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I HAD OUR GOLDEN ON A NATURAL HEARTWORM LAST SUMMER AND SHE DID FINE. { HWF)
YESTERDAY WE HAD A WELLNESS CHECK WITH OUR VET. ASKING ABOUT HEARTWORM, WE HAD QUITE A DISCUSSION. I REALIZE THEY ARE ALL PROMOTING PRODUCTS THEY CARRY, BUT HE LEFT THE DECISION UP TO ME. HE RECOMMENDED INTERCEPTOR PLUS. LAST SUMMER I HAD HER ON A NATURAL PRODUCT CALLED (HWF) HEART WORM FREE. LOOKING FOR EVERYONE'S EXPERIENCE OR THOUGHTS ON TREATING HEARTWORM. WE'RE IN KANSAS AND HAVE MOSQUITOS, BUT OUR GOLDIE DOES NOT LIKE THE HOT WEATHER AND IS NOT OUTSIDE TOO MUCH. PREVIOUSLY, I HAD A GOLDIE WHO HAD SEIZURES. VET SUGGESTED I THINK ABOUT WHAT I WANT TO DO. JUST NEEDING YOUR THOUGHTS. THANK YOU
 

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I HAD OUR GOLDEN ON A NATURAL HEARTWORM LAST SUMMER AND SHE DID FINE. { HWF)
YESTERDAY WE HAD A WELLNESS CHECK WITH OUR VET. ASKING ABOUT HEARTWORM, WE HAD QUITE A DISCUSSION. I REALIZE THEY ARE ALL PROMOTING PRODUCTS THEY CARRY, BUT HE LEFT THE DECISION UP TO ME. HE RECOMMENDED INTERCEPTOR PLUS. LAST SUMMER I HAD HER ON A NATURAL PRODUCT CALLED (HWF) HEART WORM FREE. LOOKING FOR EVERYONE'S EXPERIENCE OR THOUGHTS ON TREATING HEARTWORM. WE'RE IN KANSAS AND HAVE MOSQUITOS, BUT OUR GOLDIE DOES NOT LIKE THE HOT WEATHER AND IS NOT OUTSIDE TOO MUCH. PREVIOUSLY, I HAD A GOLDIE WHO HAD SEIZURES. VET SUGGESTED I THINK ABOUT WHAT I WANT TO DO. JUST NEEDING YOUR THOUGHTS. THANK YOU
I give interceptor during mosquito season and none in the off season. Heartworm is no joke.
 

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FWIW I work with a holistic vet and every year I ask her this question. So far, she is still saying to do ivermectin (Heartgard), BUT only during the months when temps may stay above 57 degrees 24 hrs a day for several days. This is one of the criteria for the heartworm microfilariae to develop in the mosquito before it is passed to the dog. Here in New England I choose to test my dogs in late May to verify they are testing negative And give my first dose of heartgard on either the first of June or the first of July, depending on how warm the prior month was. I give it once a month until, usually, the first of November. I believe she does the same with her dogs, though I think she spreads the doses out to every 45 days and starts later and ends earlier, so her dogs end up only getting like 3 doses a year.

I do have a friend who chose not to give her dog HW pills at all. I think that instead she tested him every few months and figured if he came up positive then at least it would be caught early and could be treated with the less toxic slow kill method.

I think your choice should be governed by where you live, your dog’s lifestyle, and your level of comfort with risk. I’d probably also bring a holistic vet on board in order to have a second opinion from a medical professional.
 

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I give Interceptor to my dogs. I live in Wisconsin, and since it works backwards, I don’t start giving it until June 1 (although this year has been unseasonably warm and will probably start May 1).

Heart worm is nothing to mess around with.
 

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Did your Vet tell you how prevalent Heartworm is where you live, the number of cases?

I live in an area where it's very prevalent. I have always used Heartgard Plus and give it year round because we have a short winter and rarely get a hard freeze.
 

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Just curious why you'd imagine HWF would prevent heartworms? HWF is not licensed as a heartworm treatment or preventive. The formulation supposedly contains the ingredients designed to detox your dog and support cardiovascular heath... but really.... when HW can kill your dog- or at best HW infection is going to require major poison and risk to rid them of it- why take a chance?
 

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For those who are curious about the “holistic” perspective on heartworm prevention and treatment, this article provides a good summary: Why I Don’t Give My Dogs Heartworm Medicine (And Why You Shouldn’t Either) |

I'm not advocating for or against this perspective, I just want to stave off any assumptions that someone who chooses NOT to give monthly HW meds to their dogs is somehow neglectful or stupid. i Think we are all just trying to make the decisions we think are most likely to result in a healthy dog!

Also, just for some perspective for those who live in warm areas who are appalled that anyone wouldn’t give HW meds to their dogs year round... here in New England we only really have mosquitoes from late May till sometime in October. I also asked my regular vet what she was seeing for HW infections here in our area and she admitted that, although cases seem to be rising, ALL the dogs she had treated had been recently adopted from one of the southern states.
 

