Incidence of heartworm

Discussion in 'Upland Game hunting, Dogs and dog training' started by polar bear, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. I am wondering how often the vet actually gets a positive result when he/she tests for heartworm. The tests and meds are very expensive and I wonder how much heartworm is really out there or if this is just a really good money maker. If the incidence is one in ten , I'm on board . One in a thousand , probably not.

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  2. Try not using the preventative for a year and see what happens. I am a gambling man, but I wouldn't gamble with that!

  3. The incidence of heartworm took a big jump up here when all the dogs abandoned during hurricanes Katrina and Rita, thousands, were rescued and brought to Michigan. We already had the mosquitos and those dogs brought a ton of heartworms with them.

    Heartworm disease is easy to prevent and hard and expensive to treat.

    Do you feel lucky:confused:

  4. I've met four people in the last five months whose dogs came up heartworm positive this year. Most of the dogs were strays that they had taken in and likely hadn't been on preventative for some time.

    I've heard of a lot of dogs that have come from the south that came up positive for it as well. Again, not on preventatives.

    The bitch that produced my newest pup, a Pointer that was dumped in a park near Detroit with her litter, was also very heart worm positive as of last December. Fortunately it doesn't pass to puppies in the womb and the pup was heart worm negative when he was tested this last Spring. He's also been on preventative the whole time.
    #4 WestCoastHunter, Aug 11, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2009
  5. 3 dogs thus far this season, but 90% of our dogs are on preventative.

    the incidence of infection increases as people such as yourself say screw it, as the more carriers of heartworm, the higher likelyhood that a mosquito will bite infected dog and transfer to uninfected dog.
  6. Heartworm is far cheaper to prevent than treat.
    There was a long discussion on administering your own Ivermectin orally at a substantial discount. I've switched over, and there are many breeders and folks on this board who use this inexpensive method.
    Search it...;)
  7. i'm of the opinion that the density of the dog population is a big factor. dogs in suburbs or cities are more at risk than those in the country.
  8. I would disagree with that.
  9. for example there are about 8 other dogs in a half mile radius of my home. the chances of one of those dogs being infected, being bitten by a mosquito and then the mosquito traveling 1/4 to 1/2 mile to infect one of mine is pretty remote.

    i looked at a heartworm infection map for mich in the vets office. the high densities were clustered around the cities.

    dogs are a "vector" for heartworm just like mosquitos.

    i keep mine on ivermection, but it's not a big concern.
  10. But dogs are not the only vector either. Wild canids can also get infected and harbor the virus, even cats can get infected, though they are usually amicrofilaric.

    It will be centered around higher population density, but that doesn't mean that living in the country makes you immune. It only takes one mosquito.

    Vets that see patients in less affluent areas see A LOT more heartworm because people do not use preventative. We could easily go through a season and not see one positive, it's just a reflection of our clientele.
  11. I would agree with that.;)
  12. I work in a vets office and have seen 5 this season already...the preventative is a lot cheaper than the treatment. If cost is a concern you might also look at something like sentinel where you are also getting flea prevention as well at about the same cost as an ivermectin based product
  13. I can not say anything as to frequency of infection, or weather it is more prevelant in areas with higher population densities or anything of that nature. However I can attest to the fact that it is the virus is out there and when a part of your family tests positive it is expensive to treat, although I would have paid 5 times the cost without a second thought, but even more important it's scarry and stressful to the dog. My yellow lab tested positive during a routine trip to the vet, he was not a stray, he was up to date and all shots, and was recieving preventative regurarly. Thankfully he came through and is now helathy and happy and hunting as strong as ever, but if you only remember one thing from my post please remember to take preventative measures and always pay the extra ten dollars or what ever they charge for the test...... your best friend will appreciate it.

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