Using Heartworm Preventative with a Holistic Health Plan? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

Increase font size: 0, 10, 25, 50%

GermanShepherds.com is the premier German Shepherd Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 06-27-2014, 01:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
Master Member
 
Pax8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: TX
Posts: 968
Default Using Heartworm Preventative with a Holistic Health Plan?

I've gone much more holistic with Kaiju's general health care than I ever thought I would. We've switched to raw, we've gone on a limited vaccination schedule (I think vaccines are bit overused, but I do still think they're good, so I'm not anti-vaxx), and have even been without chemical flea and tick treatment for almost four months now with no problems.

Now the next potential step is a doozy and one I'm considering carefully - cutting out the ivermectin heartworm preventative. The few holistic vets in the area I have talked to have encouraged me to go without if I am comfortable with it. They seem to believe that a dog on a natural, healthy diet with no health complications should not have the problems contracting heartworms that unhealthy dogs or dogs on processed food or with systems overly saturated with chemicals would have.

This makes sense to me, but I'm also fighting with years of conditioning that if he doesn't get the ivermectin tablet every month, he'll instantly be a heartworm poster child with the spaghetti bowl heart you see in all the vet's offices.

I feel like Kaiju would be safe as we have had no health or parasite problems since we switched everything up - I have not found a single flea, tick, fly, or mosquito on him for months. Not even a bite. I'd like to hear thoughts and opinions, especially from anyone who is using holistic health methods and has gone off heartworm meds.
Pax8 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 06-27-2014, 02:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
Crowned Member
 
lalachka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: queens, nyc
Posts: 3,781
Default Using Heartworm Preventative with a Holistic Health Plan?

I don't remember where I read it, there was a breeder that used to feel the same way (not a gsd breeder) and then he ended up with a horrible infestation on two of the dogs. One was imported in a bad condition, so explainable. But another was his dog, third generation raw fed, healthy and all that

My dog is off meds now but I'm going to go back on for the summer months.

Supposedly, if they're healthy they should be able to kill them off. But too many variables for my liking. How do I know my dog is healthy? Things might be happening without me knowing. His immune system might be stressed at the moment because he might be fighting something and the HW comes in at that moment.

I'm just going to deal with the few months of meds and hope that the damage is not too great.
lalachka is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-27-2014, 03:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
Elite Member
 
LifeofRiley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 1,271
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pax8 View Post
They seem to believe that a dog on a natural, healthy diet with no health complications should not have the problems contracting heartworms that unhealthy dogs or dogs on processed food or with systems overly saturated with chemicals would have.
If your vet cannot prove their "belief" to you with scientific evidence, I would continue to administer the HW medication during the times of year where mosquitos are present. Beliefs and facts are not the same thing.
LifeofRiley is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-27-2014, 03:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
Master Member
 
Pax8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: TX
Posts: 968
Default

I think the take was less that a healthy dog would fight off heartworm and more that a healthy dog is not an attractive host to mosquitoes that carry the parasite.

That's one of the big things that I'm taking into account is that we have had zero bug problems. I swear we went hiking the other day and he had a bubble of space around him that the bugs just didn't seem to want to fly in. Maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but very close

And of course heartworm test would be done every six months...I don't know, I was just hoping for some input from anyone who had gone this route.
Pax8 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-27-2014, 03:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
Master Member
 
Pax8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: TX
Posts: 968
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by LifeofRiley View Post
If your vet cannot prove their "belief" to you with scientific evidence, I would continue to administer the HW medication during the times of year where mosquitos are present. Beliefs and facts are not the same thing.
Sorry, didn't mean to make it seem like it was just their opinion. They did have health records that they were able to show me with patient's permission of dogs off of heartworm prevention with negative heartworm results for years and years of treatment.
Pax8 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-27-2014, 03:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
Crowned Member
 
lalachka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: queens, nyc
Posts: 3,781
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pax8 View Post
Sorry, didn't mean to make it seem like it was just their opinion. They did have health records that they were able to show me with patient's permission of dogs off of heartworm prevention with negative heartworm results for years and years of treatment.

Proof would be a healthy dog getting bitten by a mosquito carrying HW and fighting it off. However, they don't gain anything by talking you out of it so I'm not sure
lalachka is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-27-2014, 05:02 AM   #7 (permalink)
Master Member
 
Pax8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: TX
Posts: 968
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by lalachka View Post
Proof would be a healthy dog getting bitten by a mosquito carrying HW and fighting it off. However, they don't gain anything by talking you out of it so I'm not sure
From what I understand, the point is more that a truly healthy dog is just not a suitable host for a mosquito, so the bug would not be drawn to the dog. Not that the dog can get chewed up and magically not contract heartworm.
Pax8 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-27-2014, 08:37 AM   #8 (permalink)
The Rescues Rule Administrator
 
JeanKBBMMMAAN's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 23,835
Default

I have an autoimmune disorder, the other lady in my office has high BP, diabetes and yesterday we were itching like crazy from mosquito bites. I don't think that a mosquito curr! The smoker in the office was clear though, so maybe that's the way to go!