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Agreed- when there are no skeeters, don't use HWP. But to not use HWP when there are is foolish imo.
 

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I like Interceptor Plus for the extra parasite control it offers (not just heartworm). There is Interceptor and Interceptor Plus. It is worth finding out what parasites are common in your area. I moved to Interceptor Plus because it protects against a specific and pretty dangerous coyote-carried parasite because we have a lot of coyotes both right in the city and in the areas where we hunt train.
 

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I live in Alaska. We are one of the few places without mosquitos that carry HW. I travel to the states occasionally. And I use HW when I do and continue to for 2 months after we return home. I get my Pills from the vet office, not some baloney company that tells me theirs is better. Now why would I take a chance using a drug that has never been tested? It also has zero FDA oversight so nobody is making sure what is on the label is what is inside the baloney magic powder. So nope I’m sticking with what I get from the vet office. I also test for HW before and after the HW pills. I want to take no chances that my dogs have picked up HW. Taking chances with some company that tells me their pills are special holistic is a bunch of crap. It’s all chemicals, but at least the ones my vet sells me are tested. Yes my vet makes money from those sales, they should, they have a lot of overhead. I’d rather give my money to my vet than some baloney company on the internet trying to fill my head with bogus claims.
 

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First of all, if you are saying your vet only recommends heartworm prevention to make money, you are wrong. That is such a bad mind set to have. Your vet's concern is the health of your dog. They don't make enough money off heartworm prevention to push it for profit.

Second, do some research on what treating and removing heartworm infection involves. I volunteer for rescue, we take in a lot of dogs that have heartworms. The treatment to remove the infection is 4-5 months long, and requires the dog to not do anything for that entire time that raises their heart rate while the worms are dying in their system. That means no walks, no playing ball, no chasing squirrels, no playing of any type, no wrestling with another dog, no running up and down stairs, they can't do anything except lay around for about 4 months. The treatment to kill the heartworms can have complications, as simple as panting, as serious as lung inflammation, and as bad as up to and including death. You really don't want to risk your dog becoming infected with heartworms and having to go through treatment. The easiest and best way to prevent that is to give prescription heartworm prevention for at least the part of the year that mosquitoes are active in your area.

Also, being a mostly indoor dog does not prevent them from being bitten by mosquitoes. Every dog goes outside at least to potty, or for walks, and I find mosquitoes inside my house routinely during the summer.
 

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This is a good visual. Keep in mind the number of cases noted are PER VET CLINIC, now consider how many vet clinics there are and multiply that number of cases.

 

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I’ve been doing the shots for a few Years without any issues. I know it’s not the most popular method but it works for us.
 

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We are having a "early" spring here (knock on wood) and mosquitoes are CRAZY.

I got home from running errands this afternoon and snuck up to surprise my dogs by tapping on a window - I couldn't get near the window because of mosquitoes swarming. It was like a cloud of mosquitoes. o_O!

It's nice that we aren't having snow and winter right up to June like we did last year, but this is the negative of having a normal spring.

My take is if your dog spends any amount of time outside without you - he needs to be on heartworm protection.

The dogs I know who developed heartworm disease were primarily dogs who spent anywhere between 2-3 hours a day to being outside dogs.

Generally speaking - I think if we are out with the dogs, we have the good sense of going inside when the mosquitoes start buzzing. And bring dogs inside with us. Less risk. <= my dogs fall into that category, but I still cover them between spring and fall.

People who leave their dogs out in the early morning hours or early evening hours... their dogs are at a greater risk. They honestly should keep their dogs covered year round - because there are thaws in winter + other parasites.

We are also having ticks pretty bad right now so while I'm covering the dogs for that (simparica), they only get heartguard for heartworm prevention.

When we get into July-Oct, I may switch to Sentinel, because I anticipate only giving 1 pill per month (tick problems drop off by the time we get into summer, they like spring).
 

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When we adopted golden retriever Honey at age 1 1/2 or so, she was heart worm positive and w paid over $400 for her treatments. They shave a spot on each side of her hips. Gave her one injection and kept her over night and then gave her one in the other side early the next morning and we brought her home at closing that day. She had to be crated for about 4 weeks if I remembr correctly. It was very hard on her because while she was crated she could see my 2 1/2 year old litter mates, Hunter and KayCee playing, along with my older golden, Buck. When she was declared heart worm free and I turned her free in the back yard, she ran and ran and ran. Luckily she had no ill effects from either the worms or the treatment. We had her 12 years.

