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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I took my dog in to the vet last week for a quick exam and rabies vax. I like the vet, but sometimes they go overboard on pushing products on me, e.g. dog food and ear cleanser. So when they started talking heartworm meds, it seemed more like a sales presentation than a legitimate overview.<br><br>
As added pressure, the vet started the fear-mongering. There was an "outbreak" of heartworm in a city 6 hours away from me. The meds could also prevent roundworms. Mosquitoes pass roundworms to my dog, my dog passes them to my Dd, everyone croaks and dies.<br><br>
Frankly, it felt like a vax lecture from Dd's ped! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
I know that heart worm is no longer confined just to the Southeast, (I live in the Northwest), and I'm NOT closed to the idea of protecting my dog from it. I just want to know if it's a necessary measure to take. Any thoughts?
 

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Heartworm is SO dangerous, the treatment is SO hard on the dog, and the spread of the infection is SO easy that I tend to fall on the side of preventing it very consistently.<br><br>
I try to keep the doses of the preventative to a bare minimum--in other words, use Heartgard or Interceptor, not Revolution. I do not use the "Plus" products unless the dog actually has roundworm--if your dog does not, he's not going to give it to anybody else, human or canine.
 

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Here is a link to incidence rates across the US for 2004. <a href="http://www.newrossvet.com/heartworm0001.htm" target="_blank">http://www.newrossvet.com/heartworm0001.htm</a>
 

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Yes, I do. I live in an area where it is very common and easily spread (LOTS of mosquitos). Even when I lived in the north I used heartworm medications because a "small infection" turns into a raging case long before you've even recognized there is a problem, and by then the dog's quality of life is going to suffer.
 

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Heartworm prevention is a wonderful thing that I wish all dogs were on. A dog that has heartworms isnt a happy healthy dog, and the treatments are expensive, frustrating (sometimes strict crate confinement for weeks), hard on the animals system and can be risky. Your vet <i>was</i> doing a little bit of scare tactic stuff, it does tend to work. And youre right to not jump blindly into something just because your vet said so.... But just so you know - Heartworms CANT be transmitted to people via your dog, and theres only one kind of roundworm thats carried by mosquitos and its quite rare (as far as i know, but if someone knows otherwise, please correct me! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">). But like Joanna said, theres no real need to worm unless you have to. You can have your dogs (or cats) feces checked for internal parasites and treat accordingly.
 

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I vax my kids (and dogs) selectively. I tend to say "no thanks" to the sales pitches, but...my dogs never miss a heartworm pill. It's common where I live, and the preventative is much better than the consequences.
 

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We do here in Atlanta. I grew up in Tucson, AZ though and there we never did heartworms or flea preventative. We would sometimes have a problem with ticks if the dogs were in long grass, but never with fleas or heartworms. I don't know if we were just really lucky, or if they're not a problem there. Never had vets push preventatives for either.<br><br>
I had a lot of learning to do when I moved out here!<br><br>
~Julia
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
PP's link shows that I live in a state where it's relatively uncommon but . . . you've all convinced me! I'll get the meds.<br><br>
The information you gave me is all that I needed to hear in the first place! Would any of you like to step in my dog's new vet? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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yes without a doubt. we had to put my dog down because of heart worms when i was a kid. it was very sad.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/notes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notes">: i just came here to post the same thing!
 

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Yes, absolutely!<br><br>
My dog will be 13 next month and I'm no longer vaxing him since he's a) never around other dogs b)has a ton of allergies anyway and c) he's old! but I always do heartworm.
 

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definitely! my guys are on heartworm prevention (Heartguard) due to the increasing rates of heartworm. We live in Southern AZ and we have seen cases of dogs that don't travel out of state show up with heartworms. The treatment is really stressful, you have to keep the dog under strict cage rest for weeks at a time and it is a risky treatment. I much rather give them a little tablet once a month and prevent the heartache.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>thekimballs</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10776416"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I do not use the "Plus" products unless the dog actually has roundworm--if your dog does not, he's not going to give it to anybody else, human or canine.</div>
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I think the vet was trying to get me riled up at the thought of my dog contracting roundworm and spreading it to my baby without my knowing it. Are the "Plus" products harder on dogs than just the heartworm med along?
 

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an otherwise healthy dog probably wont have any problems with the pyrantel (the worming aspect) in these products, but its one of those "if you dont need it, why take it" things. Its an individual choice <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I absolutely always give my dog her heartworm meds. We live in the Southeast, and the mosquitoes are awful. But when I was younger and lived in the Northeast our family dog still contracted heartworm. He was very old and it was a very advanced case. The treatment would have been very hard on him so he was put to sleep. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying">
 

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Hi, the plus just had added invermectin to kill any intestinal parasites your pup might have picked up. We never skip a heartgaurd. I've seen dogs die from it, treated for it etc. It's just not worth it imo to not give it.<br>
As a side note-the makers of Revolution no longer garauntee the product on thick or double coated breeds.
 

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Its pyrantel (controls 2 species of roundworms and 3 species of hookworms) thats added, not just extra ivermectin (kills some stages of heartworm larvae and microfilaria, sterilises adult heartworms).
 

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Here are some articles that helped us decide on a how to deal with heartworm prevention.<br><a href="http://web.archive.org/web/20040605095457/bullovedbulldogs.com/heartworm.htm" target="_blank">http://web.archive.org/web/200406050.../heartworm.htm</a><br><a href="http://www.oldcountryvet.com/youtube_heartworm.html" target="_blank">http://www.oldcountryvet.com/youtube_heartworm.html</a><br><br>
You can also use <i>food grade</i> <a href="http://wolfcreekranch1.tripod.com/diatomaceous_earth.html" target="_blank">diatomaceous earth</a> to treat round worm, whip worms and hook worms as well as fleas and ticks.
 

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Dusting off my DE soapbox:<br><br>
If you want to FEED diatomaceous earth to help control internal parasites, be my guest. The DE should be mixed with a binder (honey or something sticky) to prevent it from getting into the air, but it's reasonably safe as a food additive. I'm not sure it's *more* safe than pyrantel, which you can drink a gallon of and not have any ill effects, but it's not too bad.<br><br>
I am VERY VERY concerned with advice to dust dogs, cats, people, or carpet with DE. DE works because it is literally little shards of razor-sharp shell. It causes bilions of micro-cuts in everything it comes in contact with. That includes your eyes, your lungs, your kids' eyes and lungs, etc. Long-term DE exposure causes silicosis; it is very much like asbestos. Since there is not good data that DE reliably kills fleas (some say it does, some say only in dry climates; the only real vet reference I found says that it may kill larvae but not adult fleas, etc.), please keep it to a food additive and use something else for fleas and ticks.<br><br>
Oh, and that first link above refers to using black walnut for heartworm--please do not. BW is about a million times more risky than Heartgard. Remember in all these things, Natural does NOT mean Safer. You can die pretty dang quick from eating false hellebore, but you can chew on silicone all day and you'll thrive.
 

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Heartguard for my Dane (at a million dollars a year) and Interceptor for my Poodle.
 
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