Heartworms, need advice.

Dog Food Advisor Forums Diet and Health Heartworms, need advice.

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  • #35151 Report Abuse
    theBCnut
    Member

    Hi Shawna

    If they can’t guarantee the dosage is evenly distributed, then they can’t guarantee the dosage is actually in each chew at all. A machine squirts a certain amount into a certain mold, if it wasn’t distributed evenly then some would be so strong that some dogs would overdose and others would leave a dog not protected.

    Pill splitting saves you money which means it costs them money, so of course they don’t recommend it.

    #35157 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    I was actually agreeing with your conclusion but apparently didn’t do a very good job of making that clear. 🙂

    #35173 Report Abuse
    theBCnut
    Member

    I did get that, but am intensely frustrated by their stance that they can’t guarantee the dosage, so wanted to point out how extremely stupid/greedy they are. Of course, the laws on prescription meds still apply. However, when my 62 lb dog died one month after I refilled his HWP prescription, and I wanted to use those for my smaller dogs rather than throw them out, all my vet could say was “Well, you know Patty, I can’t tell you that you can use those, but if you were to do that completely on your own….” I know she wouldn’t say that to someone who had no clue.

    #35188 Report Abuse
    losul
    Member

    Hi Patty, Thank you for the info, very helpful. and also good to know about the liver values.

    Looking back at records and thinking clearer now, you could be right, I think there could be a window of chance he could have been infected prior to adoption. I have records from the shelter where I adopted, they are pretty sketchy, but I believe he was there twice and I think briefly at another shelter, which I have no records for. The records from them that I have go back to Dec., 2011, but on 8/24/2012, they show exam, heartworm negative, pyrental, mchip. 8/31/2012 HWP given. This was the only time on the shelters records where HWP was given. There was a prior HW test done on 12/09/2011, but no mention of HWP between then and 8/24/12. Seems kind of strange now that the first HWP given to him at the shelter was suddenly 5 days before we adopted. We adopted on 9/5/1012. The adoption came with a complimentary exam and fecal from the shelter’s attending veterinarian which we used on 9/12. They sold us numerous things including 12 doses of heartguard +. I didn’t like the vet, very absent-minded to put it lightly, I had to keep reminding her we still needed the fecal, and she even seemed afraid to touch Turbo, barely did. I’m pretty sure I finished 2012 with 2 more (2/3) doses. I think after 2012 season was done was when i refrigerated it. I was giving him 2/3 of the chew and then putting the leftover 1/3 in a baggie, and using with an additional 1/3 the next time, that remaining 2/3 was used for the next dose, etc.

    About this same time last year he had a HW check with his rabies vaccination, before we later resumed with HWP. I didn’t even know until recently, that if giving seasonally, it should be started 1 month before the season starts. I was under the impression until recently, that the weather had to stay above 57 degress for like 10 consequtitive days, and then I thought there was a 30 day window of time after that. And I remembered with past dogs, we’d get a 6 dose supply and it would last the season.

    I’ll likely never know 100%, but for me, there’s just too much I did wrong. At the very least, i should have been throwing away the leftover 1/3’s, reading the package thoroughly, and I should have gotten myself better informed. I’m pretty sure this experience wouldn’t ever happen in most cases, given a more proper protocol than what I did.

    Yes i think too Xrays first, and then I’ll take it from there whether to get ultrasound also, and hopefully help determine a more exact course of action. I might have to wait for awhile for results on that. They have a pro radiologist come in to read them, but generally only comes in once a month, sometimes more often. I could get a quicker result, but with additional cost. The timing of this going on with other circumstances currently at hand, unfortunately, I’m going to have to at least be mindful of the ongoing/upcoming expenses.

    THNX again Patty.

    Shawna:
    I knew you fostered BT’s, but I had no idea that you had a mix of the same sort as Turbo! I would luv to see pics of your little “turd”. Getting pics on my computer and then figuring out what to do with them from there, has long been on my “to do” list. I’m so technology deficient, I’m such a procrastinator, and I’ve so many things backed already up on that list, but I intend to get around to it.

    That’s so funny the way you describe the “monster”. Turbo is the quirkiest dog I’ve ever met. He very oftentimes tries to communicate things, and many times still, I’m left scratching my head as to exactly what it is.. And sometimes his manners are such that I wonder if he wasn’t one that was taken too quickly from his Mama and siblings, before learning proper manners, and the consequences of not using good manners. I can see where he has been probably been misunderstood for much of his prior life. The first couple days we had him, i was second guessing myself some, and we nearly didn’t even take him to start with. But within a few days, I knew he was right for us. I could go on and on, but I absolutely must get busy this weekend, and the days following, doing things that are already so backed up.

    Thnx again Shawna.

    Turbo has noticeably been drinking more water and urinating more, this past week. I always thought he never drank enough, and I’ve always added some water to his kibble portions. I don’t think I’d ever seen him pee for more than 10 or 15 seconds at a time at the most, but the other day I think he must have peed for 45 seconds straight, and that was midday. I guess the advantage multi could cause that. Still no more trembling episodes and still haven’t a clue about what happened with that. might be a few days before I can write again.

    #35203 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    I’ll get some more picks of my little monster posted here shortly.. I recently transferred all pics from my laptop to an SD card for storage (replaced the laptop).

    Also wanted to mention — with ivermectin/heartgard, dosing should start one month AFTER heartworm season begins. Since heartgard doesn’t build up in the system and kills L3 and L4 stages, if there has been no bite there can be no L3/L4 to kill. And it would have been impossible for the L1 stage larvae to show up on the test if you had been using. That could have made knowing the stage/class harder??

    #35352 Report Abuse
    losul
    Member

    Hi Shawna, did you already post some “monster” pics? Somehow I either missed or am not getting them.

    What you say, was also what i had always thought before, and is logical. Now I’m unsure about some things. It’s hard to determine exactly when the season starts, when larva could be developing in mosquitos, etc., at least for me anyway, maybe that’s why they are saying to start a month before now, to be on the safer side? , And not entirely sure that it’s always as effective 30 or so days post infection?

    I had Turbo HW tested again yesterday (Sunday) at Vetco. They used the IDEXX snap antigen test, and again he tested positive. The Vet there showed me the results on the device, and explained and compared them with what was shown in the IDEXX brochure. It indicated low antigen levels, and in that vet’s opinion probable low adult worm load. The positive control turned a solid dark blue as it always should. The low antigen indicator turned a blue with about half the density of the control. The high antigen indicator was nearly altogether unoticeable, until the vet pointed it just out a very slight blue tinge. Otherwise I didn’t even see it. In the IDEXX literature it definitely looked most like the pic for the low antigen levels. Scroll down to “interpreting test results”.

    http://www.idexx.com/pubwebresources/pdf/en_us/smallanimal/snap/heartworm/snap-heartworm-pkg-insert.pdf

    From there it was reccommended to see regular vet. Vetco doesn’t look for microfilaria.

