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Flea and Heartworm Alternatives???

barkley21
October 8th, 2006, 12:33 PM
My 6 month old golden retriever puppy has recently been switched to raw and he is doing quite well on it. Seeing that we've chosen to go this raw, natural route with his food, it got me wondering if there are any holistic alternatives to flea/heartworn meds? Right now Barkley's on the monthly Advantage Multi 55. I can't help but feel like I'm pouring poison on his skin every time I apply it. Is there anything more natural that is still effective?

Viola and Barkley

mafiaprincess
October 8th, 2006, 08:01 PM
I know some people that have used natural flea remedies with varying success, more depending upon how voracious they are that particular year than a switching of products.
But I wouldn't go with a natural HW solution, Too much riding on hoping it works.. and too big an oops if it doesn't. Treating HW is nasty and heartbreaking.

Angies Man
October 9th, 2006, 01:41 AM
Taking your Goldie for swims will definitely help on the fleas, after a couple of minutes in deep immersion, the fleas will drown. It doesn't do much for getting the fleas and eggs out of your home and yard, but will get them off your puppy.

Heartworms? That's an internal medical situation--I'm not aware of any "herbal" remedies and even an herbal remedy could be somewhat toxic for your dog.

I might be wrong (and I'm willing to be educated if I am) but I don't give Angie her heartworm stuff during the mid-fall, winter or early spring. Heartworm is spread by mosquitos and during the seasons when the mosquitos aren't present, her expensive heatworm stuff is unnecessary.

Frenchy
October 9th, 2006, 01:52 AM
Hi Viola,aren't you in another (golden?) forum? I think I know you.It depends on where you live,here in Québec,if you live up north it is VERY recommended to treat your dog against heartworm. My first dog,Bailey (a rescue) was positive for it.He is not sick but vet told me he had to be on it (treatment) for 18 months straight.Then I get him tested again after 2 years and he is still positive.Went to another vet ; now he has to be on it for 2-3 years! So better be safe than sorry.

Prin
October 9th, 2006, 01:54 AM
I give just heartworm meds (heartgard). I don't see the point in preventing fleas... I'll deal with them when they come instead of giving my babies extra pesticides just in case.:shrug:

Frenchy
October 9th, 2006, 02:02 AM
Mine are on Heartguard too.

pitgrrl
October 9th, 2006, 09:06 AM
Here are good articles on controlling fleas:
http://72.14.203.104/search?q=cache:mSreGqKDOLwJ:www.apnm.org/publications/resources/ipm_fin2.pdf+natural+flea+spray&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=12&client=safari

http://healing.about.com/od/petcare/a/petfleacontrol.htm

I have read about methodes of "preventing" heartworm without the use of oral medications, but they're largely reliant on herbal bug repellant. I don't given HW prevention as my dog had a neurological reaction to it, so I have looked for natural alternatives, but unfortunatley haven't found anything that would really be adequate in areas with high instances of HW.

dogmelissa
October 9th, 2006, 02:45 PM
Though I thankfully don't have to worry about heartworm (apparently the kind of mosquito that carries it doesn't live here), I did have Cube on heartgard last year. I didn't do it this year. I would think that if you can prevent the dog from being bitten by mosquitos then you would need less protection from the heartworm that the bugs carry. However... I'm not sure of what you could do to prevent *every* mosquito bite.

As for fleas, I would highly recommend you talk to someone in a holistic pet food store. The woman I work with successfully treated ringworm & a flea outbreak in her dog and her son's dog with a combination of a few natural ingredients, of which grapefruit seed extract played a major role. There is a list of the ingredients that she used in this thread: http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=29022
But please please please be sure to talk to your veterinarian about these before you start. I have no idea the dosages or what worms the "natural wormer" gets rid of. I'm also not sure if any stores near you would have this stuff available, so you may have to shop around, or have things ordered for you, or you might have to locate a holistic vet.

