Frequently Asked Questions
How do I give heartworm prevention to my dog?
There are multiple products on the market and the veterinarians at Feeder Creek Veterinary Services will be able to guide you in your decision making process.
How do you test for Heartworm disease?
A blood sample is required to determine if your dog has an active heartworm infection. We use an in house Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test kit manufactured by Idexx an American company that leads the market in heartworm diagnostics.
How does my dog get Heartworm disease?
Heartworm disease is passed by the western knot hole female mosquito. This mosquito is able to reproduce in small containers such as flower pots, increased urban-sprawl and environmental changes have increased the potential for heartworm infection by increasing the length of mosquito season. Wild canids (wild dogs, foxes, wolfs and coyotes) are reservoirs for heartworms which increase the likelihood of your dog contracting heartworm disease. These wild canids also make eradication of the disease impossible. This is why it is important for your dog to be on year round heartworm prevention.
How much does it cost for year round heartworm prevention?
The price of heartworm prevention is minimal compared to the cost of treatment. Treatment is dangerous to the pet as well, consisting of multiple injections of arsenic-based compounds. The animal must be closely monitored for possible fatal complications associated with worms dying. It can also incur costs of up to $2500.
How soon should my puppy be started on heartworm medication?
A puppy should be started on heartworm preventive after eight weeks of age and should be tested yearly at their annual physical exam.
I heard heartworm medication will kill my dog?
Some Collies and other dogs are unusually sensitive to a variety of commonly used veterinary drugs, including antidepressants, opioid, immunosuppressant, cardiac drugs; along with Ivermectin. The heartworm prophylactic medication at standard and 5x normal levels are safe in all breeds. Dogs have that died from "heartworm medication" may have received concentrated livestock preparations which should never be given to any dog, or they may have had an active heartworm infection when the medication was given.
If I bring in a stool sample can you use that to test for heartworms?
Heartworms do not pass through the intestinal tract of pets, so they can not be found in a fecal sample. The heartworm larvae are deposited directly into your dog’s bloodstream by mosquitoes. They remain in the circulatory system and increase in length within your dog’s heart and lungs. This eventually leads to heart disease, high blood pressure, pulmonary emboli and death.
Is there a shot for heartworm prevention?
Yes, the shot is called Pro-Heart 6. We at Feeder Creek think this shot is great because it guarantees your dog will be protected from heartworm infection for six months after administering the shot. No more missed doses or accidental overdosing because two people within your household decided to give heartworm medication that month. You will get a reminder via email and postal mail as to when it is time for the next Pro-Heart 6 injection. Pro-Heart 6 does not treat fleas but does protect against intestinal parasites as well.
Why does my dog need yearly Heartworm testing?
Annual antigen testing (heartworm testing) is used as a safeguard to ensure that your dog’s heartworm medication has not failed and that if there is an active infection it will be diagnosed before clinical signs are present. This minimizes the possible health complications associated with heartworm disease. Missing your dog’s heartworm pill for just one month will put your dog at greater risk contracting this fatal disease.