    My vet didn’t show me the results of his test, and didn’t say anything about high/low level antigens. I don’t know what kind of test he used. He just said he was positive on antigens, and they then looked for microfilaria and confirmed. It could have been really helpful to me to know the level from the start. I have an appointment for X-rays Wednesday. I still haven’t determined an exact course of treatment yet, again I hate to use any more harsh chemicals, steroids, and drugs than actually needed for his best interest.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 4 months ago by losul.
    #35360 Report Abuse
    Cyndi
    Member

    Hi losul, I saw Shawna had posted this the other day. I hope the link works for you:

    https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/off-topic-discussion/#comment-1275422834

    #35363 Report Abuse
    losul
    Member

    Thank you Cyndi! Yep I missed that somehow.

    Shawna, you’re right the pic not so clear, but he looks to be a precious “monster”, can’t wait to see more. THNX!

    #35364 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    That’s wonderful that the Vetco vet was able to give you some more useful information!! I agree, would have been nice to know earlier.

    Thanks Cyndi 🙂 I found some more of him that I put on disk but forgot the cd at home. His new owner changed his name from Biscuit to Yoda. Not sure where Biscuit came from but he needed to be a Taz or Turbo or something more like that. 🙂

    From what I’ve read, Ivermectin is still quite effective beyond the 30 days. I had the following printed out and in my pile of papers to read at home. Was cleaning in an attempt to find Kipee and Tumbleweeds birth dates. Anyhoo, the data dated 2013 reads
    “For Heartgard-30 (Merial, Duluth, GA), the target was simply heartworm prevention. According to the original new animal drug application (NADA), 1 “of the 83 dogs treated at monthly intervals in natural infection trials, or treated 30 days after induced infection, with doses of ivermectin at 3.0 mcg/kg or greater, only 2 dogs developed infections. [Author’s note: The 2 dogs that were positive were dogs that had each received 3.0 mcg/kg on day 30 after having been infected with approximately 50 L3.] Even when the treatment interval was extended to 45 or 60 days following infection, only 2 of 88 dogs given ivermectin at 6.0 mcg/kg or more developed infections.” 1 Dogs receiving 6 mcg/kg at 45 and 60 days were negative at necropsy. Thus, the minimum effective dose of 6.0 mcg/kg monthly was chosen.”

    Here’s what they say about Advantage Multi
    “For Advantage Multi for Dogs (Bayer Animal Health, Shawnee Mission, KS), 6 the dosage was chosen based on an established minimum effective dose for moxidectin against intestinal nematodes. It was shown, however, that 2.5 mg moxidectin/kg protected all 44 dogs treated 33 to 34 days after inoculation and 12 dogs treated 45 days after inoculation.” http://www.wvc.org/images/session_notes_2013/2013_S3D.pdf

    Treating every 35 days with Heartgard, as you did, should have been more than sufficient unless the worms were already there or a resistant strain.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 4 months ago by Shawna.
    • This reply was modified 6 years, 4 months ago by Shawna.
    #35467 Report Abuse
    losul
    Member

    Shawna. So funny about the Biscuit/Yoda names. Turbo was “Wiggles” at the shelter, lol. I think they maybe called him that primarily to soften his image to potential adopters 🙂

    Thanks again for the info. We have such weird changing weather patterns here anymore. We just had a harsh, cold, snowy, winter which we hadn’t had for many years, some other years, trees had already started to leaf out already in January, Feb., the winter was so mild. Later frosts would really mess the trees/plants up. A week or so ago we had a couple of days into the 60’s only to turn real cold again quickly. Yesterday temperatures actually hit 80, but dropped back into 40’s last night. The same is expected for today, low 80’s before turning colder again. How does a person know when mosquito season actually starts? Would a person consider it already/near started and begin HWP now or within a month if not already on it?

    #35468 Report Abuse
    InkedMarie
    Member

    I just got this link in email this morning, haven’t even read it but hope something in it helps

    http://vitalanimal.com/heartworm-cured/

    #35473 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    Hi Marie — I LOVE Dr. Falconers take on heartworm preventative/treatment (and he’s in Texas I think). There is another vet in Florida that does similar. And Dr. Martin Goldstein, per his book, treats heartworm with a glandular and several “tinctures”. Granted Goldstein is in New York but he says he has clients all over the US.

    Losul — Have you ever posted a picture of Turbo? I can’t remember?

    Determining when to start heartworm can be difficult but using a calendar and marking down the highs for the day (as it starts to get warmer can help).. Different researchers have found different temps and durations so going with the least makes sense. IF temperatures are below 57 degrees the larvae can not develop in the mosquito. And temps need to be high enough for long enough for the larvae to develop from L1 to L3 before the mosquito dies. It takes about 10 to 14 days at temps of 80 for the development to happen. So if temps are warm one day then 52 for five days, then a 60 degree day and a few more cool days etc, the mosquito will likely die before the larvae can develop into L3 stage. If pup is bit when larvae is at L1 or L2 stage — nothing happens. This page discusses some of the findings regarding temps http://www.acreaturecomfort.com/heartworminfo.htm

    I found a, what I think to be, good alternative that should make things less complicated though. “There is more to transmission than simply the presence of mosquitoes; it must also be warm enough for a long enough time period to allow the development of microfilariae to infective L3’s within the mosquito’s body. A simple formula involves counting the degrees above 57 degrees F reached each day. Each degree is called a “heartworm development unit” and when 234 heartworm development units have accumulated within a 30-day period, conditions have been reached to allow the transmission of L3 heartworm to new hosts. A monthly heartworm pill, chewable, or topical must be given at the end of a month in which 234-heartworm development units has accumulated.

    When 30 days pass and 234 heartworm development have not accumulated, mosquitoes will be dying from the cold before any microfilariae they carry can develop to the infective stage. Monthly heartworm preventive needs not be given after a month under these conditions.” http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_heartworm_prevention.html

    Hope that helps.. 🙂

    #35474 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    PS — I wouldn’t see why this same formula couldn’t be used to determine the last month it would need to be given as well. Keeping in mind to give one month after you can no longer reach 234 in a 30 day period.

    Also, Advantage Multi is cumulative if I understand your comments about it correctly and likely needs to be dosed differently???

    #35582 Report Abuse
    aimee
    Member

    I read Dr Falconers report on the case of Mr Piggy, whom was diagnosed a year earlier with heartworms, and was being treated with a “slow kill” protocol. A critical evaluation leaves multiple questions.

    The drugs used and the frequency given are not described except to say “had been trying her vet’s slow kill protocol with an antibiotic for six months” Did Mr Piggy have any drugs for first 6 months after the initial diagnosis 1 year ago? Additionally, I don’t know of any slow kill protocols that use antibiotics only and for a 6 month duration no less. All protocols I know involve using a monthly or more frequent dose of ivermectin or similar drug along with pulsed doxycycline. This leaves the reader to wonder what drugs did Mr Piggy receive and when did he receive them.

