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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Voorheesville, New York, United States
    Posts
    788

    Default @ home Heartworm Test Kit ?

    anyone ever use this? I try to do as much @ home to lower my costs @ the vet ... vaccines at home, as well as going to rabies clinics. I hate to do a trip to the vet just for a heartworm test that will cost me probably $35 + a $60 office visit.

    however, I have yet to draw blood on a dog - and this kit suggests quicking the nail! which I will NOT do. My dogs are on heartworm meds year round, and my vet requires a bi-yearly test for heartworm to get the perscription.

    not the end of the world if I have to take them to the vet, but thought i'd ask first.

    http://www.petco.com/product/13597/P...t-at-Home.aspx

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    948

    Default

    most vets would not consider this a valid test and therefore would not Rx heartworm meds. the mfg would not guarantee their meds without a vet Rx proving that you bought the meds from/thru them.
    It is the same test my vet uses, and I do like that it checks for the tickborne diseases, but I also like my dogs to have an annual check up.
    I am not comfortable doing all the tests/meds at home without them ever seeing a vet.
    Deidre

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    8,475

    Default

    I agree with Edderland. My dogs see the vet twice a year for a physical exam. It helps me catch anything before it turns into something horrible.

    Vets usually won't accept home administered vaccinations and tests for good reason. They don't know if the vaccine was kept refrigerated before it was given. They don't know if it was given correctly.

    It's the same for heartworm tests. They don't know if you got a large enough sample, prepared the sample correctly, or ran the test correctly. They don't know if someone opened the test and let the well sit on the counter for a week before they did the test.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Central Maryland
    Posts
    6,606

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DogChic View Post
    My dogs are on heartworm meds year round, and my vet requires a bi-yearly test for heartworm to get the perscription.
    Brings up a question I've been meaning to ask my vet, but I'd much prefer to appear ignorant in front of you guys than her.

    Why am I continuing to pay for HW tests to be run...if my dogs are on preventative?
    Often it's not what you say, but how you say it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Edmond, OK
    Posts
    1,559

    Default

    I've never done this type of a test where you are collecting the blood at home and sending it off to a lab. I just order the IDEXX tests and simply do my own testing.

    I would question that your vet would be willing to write a prescription based upon a test he did not run. However, with this type of a lab test, you may not need a prescription from your vet to get purchase the meds. Never tried it, so I don't know if just the lab results would be enough for you to be able to purchase HW meds online. However, if you are also handling your own heartworm prevention without the need of a prescription from your vet, then there would be no reason not to do your own testing. However, you do need to get blood from the dog, so if you are not comfortable with that, you probably just need to go to the vet for the test. Personally I just draw blood the normal way with a syringe, I don't quick nails for that purpose.

    I do agree, even though you may test your own dogs, do your own vaccinations, and other simple things, dogs should indeed receive regular physicals. I don't care if my vet "accepts" my dog's vaccinations or not. I don't board my dogs at my vet or anywhere else. I do not do business with vets that would require yearly vaccinations for my animals just to see them in an exam room or even to hospitalize them if they are sick. There are plenty of good vets out there, I don't need to bother one that is going to decide that just because they didn't give the vaccine that the dog is not vaccinated. I also tend to go with the latest on vaccine research, and that pretty much indicates that yearly vaccinations are contraindicated. My dogs are well protected, but certainly not done yearly. I do vaccinations to protect my pet, not for the happiness of my pet's vet. A vet who cannot look past the fact that my dogs are very conservatively vaccinated or cannot get past that my dog's are intact is a vet I simply would never visit again.

    So, really, back to the original question, your dog needs the yearly physical, so this internet test is not really saving you anything more than about $5. I'd just let your vet do the test. And, with their sale ending tonight, that price is really not cheap at full price.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    1,205

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 4Sibes View Post
    Why am I continuing to pay for HW tests to be run...if my dogs are on preventative?
    Like the "pill", nothing is 100%. An Owner may forget a month (not you of course), the dog may go outside and vomit up a dose, etc, etc....
    Back in the dark ages, we tested every dog, every year and the preventive was a once a day pill (NOT chewable). So, once every two years for testing and once a month dosing seems like a good deal to me.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    5,059

    Default Aaahh, yes, heartworm....

    Do a search for "The truth about heartworm" on your computer, and find out all sorts of intersting facts that studies have shown, including that you do not need to give heartworm-killing drugs monthly.

