Heartworm Prevention

Dog Food Advisor Forums Off Topic Forum Heartworm Prevention

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  • #100985 Report Abuse

    Soph M
    Member

    Hey guys! As some of you know, I feed only homecooked food and treats to my dog. Everything that I give her is all natural. I am hesitant to use chemical Heartworm prevention this year because I hate putting pesticides into her. In the past I have used HeartGard with no problems, but I’m really scared to give it to her after learning about what is in it. Do any of you have any recommendations? Have you guys found any natural preventatives that seem to work?

    #100986 Report Abuse

    anon101
    Member

    No, I am not aware of any “natural” heartworm or flea/tick preventives that are effective.
    Also, if the dog tests positive for heartworm, the treatment that works to save the dog’s life is very harsh. Same with Lyme disease, nasty disease if not caught early.

    Some science based information you may find helpful here http://skeptvet.com/Blog/?s=heartworm
    Nothing is being sold at that site, no supplements, no books, no miracle cures, no membership fees………

    #100987 Report Abuse

    Lora J
    Member

    Hi! Here is an article by natural vet Karen Becker, with a really good discussion of the topic. There are a lot of variables that can be taken into consideration like where you live, etc. I hope this helps you. Dr Becker has a great website and is a wonderful resource.

    #100989 Report Abuse

    anon101
    Member

    “There is no “Natural” or “Holistic” Heartworm Prevention or Treatment Proven to be Safe and Effective”
    Posted on June 30, 2013 by skeptvet (excerpt below, click on link for full article)
    Hopes this helps http://skeptvet.com/Blog/2013/06/there-is-no-natural-or-holistic-heartworm-prevention-or-treatment-proven-to-be-safe-and-effective/

    If your dog is unfortunate enough to become infected with heartworms, there are effective treatments. The risk of treatment is, however, significantly higher than the risk of prevention, though in most cases still far less than the risk of leaving the disease untreated. The American Heartworm Society (AHS) has a thorough discussion of the pros and cons of different treatment options, and working with your veterinarian you can almost certainly cure this disease and minimize the risks of treatment.
    The AHS is also very clear about alternative therapies for this disease: “No “natural” or herbal therapies have been shown to be safe and effective prevention or treatment for heartworm disease.” And fortunately, many proponents of alternative therapies also recognize that no CAM therapies have been shown safe and effective for preventing or treating this disease. The most popular veterinary herbal medicine textbook states, “The authors do not recommend substituting an unproven herbal formula for effective conventional therapy.” Even as radical a proponent of alternative therapies as Dr. Karen Becker at mercola.com grudgingly agrees that,“treatment for heartworm infection is one area where conventional veterinary medicine offers valuable options [and] is preferable to leaving the dog untreated, or using unproven, alternative methods that may have no effect or even be harmful.”
    Unfortunately, there are still plenty of unscrupulous companies, and sadly even veterinarians, willing to exaggerate the risks of conventional prevention and treatment and claim that unproven alternatives are safe and effective. Below is a long list of sites promoting unproven methods of preventing or treating heartworm disease. None of these have been demonstrated to be legitimate or reliable, and trusting your dog’s life to any of them is a dangerous mistake.
    http://www.theherbsplace.com/Heartworm_Prevention_sp_104.html
    http://www.alternativeheartwormcure.com/index.html
    http://www.earthclinic.com/Pets/heartworm.html
    http://www.oursimplefarm.com/2012/04/my-dogs-experience-with-heartworms.html#.UcuCIm3n_IU
    http://www.unchainyourdog.org/news/NaturalHeartworm.htm
    http://www.holisticvetexpert.com/NATURAL-HEARTWORM-TREATMENT.html
    http://www.holisticvetclinic.net/pages/heartworm_treatment
    http://www.homeovet.net/content/lifestyle/section4.html
    http://www.heartwormfree.com/
    http://drmark1961.hubpages.com/hub/safe-herbal-heartworm-treatment-for-your-dog
    http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/heartworm/

    #100993 Report Abuse

    anon101
    Member

    https://www.heartwormsociety.org. excerpt below, click on link for full article.
    True to its mission of leading the veterinary profession and public in understanding heartworm disease, the American Heartworm Society aims to further scientific progress in the study of heartworm disease, while informing its membership of new developments. The Society currently invests hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in heartworm research, both directly and through grants to the Morris Animal Foundation.