    He reports “it didn’t work. He was still showing worms on his test” The test is not described. The only test I know that “shows worms” is an ultrasound. I’m guessing he is saying that worms are present because antigen was detected in his blood. Is that valid?? Antigen can be present long after the worms have died which is why testing isn’t done for 6 months after adulticide is given. Did Mr Piggy even have heartworms when presented to Dr Falconer?

    Two months later he reports, “Bingo: Negative Heartworm Test this remedy hit the mark…..Mr. Piggy is… negative for heartworm!” Is it correct to say a dog is “negative for heartworm” based on an antigen test? I would argue that that is an incorrect statement. All we can say is no antigen was detected or the test result is below detectable limits.

    Is it practical to conclude that heartworms died while Mr Piggy was in Dr falconers care? It is commonly reported to take 4-6 months after heartworm death for antigen to decrease to the point that it isn’t detectible on an antigen test. Mr Piggy’s test went from detectible to non detectible in 2 months times suggesting that the heartworm death preceded Dr Falconers care.

    When looking at this critically what do we really know? Mr Piggy may or may not have had heartworms when coming to Dr Falconer and he may or may not have had heartworms when he left.

    I think it is just as likely actually more likely that Mr Piggy was antigen positive and heartworm negative when he first came to Dr Falconer and over the course of several months the antigen level fell below detectable limits.

    #35902 Report Abuse
    losul
    Member

    Sorry about the delayed responses.

    InkedMarie, Thanks for posting. I did find the link you provided helpful. Helped me to realize more, that while it is a really scary and serious thing, but that there is a difference between being HW positive and lower levels of worms and having significant HW disease. It also got me to thinking more about using some supportive supplements.

    Shawna, again, very helpful links, not just about timing for seasonal HW preventatives, but also other things. Thank you. I’ve never posted a pic of Turbo yet, but it’s on my to do list as soon as I get caught up on things. Because of the cumulative effects, I guess the advantage multi could be started a little earlier than the others and stopped earlier for using seasonal HWP. But it’s also because of those cumulative effects and the added and unwanted flea killer, that I doubt I will use for HWP, beyond using for treatment. I also noted in your second link that advantage multi is not often even used during treatment.

    I’m also thinking now that it is still senseless for me to give Turbo HWP’s year round. (once he is HW free). Even if I up the dosage months to 9 or 10 months, a break of 2 or 3 months from it, is better than no break, and shouldn’t be any risk of infection anyway during the coldest months.

    Aimee, I agree 100% with your critical thinking in the the case of Mr. Piggy/Dr. Falconer.
    Not so sure either about his “homeopathic” remedies, i.e. sulphur, calcarea carbonica, graphites (is that actually given internally?)

    I also got to reading some other alternative treatments elsewhere such as black walnut extract, wormwood, etc. Some of those seem would be as/or more so, toxic as conventional drug treatments. But I think I will start using some garlic.

    Update: Turbo had his X-rays Wednesday. The vet went over them with me, and in general thought they looked pretty good. He didn’t see anything at that time that would cause him to downgrade him from class 1 to class 2. Although he did have some things he wanted the visiting radiologist to look at and review (the heart) when he comes in again, I think on April 8. The lungs looked mostly pretty clear and pulmonary arteries he thought looked pretty good. I’m definitely leaning towards a slower kill protocol (rather than the harsh immiticide, steroids, and painkillers, and the vet seems fine with that, although he is still adamant about continuing with the Advantage multi, rather than ivermectin, me I’m not entirely sure Advantage multi will be as effective as ivermectin on fully mature worms, according to what I have read. Also if not going with immiticide, he wants to get going on the doxycycline sooner. He is saying just 2 weeks of doxy. Most of what i read says 4 weeks, or pulsing it. I also told him I had a 2nd HW test done that indicated low antigen, and that that vet thought it indicated lower worm load.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 3 months ago by losul.
    #37246 Report Abuse
    theBCnut
    Member

    Hey Losul

    How is Turbo doing?

    #37261 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    Hey Losul, missed your question about homeopathics. Yes, sulpher etc is given internally however they are EXTREMELY diluted in such a manner as to make them, most believe, completely harmless. They actually gave a group of people an entire bottle to demonstrate that they were ineffective. Since they are symptom specific they would be ineffective unless those taking were experiencing the symptoms the homeopathic is designed for. What they did demonstrate is that no one became ill taking massive amounts.

    My Gizmo takes the homeopathic phosphorus for her colitis. Stops the symptoms within minutes. My Pom Peanut has taken sulpher for her anxiety issues. Everyone in my family takes arnica for various different things. I would not hesitate to give my dogs or grand babies ANY homeopathic product made from any ingredient.

    #65747 Report Abuse
    Glenna S
    Member

    This is in reference to various old posts (March, 2014) but we have started our dogs on Advantage Multi as a heart worm treatment. Toby & Rex are 3 years old and have been on Iverhart Max since they were 3 months old (given year round) and were diagnosed with heart worms in December, 2014. For those of you who are using or have used Advantage Multi for the “treatment”, was it successful in eliminating the heart worms and if so, to what degree did you keep them tethered or restrained from full activity?

    #65759 Report Abuse
    losul
    Member

    I had talked bits and pieces of Turbo’s continued story on on the review side in the interim, but I’m way past due then to place an update here. I’m going to try too update, and reply to Glenna in this post.

    I somehow missed BcNut’s and Shawna’s last posts here from way back, really sorry about that. Late now, but BcN, thank your asking, Turbo’s doing great, and Shawna- interesting on the homeopathics, thnx. Also thanks too everyone again for helping me through this whole ordeal

    Back in March, we had Turbo’s X-rays reviewed by a professional radiologist, and he agreed that there Turbo appeared to have only a low grade HW infection, the x-rays didn’nt change the opinion that that it was a mild, or asymptomatic grade 1. Vet advised to not have an ultrasound done. With that news and given the fact that he already then already had his first dose of advantage plus, I decided to proceed with with trying the A.P. in a slow kill approach, no immiticide, no steroids, etc. The vet only wanted to use 1 2 week round of doxycycline, I think most vets use 2 rounds or even more in pulsed manner, but I’m always concerned about antibiotic overusage anyway, and agreed with too single round.

    It was the vet that pushed to use the A.P. moxidectin for the slow kill. I could never find anyone that tried it before, still haven’t, and so was very skeptical. Plus the fact that I hated combing the HWP with a flea insecticide, an unnecessary toxin. But the vet really pushed for it, and optimistic about it, especially thinking that we could be dealing an ivermectin resistant strain. All the information I could find ONLY advised using ivermectin/doxycycline as a slow kill method, and still hadn’t heard of anyone else using A.P. for it until now— Glenna S.

    So went the doses of A.P. plus the single course of doxycycline, with no problems, except completely hating the leftover smell of the flea insecticide for many hours and into the next day. The package insert stated something too the effect that studies showed if a dog was bathed after 90 minutes after administration, it didn’t affect then efficacy of the moxidectin. It’s rapidly absorbed through the skin. During the course of doxy, and a bit after, I gave him probiotics.