Hope that helps.
Melissa

barkley21
October 12th, 2006, 05:52 PM
Thank you all for the helpful information.
We have a vet appt for Barkley coming up on the 17th, so I will be sure to ask him about how safe/reliable any holistic treatments are.

Frenchy, yes I am a member of the Canadian Golden Retriever forum as well. I love getting the opinions of people on both sites as I find them very helpful and being a new puppy mom I can use all the help I can get :)
:sorry: I don't recognize your name from the CGR forum Frenchy. Do you have a different name on that forum or are you just an occasional poster?

Thanks everyone!

Viola and Barkley

coppperbelle
October 12th, 2006, 08:03 PM
I too post on CGR as does Frenchy. In fact both of us are rescuers with Quebec Golden Rescue as well. I like to come to this forum as it does not just involve goldens.:)
I don't give preventative medication for fleas. I feel that if they do get fleas I will treat the problem then. It is not a life threatening problem. As for heartworm I give Heartgard for 6 months of the year, from June to November. I don't want to take a chance that either of my dogs get heartworm. Knowing that I did nothing to prevent it would make me feel so guilty and I wouldn't be able to forgive myself.
There are no natural methods to prevent heartworm. There are recipes for sprays that can be applied to dogs that will help prevent them from biting your dog but are not 100% effective. All it takes is one bite from a mosquito to infect the dog.

barkley21
October 13th, 2006, 06:14 PM
I recognize your name from the CGR forum Copperbelle! I love both forums and find them both very helpful.

As for the heartworm medication, I'm glad that you said that you give it to your dogs from June to November, because that's what our vet said too, and I wasn't sure if it was necessary in November, but I guess that's pretty normal.

Thanks again!

Prin
October 13th, 2006, 06:27 PM
The heartworm pills (heartgard) are retroactive. So when you give it in November, you're killing the worms from October.;)

barkley21
October 13th, 2006, 08:16 PM
Thanks for that Prin. I didn't know heartworm medicine was retroactive. That makes sense. Our puppy is on Advantage Multi 55. Do you know if it's the same for all heartworm meds or just the Heartguard?

dogmelissa
October 14th, 2006, 12:57 AM
Our puppy is on Advantage Multi 55. Do you know if it's the same for all heartworm meds or just the Heartguard?

Unless I've lost my mind, Advantage is for fleas:
Advantage Plus 55
Flea Adulticide/Larvicide/Ovicide

Are you perhaps thinking about K9 Advantix?
K9 AdvantixTM is a once-a-month topical flea, tick, and mosquito treatment for dogs and puppies 7 weeks of age and older. It contains imidacloprid and permethrin. It is available in 4 dosage sizes: 10 lbs. and under, 11-20 lbs., 21-55 lbs., and dogs weighing over 55 pounds. It is available in both 4 packs and 6 packs.

Actually, now that I'm reading that, the K9 Advantix sounds really cool, it actually *does* prevent mosquito bites, so would be a prevention instead of an early-stage cure, like Heartgard is.

Melissa

OntarioGreys
October 14th, 2006, 01:09 AM
Thanks for that Prin. I didn't know heartworm medicine was retroactive. That makes sense. Our puppy is on Advantage Multi 55. Do you know if it's the same for all heartworm meds or just the Heartguard?


Heartworm meds work by killing off any possible heartworm microfilia already in the blood before they have a chance to mature into a heartworm, so all heartworm meds work on the same principal

Prin
October 14th, 2006, 01:09 AM
Hmm... I'm not sure prevention by "repelling" mosquitoes would be enough to prevent heartworm though. It only takes one bite to get infected.

And have you ever worn a successful bug repellant?

Prin
October 14th, 2006, 01:12 AM
btw you notice how they never ever mention heartworm on the k9advantix page? They mention lyme over and over, but never hw.

barkley21
October 14th, 2006, 12:33 PM
I'm confused....our vet told us that the Advantage Multi 55 is for both fleas and heartworm, but Melissa just posted that it's only for fleas. Is it possible that Barkley hasn't had any protection from heartworm?

dogmelissa
October 16th, 2006, 01:20 PM
I'm confused....our vet told us that the Advantage Multi 55 is for both fleas and heartworm, but Melissa just posted that it's only for fleas. Is it possible that Barkley hasn't had any protection from heartworm?