    4Sibes - the article I read suggests testing twice yearly if your dog is NOT on prevention. This is basically because the little heartworms take about 181 days to mature, as I recall (or maybe it's 183 days, whatever). Therefore a twice yearly test will find out if there are detectable heartworms, and I suppose if you did the test every 6 months there should NOT be a lot of heartworms, therefore you could probably still give the heartworm-killing stuff instead of doing the major expensive/dangerous treatment.

    Here is one site: http://www.acreaturecomfort.com/heartworminfo.htm

    It references Dr. Pitcairn and many others. In Pennsylvania, it would appear that there would be a very short time during the year that heartworms could even develop, according to the temperature and cycle info.

    To all dog owners: I would further recommend a search for "The truth about vaccinations", and a look at dogs4dogs.com (with information from the top holistic vets in the nation), especially about how to assess whether or not your vet follows safe vaccination practices (this page has that list of safe vs. unsafe protocols - http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2009/0...cinate-safely/).

    Fascinating.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Northern Utah
    Posts
    10,598

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Debbiedogs View Post
    Do a search for "The truth about heartworm" on your computer, and find out all sorts of intersting facts that studies have shown, including that you do not need to give heartworm-killing drugs monthly.

    4Sibes - the article I read suggests testing twice yearly if your dog is NOT on prevention. This is basically because the little heartworms take about 181 days to mature, as I recall (or maybe it's 183 days, whatever). Therefore a twice yearly test will find out if there are detectable heartworms, and I suppose if you did the test every 6 months there should NOT be a lot of heartworms, therefore you could probably still give the heartworm-killing stuff instead of doing the major expensive/dangerous treatment.

    Here is one site: http://www.acreaturecomfort.com/heartworminfo.htm

    It references Dr. Pitcairn and many others. In Pennsylvania, it would appear that there would be a very short time during the year that heartworms could even develop, according to the temperature and cycle info.

    To all dog owners: I would further recommend a search for "The truth about vaccinations", and a look at dogs4dogs.com (with information from the top holistic vets in the nation), especially about how to assess whether or not your vet follows safe vaccination practices (this page has that list of safe vs. unsafe protocols - http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2009/0...cinate-safely/).

    Fascinating.
    Debbiedogs, I can't stand the thought of my dogs having ANY heartworms at all, even to be treated later. The risk is worth it to me for Heartworm.

    We had a vet tech at work forget to give her dog the meds for 2 months---the dog was positive for heartworm. Eww, no thanks.

    Tammy in Utah
    Groomers Helper Affiliate

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    948

    Default

    My dogs are on the three year vacc protocol; and do not receive bordatella vaccs.
    I also do not ever board my dogs; I have a petsitter look in daily while I am out of town, and feed them; they have a pet door and go out as necessary. I do keep them on heartworm prevention monthly as I live in the deep south and we have mosquitos year around.
    I used to do my own vaccs/worming when I had a show kennel, but now only have my two pet dogs. My cat is an indoor only cat and never sees another cat. He has not been vaccinated since he was 6 months old and neutered.
    Deidre

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Voorheesville, New York, United States
    Posts
    788

    Default

    thanks for all of the helpful replies!

    I think I will continue to bring them in to the vet for the bi-yearly heartworm test. That makes sense to me ... that a vet may not feel comfortable writing a script in regards to a test they did not do.

    As far as vaccines, I agree w/Swiss - it doesn't really matter to me whether my vet accepts them or not - I do ... and I know that my dogs are protected. I don't board my dogs @ my vet's or anywhere else.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,034

    Default

    Please tell me im not the only one on this board that uses "ivomec" for HW prevention? Dont mean to open a whole new can of "worms" here but just had to ask.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Central Maryland
    Posts
    6,606

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cat Crazy View Post
    Back in the dark ages, we tested every dog, every year and the preventive was a once a day pill (NOT chewable). So, once every two years for testing and once a month dosing seems like a good deal to me.
    Ug. How well I remember. I ran the 50 dog kennel then. Took 1 employee 45 minutes to HWP everyone as I would not allow the pills to be "dropped in the food bowl", even disguised,...for fear of looking down the aisle and seeing 1 pink pill on the floor.


    So anyway, Debbie...I'm gathering that if my dogs are on once a month HWP, year-round, the annual test really isn't necessary? (At my own risk of course...if a dog missed/vomited a dose, as Catcrazy brought up.)
    I am beginning to feel really guilty when the vet brings it up as "due" every time...and I decline it.
    Often it's not what you say, but how you say it.

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