    My vet never did say to restrain or even really limit his activities, even when I grilled him on it. Neither did he tell me NOT to restrain him either, and he understandably stated a disclaimer, that it could be dangerous in instances, especially if an embolism, and that any other possible long term effects/damages where not well studied. Evan so, I planned on restraining him, only taking him out on leash, etc. As luck had it, we had very slick ice on the ground the first few weeks, making it so hard to do so., can’t tell you how many times I busted my butt in the ice and mud…. and he wasn’t being at all cooperative about pooping or even peeing on leash anymore as he once was. Eventually we gave upon the restrainment. I think it was going to be detrimental to all of us, including Turbo, especially having to do so for a year. If he had been in some sort of worse state of health, then I think we would have just had to tough it out, or would have even had to more consider the immiticide/steroid/painkiller/hospitalizations route, with shorter but very stringent restriction times.

    As I said, Turbo never showed any symptoms, no coughing, exhaustion, etc. prior to . He gets incredible bursts of extended energy outside sometimes, so I was very leary of this, watching closely, and I did later noticed him cough ( I think) a few times after extended bouts, but nothing serious, and no exhaustion.

    Back in late May i think, seems the 28th, if my poor memory serves, he had 2 days of concerning what appeared to be gastric disturbances. I had had drastically changed some major components of his diet all at once, several things at once I think, so both the vet and I attributed it to that. But then immediately for the next two days he had coughing episodes. The vet though the 2 incidences were unrelated even though 1 immediately followed the other. We both thought the second halve could be attributed a worm die off. Dead worms eventually get absorbed through the lungs, and can certainly cause problems. Turbo restrained his own activity during this period, and I restrained him for a further couple weeks after.

    No further incidences since. I’ve been leaving free to romp and exercise, sometimes he runs/plays really hard, and for extended periods, especially when friend Miller comes around.

    So all has gone well thus far, Turbo looks and seems a picture of health. I wanted to wait a reasonable bit before getting another HW check, as the worms must be gone for 6 months for the antigen to be non-detectible. He had his 10th and the last dose I had of A.P. on December, and we will be taking him probably before end of month for check, and then decide where to go from there. I hope I’m able to report back with good results at that time.

    GLENNA, so sorry to hear about Toby and Rex. I truly hate this ever would happens to any dog and owner. I wish some of the above, and the rest of the thread, will help you in some way. I can’t advise you on activity for your dogs, should be something you and your vet decides, and depending on many factors. Could you tell us some more? Did you vet want to use A.P. in a slow kill? Has he indicated the the degree of infection? Also wondering what part of the country you’re from? where you strict with your Iverhart regimen? Please write back. Best wishes, losul.

    #65767 Report Abuse
    Glenna S
    Member

    Losul – I am so glad you responded. When we got the results in December which was the dogs annual physical and blood work up, I “zoned out” when our Vet gave us the news – on Christmas Eve nonetheless. We gave Toby & Rex their Iverhart faithfully on the third of each month, year round, and our Vet was aware of this as I was in there every 3 months to pick up the six pack of Iverhart.

    My husband heard her say “tether them on a 2 – 3 foot cable” and our vet is adamant on the activity restriction, this being her first in the Advantage Multi treatment. She has witnessed dogs dying from embolisms on the “arsenic” treatment because the owners didn’t follow strict restraint in a kennel. I think this is her reasoning for the tethering on the Advantage Multi treatment. She did give us the option of the “arsenic” treatment, even feeling 100% confident that Virbac would cover the treatment. Money is not an issue but the kenneling of two 90+ lbs. dogs is not feasible for us at least in the winter months.

    We live in a rural area, and yes, in the Mississippi River Valley. We’re in southern Illinois, probably 5 miles or less as the crow flies from the river. There have been several cases of an ivermectin resistant strain in this area.

    Although Toby & Rex tested positive for heartworms, they do not have the Microfilariae. Two blood tests were performed, one was sent to another lab for definite confirmation. They are in stage 1, no coughing or any other indication of infection.

    I guess my still “zoned out” brain wants to know since this is a slow kill method, wouldn’t embolism problems be minimal, thus they could have some daily freedom to romp and play? We have an in-ground fence system which they were accustomed to so you can imagine their reactions to being restrained. You can tell that I do not like the idea of any animal being tethered – seems cruel and harsh punishment, especially for one year or whenever they test negative.

    My vet didn’t mention doxycycline to kill the Wohlbachia. I am going to call her and ask her thoughts about this, as well as mention again, my concerns for them being tied up. I know what she will say in regards to that (smile). I really appreciate you taking the time to respond. Please let me know the results of Turbo’s blood test – I certainly hope they are negative. My best wishes back to you.

    #65796 Report Abuse
    losul
    Member

    Glenna, I want to thank you for responding back also. This is still a learning experience for me. I understand your predicament, I know about the bomb-shelled feeling, but couldn’t imagine that happening on Christmas Eve, and then with 2 dogs i addition…. But it’s good too hear your dogs are asymptomatic for least.

    I’m not sure the reason microfilariae were not detected in you dogs- whether the year round HWP was keeping them non-detectible, the infection was caught early and no worms had had reproduced, the worm load low, or whether there were only one sex of worms. I think the year round HWP probably kept them non detectible. When I had Turbo tested last February, he had not had any HWP in any form for several months already, the ivermectin is quick in, quick out. ( didn’t give year round, and my regimen were not good to say the least). He showed pos on 2 different antigen tests and on the microfilarae. The antigen levels showed low.

    The disadvantage to the slow kill is that it very unpredictable when worms will die, MUCH less control, although they should die at a much slower rate than in a quick kill where there is large/sudden dieoffs.

    Did the vet explain that with A.P. the takes something like 2 to 4 monthly applications before the plasma levels of moxidectin peak and level off? That brings up another question, did the vet prescribe the A.P. to be used at the same levels as would be for your dogs for prevention? For my dog it was the same applied as would be for prevention. My vet really hadn’t much prior experience using A.P. in the slow kill method, and really only some anecdotal words….. I hated to think of Turbo as a guinea pig, but given that there was a possibility of his worms being resistant to ivemectin, I felt I only really had 2 choices, the A.P. slow kill, and the arsenic/steroids/etc. fast kill. I feel i made the right decision for in our situation, and don’t think I would have changed much, even without knowing the upcoming results…

    There used to be a fellow Daveshounds ( is that how it’s spelled?)on DFA reviews that rescued a hound that was already known to have HW’s I think. I don’t know the particulars, extnet. He went with a slow kill ivermectin method (more traditional, though still not approved or really advised) method. Didn’t see him about on DFA for a good while, but he came back very briefly many months ago, to report that his dog had then reported back neg for heartworm, and the dog had done very well and in great shape, I’m reasonably think he implied that he had been exercising and working out the dog throughout, but not entirely sure. I tried to reply back too him and ask more, I don’t think he saw it, and haven’t heard anything since. I’ve already been searching alittle for that post, no luck so far. I’m going to look more, when I finish this….., I think it was on the off topic board, and think I can search through my own replies….

