“My previous veterinarian didn’t act like heartworms were any big deal, that’s why Sharkie wasn’t on a heartworm preventive. Now, thanks to you, I know better!”
Sadly, we veterinarians must not be doing the quality and quantity of client education we should be on heartworm disease, because, nationwide, only 46-55% of dogs (depending on the study one accesses) are on heartworm preventive. That, despite the fact that heartworm disease has been diagnosed in every state.
So, let me make it clear: Heartworm disease is a big deal. Heartworm disease is a life-and-death subject. Heartworm preventive,
given every month, on time, is a big deal.
Fortunately, heartworm disease in dogs is a slowly-advancing condition. But, why take a chance? Heartworm preventive is inexpensive and safe, and prevention of the disease is much, much less expensive than treating to kill adult heartworms.
Or, perhaps veterinarians aren’t at fault. Perhaps it’s people who run sites like the one I ran across today, incorrectly minimizing the danger of heartworms. This person, his only claim to “expertise” being that he is a hunter, is erroneously telling pet owners that dogs in some states don’t need heartworm preventative at all. It’s bad enough that some northern pet owners take their dogs off heartworm preventive in the winter, when they can be more safely and more economically kept on preventive year-round.
Please tell me that you aren’t following the advice of someone who can’t even spell, much less get the pathogenesis of heartworm disease correct, over the direction of trained medical experts, your own veterinarians.
We’ve warned you many times that 64% of the medical information on the Internet is either outdated, or outright wrong. Please don’t let yourselves be misled.
See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.