical Waste Disposal: 2.50
Interceptor: 45.54
Frontline Plus: 93.60

And WOW, I just realized how much I'm paying for frontline...crap!!!!!
"Rumor has it, compulsion is evil."

Katrina
Sacha CGC - Dumb Lab
Nisha CGC, PDC, PSA TC, PSA 1 - Crazy Malinois
Drusilla SLUT- Pet
Nemo - Dual-Purpose Narcotics
Cy TC, PSA 1, PSA 2, 2009 PSA Level 3 National Champion
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Postby Maryellen » March 31st, 2006, 11:36 am

omg your vet is expensive!!! a 3 month supply of heart guard from my vet is $34 ... and i thought my vet was expensive.. that is tooo much for heartworm testing.. way too expensive.... can you ask your vet to give you a break since you have so many dogs? i did that with my vet, i said to the office manager and the 3 vets, look, you know i do rescue, and i bring my rescue dogs in here along with my own dogs, can you guys give me a break on charges?? so the vets and office manager gave me a 10% discount on rescues, and dont charge me office visits since i am there so much., and i get a preferred status where i dont have to pay at the visit if i dont have the cash, i can put it on a bill...

see if your vet is willing to do that for you. if not, shop around for a new vet and compare prices..
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Postby katiek0417 » March 31st, 2006, 11:49 am

Maryellen wrote:omg your vet is expensive!!! a 3 month supply of heart guard from my vet is $34 ... and i thought my vet was expensive.. that is tooo much for heartworm testing.. way too expensive.... can you ask your vet to give you a break since you have so many dogs? i did that with my vet, i said to the office manager and the 3 vets, look, you know i do rescue, and i bring my rescue dogs in here along with my own dogs, can you guys give me a break on charges?? so the vets and office manager gave me a 10% discount on rescues, and dont charge me office visits since i am there so much., and i get a preferred status where i dont have to pay at the visit if i dont have the cash, i can put it on a bill...

see if your vet is willing to do that for you. if not, shop around for a new vet and compare prices..


Well, I brought that up to them yesterday. I told them that many vets give a multiple pet discount (my dogwalker's vet does 15% if you register more than 3 vets with them...and he's cheaper, overall).

I have my 2 dogs (it will be a 3rd this summer), and 3 cats registered with them...that 5 animals....

Don't get me wrong, if I can't pay, they let me carry it over (I went through some tough times several months ago)....and they're willing to just prescribe me meds if I call them (without requiring an office visit)...

But I'm really upset by this...I like them...but won't be able to afford to take 3 dogs and 3 cats there (at this rate)...granted I'm going to start doing all my own vaccinations at home (except for Rabies, which I'll have to get from a vet)....but still
"Rumor has it, compulsion is evil."

Katrina
Sacha CGC - Dumb Lab
Nisha CGC, PDC, PSA TC, PSA 1 - Crazy Malinois
Drusilla SLUT- Pet
Nemo - Dual-Purpose Narcotics
Cy TC, PSA 1, PSA 2, 2009 PSA Level 3 National Champion
Axo - Psycho Puppy
Rocky - RIP My Baby Boy
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Postby cheekymunkee » March 31st, 2006, 11:50 am

I agree!! You need to find a new vet! That is outrageous. How much Frontline is that? If it is years worth that isn't too bad of a price.
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Postby katiek0417 » March 31st, 2006, 11:54 am

cheekymunkee wrote:I agree!! You need to find a new vet! That is outrageous. How much Frontline is that? If it is years worth that isn't too bad of a price.


No, it's 6 mos worth....and I give it the whole year, so that would be $187.20 per year for 1 dog!!!

I guess I didn't realize how expensive it was until all of you started telling me....

Granted, I live in DC...it's expensive to live here, in general...but my vet is not rated as one of the "best of Washington." I mean, if I went to the premiere animal hospital in this area, I still wouldn't pay that much....

It's time to change vets....
"Rumor has it, compulsion is evil."

Katrina
Sacha CGC - Dumb Lab
Nisha CGC, PDC, PSA TC, PSA 1 - Crazy Malinois
Drusilla SLUT- Pet
Nemo - Dual-Purpose Narcotics
Cy TC, PSA 1, PSA 2, 2009 PSA Level 3 National Champion
Axo - Psycho Puppy
Rocky - RIP My Baby Boy
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Postby cheekymunkee » March 31st, 2006, 12:06 pm

Yeah, I think it is time to change vets. You might also want to shop around online for your Interceptor & Frontline. You can find some really good prices, the store will contact the vet for the prescription & send the meds right out to you.
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Postby katiek0417 » March 31st, 2006, 12:15 pm

cheekymunkee wrote:You might also want to shop around online for your Interceptor & Frontline. You can find some really good prices, the store will contact the vet for the prescription & send the meds right out to you.


Thank you, Debby...that's a really good suggestion. I hadn't thought about that. I will definitely try that...

Actually, I just called the "premiere" animal hospital in my area, and their prices are MUCH more reasonable that the place I was going to...and they offer the multiple pet discount.
"Rumor has it, compulsion is evil."

