Sigh. I care about vets getting enough money. They do as much schooling as doctors, pay as much, and make so much less (though they also don't have the costs associated with lawsuits)… but heartworm med info makes me pretty mad.
Manufacturers state no reason to test puppies under 6 mos, just start them on it... many vets require it. Manufacturers say no reason to test more than every TWO YEARS if on it year round, many vets require yearly (in fact most.. why? Cause they think you are lying or slack I guess?). Vets tell you to give every month.. truth? They last at LEAST 45 days, and actually 60. Research it yourself... sigh.
I give every 40 days. I am smart enough to mark my calendar every 40 days. Less chemicals in my dogs, less cost, fully effective.
I just feel that making money off medications isn't okay. Your medical doctor doesn't sell you medicines. Why should your vet? I know people paying $60 bucks for the large (50 to 100 pound) name brand heartwormer at their vet (and also know the vet paid $19 because I have vet friends), when they could get offline for $50 or the generic for half. Vets need to find ways to increase income without hawking meds and dog food. Yes, carry Rx dog foods, those are important.
But people who are on limited income end up not treating dogs over Rx costs. Getting medications should financially benefit the drug companies... that is business. But to me, not the vets when it prices care out of so many people's ability. My vets often give me Rx for pharmacy because it is cheaper than they can sell it to me. I love my vets most of the time. :)
Vets pushing potentially harmful and expensive yearly vaccines (no need for yearly... been known for 10 yrs, proven, accepted by top research veterinary schools!) lost them a lot of respect of people. I love my vets, but stopped doing rabies with them when they charged triple for a 3 yr rabies over a 1 yr when I know the drug cost them EXACTLY THE SAME AMT. I go to rabies clinics when due.
I don't have the answers for what they can do to increase revenue, but I sure hope people read up and don't get ripped off on heartworm meds and checks. Trust me, if you have the manufacturer info in hand, they will negotiate 2 yr hw checks and giving every 45 days. (I do 40 just because I want to be sure if crisis I can always meet the 45 day window.)
::monthly heartworm preventatives are actually 100% effective if given every 45 days and 99% effective if given every 60 days.:::
The FDA approvals cite studies showing that Heartgard, Interceptor and Revolution provide protection beyond 30 days. If you are very good about remembering to give medications, and you can watch your dog after administering the pill to be sure that it is not spit out or later vomited, it may be safe to use heartworm preventatives less frequently than every 30 days. Dosing your dog every 45 days is a conservative way to stretch your dog's dosage schedule.
The original FDA approval for Heartgard states, “The target dose of 6 mcg per kilogram of bodyweight was selected from titration study 10855 as the lowest dose providing 100% protection when the dosing interval was extended to 60 days to simulate a missed-dose circumstance.”
The drug manufacturers’ pre-approval tests indicate that even longer dosing schedules may convey protection from heartworm – but I wouldn’t stake my dogs’ well-being on dosage schedules extending beyond a somewhat arbitrary 45 days.
The original FDA approval for Heartgard states, “The target dose of 6 mcg per kilogram of bodyweight was selected from titration study 10855 as the lowest dose providing 100 percent protection when the dosing interval was extended to 60 days to simulate a missed-dose circumstance.”
The original FDA approval for Interceptor states, “Complete (100%) protection was achieved in dogs treated at 30 days post infection, with 95% protection at 60 and 90 days.” This does not apply to Safeheart, which was tested only at a 30 day dosing interval.
The original FDA approval for Revolution states, “Selamectin applied topically as a single dose of 3 or 6 mg/kg was 100% effective in preventing the maturation of heartworms in dogs following inoculation with infective D. immitis larvae 30 or 45 days prior to treatment, and 6 mg/kg [the recommended dosage amount] was 100% effective in preventing maturation of heartworms following inoculation of infective larvae 60 days prior to treatment.”