Every March, here at River Road Veterinary Clinic we offer 10% off all heartworm tests. Annual heartworm testing is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that your dog lives a long and healthy life. Even though we do not encounter heartworm disease nearly as much as they do in the Southern United States it is certainly still a concern in our area. Last year we treated four dogs for heartworm disease at our clinic, two of them had never left the state. The number of dogs being brought to our area from the South makes this a risk that is only going to increase over time.
The best way to avoid this devastating illness is to give your dog a monthly heartworm prevention (Heartgard)– this cost is between $8-12 per month depending upon the size of your dog. In addition, yearly screening, at a cost of $45-50 annually, offers the benefit of early detection and the likelihood that treatment will be successful and without complication. Treatment of heartworm disease is lengthy, complicated and expensive. Ideally, this treatment involves a long course of twice daily oral antibiotics, chest radiographs, complete blood work, an echocardiogram, three sets of intramuscular injections, hospitalization, observation, pain medication, a repeat heartworm test and extremely restricted exercise. This treatment is usually unpleasant for your dog and costs around $1,500. With the $1,500 it would cost you to treat your dog for heartworm disease, you could buy any of the following:
12 ½ years of year-round heartworm prevention for your dog
A week-long cruise to the Bahamas
Two round trip plane tickets to France
An African Safari
12 Field Box Boston Red Sox tickets
1 adult and 1 youth season pass to Killington
18 months of membership at a Gym
Burton snowboard, boots, bindings, jacket and snowpants
15 pairs of Nike sneakers
4 pairs of Gucci sunglasses
So even though the $8-12 per month it costs to give your dog heartworm prevention certainly adds up, it can end up saving you significantly in the long run. If you have any questions regarding heartworm testing, treatment, or prevention please do not hesitate to contact us at River Road Veterinary Clinic.