Spring & summer are the times of year when conventional vets & many groomers will push you to put your pets on flea, tick & heartworm “preventatives.” These aren’t truly preventatives, but are toxic chemicals & pesticides that work only by killing the parasites after they’ve bitten your pet. The toxins from these products are absorbed thru the animal’s skin, get into their blood stream & are filtered thru their liver. Since business is very slow for some vets, this is another way to make money off of unknowing owners who think they’re doing what’s best for their beloved dog.
The manufacturers of these products & conventional vets tell you the products have been tested & are safe for use on your pets. The truth is they have only been tested for 30-90 days which is never long enough to show the accumulated damage done to the liver and/or other organs. Topical products are put on the animals’ skin, absorbed into the bloodstream & processed through the liver. They are very damaging & dangerous; animals have had serious health problems from them & also died from just 1 application. You’ll find info on this by doing an online search. They’ve caused seizures, kidney/liver problems/failure, cancer & death. When a warning label tells us to use gloves and/or wash our hands thoroughly after application, it should never be applied to an animal. It’s telling us this product is very toxic.
Truth, Omissions & Profit of Heartworm: http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2009/05/13/heartworm-medication-safety/
http://www.acreaturecomfort.com/heartworminfo.htm – explains what must occur for a dog to get heartworm from a mosquito; it’s not easy
http://www.wondercide.com/content/natural-heartworm-prevention-dr-falconer-qa/ – by Dr. Will Falconer, Holistic Vet in TX
Veterinarian Speaks Out About Heartworm: http://www.truthaboutpetfood.com/articles/veterinarian-speaks-out-about-heartworm-preventatives.html
700 Pet Owners Say Trifexis Killed Their Dogs: http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/owners-blame-700-dog-deaths-trifexis/nb5B4/ – In this article, the owner of 1 killed dog researched the product & learned that since Trifexis hit the market, every 36 hours, a pet owner reported that Trifexis killed their dog.
Ivermectin is very toxic, damaging to the liver & is believed to be a factor in thyroid problems for dogs. Conventional vets are using fear tactics to sell heartworm “preventatives” yet the best preventative is for dogs to have a strong, healthy immune system. This is achieved by feeding a raw diet & not over-vaccinating the pet. Ivermectin causes liver damage when used repeatedly. Once the liver is too badly damaged, it cannot heal or regenerate. The animal will die from liver failure.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 65% of adverse drug reactions and 48% of all reported deaths resulting from drug reactions are caused by heartworm preventatives. Revolution/Ivermectin may be responsible for thyroid problems. A study is to be conducted on this.
Dangerous Ivermectin: http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2013/03/06/ivermectin.aspx?e_cid=20130306_PetsNL_art_1&utm_source=petnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20130306
Natural heartworm preventatives info is below. Remember, feeding your dogs/cats a natural raw diet & not over-vaccinating means their immune system is stronger. They don’t give off an odor that attracts pests/parasites. They’re also able to handle the occasional parasite.
Natural pest preventative – Tea Tree Oil & Lavender Oil spray should be used at all times, whether your dog is on the treatment, maintenance or prevention programs. Make up a mist and spray it on your dog frequently – particularly before going outside. I recommend you keep the spray bottle at the door, and spray your dog both before s/he goes outside and as s/he comes back inside. The essential oil spray mist is made of 1 cup of distilled water, 12 drops of castile liquid soap (peppermint is excellent) with 4 drops of Tea Tree Oil and 8 drops of Lavender Oil in it. Shake it well each time before spraying. The combination of Tea Tree, Lavender & Peppermint Oils is great for repelling insects, especially fleas & mosquitoes. You can even use it on yourself! Sprouts & Whole Foods Markets carry homeopathic remedies, herbal extracts, & natural essential oils. Amazon.com & other online stores also carry them. Spray it onto your hands & rub onto your dog’s head/face to be safer – NEVER spray anything directly on their head or face. Other essential oils that can be used on dogs are cedar wood, geranium, citronella, eucalyptus, & peppermint. Store in a cool, dark location away from electricity, money, other scented items, & heat.
