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How often do you worm your dog?

December 8th, 2005, 06:06 PM
Gomez is now almost 1 year old and his last worming was September and the vet says he will now get a treatment every 6 months. How often are your dogs wormed?

December 8th, 2005, 06:08 PM
Other than heartworm pills in the summer, never.

December 8th, 2005, 06:50 PM
why worm a dog who has no worms?? :confused:

if in doubt, a stool sample will tell you. you don't take antibiotics every 6 months "just in case" you might be sick!

my dog got the required puppy vaccinations and at 1 yo, a complete booster shot. he is good for life now. rabies vaccines in Canada are NOT mandatory either, btw. if in doubt, have a titer test done before administering unnecessary vaccinations. and no toxic heartworm meds for my dog either, don't need it in the city.

truth about vaccines & vaccinosis:

any google search will yield tons of information on this subject :)

December 8th, 2005, 08:03 PM
Only if I suspect he has worms. Otherwise never.

He also does not get vaccinations for rabies or heartworm. There is no reason to as the incidence of either of those is small to non-existent in this area.

All he will get now is a regular 'combo shot' each year. And that is really only because most dog training or lessons require it.

I will also be giving him a kennel cough vaccination in the near future, before he begins flyball. It is not required, but I've been told they have an outbreak of it every spring, due to the numbers of dogs passing through.

December 9th, 2005, 05:13 PM
Righty-ho, will have to ask for more details when we go next -

Maybe in the UK there is more propensity for worms?

He does not now, nor has ever had worms, I think it may be a precaution - as a young puppy he was given the meds once a month -

I do trust his vet implicitly, so no concerns there.

Beetlecat & technodoll, he does have rabies shots for his Pet Passport. They are also not mandatory here as "there is no rabies in the UK" is what they say - whatever....

Prin, why the heartworm meds only in the summer?

December 9th, 2005, 05:25 PM
if in doubt, a stool sample will tell you.

Stool samples can have false negative results... Bring more than one, ask the vet for symptoms to look for.

December 9th, 2005, 08:23 PM
Prin, why the heartworm meds only in the summer?Heartworm comes from mosquitoes, and we only have them from spring till the first frost. :) (In exchange for spending money on rusting cars and snow tires, we only have to buy heartworm pills for 6 months a year...:D )

December 9th, 2005, 10:22 PM
is heartworm prevalent in the UK? recent stats puts infected dogs here in Canada at 0.1%, which is why i choose not to give the monthly meds to my dog... specially living in the city, there are so few bugs (the pollution kills them off, LOL!) when we go in the country during the summer, dog gets the same mosquito repellent we do. i figure the minute risk of him ever getting heartworms greatly outweighs giving him toxic meds 6 months per year. BUT if i lived in the countryside where there were lots of mosquitoes or if i lived in a part of the country where the disease transmission was high (more than 0.1%) i would re-evalutate this, for sure! :eek:

December 9th, 2005, 11:20 PM
I don't like those stats. What percentage of dogs are currently taking a heartworm preventative? If it's somewhere in the vast majority, the number of cases would not paint a good picture of the threat. We need the infection rates in both treated and untreated dogs. How many cases of infection per untreated doggy and how many for treated ones? That's what we need to know.

December 9th, 2005, 11:31 PM
here were the studies... reached both treated and untreated dogs, if i read correctly?

