Important Heartworm Info
- The following info. is just that, information. Please use your own judgement and discuss it with your vet before discontinuing any meds.
Hi All,With warm weather soon upon us (we hope), I wanted to send out info about heartworms. Monthly preventatives are not really preventatives in the true sense. What they are small doses of toxic chemicals that kill off any circulating larvae. Many animals have adverse reactions to these chemicals, including seizures. All these chemicals can effect the liver. Collie breeds & collie mixes cannot tolerate the heartworm preventatives that contain the chemical Invermectin. If you choose to use heartworm pills, the safest type are those that contain only the heartworm med & NOT those which contain meds for other worms. Something to definitely avoid is the heartworm vaccine called Proheart 6. Some of the stories (& there are a lot more) about the risks & deaths of dogs given this are pasted below. One site is: http://bewareofproheart6.freecyberzone.com/
Pat McKay "Heartworms are not really worms, but parasites transferred to your dog via the bit of mosquitoes and lives in the hearts of dogs who have a compromised immune system. So giving poisons, chemicals and drugs only perpetuates the problem by suppressing the animal�s immune system even more. I believe the reason we see the high degree of heartworms in domesticated dogs is because of the drugs that have been used over the years. Coyotes and wolves deal with it by developing a mild infestation and then becoming immune. We need to allow our animal�s immune system to mature, to build up a strong, viable immune system to fight all disease. If you live in a high risk area (mosquito infested), your dog's coat should never be cut, so that it can serve it's natural function of a protective barrier against mosquitoes. Let me add to that: Because the drugs are so deadly, they cause the health of the animal to deteriorate to the point they can�t fight off many other ailments, including severe liver damage from the poisons and chemicals in the drugs." more
(It's easier, safer & far less expensive to treat your dogs with natural insect repellants to keep mosquitoes off so that they're not bitten in the first place. These work equally well for fleas & ticks. Flea collars should never be used. Chemical treatments like Frontline, Advantage, etc. are toxic chemicals. Bathing (any shampoo works fine & it doesn't have to be flea shampoo), flea combs, sprinkling your animal with nutritional yeast & adding small amounts of nutritional yeast to their food works great. There are also herbal flea collars that are wonderful.)
Use natural insect deterrents to protect your pets
Indoor/Outdoor Insector, The Bug Collector
Electronic Repellents - Traditional Repellents - Mosquito Trap
Non-deet-based essential plant oils insect repellents (why DEET is not safe)
Nature's Herbal Mosquito & Insect Repellent
There is a lot of controversy about heartworm preventative. The drugs adversely affect many dogs Any symptoms can become worse.
Over the years at conferences, various veterinarians have reported problems with any of the preventatives. Most feel has the fewest problems is the once a day, DEC, but many dogs do fine on the monthly ones as well. Observing your dog will give you clues that you need to try one of the other preventatives or use none at all. The fewer drugs the better, so use ones just for heartworms, not other worms.
When giving the preventative, daily or monthly, give it less frequently that recommended. The Daily can be safely given every other day and the Monthly given every 6-8 weeks. In the Maryland area I would blood test in May or June and stop by October. Stopping for at least 3 - 5 months each year will let you evaluate any impact the preventative is having on the animal. It is important is to treat these as serious drugs, watch very carefully for side effects, even subtle ones, and then switch to another kind or treat the dog constitutionally.
Theoretically, a healthy dog could become infected, have a few adult worms in the heart and baby heartworms in the bloodstream, yet not be ill from the infection at all. A healthy body should tolerate a low level of parasites. Therefore, some clients choose to use no preventative and I support them in that choice and recommend blood tests twice a year. They are also treating their dogs holistically in other ways and being careful in high mosquito season to stay in or use repellent. There are alternative treatments for adult heartworms that are 75% effective, but the dog's heart could still be stressed by getting them, so prevention is probably the best bet, unless the dog shows any negative side effects, even subtle.
Richard Pitcairn DVM - "Despite the extensive use of heartworm preventive drugs, the rate of heartworm infestation in dogs in any geographical part of the US is the same today as it was in 1982. It doesn�t take much contemplation to realize that the path of continued drug use is a dead end road."
Worms & Parasites: natural prevention and treatments
Pets with a strong immune system may be protected from all sorts of diseases, including heartworm.
Linda Page, N.D. Ph.D. writes that our immune system is our bodyguard. It works both pro-actively and protectively to shield you from anything in your world that threatens your life and limb. Our immune system is ever-vigilant, constantly searching for proteins, called antigens, that don't belong in our body. It can deal with a wide range of pathogens - viruses, funguses, bacteria and parasites. It can even recognize potential antigens, such as drugs, pollens, insect venoms and chemicals in foods, and malignant cells and foreign tissue, such as transplanted organs or transfused blood. This is also true for our animals. I believe that a strong immune system can protect animals from heartworm. Read what Dr. Brown and Dr. Pollak says about our animal's health and immune system.
