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Heartworm Prevention

coppperbelle
March 8th, 2006, 09:56 PM
The March issue of the Whole Dog Journal has an article about Heartworm Prevention. It recommends giving preventative medication.

jawert1
March 8th, 2006, 11:09 PM
After putting Simon through 4 heartworm eradication treatments, I'm an advocate too. If not for him, then so I never have to see Peaches depressed and crying 24/7 till he got home.

Prin
March 9th, 2006, 12:25 AM
I give heartguard. None of the flea and tick add-ons.

rivers
March 9th, 2006, 09:00 AM
I'm not sure I understand. Is this medication necessary or not worth it? It's for pups born in summer isn't it?

jawert1
March 9th, 2006, 09:02 AM
Heartworm preventative? No it's for any dog or cat that could be exposed to mosquitos carrying the parasite, and depending on your location, is either an absolute must have or a "summer only" thing :)

Lucky Rescue
March 9th, 2006, 09:44 AM
If you have mosquitos in your area, you have heartworm and dogs need prevention.

In this case, a few dollars for prevention is worth 1000$ for the cure (if your dog survives it).

Prin
March 9th, 2006, 10:35 AM
It all depends on your summer. In Montreal, we give it from April or May to October or November- just mosquito season till the first major frost. In Florida and other places that have mosquitos all year round, they sell packs of 12 pills. The pills are generally retroactive, meaning they kill the parasites that came in within the last month. The Heartguard ones are like cookies...

jessi76
March 9th, 2006, 11:13 AM
I use Heartgard too (the chews) - and my dog LOVES it! He thinks it's a super special treat or something. He'll do anything to get it!

I treat all year round, because if not, our vet will test for heartworm annually. If we keep our dog on a preventative year-round, testing isn't necessary each year.

but as Lucky said, I think paying for the prevention is well worth it, as the treatment is not only expensive, but very hard on the dog.

phoenix
April 29th, 2006, 12:13 PM
I just reported the above post to the mods.

allen_michaels
April 29th, 2006, 12:21 PM
I just reported the above post to the mods.

oooh, is it going to get stickied?

soylagringaloca
April 29th, 2006, 12:40 PM
Hi everyone. I am new to this forum, but I have found it very interesting and helpful! I have 2 cats and a dog, and they are the loves of my life!

But I am wondering, what is wrong with allen_michaels's post? I actually wanted to say THANK YOU for posting that - everyone loves to get a discount or cashback when buying things they use regularly. I am glad he posted that, and I hope that it's not deleted so that other members of this forum can benefit from his suggestion! :)

Just my two cents! :)

mafiaprincess
April 29th, 2006, 01:05 PM
It will be deleted because it's an ad, and it violated the terms of service of the forum, that's what's wrong with it.

Blathach
April 29th, 2006, 04:46 PM
Yes it is a violation of the forum rules and has been deleted.

phoenix
April 29th, 2006, 05:40 PM
soyla etc...
can you imagine coming in to the board and seeing ad after ad, of people trying to sell something, trying to make money? The idea here is that we might endorse something because we find it's a really great product, but if someone is making money from their endorsement, you can't trust it. the rules are clear and I for one am very happy about it.
Sorry for the jack.

isabelleo
April 29th, 2006, 07:16 PM
How much does Heartguard cost, approximately? Are the doses sold individually?

BusterBoo
May 2nd, 2006, 09:51 AM
I used the liquid Revolution - one little tube full on the back of Harley's neck - for fleas, ticks, ear mites, heartworm. As we live out in the country I wanted to make sure he is protected. Mosquitos will be out shortly along with those annoying bees and blackflies!

technodoll
May 2nd, 2006, 10:21 AM
i just can't bring myself to poison my dogs' blood with this stuff for half the year... it IS toxic chemicals and some dogs have severe allergic reactions to the meds. some even die. however i do not want to expose them to heartworm risks either!

can someone point me to local statistics (Montreal) showing #of dogs owned vs # of dogs who contracted heartworm in the past few years? the most recent stats would be best. i had heard something like a 0.01% risk factor... but not sure where so can't confirm it!

we do go camping occasionally during the summer and frequent areas where there are some mosquitoes, but not a cloud of them (mostly eastern townships). We use Deep Woods Off and also protect the dogs' exposed areas (tummy, privates, ears, face) however they get *some* bites during the course of a summer, but not a ton.

just want to weight the risks vs the benefits.

