6 answers

My Chihuahua Has Heartworms!

Well, my chihuahua,Romeo, whom I have had for 9 years has heartworms. I went to a vet clinic today to get him tested so I could get him on the preventative medication and he was positive for it. My question for you ladies, does anyone know of a vet or clinic or maybe you are one yourself so I can get care for my dog that is not going to make me broke. I have already lost a dog to heartworm disease 2 years ago, we were in a really hard spot financially. So now that we are getting back on top of things I am trying to get on top of my furry friends and get everyone preventative treatment. Please help if you can.I am in south Arlington.-------I feel I need to add something to my story here. I had many responses and I felt like alot of them were insinuating that I am an irresponsible pet owner. I am not. I have gotten my other dogs on preventative meds and am now trying to get this situation with Romeo taken care of. I am just now getting back on my feet. From the beginning of 2004 My husband had lost his job and I had already put my 2 weeks notice in before he had lost his job so we were both jobless and a month after that his uncle died then 2 weeks after that my Grandfatehr that raised me died, then 2 months after that I found out I was pregnant. So, it was not as if I just let everything go. I had alot of obstacles and am now at a place where I can spend money to get regular check ups and preventatives for my pets. So please people understand this was not an oversight it was a case of affordability. But thank you for your responses.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Well, after several emails of Moms making me feel like an inadequate pet momma and a couple of private messages helping me with info, I find that I have more options than I thought. I have found several natural remedies for this problem and am currently working on another option that I have yet to have an answer to, but hope to soon. My Romeo will get treated and God willing he will make it. Thank you to all who responded, and please keep in mind I wasn't negligent in my eyes, but it will be prevented in the future. My other petkids are already safe. I will give an update in about six months because that is how long it will take to see if there is any progress made. Thank you Mommasource!

More Answers

Once you get your prescription for the medications, try getting it filled at an online pharmacy such as www.1800petmeds.com or www.petcarechoice.com They are usually much cheaper than getting meds from the vet. As far as the vet bills, call around. Prices vary greatly. It may well be worth driving out to the country a bit to get a much cheaper vet bill. I am sorry you have had such a hard time. If you do find that you cannot afford to get the medication your dog needs to live, please, please, please don't have him put down and don't choose to just not treat him. There are several rescue groups that can take dogs and find them homes, even if they are heartworm positive. Your dog can still have a great quality of life so long as he gets his medication. It is your responsibility to either provide it or find someone who can. Both Operation Kindness and Humane Socity Of Flower Mound are excellent groups who would find your dog a new home if it comes to that. Good luck.

Plano animal and bird clinic is reasonable. Animals can be expensive, but they need to be kept on routine preventatives and shots. I feel bad for your little chi. I hope you can get him/her taken care of. Sometimes certain vets will let you pay on time if you pay a portion up front. Check into that when your calling around.
S.

I am so sorry to hear this. I worked in a vet clinic, and have never seen a clinic do discounts on heartworm treatment or other severe health problems, I even called around for our patients. Some can set you up with a pet health credit card though, that will allow you to make monthly payments. You will have to call around and ask who offers this.

Treatment can be a long and expensive process, depending on the degree of infestation. Your dog has had heartworms for at least 6 months, because before than, it would not be able to show up on a test.

Your dog is 9 years old, so if he is in good health for his age, he may be able to withstand treatment. (Smaller dogs tend to age better than larger dogs).

However, if he already has health problems, the treatment can cause a greater risk of fatality. To not treat him, he would die of heart failure, not a particularly easy death. So, if this is the case and if you are unable to treat any time soon, and won't be able to in the future, it may be more humane to euthanize him.

Here are some links that can give you more information.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heartworm
http://www.thepetcenter.com/gen/hw.html
http://www.vetinfo.com/dencyclopedia/dehwtreat.html
http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?A=610

I have heard there are natural rememdies, but I don't know a thing about them. Try researching it and seeing if it's an option.

***Oh, and a note about 1-800-PetMeds, due to some bad activity many years ago that they have cleared up (selling international repackaged expired medications), MANY vets will not approve of prescriptions to be purchased through them. PetMeds has to call your vet for prescription approval so they can fill your order. So, if you need to use them, make sure you have a vet that will approve first hand.

This vet has all high ratings on Yahoo, and I noticed that people say he's "reasonably priced"...I know how expensive it can be to take care of a pet, especially when they're ill. It's a major stress, no doubt. It's an expense you have to factor into your budget when you have a pet, just like food. I found it's a lot cheaper to get regular check-ups and do all the preventative maintenence in the long run, plus it's the best thing for the animal. Once you get past this hurdle, you can do follow-up vaccinations, heartworm preventative, etc. at one of the monthly low-cost clinics--they're all over the metroplex, and they helped me out a lot over the years. Try this vet, and if you have no luck, ask the Humane Society of North Texas; I'll bet they have some info. Good luck, and don't wait much longer for treatment.
All Pets Animal & Bird Clinic
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4116 S Carrier Pkwy Ste 180
Grand Prairie, TX 75052

We had the same thing happen 2 years ago. Went in for his yearly checkup and he tested positive. We had only skipped one month of meds. She said it only takes 1 mosquito bite and they can get it. We ended up paying a little over $2,000. The good thing is it can be treated....it is just pricey. Good luck in finding the right vet!!

I hope this does some good. I know a clinic, but can't remember the name. They were on Arkansas or Bowen, between Cooper and Collins. They dealt chiefly with large animals (horses, etc.). Ten years ago, I was a broke single mom who found a kitten wedged in my back fence. She needed her rear leg amputated to survive. West Fort Worth vets wanted around $1000 for the proceedure. I picked up the phone book and called about 30 places. When this place found out I only had $300 on my one credit card, they're price suddenly became $250.

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