    I wish I could be of more assurance, I can’t and won’t say that by not restricting activity with a slow kill, that it’s not dangerous and without risk, sorry. I can’t even say what method, slow/fast would be best for YOU and YOUR dogs, I hope you understand….

    Do check with the doxycycline. Many vets believe that killing the wolbachia it weakens the worms and also may cause a lesser, immune and inflammatory reaction when the worms die. My vet was going to use it even if we went with the fast kill.

    I don’t know if you supplement with fish oil/fish/omega 3’s, could be a good thing in addition for ordinary cardiac health, also for anti-inflammatory qualities.

    When you give your dogs A.P., I would definitely separate them for a good while. If one were to ingest orally from the others neck/shoulders, at least while wet, it can be extremely toxic.

    I’m hoping to know more soon……

    #65799 Report Abuse
    theBCnut
    Member

    Hi Losul

    I’m glad Turbo is doing so well, and I hope he gets a great report from the vet!

    #65801 Report Abuse
    losul
    Member

    Thank you much BC! I Wish all the best things for you and all your family also!!!

    #65803 Report Abuse
    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hey losul – good to hear from you, it’s been awhile. Glad Turbo is doing good. 🙂

    #65818 Report Abuse
    Glenna S
    Member

    Losul – thanks so much for your very informative response! The Advantage Multi is being given to both dogs the same as a preventative, once a month, same levels for a year at which time they will be retested, although my husband & I have decided we want them tested in 6 months. We keep them separated now 24/7 although before the Advantage treatment, they were separated only at feeding and bedtime. The vet did make us aware as to licking or oral ingestion of Advantage Multi quite possibly being toxic. As with your vet, ours has not had any prior experience with using the A.M. as a treatment, again, I feel that is another reason she is recommending keeping them tethered. Until I get a change to ask her about the doxycycline, we will keep them tethered. I’ll check back in with you regularly and hope for the best for you and Turbo.

    #66028 Report Abuse
    losul
    Member

    Hi HDM! Thnx and very good to hear from you! But I’d like to hear more, i.e. you, your schooling. dogs etc.
    I want to entice you to go somewheres my neck of the woods, like the Veterinary College at Columbia MO. 🙂 There’s definitely a need for a great vet around here!

    Glenna, thnx, it seems you are top of things. Will update when able!

    #66057 Report Abuse

    Its been a long time since we have had a dog with heartworm disease, and so I have fallen behind on research. However, if I recall, the average lifespan of an adult heartworm is about 5 yrs. The slow kill method kills the microfilaria and keeps the dog free of “new young worms’ but it does nothing to kill the adults. Without Immitricide, the present adult worms will continue to cause damage to the heart and circulatory system until the natural expiration of its life cycle. I would completely expect the dog to show positive until that last worm is dead on an antigen test.

    By that same token, I would expect any of the monthly preventives to accomplish the same thing, over time, and of course with varying degrees of speed and success depending on the medication choice used.

    Old treatment was “arsenic” based and is no longer considered the gold standard in heartworm treatment. The caparsolate used was nasty stuff. These days its Immitricide and is safer than the old school arsenic. For me and my dogs, unless there is a medical reason known ahead of time that would contradict the Immitricide treatment, it is what I have and would continue to go with. The thought of continuing damage for 5 years is not something that I personally could do.

    #66239 Report Abuse
    losul
    Member

    I think its pretty well established that the average natural lifespan of adult HW’s is about 5 or so years. “adult worms that may live for five to seven years in dogs.”- American Heartworm Society. Even devout opponents of using slow kill, usually say that it can take UP TOO 2 Years for the adults to die using ivermectin as a slow kill. UP TO 2 YEARS- I would ask, is is that the average lifespan of 5 to seven years? They can say it doesn’t kill HW’s if they want ( I call it slow killing them), but there IS evidence that it significantly shortens their lifespans, and evidence that they can be gone in much less time than 2 years. Yet above is an unsubstantiated, unreferenced claim that;

    “it does nothing to kill the adults. Without Immitricide, the present adult worms will continue to cause damage to the heart and circulatory system until the natural expiration of its life cycle.”

    Well here’s some more of my research.t;

    Here’s an important study titled, “COMBINED IVERMECTIN AND DOXYCYCLINE TREATMENT has microfilaricidal and ADULTICIDAL activity against Dirofilaria immitis in experimentally infected dogs.” and the conclusion, “RESULTS INDICATE THAT THE COMBINATION OF THESE TWO DRUGS CAUSES WORM DEATH. This could have important implications for control of human and animal filarial infections.”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18433753

    a third; “Reduction of adult worms was 20.3% for IVM, 8.7% for DOXY, 92.8% for IVM + DOXY + MEL, 100% for MEL, and 78.3% for IVM + DOXY.”
    “Preliminary observations suggest that administration of DOXY+IVM for several months prior to (OR WITHOUT) MEL WILL ELIMINATE HW with less potential for severe thromboembolism than MEL alone.”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18930598

    To try to keep balanced, and not to be takenm lightly, a bit older and a negative study, warning of using ivermectin alone or ivermectin with praziquantal as a SOLE treatment too dogs with with clinical, radiographic or echocardiographic evidence of heartworm disease. Some of the dogs radiographs or electrocardiographs indicated increased evidence of disease during the study, The conclusion of that study- “Thus, monthly administration of IVM to dogs with CLINICAL, RADIOGRAPHIC or ECHOCARDIOGRAPHIC evidence of heartworm disease is ILL ADVISED and SUCH TREATMENT OF EVEN THE ASYMPTOMATIC DOG SHOULD BE DONE ONLY WITH MUCH CAUTION AND FREQUENT MONITORING BY THE VETERINARIAN”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15381305

    Immiticide (melarsomine dihydrochloride) has les side effects and mortalities than the elder chemical. There hasn’t been shown immediate liver or kidney damage, but is STILL A VERY POTENT ARSENIC compound, I don’t believe anyone can say for certain what LT effects aor damages it could have. Immiticide “Melarsomine dihydrochloride is an organic arsenical chemotherapeutic agent.” Merial themselves state that immiticide has a low margin of safety. Plus, in their own clinical trials, 5.2% of dogs in stage 1 and stage 2 died following treatment. 18.2% of class 3 dogs died following treatment. In a further smaller trial, 33.33% of class 3 dogs died. Many of the mortalities and side effects a surely reduced much further with the use of powerful steroids. My vet would have given along with each of the series of 3 immiticide injections, 3 injections of dexamethasone, a powerful steroidal drug that can in itself have serious consequences, and tramadol for pain, with a strict confinement total of 60 days and three nights and 3 days hospitalization. That’s his protocol assuming there were no complications. These were hard but researched decisions for me too make, and I’m sure fro anyone else in these shoes. Again my dog is asymptomatic, shows no clinical signs, or pertinent radiographical signs of heartworm disease. He still does or did have a HW infection. I do my best to keep my dog healthy, did everything I could too best make decisions, and I’m not going top feel guilt for not subjecting him to (what I believe is needlessly in Turbo’s case ) to trauma and harsh, damaging, life threatening chemicals. The money for us was no factor. To make it clear, I believe in many cases, melarsomine SHOULD, be used, and in some, I understand why it is used, and also who sometimes it CAN’T be used.

