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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2004 6:42 pm 
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Does anyone know of a natural or organic heartworm preventative for dogs? I know about feeding diatomaceous earth to prevent internal worms, but have never read about how to prevent heartworms.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2004 2:30 am 
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DE is great but we are not willing to gamble on it helping heart worms. Our Rottie is 11 and been on Ivermectin for all these years and is in very good health. Our pug has been on same stuff for 13 years but age is catching up with her.
Robert D Bard


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2004 9:03 am 
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I don't know of a natural orally-ingested product that will neutralize the third or fourth stage larvae or the adult-stage worm (which are the infective stages as they exist within the affected animal), but that doesn't mean such compounds don't exist. Those life stages are tissue/blood borne, so they would not contact ingested compounds, such as DE, directly unless those compounds or their metabolites are systemic. There might be such effective herbal/natural compounds for heartworm, either known or not yet known, but that might require a consultation with an herbalist or a homeopathic vet. These two links might pique your interest:

http://www.backyardgardener.com/herbboa ... s/225.html

http://fiascofarm.com/herbs/wormer.htm

Depending on what a compound's operational envelope is, it seems to me that a periodic treatment, which ties into the concern in the second link regarding constant adminstration, might be feasible. The treatment interval for the conventional heartworm preventatives seems to rely on the overlap between the worm's gestation period and the products' residual action.

It seems to me that a complementary/parallel path is to reduce the animal's attractiveness/susceptibility to mosquito bites by feeding and/or applying products that either maintain/help maintain a high level of general health (which is where I would place the effect of DE for this particular application) or which repel mosquitoes. That is an entire discussion on its own, and I commend that inquiry to the usual research resources. One effective way to avoid heartworm for dogs who don't require a lot of exercise is to keep them inside of barriers that are impervious to mosquitoes, at least during warmer weather. Heartworm apparently functions best at temperatures of 80F or above, and cannot develop into infective larvae at temperatures of 57F or below (of course, one wouldn't expect much mosquito activity below 57F either). Miami probably has a year-round heartworm season, but Duluth's outdoor heartworm season generally is quite short; the rest of the country probably is somewhere in between. One should be able to limit the administration of direct preventative products or the constant use of mosquito barriers to part of the year, depending on where one lives.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 12:41 pm 
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Robert,
What brand of Ivermectin do you use, and how do you figure the dose?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 4:22 pm 
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My first thought regarding this thread is what is the point? Are there documented studies which state that existing heartworm preventatives such as Ivermectin are harmful to our pets?

Robert D Bard wrote:
DE is great but we are not willing to gamble on it helping heart worms. Our Rottie is 11 and been on Ivermectin for all these years and is in very good health. Our pug has been on same stuff for 13 years but age is catching up with her.
Robert D Bard


Two thumbs up to Robert D Bard’s post. Like Robert I don’t take chances on my Boxer’s health. I feed her a quality feed, add supplements, provide exercise and follow the prescribed dosage of Ivermectin each month. She lives inside with the rest of the family.

Enzyme11 wrote:
I don't know of a natural orally-ingested product that will neutralize the third or fourth stage larvae or the adult-stage worm (which are the infective stages as they exist within the affected animal), but that doesn't mean such compounds don't exist. … There might be such effective herbal/natural compounds for heartworm, either known or not yet known, …


Enzyme11 wrote:
It seems to me that a complementary/parallel path is to reduce the animal's attractiveness/susceptibility to mosquito bites by feeding and/or applying products that either maintain/help maintain a high level of general health (which is where I would place the effect of DE for this particular application) or which repel mosquitoes.


Like supplementing Brewer’s Yeast and Garlic is supposed to maintain your pet’s health and thus reduce the animal's attractiveness/susceptibility to flea infestation…It doesn’t always work. Citronella candles are used to repel mosquitoes, but those do not work 100% either.

[quote="Enzyme11”]One effective way to avoid heartworm for dogs who don't require a lot of exercise is to keep them inside of barriers that are impervious to mosquitoes, at least during warmer weather. [/quote]

Which dogs don’t require exercise? What about going outside for elimination purposes? Furthermore, I don’t know where you live, but in Texas, there is no such thing as a barrier that is impervious to mosquitoes. I have great concern that such a suggestion would find its way to this forum and much less by a mod.

I find it quite simple, if you don’t want to provide your pet with every opportunity to live a full and healthy life, don’t get one. Our pets have no choice but to entrust their existence to us. If you want to experiment, experiment on yourself.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2004 10:50 am 
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Mr. Clean wrote:
Which dogs don’t require exercise?

Old or infirm dogs.

Furthermore, I don’t know where you live, but in Texas, there is no such thing as a barrier that is impervious to mosquitoes.

They're called screens, such as in "screened porches." Strangely, I don't have mosquitoes inside the house either. Merely requires a little effort.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2004 5:43 pm 
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Enzyme11 wrote:
Mr. Clean wrote:
Which dogs don’t require exercise?

Old or infirm dogs.

Furthermore, I don’t know where you live, but in Texas, there is no such thing as a barrier that is impervious to mosquitoes.

They're called screens, such as in "screened porches." Strangely, I don't have mosquitoes inside the house either. Merely requires a little effort.


1. I would think that the old and infirm would be counted among those who would most benefit from the additional protection from heartworm disease.

2. Even the old and infirm need to go outside for elimination purposes.

3. You still have to open doors to enter and leave your home.

4. Assuming you don't live in Texas, then perhaps you have never had a mosquito in your home, and perhaps you've never had a roach either.

im•per•vi•ous ( m-pûr v - s) adj.
1. Incapable of being penetrated: a material impervious to water.

Here in Texas a mosquito would merely laugh at the idea that screens are an impervious barrier. It's ironic the example provided from the dictionary... a screen door is as impervious to mosquitoes as it is to water.

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