Heartworm Preventatives

Posted By: elisabeth

Heartworm Preventatives - 05/19/10 02:31 AM

I just recieved yet another message from my vet today saying that Stark has to have a heartworm test done and that they have our preventatives in stock if I would like to come and pick them up.

I would like to go all natural this year (and from here on out) but I have no clue as to what is out there.

As for fleas and ticks, we are going to be using Bug Off (I just placed an order for this).

I was planning on doing the test (is it worth it? He had it done last year and was all clear) but would like to use something all natural for protection (if I really need it).

I need to learn more about this and plan too, but thought this would be a good place to start.

If there is a thread already started please direct me there, I didn't see one but am soo tired I can't even hardly type tonight.

Thanks all!
Posted By: GSDTrain

Re: Heartworm Preventatives - 05/19/10 02:53 AM

i don't really know anything about natural products but if i were you, i would definately still do the test.
Posted By: Lin

Re: Heartworm Preventatives - 05/19/10 03:34 AM

You can use something natural but I also think you should still do the test first. If he had heartworms the dosage would be different than if he doesn't and you're just preventing. Here is a natural product:
Posted By: TerriJ

Re: Heartworm Preventatives - 05/19/10 03:39 AM

I would still do the test to make sure you are starting out clear. I don't do preventatives as I hate to put any more chemicals into the dogs' system than is neccessary but I do test. I use Bio-Spot that can be ordered from your pet catalogs plus I made up my own concoction using Skin So Soft, lemongrass oil, citronella oil and eucalyptus oil that I put on a wash cloth and wipe down their legs, underbellies and tails with before we go walking in tall grass. So far, so good.
Posted By: Lin

Re: Heartworm Preventatives - 05/19/10 03:46 AM

Has he been on preventative the entire time since last year? Its still best to do the test, because sometimes the dog can have a mild heartworm infestation and test negative for a while.

I don't use heartworm protection Dec-Feb. Then I do a heartworm test at home and start preventative on the first of March.
Posted By: elisabeth

Re: Heartworm Preventatives - 05/19/10 04:19 AM

He had the heartworm test done last year and it came out all clear (he was only 4-5 months). He was not on any preventatives last year but they have the ones I used on Beau in stock (she is now not taking anything).

I really do not want to put anything unneccessary into his body. I wouldn't mind using an all natural topical that I can make at home, but I really do not want to put any chemicals into his body that he doesn't really need.

He is only getting his rabies this year so I am sure the vet will have a few nice words for me, along with why feeding raw is so horrible but I would like to learn more before I go in for his heartworm test so I can be prepared and they know I am not just doing it to 'not' do it.
Posted By: Lin

Re: Heartworm Preventatives - 05/19/10 04:35 AM

I feel the same way you do. When it comes to Tessa's chronic dry eye she does much better on the natural supplements than she did on prescription steroids and immune suppressors in the eye!

I currently use Ivomec for heartworm control, its pure ivermectin rather than the additional wormers such as heartgard plus. I recently came across the product I suggested above though and am going to switch when I can afford it. I also feed diatomaceous earth daily which is a natural way to prevent/treat parasites. I've read that some of it is even dissolved and enters the blood stream so I wonder if it helps heartworms as well.

Could you find a more holistic vet? My old vet completely disagreed with raw so we had an "agree to disagree" and never discussed it. I loved her for everything except that. I only changed due to moving.
Posted By: elisabeth

Re: Heartworm Preventatives - 05/19/10 04:46 AM

The holistic vet is quite a distance for me and to be perfectly honest, I could care less what the vet thinks.. lol. I tell him that too, they know I research and know what I am talking about so after a little "talking" from me they usually back off pretty quick. There are 3 vets in the clinic and so I never get the same one two times in a row.

I am headed back to my parents house in June (3 hours away) and may just go to my old vets for his test and rabies shot. This is the vet who we have been with for 20+ years. He is a raw feeder as well and he is just amazing.. couldn't ask for a better vet or person to care for your animals.