    I have hopes, but no expectations one way or the other for Turbo’s upcoming HW test results. The only expectation I have is that his complete exam, his CBC, and if need be, another xray, will continue to indicate good health. I had already made the determination some time ago that I was going to be able to rest in peace, no matter + or – reading, as long as Turbo remains healthy and free of heartworm disease and as ALL the evidence currently shows. I know I made the right choice for us. My vet wanted to wait for a full year for retesting, as he knows the worms need be gone for about 6 months for the antigens to be non detectible. That would mean the worms would have already had to have been gone already around 6 months ago, so about 5 months after starting A.P., not a very long time, especially since the moxidectin takes 3 to 4 applications to build up to full plasma potency.

    If Melissa’s intent was was to inflict hurt, disturbance, dismay, guilt, or just to promote antagonism, then I guess I can give her the pleasure of knowing she had much of intended effect, but not guilt. I made an appointment for Turbo tommorrow, (soon to be today) a few weeks ahead of time, and he will get his HW re-test, blood work and exam.

    I’m disturbed of the purpose of Melissas statement, and honestly I fail to find anything helpful or useful, in it. Instead, I find unsubstantied and inaccuracies. Unlike her, I extensively researched everything I could, and with the help of many others, to make important educated decisions, some of it documented throughout this thread. I’m sure my my research extended well beyond, and still do. I took this very seriously, still do, I’m never one to just throw damaging drugs and chemicals at anything without doing my own research rather than relying on a clinic vet’s words, my own personal and unsubstantied bias, or simple heresay.

    Her first paragraph actually contradicts her second , (Could she actually think the slow kill method entails doing absolutely nothing, no monthly preventative?). That final sentence and her irrational conclusion is the one most superfluous and disturbing. What person or vet in their right mind would ever attempt, condone or allow continuing damage for 5 years? Seem’s as to me sensationalism at it’s best.

    Glenna, i will continue trying to present the whole picture, the best I can, without any bias, or judgement. I think you probably already realized that before this post. Slow kill can absolutely has it’s risks, much of it depending on the health, and the degree of infection or disease, but so can the the immiticide, the immiticide particularly if you are not able to adhere too very strict confinement, as you already indicated you could not? It seemed you already had your mind made up on slow kill, but I would believe you still have then more time to still consider the alternative? Have your vet read the studies above, in particular the one about doxycycline w/preventative, it could be very be helpful in whichewver method. Xrays/bloodwork/ can also certainly help on any further determination if not already done.

    I should have the HW test results later today. The other bloodwork then send to an outside lab so probably will not have it for a couple more days…

    #66243 Report Abuse
    aimee
    Member

    Losal,

    I didn’t read Mellissaandcrew’s comment as trying to be anything but informative. She did preface it by saying she has fallen behind on research.

    Each person has to decide for themselves what is the best course of treatment. When faced with the decision there is no way to know what I’d actually do. Certainly with a new dog, one that hadn’t been on a good prevention program or any dog with any signs of heartworm disease, I’d use immiticide. I think if my dogs currently came up heartworm positive I would likely use Immiticide. They are active dogs and from what I’ve read the lung/artery damage is most evident in an active dog when undergoing “slow kill”. I wouldn’t want to exercise restrict, potentially for years, until the worms were gone.

    But I could also see myself as reasoning that they have been on preventative, likely have a low worm burden and consider “slow kill”. Immiticide isn’t 100% and even after treatment it is still possible to have worms remain.

    With slow kill I may fret more in regards to “are they really gone”? This can be a concern with any method of removal but I read that when using slow kill method dogs may revert to a negative antigen test but still be worm positive. This is because of antibody formation that ties up antigen. http://veterinarymedicine.dvm360.com/symbiosis-parasitology-heartworm-recommendations-updated?rel=canonical

    I hope to never be faced with having to make that decision, it would be heart wrenching. I do all I can do to prevent HWD by giving my dogs heartworm preventative once a month all year round.

    Wishing only the best for you and Turbo.

    #66245 Report Abuse
    Dori
    Member

    Aimee. You may have mentioned this at some point some where but I’ve obviously forgotten. You say that you keep your dogs on heart worm preventative once a month all year round as do I. I was wondering what you give your dogs.

    Losul. I know you hadn’t been giving Turbo HW preventative year round. I’m wondering if you will be doing that from now on and if so, which one?

    Aimee and Losul. My dogs have been on Sentinel for years and recently (a few months back) switched to Sentinel Spectrum as my dog’s vet no longer carries regular Sentinel Flavor Tabs but does say she can special order it for me. I was wondering, after Melissa’s earlier post, if I should put the dogs on Heartgard when it resurfaces. I’ve never used Heartgard and let me say that none of my dogs have ever had a problem with Sentinel and/or Sentinel Spectrum. I ask because it’s time for me to re-order HW preventative meds this afternoon when I take Lola in for her yearly physical, blood work and titers.

    Losul, I have been praying for you and Turbo and thinking of you both since this horror happened to your family. I’m praying that you get good results from tests this afternoon and am so very thrilled that Turbo has remained asympotmatic all this time. So far so good. Let’s keep praying that all remains that way.

    Sorry, one other question for both of you. What are your positions on rabies vaccines and how often to give? Thank you both for any info you wish to share with me.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 5 months ago by Dori.
    #66248 Report Abuse
    aimee
    Member

    Hi Dori,

    When intercepter was available I gave Jack Intercepter and Brooke Sentinal. It would be pretty hard to miss a hitchhiker flea on Jack! Now I use Sentinal with both.

    If/when Intercepter comes back I might return to Intercepter for Jack. With coated dogs and flea exposure I prefer the extra protection of Sentinal. On more than one occassion I’ve found a flea on Brooke and was glad to have Sentinal on board knowing that any eggs it laid wouldn’t hatch.

    Rabies.. I use three year vaccinations every 3 years.

    #66250 Report Abuse
    Dori
    Member

    Thanks for reply so quickly Aimee.

    I’m going to keep the girls on the Sentinel Spectrum. With the exception of a Bichon that we had years ago when we lived in NYC and had to walk him on the streets with thousands of other dogs, we have never had a flea issue. Hope I haven’t just jinxed myself. Living here in Georgia there is a huge population of fleas, ticks, worms as well as HW so I think I’ll err on the side of caution.

