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Discussion Starter #1
I'm taking my cairn terrier pup to the vets for his booster vacs tomorrow and want to discuss Heartworm treatment, however my vet's approach in the past has been for me to make the decisions about what treatments are used (I know but she's the best of the really poor options around).

From previous discussions heartworm isn't prevalent where I live however it is prevalent where I travel to, so ideally I just need to treat when travelling however I'm guessing that this would mean a heartworm test before starting each round of treatment? I have no issue with buying heartworm meds for year round treatment but am reluctant to use something that isn't necessary if there are any risks associated with it's use.

I also need to treat for ticks - similar situation although I think ticks and Lyme are worse this year thanks to a mild winter.

My plan is to use Frontline Plus for the fleas / ticks and I'm still investigating the heartworm options so I just wondered if anyone could suggest good combinations for smaller dogs please.
 

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I use Vectra 3D for fleas and ticks. I use Heartguard Plus for heartworm prevention. I love heartguard.
 

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I personally use Ivomec solution, and I don't use preventative year round. I watch the temperature trends closely and typically only dose in the summer months. Sometimes it gets warm a bit earlier or stays warm later.
 

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If the risk isn't high I prefer to avoid filling my pups with chemicals, I use a natural insect powder it works really well on most bugs especially ticks and mosquitoes

1 part Diatomaceous earth
1 part neem powder
1 part yarrow powder

Dusted on bi weekly


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If the risk isn't high I prefer to avoid filling my pups with chemicals, I use a natural insect powder it works really well on most bugs especially ticks and mosquitoes

1 part Diatomaceous earth
1 part neem powder
1 part yarrow powder

Dusted on bi weekly


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Good advice, yarrow is highly toxic to mammals, particularly dogs.

Tuco's post should be deleted by the Moderator.
 

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Are you "waschampionfan" from goldenretriever forum? Cause otherwise I don't get this seemingly personal vendetta against me. And no it's not toxic, don't post if your not gonna be productive


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pesticides are pesticides, whether synthetic or "natural"
There's a risk involved with pretty much anything, you just have to weigh your options. DE based "natural" pesticides are certainly a viable option for many people. However, since where i live and with my dog's lifestyle, the risk of flea and ticks are minimal, I don't need to take any risk with 'natural' pesticides either.

Anyways as to the heartworm question, heartworm preventative is technically a prescription drug and so yes I do believe you have to get a test every time you want to buy heartworm medicine or atleast have had a test within 2 months. It's because giving ivermectin to a dog that already has developed heartworms could potentially cause some problems or also just be ineffective. Heartworm preventative, like any preventative type of things, is pretty much just a way to minimize risks. Heartworm treatment is expensive and difficult. Heartworm preventatives are generally safe. Even in dogs with MDR1 defects, the low dosage of ivermectin in monthly preventatives are considered 'safe'. Still there are risks involved and in the end, it's up to you how you want to handle it.

Now typically you get monthly preventatives in 6 month or 1 year supplies. Once you get it, like anything else, it's your choice whether you want to give it or not. You can give it whenever but you're assuming that it's safe. I believe it takes about 6-7 months for heartworm larvae to develop into adults. The preventatives are effective at killing larve that are up to 2 months old.

Assuming your dog won't get heartworms where you are, you could potentially give the heartworm medication only after traveling to kill off any potential larvae that was picked up. You're not technically suppose to do that, but you could. You should probably discuss it with your vet. Whether you think their advice is valid is again up to you but it never hurts to get more educated input. Some vets I've met are pretty flexible about how I could give and skip heartworm preventatives because the heartworm risk here is low.
 

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Yea you need very large ammounts. You are giving a tablespoon of this stuff, dusted in their fur 2 times a month. This is like saying dont give your dog water because if you overdose them on water it can kill them (true)

Now I'm serious are you waschampion fan because you have only made 23 posts here 4 of which being very aggressive towards me and 4 others praising dr tims and anamaet, something he always does, and you joined this forum 6 days after was champion fan was banned for harassing me and numerous other members. If you are LEAVE ME ALONE stop accusing me of working for champion and stop being aggressive.


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And from what I've searched a 50 lb dog needs to ingest a whole plant to be 'at risk' of signs and symptoms


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You said it was not toxic. Powder is much more concentrated than the actual plant, by the way. It is also more toxic to dogs with environmental allergies.