Beaglemom
May 2nd, 2006, 10:24 AM
How much does Heartguard cost, approximately? Are the doses sold individually?
In the GTA you would need a 6 month supply. We use Revolution, not Heartguard, because we like the fact that Revolution also controls against fleas and ticks. Before any preventative therapy can be started, a simple blood test must be performed to make sure that there are no heartworms.

Prevention is very important and will save you money and heartache. It is much cheaper to prevent heartworm than it is to treat it. Heartworms are very damaging, you are much better off preventing it. My vet had a couple of cases of heartworm last year, they are located in Toronto.

meb999
May 2nd, 2006, 10:45 AM
Well, I personnally don't think the disadvanatges of giving heartworm meds outweight the advantages. This is a deadly disease and by the time you see the symptoms...it could be too late. Since we have TONS of mosquitos where I live, I can't take that chance.

I only give Interceptor, which is for heartworm and other intestinal worms. I don't give any flea or tick meds, and I figure if he gets fleas or ticks, I'll just treat it.

can someone point me to local statistics (Montreal) showing #of dogs owned vs # of dogs who contracted heartworm in the past few years? the most recent stats would be best. i had heard something like a 0.01% risk factor... but not sure where so can't confirm it!


This is an interesting study by the university of Guelph...but it dates to 1995...

http://www.ovc.uoguelph.ca/PathoBio/Heartworm/que_gen.html

There were 89 dogs with HW (81 in 1995) and the prevalence of HW was 0.09% (0.09% in 1995). The focus of infection continues to be in southern Quebec and especially in and around Montreal.

technodoll
May 2nd, 2006, 11:01 AM
yes i had seen that 1995 information too, however reality can greatly change in 11 years... would like to see if the stats are better, or worse.
0.09% chance... that is soooo insignificant, specially due to our lifestyle... i'm not convinced giving a monthly dose of poison is the good thing to do in this case :confused:
i'd rather apply a good & safe topical insect repellent when we DO see mosquitoes... it has always worked before with my dogs. in fact i have personally never heard of a dog getting heartworms, except for strays or sick dogs. I'm sure this is not reality since i don't know all the dogs in the province(!) but anyways... until i see recent stats that show rampant heartworm infestation around Montreal.... no meds for my pups.

phoenix
May 2nd, 2006, 12:08 PM
TD- not to criticize, just for info...
Does putting raid or other topical pesticide on the dog not expose them to toxins? I mean, they lick their fur so not only could it enter the skin but also right through the digestive system. Do you use DEET products? Can citronella based products be used?
I use revolution on my guys, never really considered the toxicity because I don't want to take chances ...

Luba
May 2nd, 2006, 12:13 PM
I don't give heartworm prevention, I don't vaccinate other then rabies every 3yrs as 'legally' required. I do not give flea prevention either.

My dog is very healthy. I do not believe in preventative 'poisons' to something which may/may not happen.

This is my own opinion, I respect those of you who feel it's required and follow treatment. We do heartworm testing annually.

With my home cooking I add things to her food which are natural repellants and this works very well. The odd time I find a flea on her it is half dead and didn't like what it injested :p

technodoll
May 2nd, 2006, 12:25 PM
Luba i'm with you there...

phoenix, we buy pet-safe product at the holistic petshop... don't remember the name... also skin-so-soft bath oil diluted in water & sprayed on also works well... citronella products safe for babies, too... there are many alternatives to DEET, i hate them on MY skin too, yeechhh... garlic pills help repel mozzies, strangely! for humans and for dogs :p

Luba
May 2nd, 2006, 12:38 PM
Yup I put garlic directly in Sadie's food, she loves the taste it controls doggie bad breath and repels insects.