To guard or not to guard for heartworm…

Heartworm prevention is another example where you have to be careful about
assessing your risk by doing it, compared to your risk by not doing it. Heartworm is
certainly a nasty parasite – and there are many examples of dogs being killed by
those beasts. On top of that, if your dog gets heavily infected, the cure is very
dangerous, killing about 5% of the patients. However, this is only for heavy cases.
If you get the diagnosis made early, the cure is not life threatening per se – but it
does toll on the body. The medicine is a poison that kills the worm or the larvae,
and that poison also does significant damage to the dog’s body, particularly the
liver. Like smoking or eating kibble, the damage from a single treatment is not big
(although much bigger than both of those!) – but when you repeat it, for instance by
using the prevention medication on a regular basis, the damage is very significant –
and it will cause severe likelihood of shutdown of primary body functions in a matter
of 3-5 years. In reality, heartworm prevention can often cut your dog’s life
expectancy in half…
There are alternatives that are far less risky. The best one is to take a blood sample
a couple of months after a possible exposure and then treat the possible worms that
might be there. That treatment is just about tolling the same on the dog’s body as
the prevention does, so there is no point in keeping the dog on constant prevention,
particularly not when you know that the heartworm mosquitoes (from which the dog
gets the infestation) cannot hatch unless they have a least 30 days in a row where
the temperature never drops below 16 degrees Celsius (60 degrees Fahrenheit),
nights included! There are many parts of North America where this simply never
happens! And also many parts where it happens only in August!
An example: Ontario is the only province in Canada where heartworm cases exceed
10 per year. (Click here for the official report from the Canadian government). In
this province, there were 354 heartworm cases reported in 2002 from 1154
veterinary hospitals – out of 317,182 tests done! That leaves us with only 0.1% of
all tests showing infestation. If you calculate the likelihood on the correct basis of
the about 7 million dogs, and take into account that the number of clinics were only
about half the total in the Province, then it is down at 354/(7,000,000/2) =
0.000,100 = 0.010% – or about twice the risk of having a traffic accident… Further,
about 5 of the dogs that tested positive for heartworm had been on heartworm
prevention! The total number of dogs on prevention (among the clients of those
1154 hospitals) is estimated to be around 50,000, so this too gives a likelihood of
0.010% of getting heartworm, regardless the preventive medication!!! Now, because
of the very small number of cases, this number has a significant uncertainty – but it
remains a fact from these numbers that the effect of the prevention is dubious, at
best, no matter what your vet wants to tell you…

more here:

December 9th, 2005, 11:56 PM
It's not exactly a scientific study... Especially when they say this:

I sought from practitioners information
on whether dogs tested for HW in 2000 had
been on preventive medication in 1999. That
data is useful to provide an estimate of the
prevalence of HW in dogs that are
unprotected and the level of risk of infection to
dogs in the area. But many practitioners did
not have that detailed information and
estimates of prevalence derived from the data
should be used with caution. Most of the dogs
with HW (21) in Western Canada were not on
preventive medication.
Even if a vet gives a client a pack of heartworm pills, they can never be sure they were given correctly, stored correctly or even given at all. You'd need a study where the vet administers the pills every month and they follow something like 1000 dogs through the course of their lifetimes. You know? Asking for vets to fill out a questionaire leads to biases in so many ways- maybe all those who responded are more vigilant with heartworm prevention, you know? Maybe they aren't vigilant so they changed their numbers. And the resulting numbers of infected dogs is too small a sample size to really be representative of the whole population.

Your person says 0.01% but the national rate is 0.12%, which is still more than 1 dog out of 1000. That's still a lot of dogs. (It's actually very close to the incidence of heart attacks in women, for example. Which are still more common than we'd like, right?)

Sorry if I'm being irritating, but hey, I'm a biology student and there are so many ways of interpreting articles, which is why there are distinct protocols to prevent your research from having holes that would affect its credibility. (Surveying people does not lead to strong evidence...)

Lucky Rescue
December 10th, 2005, 11:29 AM
i figure the minute risk of him ever getting heartworms greatly outweighs giving him toxic meds 6 months per year.

You wouldn't say that if you ever had a dog with heartworms. My dog had them, and believe me, you do NOT want to take the smallest chance of your dog getting them. The expense is huge, not to mention how a dog suffers and can even die during treatment.

I lived in Montreal all my life, and there is no absence of mosquitoes there. It takes only one mosquito to transmit heartworm.

December 10th, 2005, 11:33 AM
i would love to get my hands on real, hard-data studies on so many things! do you have a good source for such information? i find it nearly impossible to locate, but i know i'm not looking in the right places, LOL! government-funded studies? university-funded studies? :confused:

still, i have never gotten a vet to admit they have ever treated a dog with heartworm around here, and i do believe the incidence is very very low in Quebec and it's not even a risk for our lifestyle, but that's just me. our holistic vet is behind us on this too. :p

so where are those studies! i wanna read and learn, LOL!