Now, I do not even remember when I started giving heart worm prevention, but it was in the late 70;s. It was a daily tablet, Filaribits. Then several years later, I went to the monthly tablet, Interceptor. I made a horrible mistake in 2003 and got my beautiful boy, Hunter a Proheart 6 injection as he was a picky eater and I feared he might not swallow all his table. Proheart 6 killed him at age 4 year 2 months. he is my avatar picture. I lost him Oct. 16, 2003, and the FDa had Fort Dodge pull it from the marker the firt so Sept. 2004 and it wa off for about 4 years being reformulated. I can tell you I will never use it again even tho they say it i safe now.

I use Interceptor Plus as it takes care of other worms as well. Here on the Texxas coast, we have mosquitoes year round. We may got a a couple of weeks or even a month with none--then it gets real warm, and there they are til we get another cold front. So it is a given her--if a dog i not on HW prevention it will get heart worms. I watched two beautiful dogs die next door because of my neighbor's stupidity. When they moved here they had a 7 year old buff cocker spaniel. We were talking and I asked her what kind of HW prevention they use and said none--Buddy was an indoor dog. I told that made no difference . It only takes one mosquito bite from an infected mosquito. The dog goes outdie to go potty, mosuitoes ride in on clothing and she had two young boys in and out all the time. But I coudlnt' convicner her. Then they got a cocker mix puppy. Sae thing. Indoor dog, didn't need HW protection. and both came down with heart worms. It was terrible waching Buddy, then only 8, gasping for air, collapsing when he tried to walk acorss the room. He died. Then later on athe boys let the feamle out--she had not been spayed--and she got pregnant. he had I think it was 6 puppies. And she died a day or two later. Her heart could not take the strain. Two of the puppies died.

This neighbor doesn't believe in neuter an spay. Doesn't think a dog that is inside most of the time needs HW protection. Puts out moth balls to kill fleas--and her dogs are covered in them. Outsdie of not knowing how to take care of her dogs, she is a good neighbor. I just hated that Buddy and Cherry both had to die becaue she would not tgive them heart worm protection.
 

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When we adopted golden retriever Honey at age 1 1/2 or so, she was heart worm positive and w paid over $400 for her treatments. They shave a spot on each side of her hips. Gave her one injection and kept her over night and then gave her one in the other side early the next morning and we brought her home at closing that day. She had to be crated for about 4 weeks if I remembr correctly. It was very hard on her because while she was crated she could see my 2 1/2 year old litter mates, Hunter and KayCee playing, along with my older golden, Buck. When she was declared heart worm free and I turned her free in the back yard, she ran and ran and ran. Luckily she had no ill effects from either the worms or the treatment. We had her 12 years.

Now, I do not even remember when I started giving heart worm prevention, but it was in the late 70;s. It was a daily tablet, Filaribits. Then several years later, I went to the monthly tablet, Interceptor. I made a horrible mistake in 2003 and got my beautiful boy, Hunter a Proheart 6 injection as he was a picky eater and I feared he might not swallow all his table. Proheart 6 killed him at age 4 year 2 months. he is my avatar picture. I lost him Oct. 16, 2003, and the FDa had Fort Dodge pull it from the marker the firt so Sept. 2004 and it wa off for about 4 years being reformulated. I can tell you I will never use it again even tho they say it i safe now.

I use Interceptor Plus as it takes care of other worms as well. Here on the Texxas coast, we have mosquitoes year round. We may got a a couple of weeks or even a month with none--then it gets real warm, and there they are til we get another cold front. So it is a given her--if a dog i not on HW prevention it will get heart worms. I watched two beautiful dogs die next door because of my neighbor's stupidity. When they moved here they had a 7 year old buff cocker spaniel. We were talking and I asked her what kind of HW prevention they use and said none--Buddy was an indoor dog. I told that made no difference . It only takes one mosquito bite from an infected mosquito. The dog goes outdie to go potty, mosuitoes ride in on clothing and she had two young boys in and out all the time. But I coudlnt' convicner her. Then they got a cocker mix puppy. Sae thing. Indoor dog, didn't need HW protection. and both came down with heart worms. It was terrible waching Buddy, then only 8, gasping for air, collapsing when he tried to walk acorss the room. He died. Then later on athe boys let the feamle out--she had not been spayed--and she got pregnant. he had I think it was 6 puppies. And she died a day or two later. Her heart could not take the strain. Two of the puppies died.

This neighbor doesn't believe in neuter an spay. Doesn't think a dog that is inside most of the time needs HW protection. Puts out moth balls to kill fleas--and her dogs are covered in them. Outsdie of not knowing how to take care of her dogs, she is a good neighbor. I just hated that Buddy and Cherry both had to die becaue she would not tgive them heart worm protection.
Thanks so much for your lengthy reply. May I ask what you are using for your dog's at the present time? We live in Kansas, so we have plenty of reasons to treat heartworm and fleas. Still thinking of using H W F and some type of ALL NATURAL FLEA & TICK COLLAR. Did that last year & no problems. Last 2 dogs ended up with seizures & I blame the drugs. Thanks for your input & I look forward to your reply or anybody elses input.
 
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