How people making less than $50,000 a year can afford a pet, I do not know. I suspect a lot of poor folks don't spend money on heartworm protection and flea and tick prevention. After all, 30 years ago, such things hardly existed.
Going to the Veterinarian for such supplies is often problematic - the vet charges a lot of money for these supplies, and heartworm medication is considered a "prescription" medication. Often, a six-month supply of Frontline could cost $120 or more - about $20 a dose. Back in the day, I would just pay this, scratching my head after leaving the vet as to why my bill was over $400. And I would scratch my head as to why my credit card balance kept creeping up. I never made the connection.
Buying these medications online, of course, saves some money. Today, you can find Frontline for as little as $10 a dosage, on Amazon or eBay. But so long as they had a monopoly on these drugs, there was little incentive to lower the costs, and until recently, prices were much higher than that.
But now there are generic equivalents, such as Pronyl OTC, which I recently purchased for about $12 for three dosages (yes, I bought a year's supply at this price for about $60). This is a considerable savings over the $240 a year I used to pay! As with everything else, it pays to shop around, and Googling "Front Line generic equivalent" found this blogger entry:
Good news if you've been using Frontline for flea and tick prevention! The active ingredient in Frontline is now available generically via FiproGuard™ Plus (available in pet specialty stores) and Pronyl OTC™ Plus (available at grocery, drug and mass retailers). Expect to pay $19-$30 for three doses instead of $45-$60.
From the official Sergeants press release:
(Omaha, Neb. – May 12, 2011) In the thick of flea and tick season, there’s great news for pets and pet owners – but bad news for fleas and ticks. Generic equivalents of Frontline Plus® are now available in pet specialty, grocery, drug and mass retail stores. Two new generic versions – FiproGuard™ Plus (available in pet specialty stores) and Pronyl OTC™ Plus (available at grocery, drug and mass retailers) – provide pets with the same flea and tick protection and use the same active ingredients as the brand name version.
The difference: besides being available in a variety of shopping venues and therefore more convenient, the new generic versions are also less expensive. This is great news for both owners and their furry friends, as the flea and tick season moves into high gear.
The move to generics has increased in the animal health care world over the past decade. Veterinarians commonly prescribe generic medications to their patients, just as physicians do for their human patients. FiproGuard™ Plus and Pronyl OTC™ Plus mark the beginning of generic versions of name brand flea and tick treatments, however.
Both products are produced by Sergeant’s Pet Care Products, Inc., a leader in the pet products industry that has been developing and manufacturing pet health products for more than 140 years. Both FiproGuard™ Plus and Pronyl OTC™ Plus are manufactured in the U.S. in their Memphis, Tennessee facility. The facility has passed stringent U.S. regulatory inspections that ensure these new flea and tick topical products are quality controlled and up to U.S. health and safety standards. While other generic flea and tick topical products have been rolled out, not all are manufactured in the U.S.
Just like Frontline Plus®, FiproGuard™ Plus and Pronyl OTC™ Plus contain a powerful adulticide, Fipronil (which that kills adult pests including fleas, ticks and chewing lice), and an IGR (insect growth regulator), S-(methoprene), which kills flea eggs, flea larvae and prevents the development of flea pupae. Both topical products also aid in the control of mites that may cause sarcoptic mange in dogs. The final results: dead fleas and ticks and protection against reinfestation.