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*UPDATE: Adopting dog from USA - Next Steps?

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  • Jun 8th, 2013 5:59 pm
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Deal Expert
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Oct 28, 2004
18161 posts
1062 upvotes
congrats!

Definitely post pics of your baby in the "Photos of your pet" thread...


Our doggy is also from the US and we also had to get the vet to do an entire check-up of our puppy even though we had all the paperwork.

It is probably partially a cash-grab and partially the vet doing their due diligence because who knows if the vet that did the initial exam and the paperwork is worth a lick...


I just paid it as I didn't want to take any chances and our vet is pretty honest (well I only knew of him being honest after years of going to him)...

Gluck!
Member
User avatar
May 17, 2006
297 posts
131 upvotes
Toronto
It seems normal for the vet to request a checkup first, since the same thing happened to me when I brought my pup to the vet for his 3rd set of shots and heartworm test. I'm not sure if you need a 1year prescription, since heartworm season is only during the spring/summer/early fall. I only get a 6 month pack of Revolution from my vet every year. Considering you're living in the suburbs, $78 seems like a lot for a check up. I live in downtown Toronto, and I go to a vet here at Bathurst and Dupont and he charges me $60 for a visit. Is the vet running an tests for $78 (eg. blood and fecal)?? Of course it doesn't just come down to cost, but I suggest looking around and finding a vet that you feel comfortable with and trust. I've been to some vets that have pressured me or tired to upsell me before, and weren't very attentive to my dog.

FYI, there is usually a fee for just taking your dog to the vet then + whatever you need for tests and medications. Hopefully $78 isn't the base fare for a visit!
Deal Addict
Apr 23, 2009
4850 posts
529 upvotes
South of Ottawa
You're pretty close to the border, check out vets on the u.s. side. Generally they're considerably less expensive, even for routine check-ups, with the same level of service.
[OP]
Member
Nov 6, 2010
427 posts
50 upvotes
Seattle/Ottawa
Thanks Ji2ook & JenBlaze!

I will definitely post pics (once I figure out how to do that on RFD lol). Thanks for the info..I have only visited one vet clinic thus far, but plan on shopping around to see what others have to say and also look online for vet reviews to make sure I'm going to a good/honest one. If worse comes to worst, then I'll just hop across the border and get her tested out there. The funny thing is my parents, who live in southern USA, also have a dog but they don't need to do any testing for their dog. They get the yearly testing done though just in case, but it's not required ..and most vets don't push it. They walk into the vet's office, pick up the yr supply of the medication, and out they go. So because of that, I always thought that's how it's done but I suppose I need to do more research and find out what the canadian norm is.
Deal Addict
Apr 23, 2009
4850 posts
529 upvotes
South of Ottawa
I don't know any veterinarian here that would prescribe heartworm medication without the test. If the dog is already infected, the medication could cause them to go into shock, or at the very least blind a dog owner into thinking they're okay when they're not (the medication does not kill "adult " heartworms).
Sr. Member
User avatar
Apr 8, 2007
625 posts
67 upvotes
Milton
Lucky0810 wrote:
Jun 5th, 2013 11:05 am
Thanks Ji2ook & JenBlaze!

I will definitely post pics (once I figure out how to do that on RFD lol). Thanks for the info..I have only visited one vet clinic thus far, but plan on shopping around to see what others have to say and also look online for vet reviews to make sure I'm going to a good/honest one. If worse comes to worst, then I'll just hop across the border and get her tested out there. The funny thing is my parents, who live in southern USA, also have a dog but they don't need to do any testing for their dog. They get the yearly testing done though just in case, but it's not required ..and most vets don't push it. They walk into the vet's office, pick up the yr supply of the medication, and out they go. So because of that, I always thought that's how it's done but I suppose I need to do more research and find out what the canadian norm is.
I think it might be different down there because they get a years supply, so they are technically on the medication the entire time.
Here in Canada because of our winters we don't really need to give them their medication for an entire year, just from June-November. Because they go off the medication for about 6 months, they are required to be tested to make sure they didn't get infected in the mean time.

