NATURAL HEARTWORM PREVENTION, and More!

NATURAL HEARTWORM PREVENTION

There are many things you can do to help prevent heartworm. Consider a few of the following natural remedies to help keep your furry canine companion healthy:

  • ·HeartWorm Free (HWF) can be used as a preventative. IF in a highly invested heartworm area (Eastern United States), the protocol would be to use the HWF twice a day every other week (full 7 day week). Use the same amount as on the HWF chart based on the weight of the pet. IF in low to average infested heartworm areas (Western United States), the protocol would be to use the HWF each day during the 1st week (7 days) only of each month. Use the same amount as on the HWF chart below based on the weight of the pet.
  • ·Animals in the wild are not extinct and yet they are not given heartworm or West Nile virus preventatives, nor vaccines or flea/tick preventatives. One of the reasons the wildlife continue to thrive is because they are eating species appropriate nutrition which helps boost and keep their immune systems strong. For dogs and cats, this means a raw meat and bone diet.
  • ·Plenty of good daily exercise. Make sure your dog gets regular exercise and at the same time, you can benefit from a healthy walk too!  Again, the animals in the wild are getting plenty of daily exercise, hunting their species appropriate nutrition.
  • ·Keep your dog indoors during heavy mosquito hours at dawn and dusk. Mosquitoes are usually sleeping by 11:00 pm.
  • ·FeedFood Grade Diatomaceous Earth daily. Food grade diatomaceous earth helps eliminate intestinal worms and parasites, which helps boost your dog’s immune system making it less susceptible to disease, plus it helps your dog better absorb all the nutrients from the food he or she is eating, as there are no worms to eat their food or them.
  • ·Apple cider vinegar in your dog’s water or food may be useful at making your dog smell less tasty to mosquitoes. We don’t recommend giving apple cider vinegar (ACV) if you are using plastic, aluminum, or galvanized watering containers as the ACV will leach the plasticizers out of the plastic and the metals out of aluminum or galvanized containers.
  • ·Small amounts of raw garlic in your dog’s daily food can help make them less tasty to mosquitoes, just note that excessive amounts of garlic can cause Heinz body anemia, so use caution when feeding garlic regularly.
  • ·Do NOT over vaccinate your dog.   Animal Vaccines Information  Too many vaccines lower the immune system. Here again, the animals in the wild are not vaccinated, yet they aren’t extinct from heartworm disease or West Nile virus. Please NEVER vaccinate a dog who has heartworm disease!
  • ·Vitamin B1 is known to repel mosquitoes from humans.
  • ·And don’t forget to encourage natural mosquito predators in your yard, such as frogs, lizards, bats, mosquito fish for ponds or koi and other pond fish to take care of mosquito larvae naturally, etc.

Here is some scary information about toxic traditional canine heartworm preventatives: Heartworm Medicine Linked to Sickness, Death – Family News Story   This will tell you about the adverse reactions and deaths from the various traditional heartworm preventatives. NOTE: This story along with numerous others are no longer available. Here’s some good information about heartworm, traditional preventatives, adverse reactions, etc. The Whole Story About Heartworm

The potential side effects of Ivermectin (the active ingredient in Heartgard) include liver problems, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, depression, lethargy, skin eruptions, seizures, tremors, paralysis, autoimmune disorders, thyroid problems, fever, weakness, dizziness, coughing, nose bleeds, difficulty breathing, pneumonia, irritability, sudden aggressive behavior, nerve damage, fertility problems, and sudden death. The drug poses a particular risk to Collies and related breeds. Other chemical heartworm preventatives have many of the same side effects. In his book “The Nature of Animal Healing”, Dr. Martin Goldstein states that he believes that much of the cancer and liver disease we see in dogs today is the result of years of treatment with heartworm preventatives. 98% of the dogs in his NY practice (including of course his own dogs) aren’t on any heartworm preventative.

If you must give a chemical heartworm preventative, keep in mind that both Interceptor and Heartgard are effective when given every 6 weeks instead of monthly. Unless you live in a state where mosquito season literally lasts all year (e.g. Florida), it is also very important for the health of your dog to spend at least a few months each year without the drug. Just because you see a mosquito in January does not mean that your dogs are at risk. In order for microfilariae to develop into infective L3s, it needs to be sufficiently warm (above 57 degrees for a period of time). Always give milk thistle,   Life Cell Support or an herbal liver detox blend following the heartworm drug.

WHAT ARE HEARTWORMS?

Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal condition caused by parasitic worms living the the arteries of the lungs and in the right side of the heart of dogs, cats, and other species of mammals, including wolves, foxes, ferrets, sea lions, horses, and humans. Heartworms are classified as nematodes (roundworms) and are but one of the many species of roundworms. The specific roundworm causing heartworm in dogs and cats is known as Dirofilariaimminitis.

Dogs or other animals harboring adult worms are the recognized reservoir of infection. Adult worms produce the offspring that circulate in the blood and are then transmitted to mosquitoes once they bite the infected animal. These offspring (microfilariae) undergo development to an infective larval stage within 14 days in the mosquito, and can then be transmitted to another host (such as a cat) or back to another dog, when the infected mosquito bites again. The infective heartworm larvae travel through a tubular organ within the mosquito’s head and are injected into the skin of a new host animal through the mosquito bite wound. In the dog, the larvae progress in their development to an adult form of the worm, and live in the heart and pulmonary vessels, where they continue the life cycle and cause extensive injury. In the cat, the larvae molt as well, but fewer worms survive to adulthood. While dogs suffer severe heart and lung damage from heartworm infection, cats typically exhibit minimal changes in the heart. The cat’s primary response to the presence of heartworms occurs in the lungs.

Within the dog, the time frame between initial infection and growth to adult worms is approximately six to seven months, eventually arriving in the heart and pulmonary vessels where they begin to produce new offspring.

In cats, it takes seven to eight months before adult worms arrive in the heart and pulmonary vessels. In most cases the life cycle of the heartworm ends here since microfilaria are produced in less than 20% of cats.

Some worms may get up to 3 feet long. Heavy infestation of heartworms will cause swelling in the lungs, pulmonary arteries, kidney and heart, which will eventually cause the animal to die. Heartworm infestation can also cause anemia and liver damage.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF HEARTWORM?

Symptoms of heartworm may include loss of appetite, lethargy, exercise intolerance, weight loss, fever, dyspnea (difficult, labored breathing, shortness of breath), coughing, weakness, dull dry coat, and hemorrhage.

This site is dedicated to all animals and their guardians.   Whether you are here to find information and links to research holistic methods or just browsing, please feel free to linger as long as you wish on the Flea Free Organically website.

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