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Discussion Starter #1
I had two chows that died last year after reacting to prescription medications and now I have Rocky who is also turning out to be very sensitive to prescription medications. I tried him on Heartgard first and he got violent, explosive diarhea on just the one tablet (which the vet didn't really believe happened!). After the one day and night spent 'exploding' all over the kitchen he was absolutly fine so I know it was the Heartgard. I convinced the vet to give me a prescription for Interceptor which is what I used on my other chows. The first time he had it, it was a little puppy size dose and he did okay. The studies I read said you can stretch the doses out as much as 60 days and the amounts are really way higher then they need so I felt safe giving him less then the box called for. Today he got his first "big dog" dose and he is really sleepy and lethargic and has spent the whole day laying next to me looking depressed.
Does everyone here routinely give hearworm meds and give them at full dose? I have talked to chow breeders that say they have never given heartworm meds and have never had a case of heartworms. Is the poisen you put in their system worse then treating the worms if they should get them? I'm am trying to find a new vet in my area who will treat my dogs with a little more natural view and appreciate what I am trying to do by feeding them better and limiting their vaccines and medications.
 

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I chose to only give heartworm meds April-Sept, and I dont use flea meds anymore after Uno had a bad allergic rection to it, I occasionally use neem oil diluted with water when we go on hikes, but thats about it, of course it helps that he has super short coat.
I dont know if theres an effective way to prevent heartworm though, I dont think its as common as people make it out to be, if a dog is kept in a home and the evening time outside is restricted when the mosquitos are most active, heartworm is not as easy to contract. I used to work at a shelter and most dogs that came in with the heartworm were the ones chained outside for most of their lives.
 

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3 out of my 4 dogs do not get heartworm preventative. Why the one is on them ~is because he was started on them as a puppy and I continued for one more year and then he will be off them. My dogs seem to do fine without the medication. My dog also uses Interceptor which is the only one I would use. I really will not have any dogs on this after I am done with the dose my last dog has! My dogs have all done very well without the meds. This is also the very first year I used a flea and tick preventataive Vectra~3D you can only get this at the vets. Its expensive but comparable to advantix and such. To me it was a better quality and suppose to actually prevent ticks from staying on the dogs! Well I put it on 3 dogs & no bad reactions and asked the vet about this. They also said they have had no one say they had any re~action to this. I did not put this on my 10 year old dog I just didn't want to put it on a senior dog! So far so good walks and no ticks which is what I have been waiting to see but I am not holding my breath here haha! No fleas at all either but this I have never had a problem with its just the ticks! So as for the heartworm prevenatative I have had no problems with the dogs useing it and not useing it. I wouldn't use it if it was causing problems! More harm than good!:smile:
 

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If they have a bad reaction to the heartworm meds, I would stop giving it to them. As stated before, if the dogs are basically inside dogs then their risk should be less than an outside dog.
 

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Yes the risk is less if they are inside but it is still there. The preventative is way less on them than the actual treatment if they contract it. Ultimately it is only you who can make the right decisions for your dogs but there is no natural defense from heartworms right now.

One suggestion I have is Avon Skin So Soft sprayed on them or put on a cloth and rubbed on them when they are going to be outside, mosquitos hate the smell and it will help keep them away. It's very gentle and doesn't smell too bad either.
 

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Working in rescue and living in the midwest I see ALOT of dogs with heartworm. Yes, they are usually dogs that have been kept outside and no HW preventative or stray dogs, but it only takes one mosquito to bite one infected dog, racoon, or whatever and then bite your dog who's just outside for 10 minutes going potty in your own backyard to get infected. Treatment is VERY hard on the dogs organs (if they make it through treatment) and the dogs usually have a shortened life due to the stress on the organs. I try to be holistic about everything with my dogs, but HW preventative is one thing that they do get. I only give it to them from spring to fall, about 5-6 months.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Rocky bounced back the next day just fine so I may continue with the Interceptor but on a lower dose. Supposedly the high dose is for killing of the intestinal worms in the dogs. The actual amount needed to kill just the heartworms is a much lower dose. This info is from an article I read in Whole Dog Journal. He was fine when I gave him the next lower dose when he was smaller and he's just crossed over to the higher size so I may stick with the smaller one. We have never had any intestinal worms and have a fenced yard so that is not a worry for me. If we ever get any, I will worm him at that time rather then give him a monthly dose that's not needed. Thanks for all the input.
 
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