I have had dogs since I was a little kid and I have always wanted to take the best care of them that I possibly could. I have always taken my dogs for routine check ups and read up on the latest information I could find regarding their health and wellness. I believe a preventative is the best way to protect your dog from heartworms but I can’t help but wonder Is Year Round Heartworm Prevention a Scam?
While working as a vet tech at an animal hospital I learned a lot about preventative care for my dogs from the vet I worked with as well as from the clients that brought their dogs in for care. Although I respected the veterinarian’s knowledge and training regarding the proper care for pets, I felt that some of the information they gave to clients was more about padding their own pockets than keeping the clients needs in mind.
When it comes to preventative medicines for my dogs I follow the vets recommendation to give a pill once a month and to get them tested for heart worm disease yearly. Where we differ in opinion is the monthly pill is supposed to be a year round treatment.The vets I worked with often sold a 12 month supply at a time and expected the client to return the following year to be tested for heart worms and purchase the next years supply.
After meeting with many of the drug companies representatives and discussing the benefits of year round treatment, I only give my pets their monthly pill March through October. My time frame is based upon the weather conditions and is obviously dependent on where I live. In Iowa when the weather is below 50 degrees during these months, I know I don’t have to worry about mosquito’s which means I don’t have to worry about heart worms.
This not only saves me money on the preventative medicines that can be costly but I am able to give my dog less pills, which is a great thing for me because I never trust medicine. Not for my dog, my child or myself. I feel like every medicine has a side effect and medicine used for our dogs is no different. Being able to cut back on the amount of medicines my dog has to take may reduce some of the damage I suspect the preventative causes. Don’t get me wrong, the benefits of the heart worm preventative seem to outweigh any ill effects so far but I can never be too sure that they wont cause problems down the road for my pet. Although I am wary of giving my pets medicine, I know the prevention is necessary and recommend giving it to your pet monthly but suggest you ask your vet Is Year Round Heartworm Prevention A Scam?
Due to Heartworm disease, I have seen dogs suffer from heart worms which caused substantial damage to their heart, lungs, blood vessels, kidneys and liver. It is not something you would ever want to see your pet go through especially because it is easily prevented.
I recommend talking with your vet about what prevention is best for your dog but keep in mind, they may be getting paid to push those products and maybe they aren’t necessary year round. I knew I found a veterinarian I could trust when I moved to Iowa because she recommends all of her clients the same kind of prevention plan my pets are on. I appreciated her honesty about the need for year round prevention and trusted her to make recommendations based upon science, not money.