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 Post subject: Heartworm Prevention
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:51 pm 
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We've always given our dogs heartworm prevention meds, and I get them off the internet (it's cheaper) and buy a lot at a time. Apparently something has changed in the last year, and now the site is requiring a written prescription for each dog. All the other sites I've checked are the same. My vet won't write the prescription unless I bring all of them in for a heartworm test. Do y'all get your dogs tested every year? I don't mind getting it done if they really need it, but since they've all been on preventative meds, I'm not sure if they really do.

Also, does anyone use something other than the traditional monthly pills from the vet (heartgard, interceptor, etc.)? Betty, I've looked into natural alternatives like this one http://www.healthyhappydogs.com/HeartwormPrevention, but it's really expensive. Even with a discount, it'll cost over $100 a month for my dogs. Any suggestions?

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 Post subject: Re: Heartworm Prevention
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:14 pm 
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Regular old Ivermectin. The boys are familiar with it if your not, its almost certain that they use it on the cattle. It is also the active ingredient in all of your prescription pills but a whole lot cheaper in pure form.

Oral dosage for dogs is 1/10cc per 10lb body weight. It burns their throat so I mix with Big Red before shooting the syringe in their mouths. (do not give to shepherds)

Or if you want to kill two birds with one stone, EquiMax paste is Ivermectin and praziquantel in one. just put a pea size dab on your finger and rub it on the roof of the dogs mouth. Its really broad spectrum and takes care of everything from heart worms to rounds and flukes including tapes all in one tube.

As always, you need to be certain that your dogs are heart worm negative before beginning any Ivermectin based worming regimen.

Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Heartworm Prevention
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:09 pm 
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I thought that was what y'all used, but I wasn't sure about the dosage. Do you give it every month?

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 Post subject: Re: Heartworm Prevention
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:23 pm 
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Ya but not to the day....... Once a month, month and a half, two months :) The life cycle of a heart worm is 3 stages and the first two stages are approximately 1 to 1.5 months. Ivermectin kills the first two stages so if you forget a month, its not the end of the world.

1/10CC per 10lb of body weight is a pretty standard dose but its also pretty stout. A dose as low as 3/10CC for a 100lb dog is still 90+% effective. I use a slightly lower than standard dose myself.

Steve

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Remember the dog wags the pedigree and the reverse is not true.

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 Post subject: Re: Heartworm Prevention
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 5:40 pm 
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Yep, he's right. I use the generic Ivomec ($30 a bottle) and I use a syringe with a needle to withdraw the med then I squirt it into a needleless syringe and squirt it down (I mean way down) then give the dog a treat immediately and praise the heck out of the dog. Problem solved. Just make sure the dog keeps the mouth shut for a minute or so. The bottle will keep your dogs heartworm free for a year. I know they all have expiration dates on the bottles so I toss the bottle after a year and get a new one. I have never used them up but I only have two dogs. My wife refuses to give heartworm meds to her dogs. She says she has never had to plus her dogs don't travel out of KS. I have had a disagreement with her over that but since they're her dogs then it's her decision. I keep mine heartworm free at all costs plus other type of worming meds. The different kinds of worms are rather severe in East Texas due to the humidity which keeps them alive for longer periods of time compared to West or Central Texas. It is rather cheap to get a dog heartworm removed here compared to Austin where vets charge you $1k to inject arsenic while they charge $200-300 here in Wichita, KS. Vets in Austin have to contend with high rental prices along with a high cost of living so their charges are much higher. Glad I don't live in Austin anymore even though I really miss the city.


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 Post subject: Re: Heartworm Prevention
 Post Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:03 am 
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I bought the Equimax paste at Tractor Supply for $13. I decided to go with it because we've had problems with tapeworms in the past. Haven't given it to them yet. I guess that one doesn't burn since you said to put it on the roof of their mouth, Steve?

Thanks for the advice.


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 Post subject: Re: Heartworm Prevention
 Post Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:17 am 
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The paste must tone it down. I haven't ever had a dog cough, wheeze, choke or barf from the Equimax. All of those things will happen if you shoot a couple 10ths of uncut Ivermectin in their throat.

Steve

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Remember the dog wags the pedigree and the reverse is not true.

16, intelligent and articulate, I'm a fan!


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 Post subject: Re: Heartworm Prevention
 Post Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:16 pm 
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Amber,
I am slow in posting this and you have probably already given the ivermectin , but thats ok.

I am glad that you have looked into better heartworm preventatives than poisons. Each time that someone at least considers alternative care, I feel that I have made a difference and that makes all my work worthwhile!

Yes, sometimes natural stuff is more expensive than the poisons. It is also usually not as accessible. And, they sometimes are not as quick and easy as conventional treatment. Do a search for 'alternative heartworm' and you will find more info and places to buy alternative heartworm treatments.

I dont use heartworm preventive on my dogs because I am confident in their immune system. There are people even in the alternative health field that say that I am taking a risk, but that is my decision. If you feel like you have to use heartworm preventatives, then use the ivermectin. Just be sure that you are using the right amount and dont use it any more than necessary.

I understand where the vet is coming from in wanting to do a heartworm check before issuing a prescription for the heartguard, etc. However, depending on when your dogs were last treated for heartworm and the weather, the dogs should still be heartworm free. Development to the L3 stage, which is the infective stage, requires that the temperature stay above 64 degrees F for 24 hours for a month. If the temp drops below 57 degrees even intermittently during that 30 days, maturation is retarded. I think that you live in the D/FW area, so you should be ok. If you live somewhere like Houston, then it might be different. So, you can see that there should be little chance that your dogs would be infected with heartworm, unless they have gone a long time without the heartworm meds.

I am not telling you that you shouldnt have the test done before treating your dogs, just telling you that it would be unlikely for them to be infested if they have just been off the treatment a month or so. When we understand the life cycle of the heartworm and the mosquito, then we better understand how to treat our dogs.

The less you treat your dogs with chemicals, and the fewer times you vaccinate them and with a good diet- raw if you can- your dogs have a better chance of fighting off the things that afflict them, ie, worms, diseases and old age. And, in the case of hog hunting dogs, the easier they will heal from the wounds that they incur in their jobs. It is not a guarantee that they will not get sick, or get worms, etc, it just is stacking the deck in the dogs behalf.



Betty

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