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View Full Version : Heartworm preventative in Dogs.



Clarence Martin
11-23-2015, 8:40 PM
Got my new Lab , and was going over the prior owners vet records he had on the Lab. It was last on a Flea and heartworm preventative back in April of this year. It was supposed to have it done last Month, but from the looks of the records, it was not done. They said it tested negative for Heartworm at it's last checkup. I checked with the Vet , and they confirmed it.

Question:

When would it be safe to start it up again ?

Pat Barry
11-23-2015, 8:50 PM
What did the vet say?

Sean Troy
11-23-2015, 9:17 PM
Got my new Lab , and was going over the prior owners vet records he had on the Lab. It was last on a Flea and heartworm preventative back in April of this year. It was supposed to have it done last Month, but from the looks of the records, it was not done. They said it tested negative for Heartworm at it's last checkup. I checked with the Vet , and they confirmed it.

Question:

When would it be safe to start it up again ?
Yes, and should be done. As long as the last test was not more than several weeks ago. Advantage Multi seems to be what a lot of Vet's rec.

Lee Schierer
11-23-2015, 10:44 PM
I would ask the Vet and go with that recommendation. I've used Heartgard and Frontline Plus on my Brittany for 9-1/2 years so far with no problems. He was responsible for all but two of the birds shown in the photo on opening day.
325777

Ken Platt
11-23-2015, 11:10 PM
You need to be sure that the dog CURRENTLY is negative for heartworm, so it depends on when was that "last checkup" you mentioned with the negative test. If it was within the last 4-6 weeks, as Sean said, start the preventative. Otherwise, you need to get another heatworm test, which takes like 10 minutes and 20 bucks at the vet's. The 4-6 weeks comes from the time it takes the immature worms to become adults; the preventative kills them before they get fully grown and migrate to the heart.

I'm not a vet, but my understanding is that if the animal currently has heartworms, using the preventative might kill the adult worms in the heart, allowing them to become foreign bodies floating downstream - until they lodge somewhere and cause damage.

Ken

Erik Loza
11-23-2015, 11:18 PM
We've been using an all-in-one pill called Trifexis for years and had no issues. It's a once-a-month deal and they don't seem to mind the flavor.

Erik

Clarence Martin
11-24-2015, 2:14 AM
I will say this....

It was like pulling teeth to try to get the Vet to tell me anything!! I only wanted to know 2 simple things. Did the Dog really test negative for Heartworm ? & 2. Was the Dog microchipped ? If it was, I wanted to know the name of the Company , so I could get it switched over into my name. Well, the Secretary hemmed and hawed and spouted off about HIPAA privacy rights.

A DOG HAS MEDICAL PRIVACY RIGHTS????? If I sold someone a Dog , I would expect that new owner to be able to have access to the Dog's medical records, in case it got sick.

MEDICAL PRIVACY RIGHTS FOR A DOG????????????:rolleyes:

Pat Barry
11-24-2015, 8:43 AM
Find a new vet

John A langley
11-24-2015, 9:18 AM
Find a vet that cares about the dog not about his wallet

Erik Loza
11-24-2015, 10:29 AM
I will say this....

It was like pulling teeth to try to get the Vet to tell me anything!! I only wanted to know 2 simple things. Did the Dog really test negative for Heartworm ? & 2. Was the Dog microchipped ? If it was, I wanted to know the name of the Company , so I could get it switched over into my name. Well, the Secretary hemmed and hawed and spouted off about HIPAA privacy rights.

A DOG HAS MEDICAL PRIVACY RIGHTS????? If I sold someone a Dog , I would expect that new owner to be able to have access to the Dog's medical records, in case it got sick.

MEDICAL PRIVACY RIGHTS FOR A DOG????????????:rolleyes:

That is bizarre. All our pets (both cats and dogs) have come from foster or rescue and we've never had any issue with the former vets faxing records to our own vet. Ditto on the microchip providers. Like John and Pat said, I'd find a new vet. Best of luck with it.

Erik

Stan Calow
11-24-2015, 11:35 AM
HIPAA for dogs? Tell her your dog is asking for his information.

George Werner
11-24-2015, 1:19 PM
Find a new vet ASAP.

Clarence Martin
11-24-2015, 1:27 PM
Oh, I have a new Vet all lined up ! The problem with the Vet is not the one I will be taking my Dog to, it is with the former Owners Vet. They are the one's that did not want to say much and mentioned the Hippa thing.

John A langley
11-24-2015, 2:07 PM
Have your vet requested records from him

Ethan Spronk
11-24-2015, 7:41 PM
You need to either have the old owner call in with your name or have your vet call in and request the records. The first one being the easiest and best. They do this as the records actually are property of the owner not the clinic so the secretary did do the correct thing. There have been cases where someone as taken a dog and gotten the records without the actual owner knowing it. Also as many people have said already you should have the dog tested before you start him/her on heart worm preventative. This is very important since the time that he/she was not on preventative was the highest risk part of the year. I am a vet but am not currently practicing small animal medicine so make sure you talk to your new veterinarian.

