We held a 2 month promotion about heart worm disease and prevention. Every dog who got a heart worm test AND 6 months of heart worm preventative either heartgard or Proheart. The winner of our contest was Lucy Lou (pictured below and the prize was this amazing dog bed full of goodies! Congratulations Lucy Lou and congratulations to EVERYONE who got their dog on heart worm preventative. You all made a good decision for you furry loved one!


Heartworm Disease

In 2016 almost 120,000 dogs tested positive for heartworms in the United States compared to 78,000 dogs in 2013. That’s an overall increase of 11.5% nationally. Missouri had the highest percentage of increase of heartworm positive dogs. Missouri alone increased almost 54% in positive heartworm disease cases from 2013 to 2016.

In February of 2018 the American Heartworm Society released the top 10 cities in the US for the highest increase in prevalence of heartworm disease cases. Springfield MO is number 6.

Veterinarians recommend heart worm preventative for every dog, every month of its entire life.

“I don’t want these harmful chemicals in my dog, I think he/she will get cancer from them”

Heartgard is administered once a month it kills the baby heartworms but not the adults. It is in the body for about 12 – 24 hours then is excreted from the body. So for 29 more days your pet is chemical free. Heartgard is VERY safe, effective and we would not recommend it if it was not safe. In contrast the damage that heartworms can inflict on your pet’s heart can shorten the life span and cause blood clots, strokes, pulmonary embolism and/or congestive heart failure.

Heartworm TREATMENT if your dog becomes heartworm positive utilizes high doses of arsenic based chemicals that can be harmful to the pet. That is what we want to avoid.

”Heartworm preventative is so expensive and I cannot afford it for my dog(s)”

Heartgard costs $6 - $9 per month per dog. A heartworm test is about $30 - $60 per year. Plus a physical exam at the veterinary office. A total of about $130 per year for heartworm preventative.

In contrast heartworm treatment to get rid of adult heartworms in your dog costs anywhere from $400 - $2500 depending on the severity of the heartworm disease and the size of the dog. Not to mention, the damage inflicted by the heartworms and the medications they need.

“I try to be a god owner but I just can’t remember to give the meds to my dog every month.”

We offer Proheart which is a great product. It costs the same as Heartgard. Its an injectable heartworm preventative that lasts 6 months and you do not have to remember anything. Our staff will call you and mail you reminders when it is time for the next injection so you can rest easy knowing we will remember for you and your dog will stay protected.

“I only give my dog heartworm preventative during the summer because that is when mosquitos are out”

Again, we recommend heartworm preventative 12 months out of the year. It only takes 1 bite from 1 mosquito and mosquitos can be out at only 45 – 50 degrees! They especially love stagnant water which occurs in late fall and early spring. And during fair winters it is still a risk. It is not worth saving a few dollars.

The Bottom Line

Dr. Amanda recommends heartworm preventative for every dog every month of their entire life. We offer two effective and affordable options: Heartgard a yummy chewable administered once a month OR Proheart an injection given by our staff that lasts 6 months. If these products do not appeal to you then Dr Amanda would be happy to write a prescription for you to get heartworm preventatives from anywhere you desire. We recommend reputable pharmacies to ensure quality product is prescribed.

We require an annual physical exam and heartworm testing to get heartworm preventative.

We offer convenient technician appointments if the physical exam is up to date and a person just needs a heartworm test or Proheart injection.


For the kitties we held a two month promotion about bloodwork, senior screening and feline leukemia and aids (FIV/FeLV). To get entered into the drawing to win an awesome cat bed full of goodies a person simply had to get FIV/FeLV test or bloodwork for their cat. The winner or our contest was Little Momma. She, unfortunately does not like coming to the vet so she sent her brother Chester to claim and share the prize and they are pictured below. Congratulations Little Momma and Chester!!! And congratulations to everyone who tested their cat(s).



FIV is feline immunodeficiency virus and FeLV is feline leukemia virus. These are contagious and fatal diseases of cats and kittens. FIV is transmitted through blood to blood contact so usually outdoor fighting cats. FeLV is transmitted through any bodily fluids and is called the kissing cat disease so sharing food/water bowels, grooming each other, etc. FIV is similar to HIV (not transmissible) in that a cat can live a long normal life, they just tend to get more sickly than the rest. FeLV unfortunately usually causes a shortened lifespan. Average lifespan of a cat with FeLV is about 3 years and these cats tend to be more sickly also.

Senior screening for cats is very important once they are over 8 years of age. We want to catch any potential issues before they start to cause problems. This way we can improve quality of life and lengthen the lifespan of our furry loved one. The 4 most common older cat disease are Diabetes, Hyperthyroidism, kidney disease and cancer. With the exception of cancer, bloodwork is very good at telling us if the other problems are occurring BEFORE symptoms develop. Senior blood screening is $100 and if your pet is an established patient you can take advantage of a technician appointment if you want a senior screen.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure….” Be confident your pet is happy and healthy going into winter and potentially Save Hundreds by catching problems early!

Keeping with our mission to improve access to affordable healthcare for Branson’s pets Shepherd of the Hills Vet Clinic is offering for a limited time a $15 Comprehensive Doctor Exam where the doctor will check:

• Temperature

• Pulse/Respiratory rate

• Examine skin and coat

• Abdominal palpation

• Eye and retina scam

• External ear check

• Otoscopic exam of ear canals

• Lymph node palpation

• Examination of mouth

• Gums/ Gingiva

• Teeth

• Tongue and throat

If your pet is behind on preventative care or needing medical treatment don’t worry!

Through our unique partnership with Shepherd of the Hills Humane Society we are able to offer the highest standards of care at some of the lowest prices in the Midwest, year-round! See our Menu of Service and never be surprised by a vet bill again!


Shepherd of the Hills Veterinary Clinic

Font Resize