Before we moved to Oregon, our dogs had one final thorough and comprehensive exam with their veterinarian in Kansas. I wanted to have their check-ups and vaccines out of the way so I could buy myself some time to find a new vet. I’m one of those pet parents who is quite picky when it comes to pet care, maybe you can relate? We’ve been lucky in that Scooter has been really healthy this past year, and we haven’t needed to take him to a veterinarian in Oregon yet, unlike his brother Bear. Scooter was due for a checkup in August, and that’s how we found ourselves at our local Banfield Clinic.
We set Scooter up with a Banfield Optimum Wellness plan over the phone, and then scheduled an appointment at our local clinic the next day. The goal was for Scooter to get an overall exam, heartworm test, and for us to obtain heartworm prevention for him all in the same visit. The entire process couldn’t have been more of a breeze! The assistant on the phone was proficient and helpful. I received an email with his package information, and the information was also sent right along to Scooter’s soon-to-be new vet.
Scooter’s Banfield Optimum Wellness Plan includes free office visits as well as annual heartworm tests as a part of the plan. Banfield believes that preventative care is the best way pet parents can improve the quality of life & longevity of their pets. Annual check ups often catch serious and fatal diseases in their early stages so treatments can be successful. Each Banfield Optimum Wellness Plan can be customized based on your pets needs. Our plan also affords us 10% off products and services which aren’t included in our plan.
On the day of Scooter’s appointment, we were greeted warmly upon arrival. I’ve noticed this is over looked at a lot of vet clincs, and I really appreciated their kindness and warmth. The Banfield Clinic was surprisingly nice, modern, and was one of the only vets offices I’ve been in to-date that didn’t smell like animals inhabited it. Like at all! The rooms were clearly numbered, and had fun animal images plastered all over them. It didn’t give off that sterile and unfriendly feel, instead, it was warming and welcoming, a place you might like to spend some time.
Inside the exam rooms, there were many different informational brochures that pet parents could help themselves to and educate themselves on. I found myself picking a few of them up, and tucking them into Scooters sleepypod, intrigued by their contents and informational titles.
I could tell one of the main goals of this Banfield Clinic was to spread awareness about heartworm prevention, and I was glad. Heartworm is SO easy to prevent, and extremely difficult, expensive, and painful to treat if your dog ever contracts it. All it takes is one mosquito bite from a carrier insect for your dog to be infected.
Hearworm disease is caused by a parasite. It is serious and potentially fatal to both cats and dogs. Currently, there is no approved heartworm treatment in the US that can be used for cats, but dogs owners have several options. If you’re curious or concerned about heartworm risks in your area of the country, please see this interactive map to learn more. In comparison to the cost of heartworm treatment, heartworm prevention is safe and affordable. Most veterinarians, The Banfield Pet Hospitals included, reccomend annual heartworm testing and year round preventative medicine.
After Scooter had his check-up, he went to a back room to have his blood drawn for his heartworm test, as well as to run a blood panel on him. He came back sporting a bright pink wrap and a nervous grin, but seemed to have been quite happy with the vet and vet tech other than the needle poke part- who can blame him! He received a dose of de-wormer, and we were also sent with a follow-up dosage to give him in two weeks.
Once his test came back negative a few minutes later, the vet spoke with us about different heartworm prevention options. I mentioned an issue we’d had with a medication in the past, and we settled on trying a new-to-us heartworm prevention called ProHeart6. I had just begun hearing about ProHeart6 but we had no experience using it with either Scooter or Bear before.
ProHeart6 has many advantages for a small dog like Scooter. It is an injectable heartworm treatment that is good for six months- 2 shots a year and my sweet boy is covered and protected. Scooter has often had difficulties in the past being able to eat an oral heartworm preventative pill (he does not think it is a treat like Bear does!) and having an injectable option means I don’t have to fight with him each month just to keep him healthy- it’s better for both of us.
ProHeart6 is safe to use on dogs over 6 months of age, and I’m happy to share that Scooter had no adverse reaction to his shot or the new medication. Small breeds are sometimes sensitive to these sorts of things, so I always monitor him extra closely after he’s had an injection or medication just to be sure. We tend to stick with medications he’s had success with in the past and do as little ‘experimentation’ as possible in that department.
Scooters visit with Banfield Pet Hospital couldn’t have gone better, and we’re so pleased to have found them! It goes to show the importance of annual check ups for our pets. Scooters blood results revealed that he has a slightly elevated liver enzyme level. This could mean many things, and could also mean it is just normal for him. We have a plan with Scooter’s new vet to return in a month for another blood draw to see where his numbers are at that time and proceed from there if necessary. He also developed rather itchy right ear two days before the appointment, and we were able to get that looked over as well. He has a special ear cleaner that we will be using once a week and monitor results.
Disclaimer: The Optimum Wellness Plan and information have been provided to SheSpeaksBark by Banfield Pet Hospital®. We were not compensated for this post, and all opinions are firmly our own.