You would have to discuss this with your vet... or perhaps a different vet (or both options) to make sure. I only posted what I found on the net, I've never used Advantage or Advantix, so I don't personally know what they do.

If you're concerned about whether or not your dog has heartworm, I'd highly recommend getting him/her checked for it. It's a simple blood test, and even if he hasn't been protected you can rest easy if the test comes up negative.

Good luck,
Melissa

hazelrunpack
October 16th, 2006, 01:33 PM
btw you notice how they never ever mention heartworm on the k9advantix page? They mention lyme over and over, but never hw.

Speaking of which, are there no deer/bear ticks in Canada? Wow! I gotta move north! We've got heartworm and Lyme's to worry about here--the ticks are really icky this year.:yuck: All our dogs get Heartgard to prevent the hearworm and Frontline to take care of ticks...and fleas.

The Frontline smells pretty nasty and I hate to put any kind of pesticide on the dogs, but we've had dogs with Lyme's (in fact, Lil Belle had a chronic case of it when we adopted her) and Lyme's is far and away nastier than the chemicals...

Prin
October 16th, 2006, 03:07 PM
Lyme is creeping into Quebec. It supposedly hasn't reached Montreal yet, but it's about an hour south of Montreal.:shrug:

Definitely ask about your doggy's hw protection. And if you're still not sure, you can ask for a hw test (they're about $25).

coppperbelle
October 16th, 2006, 07:30 PM
[QUOTE=Prin]Lyme is creeping into Quebec. It supposedly hasn't reached Montreal yet, but it's about an hour south of Montreal.:shrug:

I haven't heard about Lyme coming this way. I guess I better ask my vet about it the next time we go.

Prin
October 16th, 2006, 11:46 PM
Yeah, I heard it's creeping into the eastern townships.:o

dogmelissa
October 17th, 2006, 12:46 PM
Yeah, I heard it's creeping into the eastern townships.:o

Based on this article: http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2006/04/19/Lyme-disease060419.html

I think it'd probably be wise for everyone, everywhere, to be aware of Lyme disease, and ticks in general. Obviously if you never leave the city, walk only on sidewalks and never let your dog run through long grass in dog parks, you're probably not at risk. But probably not worth the risks, for humans or dogs.

As for Heartworm, I found this:

Heartworm is an often fatal disease that is spread by mosquitoes. Heartworm is prevalent in the Okanagan region of B.C., southern Ontario, southern Quebec, southern Manitoba and most US States.

If you are traveling outside Alberta with your pet, be sure and ask your veterinarian about a heartworm prevention plan. Your veterinarian will prescribe preventive medication, which, if needed, is usually given once a month. Heartworm is easy to prevent but difficult to treat - don't let your pet suffer needlessly.
------
Do we have heartworm in Canada?

Yes. Heartworm occurs in warmer regions, where summer temperatures are high enough for the worm larvae to survive inside the carrier mosquitoes. The high-risk areas in Canada are southern Ontario, southern Quebec Manitoba, and the Okanagan in British Columbia. Heartworm is also found in most states in the US.

Although it is not absolutely certain, it appears that heartworms are unable to survive at prevailing temperatures in Alberta and Saskatchewan. A few cases are diagnosed in these provinces every year, but to date they have all been dogs that have visited or lived in heartworm risk areas.

So if you want to avoid both heartworm and Lyme disease, move to urban Alberta and avoid dog parks & travelling out of province. :)

Melissa

hazelrunpack
October 17th, 2006, 02:21 PM
Based on this article: http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2006/04/19/Lyme-disease060419.html

I think it'd probably be wise for everyone, everywhere, to be aware of Lyme disease, and ticks in general. Obviously if you never leave the city, walk only on sidewalks and never let your dog run through long grass in dog parks, you're probably not at risk.