I'd never use deet on myself either...no chemicals here. I don't injest them, spray them, inhale them (lol) or sniff them! :eek:

Writing4Fun
May 2nd, 2006, 12:50 PM
Well, the way I see it, I vaccinate my children against all sorts of diseases, so why shouldn't I do the same for my doggie? I trust my vet not to rip me off or try to make a sale just for the sake of a buck, so I'll give whatever she thinks my dog needs. ;)

Luba
May 2nd, 2006, 12:52 PM
I don't vaccinate myself and wouldn't vaccinate my children either.

technodoll
May 2nd, 2006, 12:56 PM
i vaccinate for rabies every 3 years, and no more vax after the 1st annual booster shot (dog is approx 1.5 years old). the immunity is there for life after this point so no use in re-vaccinating. same for humans... you vaccinate the babies & children but then you're good for life.

we were talking about heartworm meds here... not vaccinations...

Writing4Fun
May 2nd, 2006, 01:48 PM
we were talking about heartworm meds here... not vaccinations... Yes, but in my mind, heartworm meds are preventative, just like vaccinations. ;) I'm not trying to stir up a debate. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and will do whatever works best for them. I was just adding my vote to the tally. :pawprint:

technodoll
May 2nd, 2006, 02:13 PM
...still looking for recent local stats on the % of dogs that actually get heart worms... anyone have anything? i've googled but came up empty-handed, LOL!

BusterBoo
May 2nd, 2006, 02:20 PM
You should contact the University that did the study and ask if they have more updated info. If not, they could probably point you in the right direction.

Writing4Fun
May 2nd, 2006, 02:25 PM
Here's a site that might have some of the info you're seeking...http://www.dirofilariaimmitis.ca/dataen.html Although it might not be complete, since it's a voluntary database.

technodoll
May 2nd, 2006, 02:46 PM
Here's a site that might have some of the info you're seeking...http://www.dirofilariaimmitis.ca/dataen.html Although it might not be complete, since it's a voluntary database.


oh thank you, that does help! the numbers are about what i had figured... i wonder how many vets actually report heartworm cases though? these numbers could be artificially low or could reflect the local reality, the crux of the matter is "we don't know" :eek:

hmmm... i'll still get my doggies heartworm tested every year... but no meds. they are vaccinated, have no parasites of any kind, eat a natural diet, are young and strong, live in a mosquito-free area 95% of the time... we're good :)

coppperbelle
May 2nd, 2006, 08:01 PM
Of course it is your decision to vaccinate or not but basically if you don't you are relying on those of us who do vaccinate to protect your dog.


As for heartworm it only takes one mosquito so whether your dog is stung by one or a 100 if that one mosquito is carrying heartworm your dog is exposed to it. The chances increase with every bite but it only takes one.

I don't give prevenative flea medication because fleas aren't going to kill my dog and I can deal with them if need be. I do give heartworm meds. because if one of my dogs were to come down with heartworm and I know I did nothing to protect them I would never be able to forgive myself. The same goes for not vaccinating.

The Whole Dog Journal recommends that dogs be protected against heartworm. This in my opinion is strong evidence that it is necessary.

OntarioGreys
May 2nd, 2006, 09:13 PM
oh thank you, that does help! the numbers are about what i had figured... i wonder how many vets actually report heartworm cases though? these numbers could be artificially low or could reflect the local reality, the crux of the matter is "we don't know" :eek:

hmmm... i'll still get my doggies heartworm tested every year... but no meds. they are vaccinated, have no parasites of any kind, eat a natural diet, are young and strong, live in a mosquito-free area 95% of the time... we're good :)


A thing to take in consideration is a huge part of the pet population is never tested for heartworms as a result there is no way to determine just how prevelant it is, I have seen people at the vets where the vet suspected the dog had heartworm, but when it is an older older dog many owners won't even consider having a bloodtest to confirm whether it is indeed heartworm, usually after the vet explains what it is and what the treatment is, they opt just to euthanize. Often by the time the owner does take the dog their hearts are in pretty bad shape and obviously sick. I have seen this a couple times during visits. Without the bloodtest the vet cannot confirm the suspicion that it is heartworm so therefore cannot report it as such. So there may be more suspicious cases that have neverr been actually be confirmed than actual reported cases. And others may die of coronary or stroke and without a necropsy the casue will unknown

I was actually quite shocked to learn that many vets here in Southern Ontario are not recommending heartworm treatment, I had happened to be talking about my talks to someone about going to heartworm bloodtest and mention that my sons recently adopted dog was found to be positive and another person overhead me and asked what is was, a couple days later he made an appointment with his vet to have his dog tested and put on prevention, it turned out his dog was positive and was successfully treated, other people at work also decided to test afterward and another positive case turned up. So in approx a month period 3 years ago I learned of 3 heartworm postive dogs just amongst people I know, and 2 of those cases would not have been known if it had not been for my conversation as their vets never discussed heartworm prevention with them

Lucky Rescue
May 2nd, 2006, 09:40 PM
i wonder how many vets actually report heartworm cases though? these numbers could be artificially low or could reflect the local reality, the crux of the matter is "we don't know"

The figures won't matter if your dog is one the ones who gets heartworm. MANY dogs never get tested, have heartworms, and just die with no one knowing what caused it.

If anyone thinks heartworm preventatives are toxic, wait til you see what will be done to your dog to treat it. Truly toxic, painful and expensive medications are used and lots of dogs die anyway. I would never put my dog through that if I could prevent it.

I don't give preventatives for fleas or worms. They are merely nuisances and not lethal but heartworms are and in a place as infested with mosquitoes as the Montreal area, there is no way to be sure your dog has not been bitten unless you stand over it night and day.

mafiaprincess
May 2nd, 2006, 10:11 PM
Isn't deep woods off like 30% deet.. It's pretty harmful to people, so it's not something I'd put on my dog. I'd be more concerned about the toxicity of that then heartworm prevention pills. Especially since bug spray doesn't stop every mosquito bite.. so is it really worth the deet risk?

coppperbelle
May 3rd, 2006, 06:40 AM
Isn't deep woods off like 30% deet.. It's pretty harmful to people, so it's not something I'd put on my dog. I'd be more concerned about the toxicity of that then heartworm prevention pills. Especially since bug spray doesn't stop every mosquito bite.. so is it really worth the deet risk?

Deep Woods does contain Deet. Citronella isn't the best thing either to prevent bug bites.

SnowDancer
May 3rd, 2006, 01:46 PM
All of my dogs - including the current one - have been tested for heartworm and have taken the meds for the required 6 months in Toronto. This year we switched back to Sentinel chewable since my dog is an Eskimo and there have been problems with double coated dogs not receiving full benefit of topical due to difficulty in finding a section of pink skin and holding it "clear" while topical is applied. Of course the Sentinel does not provide flea protection - but fleas won't kill him. I personally am a mosquito magnet so put the little guy at risk just by taking him out. I believe in prevention - and also in listening to my excellent vet of 25 years - frankly I would be afraid to say no to the Heartworm meds - and just think if my dog came down with it.

meb999
May 3rd, 2006, 05:22 PM
I also wouldn't put any insect repellent with deet in it on my pooch. I won't even put it on myself!! Studies are now coming out saying that it's toxic and can cause neurological damage.

from : http://www.newstarget.com/001586.html

The environmental protection agency and the CDC both state officially that DEET is not harmful when used as directed. However, this advice is based on the idea that DEET is not absorbed through the skin. This is a common myth in the medical and pharmaceutical industries -- that cosmetically-applied lotions somehow stay outside the body and don't interact with the blood stream and internal organs of the body. In fact, as any good medical researcher knows, nearly all chemicals that are placed on the skin, especially in liquid form, are eventually absorbed and enter the bloodstream. DEET is known to cause neurological damage, and once it enters the bloodstream, it makes its way to the nervous system, where it is known to cause seizures and even deaths. It can be especially harmful to children, which is why its use should be strictly limited with children.

Even the EPA says that DEET should not be frequently used -- in other words, they're saying it's okay to poison yourself just a little bit, but not too much. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than one application of DEET per day for children. Once again, this is a position that says it's okay to poison your children just a little bit. The Duke University Medical Center has concluded through laboratory rat studies that long-term use of DEET kills brain neurons.

