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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright all you knowledgeable people! I have a good friend that has rescued two dogs from a bad owner and they have turned out to be heartworm positive. She wants to go the alternate route when it comes to treatment(I don't blame her). She has done a bit of research and Im not sure what exactly she is trying right now, but what are some suggested alternatives to treating heartworms? We are in the south so mosquitoes are prevalent here, and I wouldn't mind storing some information away just in case something happens with my girls.
 

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My sister is a vet tech in the south where there have been a lot of heart worm problems. She said what they do in her clinic for heart worm positive dogs, is give the animal heart guard or some other heart worm preventative for a year and it slowly kills the heart worms without killing the dog. It's a slower way of getting rid of it, but still produces the same results.
 

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There are none. Listen to a licensed, experienced Dr. Let that person handle it.

As far as prevention, the cost of Heartguard is largely to blame for people not using ivermectin. I switched years ago to liquid ivermectin and paste. You don't have to buy paste in large quantities so for a person with one or two larger dogs it makes sense, assuming the dog is not a breed that is sensitive to ivermectin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you monster'sdad for your input, but I believe I requested the opinions of the knowledgeable people that have done some research for alternatives. Licensed, experienced Drs have also told me I am killing my dogs because I feed them raw............I am pretty sure I do not want someone THAT unintelligent injecting poison into my dog's body. I worked at vets for over 5 years, I know what happens behind closed doors.

Sahara, that link is very interesting! I will tuck that away and look into it more!

Felix, I have also heard of vets giving heartguard for extended periods of time to treat heartworms. Although all the vets I worked for would scoff at that option because they are so closed minded, I could see it being a better alternative than the doses of poison a dog is injected with as the normal method.

Anything that requires a dog keeping absolutely calm for more than a day for fear that the heart may pump the poison through too quickly and kill the animal is NOT a way I want to treat my dogs. I have never understood how people could risk that.
 

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Thank you monster'sdad for your input, but I believe I requested the opinions of the knowledgeable people that have done some research for alternatives. Licensed, experienced Drs have also told me I am killing my dogs because I feed them raw............I am pretty sure I do not want someone THAT unintelligent injecting poison into my dog's body. I worked at vets for over 5 years, I know what happens behind closed doors.

Sahara, that link is very interesting! I will tuck that away and look into it more!

Felix, I have also heard of vets giving heartguard for extended periods of time to treat heartworms. Although all the vets I worked for would scoff at that option because they are so closed minded, I could see it being a better alternative than the doses of poison a dog is injected with as the normal method.

Anything that requires a dog keeping absolutely calm for more than a day for fear that the heart may pump the poison through too quickly and kill the animal is NOT a way I want to treat my dogs. I have never understood how people could risk that.
You can romance all you want about berries, herbs and light therapy, but heartworms are serious business. Treatments are much better than they were years ago when arsenic-based drugs were used.

Low-dose ivermectin is one way to go but it all depends. That approach is also an off-label use.

One person just "prescribed" kelp for a possible thyroid condition she knows nothing about for a dog she will never even see. It is easy to give medical advice for someone else's pet.

Talk to a Dr., most will use Immiticide. Some dogs may also need surgery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
once again; Drs are the ones that stalked straight up to my face and in his exact words, "I went home and read one article about feeding raw meat; just wanted to let you know you are killing your dogs".....not long after that he told me to find a new job because I obviously did not believe in what he was doing at the clinic, when I refused he fired me. When a dog is injected for heartworm treatment, it is customary to keep them kenneled for at least 24 hours, NO exercise, leash walked; for fear that the dog's excitement will cause the dog's heart to pump the blood through the dog's veins too quickly and rush the poison injected into the dog's rump in two separate doses, to the dog's heart and KILL the animal. Now if an alternative treatment is not working, it is just as easy to keep a dog healthy by a good diet and lack of vaccines so that the animal's immune system can TOLERATE the worms and not be affected by them. We have to remember that these are ANIMALS, not humans. What do you believe wolves do in the wild if they were to contract heartworms? Do you believe that they would run to the closest town to get injected with poison? I think not. They thrive on a healthy diet of meat, so their systems are strong enough to handle internal worms and parasites.
I have to ask, why are you even posting in this section? If I had wanted opinions on common methods, do you think I would have posted here?