DogAware.com Articles: Heartworm Prevention in Dogs

Quote:
Some argue, but . . .

As the co-moderator of an e-mail list on dog health and nutrition, I frequently see people allege that as long as you have a healthy dog, feed a raw diet, and do not over vaccinate, your dog will not get heartworms. If only this were true! These measures may help to some degree, but they are not foolproof. The only way to know for sure that your dog is protected is to give heartworm preventatives.

Christie Keith, who lives in an area of Northern California where heartworm is relatively uncommon and has raised Scottish Deerhounds naturally for over 19 years, learned this the worst way.

“I went 16 years not using any form of allopathic preventative on my dogs. At the end of that 16-year period, on routine testing, I found that two of my dogs were heartworm-positive," says Keith. "One of the positive dogs was Raven, who is a deerhound I bought from another breeder. She came to me at 17 weeks with bad ear infections and severe allergies, and no one could argue that Raven was healthy or had a normal immune system.
”In contrast, my dog Bran (pictured at right) was a third-generation, naturally reared dog of my own breeding. He was unvaccinated other than minimally for rabies. He was raw-fed. His mother and her mother were raw-fed and unvaccinated other than minimally for rabies. He was, by any definition available, extremely healthy and robust. He had never been sick a day in his life.”

Christie successfully treated both her dogs, though Raven almost died of a pulmonary embolism during treatment. Bran became heartworm-free after several months of using the “slow kill” method of heartworm treatment, with no sign of any adverse effects. Unfortunately, Bran died of acute renal failure not long after that. Necropsy results were inconclusive, showing that Bran had glomerulonephritis, but not why.

In her research to try to find the cause of her dog’s death, Christie discovered that glomerulonephritis is a potential side effect of heartworm infection. Although she and her vets eventually came to the conclusion that Bran’s renal failure was caused by Lyme nephritis rather than heartworm disease, it was disturbing to realize that heartworms can affect more than the heart and lungs.

“I have no intention of ever living through what I lived through with Raven and Bran. I can't keep silent when I see people starting to believe that healthy animals don't get heartworm and that we can blithely forgo using preventatives if we don't overvaccinate and feed raw. It's just not so. And it's not realistic to rely on the health and natural disease resistance of our dogs to protect them from a threat that they are exposed to frequently, as is the case in heartworm-endemic areas.”

“No creature is in a static state of health 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If our dogs are frequently exposed to an infectious parasite, eventually they may well succumb to it, no matter how healthy they are normally.”
Here is the website of the holistic breeder referenced above who now uses prevention: Caber Feidh Scottish Deerhounds

This vet is obviously on the opposite side but here you go: There is no “Natural” or “Holistic” Heartworm Prevention or Treatment Proven to be Safe and Effective | The SkeptVet

But the writer of dogaware obviously is a supporter of natural methods and still uses HW preventatives.
__________________
IMOM is...
JeanKBBMMMAAN is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-27-2014, 08:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
Elite Member
 
Twyla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,813
Send a message via Yahoo to Twyla
Default

I just did a general search on HW in Texas.

Everything I saw indicates it is on the rise - up 45% in one report. Just something to think about.
Twyla is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-27-2014, 09:31 AM   #10 (permalink)
Crowned Member
 
Sunflowers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: The Sunshine State
Posts: 7,724
Default

I do as much of the holistic as possible, but living in the south, there are three things you don't mess with: insects, heart worm, and rabies.

And this advice I got from a Florida holistic vet.

The idea that mosquitoes have the capability of choosing their meal victim, only biting "sick dogs, " is ludicrous.
__________________
Norden von Narnia (Hans) DOB 1-15-2012

Last edited by Sunflowers; 06-27-2014 at 09:34 AM.
Sunflowers is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the German Shepherd Dog Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:38 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO 3.3.2
PetGuide.com
Basset Hound Forum Doberman Forum Golden Retriever Forum Beagle Forum
Boxer Forum Dog Forum Pit Bull Forum Poodle Forum
Bulldog Forum Fish Forum Havanese Forum Maltese Forum
Cat Forum German Shepherd Forum Labradoodle Forum Yorkie Forum Hedgehog Forum
Chihuahua Forum Retriever Breeds Cichlid Forum Dart Frog Forum Mice Breeder Forum