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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had my dog for five years now and I've never used a heartworm medication. She is heartworm free. Now that I know more about these drugs, I'm debating putting my dogs on it. Where I live isn't really high risk but there are some cases of it.

One vet recommended I don't use it because I don't live near any large bodies of water or wooded areas. There are mosquitos though. Another vet recommened using it no matter what state/area I live in, of course.

After doing my research, I see these aren't preventatives, they just treat the HW before they turn into adult worms, meaning you use these meds on the off chance your dog gets infected and needs the larvea killed. Can't you do the same thing by getting your dog tested every so often so if they happen to get it you catch it early? Then you can go ahead and treat it? Just like the HW pills. And if so, how often should you test for it?

I'm not trying to be cheap. I just don't want to put unnecessary crap in my dogs and waste my money if it isn't needed. I'm not looking for answers like "ohh heartworm is terrible, use the pills!!!". I just want facts on how necessary the crap is and if you can just get your dog tested and catch it early like I said. Considering heartworm isn't hard to treat.
 

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There are many people who live in low risk areas as you do that test every 6 months. That way if there is a heartworm infection, you can kill them as babies before they grow up and clog the heart.

It is a risk vs benefit decision. When we lived in Washington (near Seattle) last year for 7 months I didn't give heartworm drugs. But now we are back in KS where it's hot and muggy and the risk is greater, so I do give it. But I do every 45 days instead of every 30. I give it only during the summer months when the temperature is above 60 both day and night. I test once a year in the spring. I give the lowest dose possible.

It is definitely a subject where it is important to research the facts and make an informed decision.
 

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We live in an extremely low risk area. So low risk that I have not seen a mosquito since I moved here- so it is an easy decision for us. No HW meds and we test once a year because we travel but a lot of people here don't even test.

It is all about risk/reward like brodysmom says. If I lived in an area where there were mosquitoes I would test every 6 months- if I lived in a place with huge amounts of them I would do HW meds every 45 days AND test. There is no one size fits all approach to it, you need to research for your area and see what is best for you. Or just move to Las Vegas where we have no bugs.
 

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There are many people who live in low risk areas as you do that test every 6 months. That way if there is a heartworm infection, you can kill them as babies before they grow up and clog the heart.

It is a risk vs benefit decision. When we lived in Washington (near Seattle) last year for 7 months I didn't give heartworm drugs. But now we are back in KS where it's hot and muggy and the risk is greater, so I do give it. But I do every 45 days instead of every 30. I give it only during the summer months when the temperature is above 60 both day and night. I test once a year in the spring. I give the lowest dose possible.

It is definitely a subject where it is important to research the facts and make an informed decision.
I agree 100%! I went to a vaccination and heartworm seminar a few months ago given by a holistic vet who said everything you stated.
 

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I've never had any of my dogs on heartworm meds for any period of time, but my last recent visit to the vet because Midgie had 2 types of worms, it was suggested to put her on heartworms only because if they become infected, it is very costly to try to get rid of them & very difficult to get rid of them. The heartworm pill is supposed to last a month, & I'm debating on getting next months pill. Not sure yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you girls! Great info. It's kind of a hard decision. Mosquitos aren't rampant here but there can be quite a bit during the evening when it's really hot. Not much of an issue though since during the summer I walk in the morning when they aren't really out, and get lazy with my evening walk lol. Can't stand the heat.

I may just go with testing every 6 months. I haven't seen many mosquitos at all this summer.
 

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I live in Georgia so yes I give my Chi's meds but I only do it every other month. So far it has worked out well.
 

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I live in Southern California and although it's not as common here as in other places, there still have been cases. Right now Percy isn't on heartworm medication but when he gets a bit older I will have him tested and determine whether I want to start him on a prevention regimen or do tests every 6 months. Heartworm is a horrible disease if it isn't caught in the early stages.
 

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I live right by a retention pond, but haven't seen or been bitten by mosquitos since springtime. I do give my dogs heartworm preventive meds. I live in Chicagoland area.
 

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I never believed in heartworm meds (7 years and she never had anything) but now that she has heart disease I give it to her faithfully every month...all it takes is one mosquito bite and my baby has a bad enough heart already...My opinion is it probably work best for large breed dogs, the ones that spend most of their time outside, in the woods, near water..etc. Not our little chi's that live indoors!


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Our dogs get heartworm meds - our previous beagle Goldberg had been infected with heartworms as a pup and we think it eventually got to him as he aged and they may have came back, so we always have our dogs on a pill for it.

We have millions of them skeeters flying around our creek which is right behind our backyard. It's very dangerous considering Trigger is an outdoor dog and Ember is an indoor/outdoor dog (she goes out alot) so again, we give them heartworm meds :)
 

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I keep mine on hw prevention. I would be very upset with myself if I let one of them get sick when I could have prevented it. Arkansas has plenty of skeeters and sometimes they even get in the house.
 
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