Disclosure: The Optimum Wellness Plan and information have been provided by Banfield Pet Hospital.
Today is National Dog Day, so in honor of keeping our dogs happy and healthy, I'm going to talk about a very serious matter: Heartworm Disease.
Heartworm disease is a very serious, yet preventable disease. Matthew, the #bigyellowdog was taking Trifexis, which is a combination heartworm/flea/tick medication all in one. He took it every month, on the 22nd. But he HATED it. I tried to hide it in his food. He'd sniff it out. I'd try to put it in his mouth and hold his muzzle shut. He'd drool so much all over my hand that I'd lose my grip, and he'd spit the pill out. More often than not I had to resort to hiding it in Peanut Butter. But that's not good for him. And Trifexis is expensive. Because of Matthew's size he has to take 2 doses, totaling $249.90 for 6 months
But there is another option. ProHeart® 6:
- ProHeart® 6 is an injectable heartworm preventive that can be prescribed to healthy dogs over the age of 6 months, which delivers six months of protection in a single dose—offering both convenience and peace of mind to pet owners.
- ProHeart® 6 can protect dogs from dangerous heartworm disease by preventing immature worms from maturing into adults that cause damage in the pet’s heart.
- Before a pet can start on heartworm preventive, he/she needs to be tested to make sure they are free of adult heartworms —this is done through a quick, simple blood test at your veterinarian’s office.
Matthew's test was very quick, took about 10 minutes. He tested negative and received his vaccine. I'll admit it. I was nervous about ProHeart 6. I did my research beforehand and there was a lot of negative press about this vaccine, but the majority was prior to 2008. They did pull the vaccine back then and made some recommendations and then re-released it. But just like I do with my own children, I staggered Matthew's vaccines. This was the ONLY shot he got today. The vet also recommended that Matthew be vaccinated for Leptospirosis, it's a vaccine he's NEVER had so I was extremely uncomfortable giving him 2 unknown vaccines at the same time. I'll go back in a few weeks for the Lepto, as it's included in my Banfield Optimum Wellness Plan.
Just in case you are unsure what exactly heartworm disease is, here's a brief recap from Banfield:
- Heartworm disease is one of the most serious and potentially fatal parasites affecting dogs and cats. Pets can contract heartworm disease through a single bite from an infected mosquito.
- Treatment of heartworm disease in dogs is difficult and painful for the dog, as well as expensive for the pet owner. Heartworm disease can be deadly to cats and there is no approved heartworm treatment in the U.S. for cats today.
- Check out the heartworm relevance in your state using this interactive map from Banfield Pet Hospital’s State of Pet Health™ 2014 Report.
- Heartworm prevention is easy, safe and affordable. To properly protect pets from heartworm infection, Banfield Pet Hospital recommends annual heartworm testing and year-round preventive medication for both dogs and cats.
As I mentioned above I have the Banfield Optimum Wellness Plan®. Included in the essential wellness plan is:
- Heartworm testing can be administered during a routine office visit. Office visits are always free through Banfield’s Optimum Wellness Plan®, and many plans include annual heartworm tests.
- Banfield believes in preventive veterinary care as the best way to improve the quality and longevity of a pet’s life by reducing the risk of developing serious, costly and sometimes fatal diseases, such as heartworm disease.
- Banfield’s Optimum Wellness Plans can be customizable based on the needs of the individual pet, and combine physical exams, routinely recommended vaccinations and screenings, unlimited free office visits, service discounts and more into one affordable veterinary care package.
The Essential Wellness Plan is $26.95 per month, plus a one time membership fee of $42.95
The ProHeart 6 vaccine is $94.95 every 6 months. Though that only covers heartworm. Your dog will still need flea/tick protection. But I did my math. The flea/tick is $79.16, so add that to the cost of ProHeart6, and I'm looking at 174.11 every 6 months compared to $249.90 for the Trifexis! That's quite the savings!
Banfield really cares about pets, and Banfield will donate $1 per reader comment to Banfield Charitable Trust. Banfield Charitable Trust is a donor-supported non-profit whose mission it is to preserve the human animal bond by keeping pets with their families who love them. Each year, BCT helps 100,000 struggling families through seven programs ranging from life-saving emergency care to assistance with pet food or other urgent pet care needs.
Matthew's Vet and Vet Assistant, Chelsey, took GREAT care of him!
And Banfield also wants to give one of my readers a free office visit at Banfield Pet Hospital for a dog to receive a free heartworm test and free 6-months of Proheart® 6 (dogs only).
How can you win? Simply leave me a comment letting me know what type of dog you have and which Banfield Hospital is closest to you. You can use THIS MAP to find a location near you. Winner will be randomly chosen on September 5th.
Just in case you don't win,here is a link to a coupon for $10 off a 6-month injectable heartworm preventive.
You can also connect with Banfield on Twitter and Facebook.