The point is that chemicals are chemicals and toxins are toxins. If something kills something else it doesn't matter if its natural or not.

Ivermectin and the popular topicals are safer than fooling around with untested and potentially dangerous "natural" products.

Do you happen to have the ratio of fatal dose to effective dose of Yarrow?
 

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You know what waschampionfan leave me alone, we used this on our dogs for 18 years and never had a single issue, this recipe is one of the most widely use natural preventatives besides garlic pills which aren't really a preventative, hundreds, if not thousands of people use this and it has been used widely for Afew decades. The toxic dose is very large and you are not feeding this to your dog, and even if he were to lick his entire body of the stuff, it would take 12 tablespoons of the stuff (36 tablespoons of the entire mixture) to replicate the effects of a 50lb dog eating a whole plant, which is also only supposed to be somewhat digestively upsetting,

Find a single person online complaining about their dog getting very sick from yarrow powder, cause I know I can find dozens that have gotten very sick from flee and tick meds or heartworm meds


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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the advice and information. I think what it comes down to is that I usually spend Winter (Dec - Apr) under several feet of snow so the heartworm risk is nil and I don't want to give my dog any medication that isn't necessary however it sounds like I would need to continue the meds until 2 months after the risk has gone - is that correct? Also is it correct that I would need to have my dog tested for heartworm yearly even if I gave the meds for the full year? Sorry, this is all totally new to me and I want to ensure I do the right thing.
 

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...however it sounds like I would need to continue the meds until 2 months after the risk has gone - is that correct?
Not quite. It's just a single pill and pretty much you have about 2 months from when a dog gets infected for the pill to still be effective. After that, there's no guarantee that it will kill the maturing larvae.

So for example, lets say your dog got a mosquito bite in June that infected him. If you gave the heartworm pill right after that or in July, the larvae should all be killed off. If instead, you waited until September, the larvae may still survive and develop into adult heartworms come December or January.

As for the test, every vet I've used have told me they would require a heartworm test even if I choose to use a preventative year long. I don't know if other vets have different policies. Personally with my dog's lifestyle and being in Colorado, I typically only give heartworm preventatives a total of maybe three times per year.
 

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If you're travelling somewhere in winter where there could be active mosquitoes, then I'd go with HW preventatives year round.
Flea and tick can be seasonal for when they get more active or prevalent.

I'm in Kentucky and we have freezing winters but we also have random warm weeks in winter where mosquitoes pop up for a few days. I treat HW year round and the vet does a HW blood test every other year. I start flea and tick treatment when we have our first sustained warm weeks, in part because when the ticks first become active I can remove a few easily enough well before they are a danger (takes at least 12, maybe 24 hours to transmit disease after the tick starts to bite)

If you were travelling regularly to somewhere with a climate like mine, I'd suggest a similar treatment pattern.

If fleas and ticks are a relatively minor issue, I've had success with an essential oil shampoo (and a friend uses the same product as a spray) that's cedar oil, cloves, peppermint and such. very low doses of the oils so no worries about the dog licking himself.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
OK so it sounds like using a preventative all year (as it would be required Apr - Nov) is the way to go so my only concern now is which option (pill / topical / injection) is the safest / least likely to cause a reaction given that I will also need the Frontline or similar plus will have to give him a rabies jab in a few weeks.
 

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If a substance is toxic I dont understand why it being "natural" makes it so more desirable. Toxicology is all a matter of dosage... It takes a lot of the yarrow to kill a dog. Surprise, it also takes a lot of ivermectin to kill one too (provided its not a MDR dog). Given that toxicity with ivermectin products like heartgard is so uncommon I'd rather take a product with proven efficacy versus a "natural" one that has questionable (if any) efficacy.
 

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If a substance is toxic I dont understand why it being "natural" makes it so more desirable. Toxicology is all a matter of dosage... It takes a lot of the yarrow to kill a dog. Surprise, it also takes a lot of ivermectin to kill one too (provided its not a MDR dog). Given that toxicity with ivermectin products like heartgard is so uncommon I'd rather take a product with proven efficacy versus a "natural" one that has questionable (if any) efficacy.
If I was feeding it to him id agree however its abit on his fur. I also find it extremely effective with the number of mosquitoes here in the city, as well as where we camp. Same with ticks, not so much with flees, if I had a bad flee problem it wouldn't be worth it.


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