    #101000 Report Abuse

    pitlove
    Member

    Hi Soph-

    I understand that it has become a growing trend to try to attempt to do everything naturally with ourselves and our pets. What I think folks whos goal it is to go towards a more natural approach forget is that some things are necessary evils. Heartworm prevention is one of those things. I am unaware at this time of any “natural” non-chemical means to kill off adult heartworms or microfilaria. And I don’t know if you have ever seen a dog dying from heartworms, but it is one of the sadest, most heartbreaking sights.

    I think just about all of the folks on here who take a more natural approach to their pets health, still use a heartworm prevention pill. That is one thing you do not want to mess around with.

    #101010 Report Abuse

    Soph M
    Member

    Thank you so much for all of your help and all of the links! I agree that it is best to protect from Heartworm conventionally. Would u guys recommend HeartGard Plus or just HeartGard?

    #101011 Report Abuse

    anon101
    Member

    Depends on the area you live in and what the veterinarian who treats your dog prefers.
    Btw: It is best to buy heartworm/flea/tick preventives from your vet’s office rather than online, for a bunch of reasons.

    #101012 Report Abuse

    pitlove
    Member

    For me personally, I prefer to use a heartworm prevention that only contains the ingredient that kills off the heartworm (Ivermectin, Moxidectin etc). I also give flea and heartworm meds separately.

    But considering I live in the South and we haven’t had a real winter in a few years down here, I do heartworm prevention all year round. I know some don’t, who live in states where there is a real winter. That is something I would talk with your vet about.

    #101057 Report Abuse

    Marie P
    Member

    I don’t use the Natural products as of yet for Heartworm prevention. WE find Heartgard to be the safer of the evils;
    For Heartworm treatment, Talk to your Vet about other options.
    Trifexis is NOT the only heartworm treatment they offer.

    Ask about simple Heartgard Plus
    ( It’s still a POISON but safer than many of the New ones that popped onto the Market )
    Buy this from your VET.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by  Marie P.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by  Marie P.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by  Marie P.
    #101092 Report Abuse

    Susan
    Member

    Hi, I do not use any Heartworm meds or flea meds, I do live Australia & have hot Summers we do get mozzie’s after the rains in Summer but Patch is an indoor dog & doesn’t sleep outdoors, chances of an infected mosquito biting him is very slim, Patches vet hasn’t seen any heartworm cases in my area in 26yrs…she doesn’t seem concerned that Patch isn’t heartworm……Contact your local vets & ask has there been any resent cases of heartworm in your area??…..

    #101132 Report Abuse

    pitlove
    Member

    A local shelter is likely going to see more cases of heartworms than a vet. About 95% of the dogs that came in or were already at the shelter I volunteered at were positive.

    #101133 Report Abuse

    Soph M
    Member

    Thank you so much for all of your advice! I actually volunteer at a local vet clinic and they have had 2 patients diagnosed with Heartworm this year. Considering this, I think that I will continue to use the HeartGard Plus. Thanks for all your help!

    #101165 Report Abuse

    InkedMarie
    Member

    I do more natural than conventional but I’m not willing to risk heartworm. I’m in NH, I do Interceptor every 45 days from March/April to October/November.

    #101643 Report Abuse

    Soph M
    Member

    Hey! Have any of you given your dog milk thistle for a week following Heartworm medication? I heard that it is good for helping to detox chemicals from the liver.

    #101646 Report Abuse

    anon101
    Member

    I took milk thistle once, years ago, I forget why now. Anyway, I felt nauseous 20 minutes later and vomited.

    Hope this helps. Below is an excerpt from an informative blog, click on link for the full article and comments. http://skeptvet.com/Blog/2011/04/milk-thistle-in-dogs-and-cats/

    As far as risks, there appear to be few. Nausea, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal effects are sometimes seen, and allergic reactions have been reported in humans.
    So overall, the in vitro and laboratory animal evidence indicates it is plausible that milk thistle extract might have beneficial effects, though harmful effects in some situations could be expected as well. In humans, the clinical trials show weak evidence for benefit in diabetics and inconsistent but generally negative evidence for benefit in alcoholic or hepatitis-associated liver disease. Very little experimental, and apparently no high quality or controlled clinical research exists in dogs and cats. What there is suggests a benefit is possible. But we must bear in mind that preliminary, low-quality trials of milk thistle in humans looked promising but were not supported by subsequent better quality trials.
    A clinical trial comparing animals with naturally occurring liver disease treated identically except for receiving either milk thistle or a placebo would be quite useful. In the meantime, use of the compound is not unreasonable given the suggestive low-level evidence, but it is not much more than a hopeful shot in the dark at this point.

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