Heartworm Meds

pitbulliest

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#1
Hey guys I have a question for you all. I'm not keen on using heartworm, so I've been using holistic alternatives this season only because Messina's mostly been at home...but we are going camping in a few weeks...anyways..

My question is..if she was bitten by mosquitos, and I give her the regular heartguard (just for the worms, not for the fleas/ticks) on September 5th, then that will make it a month and about one week..

Now, vets say that the meds kill anything ONE MONTH prior to application..
However, I heard that its actually 1 month and 2 weeks...or 45 days..something like that..does anybody know exactly how good its for..is it really one month..or longer? Because if its longer than that will save me an unecessary dosage in October (because of my trip during the first week of Sept)....

So...please someone help me out..if there are any vets or vet techs here please please please let me know..again, its the regular heart guard..not the plus...bitten yesterday...want to give the meds Sept 5th..am I good or no?

Thanx guys :)
 

Herschel

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#4

2dogmom

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#5
Heartworm is a horrible horrible disease which is easily prevented. It is carried by parasites and is typically prevented by giving a drug such as "Heartguard". Since you are in Toronto MAYBE you can get away without any kind of preventative.

Mosquitoes carry the potentially fatal West Nile Virus
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/index.htm
and ticks carry debilitating Lyme Disease.
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/lyme/
Advantix works against mosquitoes, ticks and fleas. It is however toxic to cats so if you also have cats you are better off using Frontline.

Heartguard will not do anything about fleas, ticks and mosquitoes, only heartworms.
 

elegy

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#6
the problem is, you don't know for sure that she doesn't have a heartworm infection already. that's more a concern than the time between her possible bite and when you give the drugs for any transmission that occurred at that time.
 

pitbulliest

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#7
elegy..well no, I am pretty sure she doesn't have heartworm..I just like to be informed as nothing is actually 100%..like I said..in Toronto, its not really a risk...I believe there were under 20 cases in Ontario last year, all were from up North and most were out of the country or coming in as imports from other countries

...I was just wondering if its an issue giving preventative if a dog is infected...I also test my dog 2 a year since I'm not using prevention throughout the entire season. Its an extra precaution I take although my vet admitted I don't need to do it.

The only time I'm worried about heartworm is when I go up north..which I will be doing shortly. Since she did get bitten a few days ago, I want to be even MORE sure and simply cover it with the heartworm meds she will be getting right after our trip up north. I hope that clears things up.

I did speak with a vet though afterwards (after this post)...and they told me that heartworm meds do cover 45 days...30 is just an easier number for most people to remember.
 

MafiaPrincess

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#8
I'd also take into account the people who never test, so those dogs never end up in anyone's statistics.. Apparently there were 36 cases in TO last year.. but those are the cases caught..
http://www.vita-tech.com/downloads/maps/Heartworm_Data_2006.pdf

Thought that giving preventative to an infected dog potentially made the HWs break up in too big chunks and could potentially kill the dog?
 

pitbulliest

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#9
I wonder how many of those dogs were outdoor, where they travelled to, etc?

I looked up the stats site off the Guelph Vet site...most dogs that were tested positive were outdoors often, travelled out of province/out of country...etc. Strange that niagara falls and some of the northern cities had less cases than Toronto? Makes no sense...lol

Interesting..I'd like to know the background behind the vita tech stats
 

elegy

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#11
it only takes one mosquito bite. my dogs are primarily indoor dogs, too, but mushroom gets big welts from mosquitos, and i know he's had numerous bites. we don't have much heartworm here, either, but we just had a dog come up positive at work. she is a run of the mill house dog, but she was positive. the vets were shocked- we just don't see heartworm at our clinic. we hadn't ordered drugs to treat it since 2001.

yes, if you give the drug on sept. 5 it will take care of an infection from your camping trip. but you're still putting your dog at risk, as mafiaprincess said, if your dog was indeed infected previously.

personally i wonder about the changes in infection rates since katrina, with heartworm positive dogs being transported all over north america. i don't know if anybody's done a study on that, but it interests me.
 

MafiaPrincess

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#12
I thought HW in cats was really rare.. Making those stats pretty much all dogs?
Just not worth the risk to me, as going outside to potty for a minute or two I get a bite or two.. That I figure it's just too entirely possible. Cure is too much for me that I can't not give it monthly or so..
 

pitbulliest

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#13
I understand your guys' point of view..its just that heartworm meds are quite unhealthy..they do quite a bit of damage to the dog's immune system, which sets the dog up for even more health problems later on in life.

That's why I don't use it unless its absolutely necessary
 

pitbulliest

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#15
well if I'm not travelling, I use a dog anti-mosquito repellent, and I also give 1/4 clove of garlic every 3 to 4 days..sometimes once a week. I also add abouot 5-8 drops of wormwood tincture into the dog's food about 2 times a week. During the first 2 weeks of heartworm season though, I give about 8-10
drops every day with food to clean out the dog's system. Then during the rest of the summer, its like I said..2 times a week..about 5 drops. Body weight is important, as too much can spur toxicity...but much less than heartworm medication from what I have read.

I also give artemesia complex tablets with the food when I'm giving the drops...just one tablet.

Finally, I put a few drops of eucalyptus oil on the dog's bandana and put it on before walks to places with more than normal amounts of bushes and shady areas that bugs might want to hang out in. Eucalyptus is currently the number one mosquito repellent. Works better than Deet according to some studies I was looking at a few months back - bonus - its natural :)
 
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