As I mentioned in my Weekly Check-In, last week I took my dog, Falcor, in for his annual exam. In the past, I said yes to whatever the vet recommended, which was a physical exam, a blood and urine panel, a fecal panel, a heartworm test and a kennel cough vaccine to the tune of $250. But, that doesn’t include the heartworm prevention and flea and tick protection, which run $100 a year apiece.
So, this year when I got my reminder card, I did some research and talked to some friends who are vets themselves. I discovered that heartworm isn’t a big problem in my town. Considering I keep Falcor on heartworm prevention year round, don’t take him to places where heartworm is an issue and he’s mostly an inside dog, so he doesn’t get much exposure to any mosquitoes, I decided that I was confident he’s heartworm free and didn’t need to pay $50 for a test. I also don’t leave Falcor at kennels when I go out of town and we rarely go to dog parks, which is the main area of exposure for kennel cough, so I knocked that one off my list. I also figured since my dog is young and healthy, I didn’t need the urine and blood test, either.
Of course I wanted to do the physical, figuring if the doctor noticed anything concerning, I could always request more testing then. I also kept the lovely fecal test, since in the past he’s had problems, but I think next year I might drop that as well. I admit, I was a little nervous when I went into the vet’s office and told him I didn’t want the full work-up. He asked me why, agreed with all my reasons and just went on with the exam, no more questions or judging!
So, with a little bit of research and some backbone, I managed to save myself $150.