Katrina
Sacha CGC - Dumb Lab
Nisha CGC, PDC, PSA TC, PSA 1 - Crazy Malinois
Drusilla SLUT- Pet
Nemo - Dual-Purpose Narcotics
Cy TC, PSA 1, PSA 2, 2009 PSA Level 3 National Champion
Axo - Psycho Puppy
Rocky - RIP My Baby Boy
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Postby cheekymunkee » March 31st, 2006, 12:19 pm

I'm glad we are able to save you some money!!
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Postby SisMorphine » March 31st, 2006, 1:41 pm

$55 for a heartworm test?!?!?!?!?!?!!

We charge $35, and we are in a VERY ritzy North of Boston community.
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Postby mnp13 » March 31st, 2006, 3:41 pm

Riggs' HW test was $40 last week.

I think your vet's policy is rediculous. HW is not rabies. It is an optional treatment and it is an optional test. He's holding you hostage on this one. I'd definately switch vets - he's definately looking to get a new car this year.

I love my vet. They are expensive, but excellent, and they love all three dogs. I'm happy to pay the extra money... but they are not trying to pull what your vet is.
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Postby katiek0417 » March 31st, 2006, 3:56 pm

mnp13 wrote:I think your vet's policy is rediculous. HW is not rabies. It is an optional treatment and it is an optional test. He's holding you hostage on this one. I'd definately switch vets - he's definately looking to get a new car this year.

I love my vet. They are expensive, but excellent, and they love all three dogs. I'm happy to pay the extra money... but they are not trying to pull what your vet is.


That's my complaint. Trust me, I want the best for my dogs...I think everyone on this talk board feel that way. I will do anything for any of my animals....but to force me to get a test that is only RECOMMENDED by the american heartworm association (and not REQUIRED) is absolutely absurd.

And while the cost is higher at my vet's office (as compared to other vets around the country), the cost isn't the issue as much as the fact that I'm being forced to put out the money for something that has been recommended....
"Rumor has it, compulsion is evil."

Katrina
Sacha CGC - Dumb Lab
Nisha CGC, PDC, PSA TC, PSA 1 - Crazy Malinois
Drusilla SLUT- Pet
Nemo - Dual-Purpose Narcotics
Cy TC, PSA 1, PSA 2, 2009 PSA Level 3 National Champion
Axo - Psycho Puppy
Rocky - RIP My Baby Boy
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Postby mnp13 » March 31st, 2006, 4:06 pm

The money is not the issue for me. It's an overall ROI.

I will only see one vet at the practice I go to. I was not happy with the owner, but I gave the practice a second chance and the second vet was awesome. I pay more because I am very happy and they don't treat me or the dogs different than anyone else, for me, there is an excellent return on that investment.

There is no ROI on an unnessary test. Except for the vet of course.

You are just one client with three dogs, but multiply those costs by 2 or 3 hundred clients with two dogs? Nice payoff!
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Postby a-bull » April 6th, 2006, 10:22 am

katiek0417 wrote:Okay....so, I have had my Sacha since she was 8 weeks old. I put her on heartworm preventative immediately (Interceptor) and have kept her on it ever since.

I follow the directions religiously, and make sure she gets her meds every 30 days (as prescribed). In fact, I even go through the calendar and count every 30 days (rather than just giving it on the 12th of every month).

I do the same for my puppy.

Well, I went to my vet's office the other day to get more Interceptor for Sacha, and was told that I could not get more without a heartworm test. They told me that they were making it a policy to test EVERY dog EVERY year, regardless of whether they never come off the heartworm.

Several of my friends in the area (who have dogs) say their vets don't do that (they only do it if the dog is off of medicine in the winter, then goes back on). My friends said it sounds to them like my vets are just trying to "buy a corvette" (i.e., get more money out of their patients).

I wanted to know what your vets do...and what you think of this situation.

Thank you


I'm in Mass. and my vet now has the same policy, whether you use the year round or not.

I asked my vet's office why, and at first the explanation was because sometimes people think they've been religious about giving the med., but they actually haven't. That seemed a bit of a weak explanation, so as I pressed further, it came out that there is some form of liability issue that they're trying to protect themselves against. As I explained that that's not really my problem, I was told it was "the law." Now, I know it isn't the law, so I pressed even further and they finally said you could sign a waiver if you didn't want the test, absolving them of liability surrounding the issue. :|
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Postby katiek0417 » April 6th, 2006, 11:27 am

a-bull wrote:I'm in Mass. and my vet now has the same policy, whether you use the year round or not.

I asked my vet's office why, and at first the explanation was because sometimes people think they've been religious about giving the med., but they actually haven't. That seemed a bit of a weak explanation, so as I pressed further, it came out that there is some form of liability issue that they're trying to protect themselves against. As I explained that that's not really my problem, I was told it was "the law." Now, I know it isn't the law, so I pressed even further and they finally said you could sign a waiver if you didn't want the test, absolving them of liability surrounding the issue. :|


My vet doesn't even have a waiver I can sign. So, it's completely taken out of my hands...
"Rumor has it, compulsion is evil."

Katrina
Sacha CGC - Dumb Lab
Nisha CGC, PDC, PSA TC, PSA 1 - Crazy Malinois
Drusilla SLUT- Pet
Nemo - Dual-Purpose Narcotics
Cy TC, PSA 1, PSA 2, 2009 PSA Level 3 National Champion
Axo - Psycho Puppy
Rocky - RIP My Baby Boy
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Postby a-bull » April 6th, 2006, 12:42 pm

Well, I almost got the sense the waiver was just being offered to me because I was being a pain in the butt . . . :rolleyes2:
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