My husband and I, including our three babies, will be taking vacation next week to the GA mountains. We will be renting a log cabin and plan on having the dogs mostly outside with us, enjoying the weather. I took my dogs off heart worm and flea/tick preventative medicines after researching side effects with them both having chemicals in them. Should I put them on it for this trip or does anyone else have an alternative/holistic, more natural remedy to ward of fleas and ticks?
Should I be worried about heartworm? We will be in Morganton, GA and the cabin has a stream running through the property. We will be there from 7/2-7/6.
Thanks for any suggestions!
Regarding heartworm, do a google search because I *think* you would have had to have put them back on preventive a month ago in order for them to be protected. I think you’re a day late & dollar short; probably should have thought about this a month ago. If I’m wrong, I’m sure someone will come along & correct me.
Hound Dog MomParticipant
The heart worm prevevntative needs to be given for at least three months after the last exposure. So, no, the dogs wouldn’t have needed to be started on it prior to the trip – they will need to be given it for three months after the trip if you feel that they have been potentially exposed to heart worm. The preventative kills the immature worms so it wouldn’t matter if the dog had been given it prior to exposure because there would be no worms there to kill.
Thank you HDM, you have helped me many times in the past and have always been very helpful. I really didn’t want to put them on anything such as heartguard. Where we live, it would be very unlikely that they would be exposed to heart worm after researching a lot about it in regards to the process of how a dog gets infected. However, since this was a last minute trip, I started to think about it a bit more when I realized that there is a stream in the back yard of the cabin we are renting. It is my understanding that mosquitoes live near water and since it is more “country” from where we live, thought there would be more of a chance of exposure.
I did some research on some natural tick/flea/mosquito repellents for dogs and I will try those.
…mainly was just looking for what others may use as an alternative to either Heartguard or Frontline type of medicines for dogs.
I try to feed my dogs fresh garlic a couple of times a week normally. But, now that it is flea season, I have been giving them a scoop of the Bug Off Garlic from Springtime Supplements every day. So far, so good. I did this last year also and they did not get fleas. As for Heart Worm, I don’t have any recommendations. Have you checked out the dogs naturally magazine or dogaware websites. I’ve gotten a lot of good info from those sites. Good luck and have fun on your vacation!
Thanks for correcting me!
Pacer: heartworm is the one thing I do. I don’t vaccinate except for rabies, titer for the rest but I’m not fooling around with heartworm. Jmo.
Hound Dog MomParticipant
Hi Pacer –
There’s no alternative to Heartguard. There aren’t any natural treatments with demonstrated efficacy. I have my dogs on Heartguard (well, not Heartguard brand but an equivalent) and – imo – the basic ivermectin based preventatives are very safe. I only give it when the temperature is high enough for mosquitoes to transmit heartworm and for three months after the temperature drops (so for Northern NY that’s roughly April/May – November/December), I dose every 45 days (vs. every 30 which is recommended on the package) and give milk thistle for a week following each dose.
How high do the temperatures have to be for mosquitoes to transmit heartworm? I haven’t used heartworm preventative before, but apparently it is starting to show up a bit now in the NW. Vets are starting to recommend it now, where they never have before. If I did decide to start it up, I would want to do something like you are doing as it is still not very common here. Thanks for your help.
Greetings pacer1978. You will love the north Ga mountains. I have a pet friendly cabin company very near Morganton. I live on a river. It is very, very rare for me to see mosquitoes, I guess the fast moving water and fish take care of that. There are times that our doggie guests will pick up fleas while out and about. They are sharing the same land with all sorts of animals, and we do have chiggers up here. Personally I don’t have my pets on flea prevention and they have no fleas. Don’t slam me… But I don’t have them on heartworm meds either because we had a horrible experience this winter after giving them Trifexis and I haven’t found a heartworm med that I feel comfortable giving to my fur fur babies. I hope that helps, the weather has been WONDERFUL up here.
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