William Pollak D.V.M. - "Recent studies have shown processed foods (cooked food) to be a factor in increasing numbers of pets suffering from cancer, arthritis, obesity, dental disease and heart disease, comments Dr Wysong. Dull or unhealthy coats are a common problem with cats and dogs and poor diet is usually the cause, according to many veterinarians and breeders. "Dogs, cats and other animals live for years on foods that come out of bags, cans and boxes. But do these foods promote health? If they did, our companion animals would enjoy long, happy lives free of arthritis, hip dysplasia, eye problems, ear problems, fleas and other parasites, gum disease, lick granulomas, thyroid imbalances, skin and coat problems, personality disorders, birth defects, breeding problems, diabetes, cancer and other major and minor illnesses. Before World War II, most North Americans fed their pets raw bones and table scraps. Today, everyone uses convenience foods, and pet food companies are industry giants. Diet isn't the only thing that has changed. So has life expectancy, with the life span of many breeds now less than half what it was two or three decades ago. Skin and coat problems are so common that we accept them as unavoidable, and today's vets routinely treat conditions that used to be unusual or even rare." learn more: The Poisons in Pet Food Subject: Death after Proheart 6 shot
Date: 8/21/2002 9:55:22 AM Eastern Daylight Time
Brenda, received your email from Joanne Dickson concerning warning of Proheart 6 after Collie died. I lost a perfectly healthy 6 yr old shih tzu after Proheart 6 shot. He started diarrhea and vomiting within 5 days of the Proheart 6, and over weeks continued digestive problems which I now understand is a side effect of the shot. His not being able to regain normal access of his digestive system threw his immune system haywire and caused him to develop IMHA and die within days.
Even though he had blood transfusions and medications he still couldn't pull through. Duker was with me constantly and I knew this dog extremely well----He never acted the same after that shot. I know that the Proheart 6 shot led to the death of my dog. I have reported to Fort Dodge and to the FDA concerning this drug and they have established a case number on Duker. I hope the owner of the Collie has done the same.
I too have been spreading the word to watch out on this shot, and I'm trying to research and do as much as I can so that another dog does not have to go through what my beloved Duker had too. If you have any additional info or have heard of other problems, please let me know.
I just find out 3 days ago that a friend of mine in another state who also with in for a routine annual visit for her dog was given the Proheart 6 shot. Within 2 days he started diarrhea and vomiting and within weeks he died but she gave him CPR on the way to the vet. His heart stopped 2 more times at the vet, and they think now that he has heartworms and are giving him arsenic. Just like Duker her dog was given the test prior to the shot to be sure no heartworms were present. Both of our dogs tested negative.
There are even some vets I have heard of that will not give the Proheart 6 shot--I wondered what they know! In addition, I discovered on line that after mixing this shot it needs to sit for 30 minutes before injection. I wonder how many vets do that. By the way how is the other Collie that you mentioned in the email. I know this is long and I apologize but I'm just trying to spread the word. Thanks, Myra
Danny's Death - The Truth About Proheart 6
Danny was a perfectly healthy five-year-old part Golden Retriever mix who was energetic and happy. He would spend his days swimming in the creek behind our suburban home, playing fetch with my son, and lounging about like any other pampered pet. Early this spring, we decided to switch to a new heartworm preventative called Proheart 6, which was supposed to be better because one injection would last all summer. The only problem is that it killed Danny.
From Janice Storey, Houston, Texas
Sat, 19 Oct 2002
My dog, Trouble received the ProHeart 6 shot on 8/20/02 in conjunction with other vaccinations. He died on 10/17/02 (58 days) after the shot. He was VERY healthy prior to the shot being given. He was 11 years old - which by most means, means old. However, he was very strong, could still jump into the back of the bed of a truck. He suffered a horrible death and died in my arms while transporting him to the vet to put him asleep. His "storey" is better told in an summary I wrote. If interested in it, I will be happy to e-mail it to you.
After three different vets and three different diagnosis, he was finally diagnosed as having "lung cancer". In asking this internist as to how long the cancer had been in his system, I was told about two months. How coicidental would it be to determine that the cancer arrived at the same time the shot was injected? PLEASE, IF YOU VALUE YOUR DOGS HEALTH, DO NOT LISTEN TO THE VETS THAT THIS DRUG IS SAFE. I WAS TOLD AT LEAST 3 TIMES, IT WAS SAFE AND NOW MY DOG IS DEAD. He did not deserve to die the way he did - and I do not deserve to feel the guiltiness I do in electing to allow the shot to be given. PLEASE LISTEN!
If you suspect your dog has had an adverse reaction to the ProHeart6 shot, and you would like to be in touch with others like you, here are the people to contact: Myra Kirkland, <MKirkland@...>
Janice Storey, < ">jstorey1@...> You may also wish to join the "doghealth2" E-mail list, which has ongoing discussions about canine medications and health. <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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