Also important to note, if you are planning on taking your dog down to the states where it's warmer during the months where he isn't on the medication, make sure you get some extra ones and give it to him so he's protected before you go.
Sr. Member
May 14, 2007
640 posts
95 upvotes
Ottawa
Lucky0810 wrote:
May 27th, 2013 10:17 am
We have been given one month's supply of HEARTGUARD and ADVANTIX (flea/ticks) medication from the shelter we adopted from. However, now we have to find a vet to do a heartworm test so we can get a prescription to buy 1 yr supply of Heartguard. The local vet I went to said that because the dog has no medical history with them, they have to do a regular check-up first. Then only will they do a heartworm test. That "check-up" is $78, and the heartworm test is going to be $44. Then every year after this,they will do an Annual check-up/Vaccine updates, which will cost $133. On top of that, they will do a heartworm test for an additional $44 during that time.

So my question is do vets need to do this "check-up" before they do the heartworm test? My dog already got a "check-up" before we adopted her just a week ago! I told the vet that and she says it's a liability and legal issue that they need to do a check-up before doing the heartworm test because they're drawing the dog's blood for heartworm test so they have to be safe. I just think it's a money-grab because I have all the paperwork. Isn't there a way to JUST GET A HEARTWORM TEST without the freaking $78 "check-up?" This is like going to a walk-in doctor to get tested for iron deficiency, and the doctor says "No, before I draw blood or write you a bloodwork requisition, I need to complete an annual health check up first by doing a lung, heart, and breast exam"
My sister just went through something similar. She couldn't find a vet to prescribe Heartworm without a test, nor conduct the test or do innoculations without the full exam. However - once you have been on Heartworm for the season there should be no reason to do a Heartworm test every year. Mine just asks me to confirm that he was on Heartworm meds last year, then they give me a new batch of Heartworm meds. They do always require a checkup though.

I'm in Ottawa, so things may be different up here.

It may be worth checking out the policy and prices of vets in upstate NY. I understand it can easily be worth the drive.
Newbie
May 29, 2008
81 posts
2 upvotes
It seems pretty standard to ask for an initial examination. No matter where you go they will need an exam before doing a heartworm test. Is it better to save $78 or have piece of mind and a second opinion that your puppy is okay? Regardless, every time you book an appointment with the vet there will be an appointment fee that can range anywhere from $50-100 depending on the vet in addition to any tests that are needed.

No vet in Canada will give you heartworm medication without first conducting a heartworm test. Especially if the dog is from the US. Some parts of the US are notorious for having heartworm positive dogs. Heartworm medication does not kill the adult worms, and so administering heartworm medication without first knowing whether he/she is positive or negative can have the potential to kill them.

Heartworm medication is not going to come cheap either, depending on which ones you choose. Heart guard is the most basic and cheapest option, but it only protects against heartworm. I personally use Revolution on my dog because it covers heartworm, fleas, ticks, and a couple other things. It's probably the most expensive heartworm medication on the market but I like that extra protection against the extras.
Jr. Member
Mar 8, 2012
112 posts
8 upvotes
0
Congrats on the new pup!
I just took my girl to the vet last week for her yearly visit. The bill was $400!! The advantage multi alone was $160 for 6 tubes for a 100lb dog, but she did get a rabies shot that is good for 3 yrs. My old vet says that you really only need a heartworm test every other year. In the past, there have been coupons for Revolution and Advantage from their websites. Wish I had thought to look again before I took her in.

On a side note,
The physical test was $95 bucks, I thought that was expensive, but the vet is very caring and able to calm my dog down, so its worth it to me. Ive changed vets 4 times in 9 yrs. There has been a few incidences that happened, and I refused to take her back. Last check up was epic. Vet lectured me on how dogs will turn on vets and bite them when the owner is least expecting it. He then pulled my dog into the middle of the room by her front paws, and laid on top of her, pinning her to the floor, put her in a headlock, then tried to trim her nails. The more she struggled, (95lb shepherd) the more he fought back.I got mad, he got pissed off and then left the room. The receptionist came in, and by this time the dog was sitting by the wall. She gave the girl her paw. The receptionist proceeded to clip the nails with absolutely no issue!. Wonder how many times he has got bitten. LOL
Sr. Member
Aug 21, 2011
738 posts
147 upvotes
I see the chedoke animal hospital off of mohawk road in hamilton advertising the heartworm testing on signs. If they're advertising it on a sign outside the place you'd think they would offer doing just the test.
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