I am only seeing the vet I have because of the same reason. I am a student (or was - I graduated last month) and do not have a car up here so this vet is walking distance from my home. Convience is why we go.
Posted By: Lin

Re: Heartworm Preventatives - 05/19/10 04:54 AM

Can you request a specific vet? I like to have the same person working on my pets so they can more easily notice something different or wrong. When I go to clinics with multiple vets I always request the same one when I schedule appts. That really stinks that the holistic vet is too far. There is one I would LOVE to see but they are too far from me. So the one I chose is closer but doesn't offer chiro.

The holistic I used to see before moving was great. She had started out a mainstream vet but after becoming physically disabled she turned to alternative methods when modern ones failed her. Because of that, she started taking classes on chiro and accupuncture etc for pets. She had so much demand for it that she went completely holistic, and will only work with clients that also have a mainstream vet.

Having a vet close is very important, there have been times I had to rush a dog to the vet and it was great that the drive was only minutes. I had to do this when Tessa had an allergic reaction that made her face swell up, and the time I found Logan having a seizure.
Posted By: elisabeth

Re: Heartworm Preventatives - 05/19/10 05:43 AM

I can request one specific vet which is a good idea, I probably should do that. The one vet is pretty good and seems to have a happier attitude than the other two who just go in, do what they gotta do and leave. I wish *my* vet was closer than 3 hours.. lol.

I think after reading a few articles and talking to my breeder I am going to go ahead with the test (which I planned) and his rabie shot and then leave it at that.

I will use Bug Off for fleas and ticks and I think I am going to skip the preventative as after researching I don't think it is necessary.
Posted By: BowWowMeow

Re: Heartworm Preventatives - 05/19/10 05:45 AM

I have given all of my dogs heartworm preventative. It is the only chemicals I use and here's what I do:

Test every year
Start 45 days after the mosquitoes hatch (around here that means I start between June 1 and June 15)
Give every 45 days until 45 days after it gets cold enough

That means I give 3 doses. I use regular Heartgard, without the dewormer.

Just so you know, you do have heartworm disease in your area. My experience with Bug Off is that while it works great for ticks (only found one on my dogs in 6 years and found more than that on me!!!!) it does not work in the case of a heavy flea infestation. Then you have to use other mentions in conjunction like NEEM spray and shampoo and diatamaceous earth.
Posted By: elisabeth

Re: Heartworm Preventatives - 05/19/10 05:56 AM


We use to give Beau Advantage Multi 55. I really would like to stay away from the chemical preventatives at all cost which is why I am not planning on getting any from the vets office like I mentioned.

I do want to give something though which is why I am looking at the all natural ones, have you heard of the one Lin posted about?
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: Heartworm Preventatives - 05/19/10 06:05 AM

There is a protocol for herbals and heartworm - it's somewhere on this site: That site also contains info for treating heartworm herbally.

Most "natural" heartworm uses Black Walnut Hull, but that can be hard on the liver too, so on that one, it's a trade off. I used to use the regular Heartgard with no wormer, like BWM, now I use Interceptor at 1/5 the regular dose (Safeheart dose) which is only effective for heartworms and not other stuff.

Testing is important. I also think testing might be more important when treating herbally.
Posted By: BowWowMeow

Re: Heartworm Preventatives - 05/19/10 06:11 AM

I have not heard of that product. I do know some people around here who test every year but don't give preventatives.

This is a great article on understanding the heartworm cycle.

Oh, I stopped giving Chama heartworm preventative when she was 13, on the advice of a vet.
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: Heartworm Preventatives - 05/19/10 06:21 AM

Black Walnut Hull is the classic herbal for heartworm prevention, been used for years, about as long as I've been on the health boards. BUT, it itself can be hard on the liver. So, to give an herbal regularly that can be hard on the liver, or to give the pharmaceuticals (the simpler ones) once a month, I'm not sure there is as much gained as some might think. I may be wrong on that. I do think that these "all in one" heartworm preventatives are more dangerous than plain heartguard. I think *low-dose* Intercepter is also in the least toxic category. Sentinal, Revolution, etc., those are in a different class, from my point of view at least.
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