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Poodle Allergic to all Heartworm preventatives - what should I do?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hi - Hopefully someone can help me out here.  My Standard Poodle seems to have an allergic reaction every time she takes any heartworm preventative.  The vet said that Revolution was the last choice since she has reacted to all of them. She had diarrhea and mucous a few hours afterward and now it is 4 days later and she still has the diarrhea.


We live in the Upper Midwest. 


Does anyone have any suggestions for me please?  The preventative is killing her for sure.  But I don't want her to get heartworms. 


Thanks in advance for any ideas you might have.



post #2 of 14

I've had dogs all my life and not single one has had heartworm preventatives nor have they ever gotten heartworms and lived long healthy lives. Forget the meds if it's killing your dog! They can only get it from mosquitoes so how about avoiding having stale water near your property or keeping him indoors or kid's bug spray maybe when he does go outside?

post #3 of 14

What does the vet say? Has she been tested to see if she is actually allergic? 

post #4 of 14

I personally don't feel you can poison living being to health, so will not use heartworm preventatives. Instead I prefer to ensure my dog is healthy by keeping him chemical free and feeding him a species appropriate raw food diet.


I would suggest you learn as much as you can about heartworm -- did you know humans can get it also and I don't see the medical establishment recommending heartworm preventatives for humans.


This is a great research paper to get to started, The Whole Story About Heartworm (much of which you may not be told otherwise) by Lee Cullens.


If you don't feel comfortable with not using any heartworm preventative, you could try a "natural" product like Heartworm Free by Wolf Creek Ranch

post #5 of 14

Heartworm comes from mosquitos. Don't let your dog go where there is mosquitos then the dog won't get heartworm. Of course your dog should live inside.

post #6 of 14

My poodle had all kinds of poopy and pukey problems when I got her but I tossed the meds and put her on raw food.  She only gets off-balance now when I forget to pick up her meat and just give her a slightly cooked egg or something else considered "people food".


She has been able to take Iverhart Max in the past without issue.

Edited by blessedwithboys - 8/10/11 at 6:25pm
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks to everyone for your responses!  They are most appreciated.  The meds definitely aren't agreeing with her so I am not going to do them anymore. 


Mirzam - You are right about not poisoning a living being to health.  I am starting to read The Whole Story About Heartworm.  Thank you so so much for posting the link.  It looks very helpful.  I will also start researching how to feed a raw food diet.





post #8 of 14

If you want to start raw right away, there are some really good commercial ones.  Many people make their own, but I find that to be overwhelming for some reason.  I guess I'm too afraid of not being balanced.

post #9 of 14

I will be the odd one out. Do some research into your area and see how prevelant heartworms are. If it is high, I would definately find a heart worm medication to give your dog. Heartworms can kill your dog and it is very expensive to treat, not to mention giving your dog a lot more chemicals. You can give heartworm pills every 6 weeks rather then 4 and they are still effective. Have you spoken to your vet about just using ivermectin?

post #10 of 14

Since I don't give my dogs heartworm medication and took them off their thyroid medications as well... I was told they were both dying 3 years ago from issues with their livers due to their thyroid problems.  And since they were miserable on the meds I took them off and stopped taking them to that Vet. 


My area is rather bad for heartworms and so I spray house and yard often and never leave standing water around.  On days it's nasty and muggy out I will spray their fur with insect repellent.  I know have two dogs, drug free, heartworm free alive three years longer than they were supposed to be.  I would like to point out that yes they are aging but doing so gracefully.  Both are in their teens now.

post #11 of 14

well it's not a risk I am willing to take, but it is up to the individual to decide.

post #12 of 14

My vet actually does not recommend heartworm prevention in this area.  At his recommendation, and after doing my own research, I am very comfortable testing twice yearly but no meds.  If a test were to come back positive I would be very comfortable treating with the slow-kill method, which is basically putting the dog on preventative with antibiotics on and off.


Interesting heartworm info, it has be above 60 degrees day and night for 30 days before heartworm can spread.  In my area (northern NJ) that's about 2 or 3 months out of the year.  In all my years of working as a tech I have never once seen a case of heartworm that has originated in my area.  I have of course dealt with heartworm but every single time it's been a dog that has come from the south.  Heartworm itself actually isn't that hard to treat or dangerous if caught early and a slow-kill method is used.  Heartworm is dangerous when dealing with an untreated and advanced infestation that requires the use of immiticide (an arsenic based medication).  Even then the biggest risk, provided it's not so far advanced that the dog is heading to heart failure (which usually takes about 6 years from initial infection) is pulmonary embolism caused by all the worms dying off at once.  Recent studies have shown even that risk reduced though by the use of antibiotics prior to and during treatment.


I will say I wouldn't compare heartworm in humans to heartworm in dogs.  Dogs are a heartworm's natural host and that causes dogs to have a much higher risk of contracting the worms in the first place and when they do the worms are able to breed within the dog and you can get a VERY high worm load in a dog that has gone untested/treated for a long time.  IF a human contacts heartworm disease we usually max at a single worm that is unable to breed and dies off on it's own at the end of it's lifespan (a year or two if I remember correctly).  There is really no comparison of the seriousness of heartworm disease in dogs vs. humans. Oh, and cats are basically like humans, they may get a worm or two but that's usually the extent of it, though it has been pushed recently to start cats on monthly prevention as well.

post #13 of 14

THis is an excellent site for information on various parasites (it is what vets use for current info too).  This has a map showing the prevelance in the US




post #14 of 14

Good links. The video is amazing.


There are bandanas dogs can wear to repel mosquitos.



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