Being in the city may be no safeguard. We used to live in Eau Claire--a city of about 50,000 in NW Wisconsin. We would get deer tick in the backyard twice a year, always when the white-throated sparrows were migrating through. We speculate that they and other birds roosted in areas prone to ticks and carried them into the yard as they foraged.

So even if you're in the city, it pays to watch for ticks.

barkley21
October 17th, 2006, 06:42 PM
I will definitely ask our second the vet about the Advantage Multi 55 and whether or not it protects against heartworm. I don't think Barkley has it as he appears to be in perfect health but you better believe that if he hasn't been covered by the Advantage Multi, I'll be asking for a heartworm test just to be safe!

Prin
October 17th, 2006, 06:45 PM
WIth heartworm, the doggy only shows symptoms when it's too late. That's why every year or two years, vets usually test for it even if the dog has been on preventative meds.:shrug:

Frenchy
October 17th, 2006, 07:38 PM
WIth heartworm, the doggy only shows symptoms when it's too late. That's why every year or two years, vets usually test for it even if the dog has been on preventative meds.:shrug:
Better be safe than sorry,I adopted Bailey 3 years ago. Find out later he was positive (showed no signs) and was put on Hearthguard for 18 months.Get him tested again this year,still positive. I asked another vet ; he was suppose to be on treatment for 2-3 years , not 18 months ! So we have to start all over again.:mad:

Frenchy
October 17th, 2006, 07:42 PM
Lyme is creeping into Quebec. It supposedly hasn't reached Montreal yet, but it's about an hour south of Montreal.:shrug:

(they're about $25).
Bailey had one 2-3 weeks ago ,Sunday I found one on Sam. But just on his fur,she hadn't had time to dig in and suck blood. So next year,I'm getting the full package,heartworm,ticks and fleas.

coppperbelle
October 17th, 2006, 09:19 PM
Bailey had one 2-3 weeks ago ,Sunday I found one on Sam. But just on his fur,she hadn't had time to dig in and suck blood. So next year,I'm getting the full package,heartworm,ticks and fleas.

Oh yuck, I hate those things. I found one last summer on a friends neck. It was still crawling so hadn't buried himself yet. I will be asking my vet about the vaccine for it next year also. I think it is a vaccine by the way and not a monthly prevenative like for heartworm.
Where do you think the dogs picked up the ticks?

mafiaprincess
October 17th, 2006, 09:24 PM
For lyme it is a vacc... But some preventatives like revolution are to deal with HW. fleas and repel ticks.

Frenchy
October 17th, 2006, 09:25 PM
.
Where do you think the dogs picked up the ticks?
We go walk in the wood daily,and in the fields,that's where they get them.And yes,they are gross. The one Sam had was flat (didn't get to suck any blood) and it look like this ; :evil: I swear !

hazelrunpack
October 17th, 2006, 10:04 PM
I think it is a vaccine by the way and not a monthly prevenative like for heartworm. Where do you think the dogs picked up the ticks?

There is a canine vaccine for Lyme's disease--I've heard reports that some dogs have bad reactions to it. Since we're in a hot-spot for ticks and Lyme's disease, we take the risk. (Lyme's disease is insidious and nothing to sneeze at.)

However, the vaccine will not repel ticks. So in addition to the vaccine, we use a topical anti-tick medication.

Don't know what kind of ticks you have there, but in WI we have two major types--the wood tick (usually does not carry Lyme's) that hangs out in grassy areas, and the deer/bear tick (which is very good at carrying Lyme's) that hangs out in woody/brushy areas. We expect to see the deer ticks if we're walking through the woods or along a forest road with a few woody sprigs coming up--like blackberry, for example...

I used to hate ticks, but they've gotten so bad here we've sort of gotten used to them. Just pick 'em off (usually, with the topical repellant, they don't attach--just try to get off the dog as quickly as possible and then they die) and pull their gross little heads off...and wash hands a lot :yuck: