I live in the Pacific Northwest and until reading here on DK, I have never really heard about heartworm. Maybe it is not something that is seen much in my area. I have never treated a dog for heartworm or heard of anyone I know treating for it. Right now, Nellie's hair is so very long, I don't think a mosquito could get close to her skin to bite her and my family is never bitten by mosquitos so we don't notice if they are around (we just don't taste good to them). Is this something I need to worry about? Also, I have never given worm medicine to my dogs, although Nellie got dewormed by the breeder before we got her. My last dog, a chi-corgi mix got giardia once (presumably from a mud puddle since she was only walked on the road or beach) and she was treated once with antibiotics and then was fine. She only got rabies shots after we rescued her and the vet never recommended any other treatments.
Also, do you recommend Bordetella for grooming appointments ? So far, I can't find a groomer that will take a doodle! The one recommended to me plain didn't believe me when I told her Nellie will only be about 25 lbs. She said, that's what the breeders always say and then the dogs end up being 90 lbs.! She said "We have to want to go to work, you know?" as in, grooming doodles makes them not want to go to work!!! So, sadly, Nellie has been to Petco twice and they didn't require Bordetella. The first time when they told me it would be 4 hours, I freaked out a little bit and ended up picking her up before they did any trimming. She only got ears, nails, bathed that time. The second time, I bathed her first and then just took her for face, feet and fanny trim. Now she needs it again and I really don't want to go to Petco, but can't find a groomer.
Thanks for any input! I appreciate everyone sharing your knowledge on DK. I have learned so much! Here's some Nellie pics. She did great on her first boat ride!