People who are interested in protecting their health, and who don't want to give themselves cancer or liver damage from products containing toxic chemicals like DEET, typically want to know what kind of products they can use as a replacement for commercial, brand-name insect repellents. One of the best products is simply soybean oil. Soybean oil insect repellants may often contain cloves, cinnamon oil or other extracts containing rather strong oils from the natural plant kingdom. These repellants do work, but certainly not as effectively as DEET.

There's no question that DEET is a highly effective insect repellant, and that's probably because its neurotoxicity extends to insects as well as human beings. If you coat your body with something that kills nerve cells, and kills anything around it, it will also cause insects and other animals to retreat. But it doesn't mean that these items should be put on your skin. If you want to avoid mosquitoes, stick with natural products and avoid products containing toxic chemicals such as DEET

Prin
May 4th, 2006, 09:41 PM
My family was a firm believer in Avon Skin So Soft as a bug repellant... I don't know if you can use it on dogs though...:o

Beautygirl
May 16th, 2006, 02:33 PM
We are starting our dog on a heartworm preventative medication this week. I have to call the vet tomorrow. Not sure what they reccommend here. I think maybe Sentinal. Anyone have any idea on the price of the medication? What are the symptoms of Heartworm? I don't think I know of anyone who's dog has had it.

Rottielover
May 16th, 2006, 03:49 PM
Prin I used it on Harley last year, it was actually reccomended by a holistic store. Works well on humans and dogs. I have a whole crap load for when I go camping this year.....By the way Luba and Tech I do not vaccinate either other than rabies, but I have Harley titered every 6 months to check on his ammunity. Do you do this as well, or do you just ride it out and hope for the best

jawert1
May 16th, 2006, 03:54 PM
Beautygirl, my Simon wheezed and coughed badly, was lethargic and cold all the time before he started treatment (I had him 2 weeks before he went in for the first round). It took 4 treatments to save him, and he's been heartworm free ever since. We're on year round Interceptor, which for 2 dogs runs me about 200.00 per year (USD). His treatment, though paid for by the shelter I adopted him from, ran approx 3000.00 USD due to some complications since he was so far along with it. If anyone wants to see some pretty horrific pictures as to what happens outwardly to a dog with heartworm, I'd be glad to send them. Maybe that will help folks think twice before not giving their dogs preventative, especially if you live in an area that has mosquitos at all.

Prin
May 17th, 2006, 12:12 AM
I get heartguard plus (did I say that already? :o) and it's usually around $65 for the brown box (for large breeds) with 6 months worth. The other boxes for the smaller doggies are less expensive.

Frenchy
May 17th, 2006, 09:08 PM
When I adopted Bailey from a pound 3 years ago,I found out after blood test at my vet that he was positive for heartworms.He didn't have any symptoms and was put on Heartguard for 18 months straight.He had blood test every 6 months and has been negative since.Treatment may be expensive only if you never test your dog for it and it's too late when the symptoms appear..I'm still not sure if I will give them the treatment this year,the reason why;no vet wants to sell me the treatment without the blood test because it's been 2 years since their last.So why?They say it's in case I forgot one and that the treatment is not 100% effective!!!I didn't forget any pills and I"m pretty sure it's another way for vets to cash in and I'm fed up with that.Why would I give my dogs this crap if it's not 100% effective???There is no positive dogs in my area.I figure I will get them tested every year (way better than every 2 years if it's true that my dogs can get it even on Heartguard) .But for the treatments....not too sure.Maybe a bit off topic but I once consulted a vet who was against too much vaccination and commercial food.He wrote a book and I recommend you all to check out his website;www.angryvet.org (Technodoll will love what he has to say about food!)

technodoll
May 17th, 2006, 09:20 PM
frenchy you are right, technodoll loves the angry vet and has already read his stuff, LOL! :thumbs up

Avon Skin So Soft... should i buy the bath oil & dilute in water & use spray bottle to apply, if so what is the ratio? or should i buy the original bath oil spray - which is more effective for repelling mosquitoes? i'm on their online store right now and can't decide! :rolleyes:

Lucky Rescue
May 17th, 2006, 09:42 PM
Why spray a dog with insecticides or products that are NOT meant to be licked off and swallowed when you can use Heartguard or other preventatives.:confused:

Here's what my dog looked like with heartworms. You can't tell in the pic, but her hair was like straw and falling out in clumps.