    Lola is due for her physical, blood work, HW, titers and rabies vaccine this afternoon. The county that we used to live in required a rabies vaccine every year. When we moved to this county I didn’t realize that counties had different laws so Lola got a rabies vaccine last year and every year of her life. This county requires 3 year rabies vaccine or titers. I’m thinking that I should just do titers for rabies along with titers for core vaccines and see where we’re out once I get the results. Any thoughts?

    #66265 Report Abuse
    weezerweeks
    Member

    I did all the titers for my yorkie and the distemper and parvo were very good and the rabies was very high very high and he had not had the vaccine in 3 years and 2 months and it showed very high. I will never get another one.

    #66271 Report Abuse
    Dori
    Member

    Thanks weezerweeks. We just got back from the vet and I opted for titers for all core vaccines including rabies. They’ll call when they get the results back. Fingers crossed.

    #66273 Report Abuse
    losul
    Member

    have limited time now, can’t get into much a discsussion, The 4x HW tickborne was considerable cheaper when included in the complete bloodwork package which is sent to an an outside lab, so rather thanm have them do the 4X inhouse and sending the rest out, I’m waiting day to find out all results tommorrow. The courier picks up today, and results should be ready tommorrow, he probably won’t call me until late. Per the vet, heart and lungs sound great, lungs sound clear. Condition appears excellent. He told me not change anything I was doing, barring any kind of problems and he is quite aware of his to activity’s. have more advantage multi now, but haven’t made an exact decision yet going forward, show know more tommorrow when vet calls with results. Dori, for Turbo, I’m not sure I could ever confidently use ivermectin again for preventative, whether it was all my fault, or whether it is really a resistant strain, I’ll never completely know, otherwise I’d likely be using it going forward, once negative test results. We still have bad mosquitos here. The swamp” land on the adjoining property still has yet too be fixed.

    Aimee, I disagree on that. I had all W.E. to sit on this, and tone things down, and I did tone it down, as as much as I can get. Yes, she stated as being unsure about the exact average lifespan, but she stated those other sentences as fact, when in fact, it is FALSE, I would never do such a thing, and I will never try to wrongly influence someone, and especially with a matter important. In fact, I’m not trying to influence anyone period, that should be quite clear. Then her superfluous, unfounded last sentance as a kick in the teeth. Anyway it’s over, I can’t dwell anymore on it, or waste anymore time on it.

    I have read a little about the antigen/antibody thing, especially in just the last few days. I meant to ask the vet about, and want too look into further. HJust a couple quick thoughts though, there is a lot of oppostion to making anything easy in the pharmaceutical world, especially with so much money involved. There are even Heartworm scary commercials about. Antigen tests have gotten more sensitive, not less. If it were completely true then how could you ever even tell for sure whether a dog ever were to became infected in the first place? Don’t know, Gotta go for now…..

    #66274 Report Abuse
    weezerweeks
    Member

    Dori, I sent mine to Hemopet and received the results for the core in just a few days but it took about a month for the rabies titer. I hope yours are all good but if their not at least you want be giving the vaccines with them already protected, you will know they need them.

    #66275 Report Abuse
    Dori
    Member

    Weezerweeks. I know the vet told me rabies results would take longer I didn’t realize it would take that long. As you say, I’m hoping they’re all going to come back good but if not I’ll just have them give what she needs. Hoping she doesn’t need any. I just wish they would change the law to 7 years already and be done with it.

    #66287 Report Abuse

    LosulFirst, I very cleary indicated that I have not had a heartworm positive dog in years. I stated what I was familiar with. I made no claims of fact. The post was not addressed to you. It was a general opinion. That for ME I would and have gone with Immitricide. Obviously you STILL have a problem with me..too bad. You have been angry since I commented about honest kitchen food. Shrug. We are all entitled to post our opinions, and mine remains unchanged that the worms continue to cause damage every day they are present. You are welcome of course to disagree with my opinion ion but you are not entitled to attack me.

    Edit.. here in NY slow kill is not considered to be the treatment of choice due to continuing damage and length of time. In NY it is ONLY used in 2 cases 1) dog is too ill or otherwise infirm and unlikely to survive Immitricide or 2) owner can not afford treatment. This may be different from state to state. Some vets will not do slow kill simply for economic reasons again due to continuing damage potential.

    #66304 Report Abuse
    losul
    Member

    Melissa, i did not stay angry with you ever since the HK disagreement. But I feel YOU have held anger. If you would recall I even apologized to you later for being harsh back then, I don’t believe we’ve had any words since.

    In this matter, then we should just agree to disagree completely and drop it. I don’t need any more agitation in my life right now, really.

    Just one last thing, I don’t know about any state regulations, there are none that I know of. I made it perfectly clear to my vet, that for me, it was concern over needlessly using the harsh drugs, and I made sure that his infection was minor (asymptomatic, no clinical signs, no radiographic signs,) before making my decision. I thought his melarsomine treatment pricing was quite reasonable, but it doesn’t matter. And in Glenna’s situation it apparently doesn’t have too do with money either, as her vet told her the preventative manufacturer would foot the bill. I hope you aren’t implying it as you sure seem to be doing, but don’t assume either that there is only YOUR 2 reasons for choosing slow kill, I completely assure you there are more.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 5 months ago by losul.
    #66328 Report Abuse
    weezerweeks
    Member

    Melissa I agree with you. My yorkie had heartworms and I just wanted them out of their. No way could I wait 5 years! The hardest part was the confinement for a month.

    #66331 Report Abuse
    pugmomsandy
    Moderator

    The heartworm fosters I get receive back to back injections. I’ve only had a very few who received doxy and two injections spaced out a month apart. For me, I’d chose immiticide over two months and doxy. Confinement hasn’t been an issue.

    #66338 Report Abuse

    It doesn’t seem then that the Immitricide regimen has changed much since we treated the last positive. Only new thing I could fine was the concurrent use of doxy.

    #66392 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    It’s important to give doxy whether doing the slow kill or the immitricide as it kills the wolbachia which is what causes havoc at die off. LOTS of vets and others are successfully using methods other than immitricide. For those that feel comfortable using it, do so. But for those that don’t, like myself, it is good to know that there are options. Here’s some of them.

    Dr. Karen Becker – “As it turns out, low-dose ivermectin therapy in dogs with no sensitivity to the drug, in combination with the antibiotic doxycycline, can be an extremely effective, inexpensive option for treating heartworm infection.

    The cost was about 50-75 percent cheaper than Immiticide and all four cases of infection cleared beautifully.

    The only time I’ll consider using Immiticide in the future (once it becomes available), is when I have an ivermectin-sensitive patient.” http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2011/11/22/cheaper-safer-therapy-for-heartworm.aspx

    Dr. Marty Goldstein (vet to the rich and famous) uses herbs and food to clear heartworm. He also feels monthly heartworm preventatives are a leading cause of cancer in our pets. He discusses it in his book “The Nature of Animal Healing”.

    Dr. Melissa Shelton is treating her heartworm infected rescued dog with Young Living essential oils.

    Additionally, Dr. Shelton discusses a person she personally spoke with who cleared a SEVERE case of heartworm in her rescue senior pup using alternatives.. “She had taken the dog to the University to have an echocardiogram performed. The heartworm infection was so severe, that they recommended endoscopic removal of the worms from the heart — they gave the dog a very guarded prognosis, even with that procedure. No matter which treatment they chose – it was a very grim outlook for this little dog.

    She decided to try a natural approach. What did she have to lose?…….

    Not only did the little dog not die, but all of the heartworm died without major side effects. The dog is still alive today, and doing well.” This case was cured using essential oils. http://www.crowriveranimalhospital.com/pdf/15-2010%20Heartworm%20%28Dogs%29.pdf

    Research has shown that garlic and ginger alcohol extract both kill heartworms. My guess is that garlic also kills the wolbachia bacteria.

    I would never tell anyone to not use immitricide if they were more comfortable with that route. I am intelligent (at least I think I am) :), I’ve researched this topic thoroughly and I personally, without even a moments reservation, would use the slow kill method with my fur kids.

    The heart is a muscle. IF a few heartworms did in fact do some damage to the heart, it is quite capable of repairing itself. But, to help things along, I would certain give Standard Process Cardiac Support while doing the slow kill method.

    PS — remember Dave’s Hounds? He used the slow kill method with his senior rescue hound dog successfully.. I know quite a few people (including REALLY ill pets) that have recovered using slow kill method.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 5 months ago by Shawna.
    #66393 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    PSS — wolbachia also causes the damaging inflammation in heartworm.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 5 months ago by Shawna.
    #66406 Report Abuse

    Hi Shawna-

    Do you know what the average length of time to clear the infection was versus the length if time using Immitricide? I know when we used the Immitricide the dogs came up negative in typically 6 weeks after treatment. One was still weak positive at 6 wks but came up negative at the next test which I believe was 6 wks after that.

    The problem I see with Ivermectin is that it would appear that some folks dogs are getting infected while taking it.

    #66414 Report Abuse
    Glenna S
    Member

    Losul – I talked to our vet in person regarding the Doxycycline. Toby and Rex are supposed to be on it. It was an oversight on the vet’s part and she along with the staff apologized profusely. I had mentioned to you that it was on Christmas Eve when we took them in for their annual visit and heart worm test and, yes, it was hectic at their office, nonetheless I wonder when this drug omission would have been discovered. They had a smaller milligram of Doxycycline in stock but the larger milligram was not ordered until I spoke to them last week. I have mixed feelings right now on that subject but am glad it is resolved. I picked up the Doxycycline yesterday and Toby and Rex are on 400 mg twice a day for a 30 day period. She stated the only side effect would be a temporary decrease in appetite. Losul, I can never thank you enough for bringing this to my attention.

    I also asked both of the vets yesterday about the tethering and both stated that Toby and Rex need to be restrained on no more than a 3 foot lead and only taken for a short daily walk. We will abide by that restriction. I’m not liking it but it is what it is. (smile)

    Please let me know Turbo’s test results and again, thank you so much for all of your advice and information. Best wishes to you and Turbo.

    #66415 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    Morning Melissa,

    Honestly I don’t know but six months comes to mind.. That could be way off though? I know once the worms are actually gone it still takes some time for the test to come back negative as the antigens are still present after the worms die off.

    Regarding reinfection or infecting other dogs—-that’s why the doxy is so important in slow kill method. In killing the wolbachia bacteria, doxy actually sterilizes the adult worms. The infected dog can therefore not be a source of infection to other dogs. Since Ivermectin kills the microfiliria, wouldn’t it take care of any potential reinfection?

    There is apparently a specific cycle (doxy is given intermittently) that makes the ivermectin / doxy the most effective. For that reason, and others, I would always suggest one work with a qualified vet who is knowledgeable with the method (or at least willing to do the research).

    I would also feel completely comfortable using herbs IF I was under the supervision of Dr. Goldstein or one of his colleagues. And likewise (after her own trial is completed) I would feel completely comfortable using therapeutic grade essential oils under the supervision of Dr. Shelton. She wrote The Animal Desk Reference on essential oils and is the leading expert on EO’s for pets (including lizards, birds, zoo animals and other exotics).. I just attended a class in Des Moines Iowa on EO’s for pets. The guest vet, Dr. Fox, had some pretty impressive results on some pretty nasty illnesses and received journal exposure on one of the cases. I’m continuously amazed at the healing power of nature!!!!

    PS — in this linked paper they are suggesting a couple months of treatment with doxy and ivermectin before using immiticide. First though, here’s a blurb about infective status of dogs given doxy “Mosquitoes that fed on blood from DOXY-treated dogs had L3 normal in appearance but were not infective for dogs.” “Preliminary observations suggest that administration of DOXY+IVM for several months prior to (or without) MEL will eliminate adult HW with less potential for severe thromboembolism than MEL alone.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18930598

    #66471 Report Abuse
    losul
    Member

    I started this thread almost a year ago as way to receive much needed advice and info, as I was hit with an unexpected bombshell, and needed to learn quickly all that I could. I didn’t even know very much about heartworms at the time. I’m forever grateful to all those who provided loads of info and advice, and all kind words of support, thoughts and best wishes. At the same time I wanted to chronicle everything I learned in a manner as objective as possible, not only for my own useful purposes of reviewing, but also hopefully for others it could possibly help that found themselves in the same predicament. I wanted to weigh everything I could, learn as much as I could, do all I could, so that I could arrive at the best decision I could make. I stand by my own personal decision. This was never a clear cut decision, it was NEVER simply one way is right and one way is wrong. There are way too many VERY important factors to weigh. The issue itself is way too important and serious, and dogs health and lives can be at risk. If my dogs condition warranted the other method, I would most definitely have used it. But I’ll NEVER try to promote a particular method as a blanket statement.

    The events of the last several days showed this thread was no longer where I intended it to go. What happened to facts and objectivity? I’d never take sides in there is only one right way, and only one wrong way, there isn’t IMO, there is no one size fits all. I’ve had Turbo’s results since yesterday, again I know I made the right decision for us, no one else. I’ve now had to come to another VERY hard decision. I’ve decided NOT to post them in public.

    Glenna, if you could ask Dr Sagman to forward your EM address to mine, and he would be so kind to do so, I am more than willing to discuss with you.

    #66481 Report Abuse
    crazy4cats
    Member

    Losul-
    Selfishly, I’m disappointed in your decision, but I do understand it. I hope everything goes well for you and Turbo. Take care.

    #66490 Report Abuse
    Bobby dog
    Member

    Losul:
    FWIW that is exactly the purpose this thread served for me. I learned quite a bit about HW treatment through this thread and the links everyone generously posted. I hope all is well with Turbo’s health, he couldn’t be in better hands!

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