Hey, guys! It’s Ravioli.

My brother, Bruschetta, and I live at ValuVet Graceland. We took over this blog in hopes of making it more fun and exciting for everyone involved. This week, I want to talk about something important: HEARTWORMS.

What are heartworms?

Heartworms are parasitic worms that can live in the heart, lungs, and even arteries of your pet. They are spread through the bite of a mosquito and can be fatal to your pet, not to mention VERY costly to treat. As always, I’d like to take this time to preach that the best, and most cost effective form of treatment is PREVENTION. My human friend at the front desk did the math. For the cost of ONE heartworm treatment (not including: the sick exam), you could purchase TWENTY-EIGHT months of heartworm prevention from our clinic. That’s a little over two years’ worth!

What preventions does ValuVet offer?

Let’s start with how they work & chewable vs. injectable:

Heartworm prevention works by getting rid of heartworm larvae before they can turn into full blown worms. Listed below are the preventative options we carry in-clinic:

  • Iverhart Max– this is a chewable tablet your dog needs to take every 30 days, all year-round to prevent heartworms. This is the best option for puppies under the age of 6 months. After 6 months of age, a valid, negative Heartworm Test is required for medication to be dispensed.
  • Proheart 6– this is an injection available for puppies over the age of 6 months. It lasts 6 months. One injection, no “missing doses”, or monthly pills to worry about. A valid, negative Heartworm Test is required prior to this injection. We are currently running a promotion on Proheart 6. If you purchase Proheart 6 in the month of OCTOBER, get your heartworm test FREE!
  • Proheart 12– this is an injection available for dogs over the age of 12 months. It lasts a whole year! Again, one injection, no “missing doses”, or monthly pills to worry about.

NOTE: Both Proheart 6 and Proheart 12 have rebates available with Zoetis Rewards and YES, you can use both the promotion AND rewards program!

There are a lot of other great options available on our online website. Visit: https://discountvetwellness.vetsfirstchoice.com/ to see what we have!

Why does your dog need a valid, negative heartworm test?

To protect your pet, of course! Because of the lifecycle of heartworms, we need to make sure your dog hasn’t already contracted them, so starting at around 6 months of age, we need to begin yearly testing for heartworms. The area we live in is very prone to mosquitos and we have seen an influx of heartworm positive pups over the last few years, that’s why it’s so important to make sure your dog is protected by taking heartworm prevention medication all year-round.

What if your dog tests positive?

Hopefully, your pet has been on prevention year-round and we won’t have to worry about this scenario, but if your dog does test positive, we would start by submitting lab work for further testing to confirm your pet is heartworm positive. As we mentioned earlier, this process is very expensive and dangerous so we’ll want to make absolute certain. Next, your dog will be restricted to very limited outdoor time and activity to prevent the parasites from growing at an increased rate and causing more damage to the heart and lungs of your dog. Next, we’ll need to make sure your pet is stabilized before treatment can even begin. The more stable they are, the better chance they have at survival. Once your dog is stable, one of our veterinarians will determine the proper course of treatment for them which will include: injections, potential hospitalization, pain meds, and repeated lab work. After 9 months of difficult treatment, we’ll retest your pet to make sure all heartworms have been eliminated. We will then place your pet on heartworm prevention to prevent them from contracting the parasite again. So, it’s best to save you and your pet the trouble and go ahead and call us to get them started on it, before there’s anything to worry about. If you have been giving your dog their monthly prevention on-time and under the guidance of a veterinarian, you may be able to contact the company who makes the preventative and they may cover all costs of treatment.

What if you miss a dose of prevention?

As long as your dog has consistently been on heartworm prevention, and you’ve only missed a dose or two, they should be okay. However, if you have missed multiple doses back to back, you’ll need to give us a call so we can schedule a new heartworm test.

Let me tell you more about this October Proheart 6 special!

My brother and I are very passionate about pet care. We understand that routine vet care can get a little pricey, but we want EVERYONE to have a chance to give their pet the best care possible at a price that is affordable. At ValuVet Wellness, we strive to provide affordable pet care to the community. That’s why my brother and I have decided to give out FREE HEARTWORM TESTS to those who purchase Proheart 6 for their pets in the month of October! Don’t forget, you can also get money back for Proheart 6 if you sign up for Zoetis Rewards! Call one of our 4 amazing locations and get scheduled today!

ValuVet Graceland *Home of Bruschetta and Ravioli*
196 Graceland Blvd
Columbus, OH 43214

(614) 896-8007

ValuVet Lancaster
1987 W Fair Ave
Lancaster, OH 43130

(740) 870-5300

ValuVet Marysville
15560 US-36 East
Marysville, OH 43040

(937) 738-7120

ValuVet Newark
1267 Log Pond Dr
Newark, OH 43055

(740) 915-8351