The Heartworm Hype
This article is from Pet Consumer Report -
Please note that this article is meant as an alternative to traditional thinking and animal care. As always, please discuss any changes in your dog's medical care with your veterinarian.

 If your dog or cat is on a daily or monthly heartworm preventative, or your vet has tried to sell you one, read this. 

For years consumers have been mislead on the subject of heartworm. Here are the facts. Most veterinarians will have you believe that giving a daily or monthly pill to prevent heartworm is safer than the treatment to cure it. Once again, the veterinarians may not have the right answer here. Let's look at the bottom line: 

  1. The majority of these preventatives kill the heartworms before they mature. So every day or every month you give your animal that pill, you are actually administering the cure for heartworm, you're not really preventing it
  2. The cure for heartworm is not safe, it has toxic consequences
  3. These "preventative" products are just that, cures
  4. Sure, the dosage is much smaller when given in a preventative dose. But when you give it to your pet month after month, this is where the toxic effects become a serious health risk

And they expect us to believe this is safer? Heartworm prevention treatments are a chemical insecticide, no matter what brand or what type. The chemicals alone are enough to potentially cause disease. Here is how: 

bulletThese pills beat up your pet's immune system 
bulletYour pets system recognizes the chemicals as a foreign toxic substance 
bulletThe system then works harder to eliminate the toxins 
bulletThe major organs (such as liver and kidney) become strained unnecessarily 
bulletThe system becomes run down, suppressing the immune response 
bulletWhen a real disease or virus enters the animal's body, it can not fight it off and the animal is consumed by sickness 

Side Effects 
The chemicals used in most of these heartworm preventatives can cause serious side effects like vomiting, diarrhea, weakness and convulsions even in the healthiest animals. It is not uncommon for pet owners to rush into vet offices confused about what is wrong with their pet. Here is the irony, when the vets see these symptoms, they usually want to start your pet on a heartworm "preventative" medication thinking the symptoms may be heartworm, and they want to take precautions. 

Thankfully, a portion of the veterinary industry has acknowledged these dangers. Known as "alternative vets" they are open to re-examining treatments for the safest and most effective "alternative." Some actually recommend not giving your pet the chemical heartworm preventatives. And many of those alternative veterinarians believe that long term use of heartworm prevention is a link in the chain of diseases such as skin allergies, arthritis, liver and kidney diseases and many types of cancers.

If your pet is on a heartworm preventative, the mosquito's will still bite them. True prevention would mean you have to get to the source of the problem, the biting mosquito. 

  1. Stock up on an all natural insect repellant spray (citronella works great). 
  2. Spray your animal before going into mosquito territory. This will keep the mosquito's away. 
  3. Put your pet on either Wormwood or Black Walnut (liquid or capsules). Note:We like the liquid because it is so easy just to put a few drops right down the back of your pet's throat. These herbs not only keep the mosquito's away, but they also kill any worms or parasites that enter the body. So if a mosquito carrying heartworm does decide to bite your pet, the worms will die before ever reaching the heart. Find these herbs at any health food store or vitamin shop in your area. Ask them for dosages and frequency for your specific pet.

Here are guidelines for dosages - but check with your vet or health store for dosages:

The dosing for dogs: (as a preventative only) 

bulletup to 10# - 1/2 capsule three times a week 
bullet20-40# - 1 capsule three times a week 
bullet41-60 # - 1 1/2 capsules three times a week 
bullet60# and over give 2 capsules three times a week 

The recomendations above are for a 250mg capsule.

For liquid preparations = 10-15 drops usually is equivalant to 1 - 250mg capsule.

The above schedule can be administered during mosquito season, and in areas where there is a high incidence of heartworm. 

We continue to remind you, don't get caught up in the hype. 

As you can see there is always a healthier choice to chemicals that can work. However, if heartworm is prevalent in your area, you should consider contacting an alternative veterinarian for additional natural support. 

Pet Consumer Report promotes an insecticide-free philosophy. The evidence is overwhelming to us. As always, we encourage you to make your own decision. Perhaps you will look into this more on your own. Natural prevention can be accomplished quite easily and inexpensively.