Edited to add: I have an Australian shepherd, you do know that it can be very dangerous to give those breeds ivermectin right?
 

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once again; Drs are the ones that stalked straight up to my face and in his exact words, "I went home and read one article about feeding raw meat; just wanted to let you know you are killing your dogs".....not long after that he told me to find a new job because I obviously did not believe in what he was doing at the clinic, when I refused he fired me. When a dog is injected for heartworm treatment, it is customary to keep them kenneled for at least 24 hours, NO exercise, leash walked; for fear that the dog's excitement will cause the dog's heart to pump the blood through the dog's veins too quickly and rush the poison injected into the dog's rump in two separate doses, to the dog's heart and KILL the animal. Now if an alternative treatment is not working, it is just as easy to keep a dog healthy by a good diet and lack of vaccines so that the animal's immune system can TOLERATE the worms and not be affected by them. We have to remember that these are ANIMALS, not humans. What do you believe wolves do in the wild if they were to contract heartworms? Do you believe that they would run to the closest town to get injected with poison? I think not. They thrive on a healthy diet of meat, so their systems are strong enough to handle internal worms and parasites.
I have to ask, why are you even posting in this section? If I had wanted opinions on common methods, do you think I would have posted here?


Edited to add: I have an Australian shepherd, you do know that it can be very dangerous to give those breeds ivermectin right?
If your dog is MDR-1 positive you have to be careful, yes I know. Ivermectin can still be given safely. Get the test done.

Forget the wolf fantasy, wolves die too and generally pretty young.

Why am I posting here? Simple, the information and advice is ludicrous and people read it and take the advice.

No one should take your advice about heartworm prevention or treatment. It is completely crazy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well then please leave this post. I do not want, nor did I ask for your advice.


...I hope you realize that these vets you speak so highly of are wrong more often then not on their diagnosis. It was a vet that told me I should let him do an FHO on my dog, it was her 'only' way of living comfortably. Now 3 FHO surgeries later from said Dr, she is barely mobile and in pain, on top of throwing all of her weight into her front legs which is causing her elbows to go. It was also a vet that told me to spay my dog at 6 months old, it was the 'only' option to stop her urinary tract issues, now Im told it would have been much better to let her go through a heat first and her problem is common and usually cured after the heat cycle. It was also a vet that told me if I did not give my cat her meds when she contracted toxoplasmosis from 'her awful meat diet'(despite the fact that she killed and ate birds daily and was being fed nasty cat food from the neighbors right before she got sick) she would die....low and behold, I never gave her one pill and she was healthy as a horse after spending one week inside on 'bed rest'.....these were all different vets at different clinics, so forgive me if I do not trust your 'theory' that vets know best.

Vets are great at what they are taught, but nothing beyond that. If pet owners were not open to alternatives, our pets would be dieing at early ages just as the wolves are. Why should I forget the wolf fantasy? Are you stating that dogs are not 99.9% biologically identical to wolves? Wolves die early, yes. Your point is? They also live in the wild and it is survival of the fittest, is it not? More often than not, wolves die due to injury, not heartworms.

You Sir are ludicrous and no one should take your advice. Open your eyes, and do some research my dear friend. You cannot depend solely on what others say. If you never research for yourself, you will go nowhere in life.


If you have nothing to contribute to this topic, I kindly ask that you but out. Your negative comments are not wanted here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
does anyone know what to watch out for? heard of anything that was recommended, but turned out dangerous?
 

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...I hope you realize that these vets you speak so highly of are wrong more often then not on their diagnosis.
Bah. I hope you realize that millions of pet parents everywhere get invaluable help from vets every second of the day, 365 days a year. A handful loud internet complainers doesn't change that.
 

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The reason for keeping a dog quiet after heartworm treatment is not that the blood pushes the poisons through too quickly. Once the worms start to die off therecan be large clumps of them in the heart. Exercise increases the risk of one of these breaking off and causing the dog to throw a clot.
 

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Well then please leave this post. I do not want, nor did I ask for your advice.