Bill ThompsonNM
11-24-2015, 10:11 PM
You need to either have the old owner call in with your name or have your vet call in and request the records. The first one being the easiest and best. They do this as the records actually are property of the owner not the clinic so the secretary did do the correct thing. There have been cases where someone as taken a dog and gotten the records without the actual owner knowing it. Also as many people have said already you should have the dog tested before you start him/her on heart worm preventative. This is very important since the time that he/she was not on preventative was the highest risk part of the year. I am a vet but am not currently practicing small animal medicine so make sure you talk to your new veterinarian.
Good recommendations, I am a practicing small animal vet. In some states the only way you can get the records is if the previous owner signs a release and your new vet sends it with a request to the old vet.
I'd be less concerned about the records, test for heartworm now and start prevention on December 1st. You can never know if the dog has had the heartworm medication every month since being tested. When you start protection again you can use any of the popular once a month tablets or the 6 month injection but use it year round!

Kent Adams
11-25-2015, 7:36 AM
Oh, I have a new Vet all lined up ! The problem with the Vet is not the one I will be taking my Dog to, it is with the former Owners Vet. They are the one's that did not want to say much and mentioned the Hippa thing.

HIPPA does not apply to animals. I would call back, insist on speaking to the vet, tell them what the receptionist told you, and listen for their response. If they give you the same excuse, call your state's local veterinary board and file and official complaint.

Robert Engel
11-25-2015, 9:03 AM
Kent, its not that simple. The only people we can legally give records to are the owner or another vet. We cannot hand over records to anyone without authorization. What if the dog was stolen? Or found? The vet should have contacted the previous owner that was poor PR IMO.

No, there is no HIPPA law per se for animals but the records are legally the property of the vet in most states. If, for example someone we don't know calls the clinic asking for records on a dog they say they now own, we have to check with the previous owner on file first. If they authorize it, then we hand over the records. I can't see why the vet couldn't simply call the previous owner to verify.

As for HW's, there is a lot of mis/dis information out there, even amongst vets. You have to understand the life cycle first.

Let me correct one thing I read. It is not 4-6 weeks from larva to adult, it is 6 months. When you administer preventive it will stop all larva from mosquito bites for the previous 4-6 weeks, I think this is what Ken confused about. The reason why you shouldn't give HWP without a test is that if the dog is positive there may be microfilaria (baby hw's) in the blood. They are rapidly killed by the preventive and can cause a fatal anaphylactic-type reaction.

If a dog has been off preventive less than 6 months technically they can be started back on without a test because there are no adults in the heart and therefore no microfilaria -but- they will need to be tested again 6 months later because larva may have developed into new adults over the next few months.

That being said, the safest thing to do ALWAYS is test because you can never be sure of the heartworm history in a case like this. He knows he missed a month but what about the previous year?

Labs are great dogs I have 2. Give him plenty of exercise.

Kent Adams
11-25-2015, 11:10 AM
Thanks Robert for the info. I didn't know that. Out of curiosity, what is the rule designed to prevent (the rule in regards to record ownership)? I can understand why we have this law for humans, but for pets its a bit baffling to me. I'm sure there is a circumstance that the law was designed to prevent and I'm just not aware of it.

Robert Engel
11-25-2015, 12:31 PM
Thanks Robert for the info. I didn't know that. Out of curiosity, what is the rule designed to prevent (the rule in regards to record ownership)? I can understand why we have this law for humans, but for pets its a bit baffling to me. I'm sure there is a circumstance that the law was designed to prevent and I'm just not aware of it.Medical records, even for a pet, are considered confidential.

There are good reasons for this. For example, you never know why a person is requesting info or what they are planning to do with it.
It may have nothing to do with the pet!

Lee Schierer
11-25-2015, 12:32 PM
Thanks Robert for the info. I didn't know that. Out of curiosity, what is the rule designed to prevent (the rule in regards to record ownership)? I can understand why we have this law for humans, but for pets its a bit baffling to me. I'm sure there is a circumstance that the law was designed to prevent and I'm just not aware of it.

If your dog is stolen, it would prevent the thief from obtaining the medical records and changing the ownership of the chip.

Frederick Skelly
11-25-2015, 2:18 PM
We've been using an all-in-one pill called Trifexis for years and had no issues. It's a once-a-month deal and they don't seem to mind the flavor.

Erik

+1. Me too!

Kent Adams
11-25-2015, 3:38 PM
If your dog is stolen, it would prevent the thief from obtaining the medical records and changing the ownership of the chip.

Is that a perceived threat or a real one? Who steals a dog, knows its name and calls around to all the vet offices to do such a thing? I don't want to sound like I'm being disagreeable, but is this a "real" thing happening? I could see that with certain very rare and expensive breeds, but most folks I think wouldn't own those types of dogs.