http://www.thewholedog.org/heartworm.html – contains another all natural spray recipe
http://www.wolfcreekranch.net/heartworm_free.html – http://www.heartwormfree.com/
This website shows the reported number of heartworm cases for LA County for 2005-2011. For 2011, there were 2-3 reported cases of dogs who were born in CA. See the chart on the right on their website. Our vet believes the hype of heartworm is just another way big pharma & many vets use to make money off something that’s not needed. http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/vet/heartworm.htm
Warnings about Comfortis, Heartguard, Trifexis: http://www.chazhound.com/forums/showthread.php?t=103600 – http://news.vin.com/VINNews.aspx?articleId=18763
Here’s info on natural flea, tick & heartworm prevention from a Naturopathic Veterinarian, Dr. Jeannie Thomason:
Natural heartworm preventative: http://www.thewholedog.org/id33.html#HWP
Alternatives Dr. Karen Becker (holistic vet) recommends include:
A safe, natural pest deterrent that is chemical-free, like Natural Flea and Tick Defense. This product contains no synthetic chemicals — only all-natural, safe Brazilian oils and pure water. It has a pleasant smell, is non-sticky, and repels not only fleas and ticks, but also flies and mosquitoes.
Cedar oil (specifically manufactured for pet health) – Cedarcide.com
Natural, food-grade diatomaceous earth
Fresh garlic — work with your holistic vet to determine a safe amount for your pet’s body weight (small dogs like Yorkies – 1/2 of 1 piece/segment of the garlic clove is fine to give daily during the flea/pest season); use 5 days per week & take a break for 2…or give for 2 weeks & break for 1 week. Garlic is not to be fed to them daily without a break.
Feed a species correct diet (raw meat & bones for dogs/cats); the healthier your dog/cat is, the less appealing they are to parasites. A species appropriate diet supports a strong immune system.
Bathing and brushing your pet regularly and performing frequent full-body inspections to check for parasite activity.
Making sure your indoor and outdoor environments are unfriendly to pests.
Neem seed oil is an amazing natural insecticide/pesticide for use both on the dogs & in the yard: http://www.discoverneem.com/neem-oil-for-dogs.html. It kills lice, fleas, mites (also the eggs) & other parasites.
Non-poisonous flea control (grapefruit seed extract): http://www.thedogplace.org/PARASITES/Non-Poisonous-Flea-Control_Martin.asp More uses for GSE: http://www.natural-dog-health-remedies.com/gse-for-dogs.html
Drug free heartworm prevention & treatment by Dr. Will Falconer, excellent homeopathic vet that we use & recommend: http://vitalanimal.com/drugfreeheartworm/
Dr. Pitcairn’s homeopathic treatment for heartworm: For the last three to four years, I have been using a mixture of nosodes for prophylaxis with more faith than research to rely on. However, results are satisfactory. Based on my clinical experience, I think I can safely say that protection with nosodes is as reliable as with vaccinations and with the added advantage of few unwelcome side effects. I based my method on the available literature. As already presented in Dr. Shepherd’s writings, apparently the higher potencies give longer protection. I use a method of ascending potencies — from 30 C to 1M. My protocol is like thiis:
One dose each week, of 30C potency mixture, for a total of three treatments.
Wait for two weeks.
One dose every three weeks, of 200C potency mixture, for a total of three treatments.
Wait for one month.
One dose of 1M potency mixture, to be repeated every four months for the life of the animal.
Using this same method, I have also attempted protection against Canine Heartworm using a nosode of microfilaria infested blood originally prepared by Dr. Stephen Tobin of Connecticut. Though my numbers are limited, I have found 100% protection for about 20 dogs that live in heartworm areas. Unfortunately my follow-up is only for the first 18 months or so, and I have not been able to extend this study to more animals.
You can purchase homeopathic remedies & nosodes at many locations online; these are 2 sources we’ve used: www.elixirs.com & Amazon.com. The first website has lots of great info for both animals & humans. Sprout’s, Mothers Markets, & Whole Foods also carry them. They’re much less expensive than drugs/conventional meds & are safe. To let you know how very effective homeopathy is, during the polio epidemic in Europe, there were 2 physicians who treated their patients only using homeopathy. They had 100% success. Their patients who already had polio when coming to the doctors for treatment, never had any permanent damage/disability or paralysis. Their patients who came for treatment before contracting polio, never got the disease. Nothing in conventional medicine has ever had a 100% success rate…or even near it.