...I hope you realize that these vets you speak so highly of are wrong more often then not on their diagnosis. It was a vet that told me I should let him do an FHO on my dog, it was her 'only' way of living comfortably. Now 3 FHO surgeries later from said Dr, she is barely mobile and in pain, on top of throwing all of her weight into her front legs which is causing her elbows to go. It was also a vet that told me to spay my dog at 6 months old, it was the 'only' option to stop her urinary tract issues, now Im told it would have been much better to let her go through a heat first and her problem is common and usually cured after the heat cycle. It was also a vet that told me if I did not give my cat her meds when she contracted toxoplasmosis from 'her awful meat diet'(despite the fact that she killed and ate birds daily and was being fed nasty cat food from the neighbors right before she got sick) she would die....low and behold, I never gave her one pill and she was healthy as a horse after spending one week inside on 'bed rest'.....these were all different vets at different clinics, so forgive me if I do not trust your 'theory' that vets know best.

Vets are great at what they are taught, but nothing beyond that. If pet owners were not open to alternatives, our pets would be dieing at early ages just as the wolves are. Why should I forget the wolf fantasy? Are you stating that dogs are not 99.9% biologically identical to wolves? Wolves die early, yes. Your point is? They also live in the wild and it is survival of the fittest, is it not? More often than not, wolves die due to injury, not heartworms.

You Sir are ludicrous and no one should take your advice. Open your eyes, and do some research my dear friend. You cannot depend solely on what others say. If you never research for yourself, you will go nowhere in life.


If you have nothing to contribute to this topic, I kindly ask that you but out. Your negative comments are not wanted here.
Do you mind my asking how your dog had 3 FHO surgeries? A femoral head osectomy is a procedure where you remove the femoral head. A dog only has 2 of them.
 
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Been there done that with Immiticide. I would never trust anything that has not been proven to work. Either way, you are dealing with a very deadly disease. I prefer to limit any future damage to my pet's heart and would avoid any long term methods. It all depends upon the severity of the disease. That needs to be assessed and then options presented.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The reason for keeping a dog quiet after heartworm treatment is not that the blood pushes the poisons through too quickly. Once the worms start to die off therecan be large clumps of them in the heart. Exercise increases the risk of one of these breaking off and causing the dog to throw a clot.
You are correct with this, but there is still the risk of the poison being pushed through the bloodstream too quickly.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Been there done that with Immiticide. I would never trust anything that has not been proven to work. Either way, you are dealing with a very deadly disease. I prefer to limit any future damage to my pet's heart and would avoid any long term methods. It all depends upon the severity of the disease. That needs to be assessed and then options presented.
What were your issues with the Immiticide? Did it not work at all, and/or cause more damage than good?
 

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What were your issues with the Immiticide? Did it not work at all, and/or cause more damage than good?
For 8 weeks I was a basket case, however, my vet specializes in customized heartworm treament, so I knew there was no better place to be. He did a very slow initial test over a series of days to make sure my Doxie's liver could handle the full Immiticide dosage and we went on from there. It came out perfectly fine without any issues. I did indeed carry my Doxie everywhere. Even just walking from the living room to the kitchen was enough to make him gag heavily. So I was EXTREMELY careful and after it's all over, you have a totally happy energetic dog! Before the treatment, he was always out of breath, bloated, etc. It's like having a new dog.
 

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For 8 weeks I was a basket case, however, my vet specializes in customized heartworm treament, so I knew there was no better place to be. He did a very slow initial test over a series of days to make sure my Doxie's liver could handle the full Immiticide dosage and we went on from there. It came out perfectly fine without any issues. I did indeed carry my Doxie everywhere. Even just walking from the living room to the kitchen was enough to make him gag heavily. So I was EXTREMELY careful and after it's all over, you have a totally happy energetic dog! Before the treatment, he was always out of breath, bloated, etc. It's like having a new dog.
You cannot deal with heartworms any other way than with conventional medicine. And you must use a preventative, whether it is ivermectin or the other ones that are available. The least expensive and safest is ivermectin. If you have a MDR1 dog, get the test and stick with the 6 mcg/kg dosage.

If you have a large dog, or several for that matter, use can safely use 1% liquid or the apple flavored paste.
 
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