If you take your dog to the vet for a checkup you might soon get inundated with a plethora of potential maladies that should be treated by prescriptive meds or vaccination(s).
One of those potential and common problems that may be
brought to your attention is Heartworm.
Heartworm is a parasitic roundworm that is spread from the bites of mosquitoes, targeting dogs and other animals.
Heartworm can be found almost anyplace we find mosquitoes, including all regions of the U.S. except Alaska and warmer sections of Canada.
The highest infection rates are found within 150 mi of the coast from Texas to New Jersey and along the Mississippi River region. Heartworm has also been found in South America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Australia, and
Clinical signs of Heartworm infection
Dogs typically show no signs of heartworm infection during the 6-month period prior to the heart worms’ reaching maturity.
And until the worm finds its way to Fido’s heart, he may show no signs of illness.
This is true even after the worms become adults, especially if they have a light infection and live a fairly sedentary lifestyle.
However, active dogs and those with heavier infections may show the classic signs of heartworm disease such as a cough, especially when exercising.
In the most advanced cases where many adult worms have built up in the heart signs include :
severe weight loss,
coughing up blood
congestive heart failure.
Enough to scare you? Ready to run Fido to the vet today?
Before you do, make sure you have all the facts about this awful infection by reading what this vet has to say on the topic.. then you decide
Following are some excerpted thoughts from an article by
Dr Andrew Jones, DVM
“Heartworm…do you REALLY need to be on a conventional
It is my opinion that MOST Veterinarians tell you ONE thing:
That you NEED to have your dog on a Preventive Heartworm
BUT do you REALLY need this?
What about the RISKS?
Here is my take.( by Dr Jones DVM)
What is Heartworm?
Heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) is a parasitic worm which
infects mostly dogs. Although all internal parasites can be
harmful to the health of your pet, heartworm infestation is
serious and can be
fatal unless treated in a timely fashion.
What causes Heartworm?
Heartworm is spread by mosquitoes. Not all mosquitoes carry
heartworm, but when an infected mosquito bites your pet, it
can transfer larvae to the animal’s tissues. These larvae
then migrate through the body, until they reach the animal’s
heart and lungs.
There the adult worms will grow. They can grow to 70 – 110
long and cause a great deal of damage to the heart and lungs.
If untreated, the animal may die. Most (certainly not all)
holistic veterinarians consider the use of
pharmaceutical preventatives to be less harmful than a
The CHANCE of your Dog EVER getting Heartworm
What you need to be aware of is the INCIDENCE of Heartworm
in your area, and whether or not your pet really is at risk
of Heartworm disease.
For example in Canada, Heartworm is difficult to acquire,
and usually NOT fatal, far less than the dire warnings and
marketing claims of the Heartworm preventive companies.
For heartworm to be transmitted to your pet, you need the
correct temperature for a long enough period of time, the
right climate, and the correct species and sex of mosquito.
Holistic Heartworm Prevention
Avoid unnecessary vaccines- keep your dog’s immune system
Avoid repeated uses of steroids, or conventional antibiotics.
Make sure your dog has excellent nutrition: feeding home
diets and raw food and top quality commercial food, plus:
-provide quality health supplements
-avoid conventional medication that causes side effects
-Mosquito Control- this is the insect that spreads heartworm.
I have had some great success with a Natural Flea repellent
using Cedarwood Oil.
-Use natural alternatives when possible – this can mean using
nosodes and herbal supplements, while also having your dog
tested for heartworm. This is better under the guidance of a
-If you are in a high risk area, use the conventional
preventives, BUT for as short a duration as possible- i.e.
when the conditions really exist to transmit the disease.
-Use the lowest effective dose of the preventives- you can also
follow up the meds with liver supportive products such as milk
thistle and Vitamin E
-IF you live in an area with little to no risk of Heartworm,
consider NO use of conventional medication.”
END Dr Jones DVM
So the debate continues.. do some research and see if there is a problem with heartworm cases in your area. If there is not you may not want to subject your dog conventional meds for a problem that may not exist and could impact his immune system and cause unknown side effects.
The choice is yours.. get as much information as you can and ASK the vet.. don’t just blindly accept a recommendation for treatment without knowing if it is really necessary.. after all it’s you do and he relies on you to speak for him 🙂
I am not a veterinarian so I ask and ask and ask to make certain that any invasive treatment or meds our dogs receive have the best chance to help them when they really need it
P.S. from Dr Jones -> I do happen to practice WHAT I preach,
and I do NOT treat my own dogs with conventional Heartworm
I DO use some of my specific suggestions to optimize my own
pets immune system with:
Essential Fatty Acids
You can get ALL of these components for your dog here:
Disclosure- If you purchase this product or service we will be
compensated. Do your own due diligence