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Discussion Starter #1
Curious if anyone forgoes traditional heart worm prevention medication for a natural or herbal treatment...???
 

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Nobody, huh? Oh well, I am going to check with my Herbalist regarding her opinion and will report back here.

I am also going to inquire with my Vet, who is holistic leaning in her views.
 

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I had an adoption applicant who used black walnut and I told her we'd make an exception in our policy to adopt to her but I did ask for some literature about it so I could learn more and could make sure the dog would be protected - as heartworms are a very real problem around here. I never got anything. I'm a pretty conventional medicine person (except I definitely believe we over-vaccinate) but I'm open to learning new things. Has anyone ever seen any clinical trials or anything for some of these natural heartworm preventatives?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I should reword my original post with natural or herbal "prevention" rather than treatment.

I think Black Walnut can be tricky. It's my understanding that it's used as a heart worm treatment...and that is to get the worms out and fast. Something for me to follow-up on.

Thanks for replying.
 

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Originally Posted By: pupresqHas anyone ever seen any clinical trials or anything for some of these natural heartworm preventatives?
Not me but I am going to follow-up with my Herbalist and maybe she knows of some research and resources that I can share here.
 

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I don't give my dogs herbal tinctures, but I add VitB, garlic and fresh dried herbs (italien mix) as mosqu. repellants to their diet in the summer.

There is no tincture to PREVENT heartworms. Not even the homeopathic nosode does.
My dogs stay indoors and I avoid hiking trips in the afternoon. When I take the dogs somewhere in the pm, I apply a mosquito repellant of essential oils.
Black Walnut (and the like) are pretty potent (toxic). I've used Black Walnut (and garlic= blood cleanser) to treat HW in my GSD and my vet has used my protocol successfully on other clients too. I would never use it as a preventative.

The only natural prevention for HW is to feed the best possible diet (incl. some supplements), keep the dog indoors during peek mosquito time (afternoon) and apply a mosquito repellant when they go out. It really does work.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for your reply.

I've got the diet and topical repellent covered. Well, the repellent is pretty much covered...I use it.

I have only been giving Heartgard during a few months of the year. I switched that over to Interceptor this year for a couple of months. The only time mosquitos are a problem are during walks and hikes in the woods during certain seasons, when it's wet and near standing bodies of water.

I feel like the idea of dogs readily getting heart worm is prevalent - that dogs MUST be on some kind of prevention because heart worm is rampant and lurking around every corner.

I'm going to continue my research. I've quit vaccinating over the past few years, just decided to stop titering, and I'd like to not give the heart worm prevention medication. But at this point I don't know enough about heart worm to make an educated decision.

My thoughts have been to add Neem and/or other safe, appropriate herbs into their food during the bad months. Because the biting flies are the worst offenders. The natural topical repellents work okay but not great. Maybe I just need to find the right combo of topical ingredients that work for our three.

Originally Posted By: MaedchenI don't give my dogs herbal tinctures, but I add VitB, garlic and fresh dried herbs (italien mix) as mosqu. repellants to their diet in the summer.
That's prevention, isn't it?

Originally Posted By: MaedchenBlack Walnut (and the like) are pretty potent (toxic). I've used Black Walnut (and garlic= blood cleanser) to treat HW in my GSD and my vet has used my protocol successfully on other clients too. I would never use it as a preventative.
This is my understanding as well.
 

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That's prevention, isn't it?

Yes in a way. You prevent that the dog gets bitten by a mosquito in the first place. Chemical "prevention" does nothing to prevent a mosquito from biting, but only kills the developing heartworm (and along the way the immune system slowly too).

If you decide to stop the "prevention", just test for HW every half year,- that way you can catch it early on and it's easily treatable. Don't be surprised if your dog tests negative though. After some time, you'll become more comfortable and as you're freed of your fears, you'll know that you're doing the right thing.
 

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Lisa, just to clarify, I would not give Black Walnut as preventative, but only use it to treat HW.
The dog gets a dropper full of the tincture once daily w. food for 5 days out of 7. Do this for a month then rest 2 weeks, repeat twice, then re-test for HW. During this time add small amounts of fresh garlic or better kyolic garlic to the food on 5 days out of 7.
In some dogs black walnut works more efficiently on adult HW then on microf., so if the latter is present treatment might take longer. My GSD was HW negative when I retested him a half yr later. But having the dog on a good diet is a must.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you for the heartworm link!

Response from my Herbalist regarding Black Walnut and heartworm treatment and prevention:
Quote:A heartworm treatment consist of Black Walnut hull and Wormwood, taken internally to rid the body of the heartworm. A remedy for prevention could include these herbs but in small quantity, as well as some topical repellent formula.
In my mind, it's too tricky to play around with Black Walnut and its toxicity for heartworm prevention, so I'm going to work on a really effective repellent. That's the part I can step up my game with at this point. Their diet is a combination of premium kibble and home-cooked.

My Vet is on the fence in regard to traditional heartworm prevention medication. She only gives it to one of her dogs and gives it every 6 - 8 weeks, instead of the recommended monthly. I will be working with her more closely in the future and will update if her mind changes drastically on the subject.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Originally Posted By: Myrika_Betula
Originally Posted By: pupresqHas anyone ever seen any clinical trials or anything for some of these natural heartworm preventatives?
Not me but I am going to follow-up with my Herbalist and maybe she knows of some research and resources that I can share here.
I didn't forget about this.

A great comprehensive herbal resource, recommended by my Herbalist as well as the Vet community, is Veterinary Herbal Medicine by Susan G. Wynn, DVM and Barbara Fougere. A collaboration of a Veterinarian and an Herbalist.

It has a lot of info in there on Black Walnut hull as treatment and preventative.

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