Lucky Rescue
December 10th, 2005, 02:16 PM
technodoll, do you get your dog tested every year?

If caught early, eliminating the microfilaria is not difficult, but undetected heartworms eventually result in congestive heart failure.

December 10th, 2005, 02:30 PM
I think its common sense..if you live in an area that has alot of mosquitos and heartworm cases, well then DUH...use the meds..

I've only used heartworm once...when I went camping and the mosquitos were bad that season...this year, for example..there were NO mosquitos in least not where I live (pretty much downtown), you could sit outside naked for the night and you wouldn't get bitten by even one..I guess it was a good year..we'll see what next year brings..if its bad, then I'll buy the toxic little balls of mosquito repellent known as heartworm meds...if there are no mosquitos again, I won't bother and just stick with regular precautions...using bug spray on the dog when going outside (intended for dogs of course), and not going into wooded areas, avoiding lakes/rivers (not that we really go there anyways unless its camping)..etc..

common sense people..common sense..keep your dogs safe by using the ol noggin :) in winter, why bother with the meds? I've never seen mosquitos figure skating on ice yet...unless I'm missing something? lol

December 10th, 2005, 04:30 PM
This is really all that I could find.

In late November l996, 2,252 questionnaires were sent to small and mixed animal clinics and to institutions in Canada to assess heartworm (HW) infection primarily in dogs in l996. On January 15, 1997, the questionnaire was sent again to clinics in Ontario and Manitoba which had not responded and in Quebec those that had not responded were contacted by telephone.

There were 1,277 questionnaires returned for 1996. But 35 of them were not included in the analysis of the data because they were returned uncompleted due to incorrect addresses or were improperly completed with the name of the clinic missing and the data in the questionnaire could not be verified. The rate of response was 56.0%.

There were 697 dogs reported with HW in Canada in 1996 (525 in 1995). Fewer dogs were blood tested in 1996 (389,513) than in 1995 (406,434) and the prevalence of HW in dogs in 1996 was 0.18% (0.13% in 1995). The major focus of infection in Canada continues to be in southern Ontario. The three other foci are in southern Manitoba, southern Quebec and in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. In 1996, there were 12 dogs with HW in Manitoba, 88 in Quebec and 5 in British Columbia. There were also 2 dogs with HW in Alberta and one in each of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. There was one cat reported with HW in Quebec.

And this is a table showing where the infected animal were diagnosed.

Lucky Rescue
December 10th, 2005, 07:34 PM
in winter, why bother with the meds?

Prevention is given in winter only in the south, not here in Canada. I give it from June til November.

In 1996, there were 12 dogs with HW in Manitoba, 88 in Quebec and 5 in British Columbia.

And those are only the dogs who were actually tested. I'm sure the number of dogs who have heartworm and will never be tested is much much higher.

December 10th, 2005, 08:46 PM
quebec has many mosquito-infested areas as it is a huge province and most of it wild. just an hour north of montreal and it's a different landscape, you can't go outside without a cloud of them around your head in peak summer months. still, 88 dogs out of how many millions in the province, and i assume these were not cases of city dogs... i'll take my chances and keep the poison out of my dog's system. :pawprint:

December 10th, 2005, 09:30 PM
This is really all that I could find.
And this is a table showing where the infected animal were diagnosed.'s the same text from the link Technodoll posted earlier and IMO, surveys are not scientific data...

December 10th, 2005, 09:43 PM
Here's an ok link with good descriptions (it's American though and no treated vs untreated stats..)... I'm trying to find better studies... If you want to search for more scientific stuff, search for "Dirofilaria immitis" instead of heartworm.:thumbs up

December 10th, 2005, 10:05 PM
Here's a recent study that shows that even if different species of mosquito are more efficient as vectors, they ALL have a fairly good ability to transmit anything.

There's not too much out there on heartworm...