technodoll
May 17th, 2006, 09:53 PM
well, not all dogs are lickaholics and mine support "stuff" being sprayed on them with no problem, they don't start licking themselves like a lollipop, LOL!

also i can choose when and how much i apply, depending on when we actually need mosquito prevention, which is not often at all. I do not wish for my dogs to become ill, but neither do i want their blood contaminated with pesticides for 6 months per year either (yes that stuff is nasty, bad enough to kill anything that bites them, yuck). i know my dogs' history, their health, our living conditions and our summer habits, etc and find that applying topical insect repellant when necessary is a much better choice for us. and it works! :thumbs up

Prin
May 18th, 2006, 01:31 AM
Heartguard stops the worms, but it doesn't stop the biting... My old lab had a pink no-fur belly and one night of playing outside and it was raw with bites.

Technodoll, I've never used SSS, but my family used to use the original...

It's still best to keep them inside in the peak hours (dusk and dawn).

Puppyluv
May 18th, 2006, 02:38 AM
Licking aside, no bug spray prevents every mosquito bite, and since it only takes one bite to get heart worm, you're really not doing a whole lot to prevent it by spraying your dogs. I get that you're pretty firm in your beliefs against heartworm meds, but don't delude yourself into a false sense of safety.

jawert1
May 18th, 2006, 09:50 AM
Much like Lucky's Chloe, Simon had hair falling out everywhere, and while this picture doesn't show it (I'm at work and don't have all their "coming home" pics), his belly was bald and raw in patches. He also sounded like me having a severe asthma attack - all the time. He weighed 32 pounds (he now weighs 53). Frankly, I'd rather give him a pill once a month than spray chemicals on him - no matter how safe Skin So Soft is, as long as I know he's protected if he does get bitten - and he will, law of averages in nature, I'm happy. It only takes one weekend of sleepless nights while your furbaby is at the vets going through Round 1 of heartworm treatment (in which they may not survive - it's ugly stuff) to change a mind about preventative. I had 4 of those weekends, watching Peaches pace, mope, whine at the door and lay on his bed, on top of me calling the vet every hour.
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y233/persephonesdoll/PeachSimon.jpg

Frenchy
May 18th, 2006, 12:16 PM
I always use Skin So Soft for me and the dogs.It's 100% ok for dogs.Bought a spray bottle at the dollar store and I don't mixt it with water.And as a bonus;they get a shiny coat and smell great!

Frenchy
May 18th, 2006, 12:20 PM
Oh and another thing;someone told me one tablet of Heartguard is suppose to be effective for 45 days,but vets and the company say every 30 days because it's easier to give the table the first of every month...I didn't have the time to research it further.Do any of you ever heard of this??

Puppyluv
May 18th, 2006, 01:06 PM
This is true, it has a 45 day effectiveness. One of the "benefits" of giving it monthly is that you have a 15 day grace period if you miss a dose, but technically, you can give it every 45 days. http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_heartworm_preventive_compariso.html
is a handy chart showing grace periods

Lucky Rescue
May 18th, 2006, 02:00 PM
Considering all this rain we're having there is going to be a severe infestation of mosquitos as soon as the sun come out. Anyone who doesn't want to give heartworm prevention better stand over their dogs and watch them every minute they're outside. Also, you can't spray stuff on their noses or around their eyes - places mosquitos like to gather.

He weighed 32 pounds (he now weighs 53). Frankly, I'd rather give him a pill once a month than spray chemicals on him - no matter how safe Skin So Soft is, as long as I know he's protected if he does get bitten - and he will, law of averages in nature

Yeah, my Chloe was 46 lbs and couldn't gain an ounce. Now she's 72. Watching her go through that tough and very painful treatment was very heartbreaking and stressful. Awful, wondering if one of the dying worms was going to go to her lungs and kill her any minute, making sure she never exerted herself for many weeks, watching her cough and gag and rushing her to the vet. And it's lucky I had around 1000$ to treat her!

TracyG
May 19th, 2006, 09:35 AM
I just gave my pup Revolution for the first time last week. Anyone know if there are any side effects? She had the runs last night for the first time and we were just curious if that's a coincidence or a possible side effect?