Bandit's Heartworm Prevention Program
Most veterinarians will recommend giving a daily or monthly pill to prevent heartworms, but in actuality you are administering a drug on a regular basis that is designed to stop the "baby heartworms" from becoming adults. This is not an accurate definition of prevention. These drugs contain chemical insecticides. Administered over a period of time, the toxic side-effects become a serious health risk.
Side effects listed for heartworm preventative drugs are: vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, and weakness. These pills weaken your pet's immune system which recognizes the chemicals as poison. The body works hard to eliminate the toxins and major organs, like the liver and kidneys, are taxed. For this reason, the pet's body is not able to handle contact with the normal bacterial or viral substances in our world, so it gets sick more easily. Part of the veterinary industry has acknowledged these dangers. These "alternative vets" are open to natural, safe and effective alternatives. Many of these vets believe that the long-term use of heartworm prevention drugs are a link in the chain of diseases such as arthritis, liver and kidney diseases, skin allergies, and many types of degenerative problems. Read an article by Dr. Jeffrey Levy, DVM, PCH.
Cause of Heartworm
The cause of heartworms is mosquitoes. For dogs, and sometimes cats, they can cause life-threatening problems because they transmit heartworms. These are parasites that enter the bloodstream as larvae and migrate to the heart. Six months after reaching the heart, the larvae turn into adults, and that's when problems begin. Full-grown heartworms eventually fill the heart, blocking flow of blood to the lungs and doing damage to the heart. By the time you see symptoms, they've already done damage to the heart which is why we use heart support in Bandit's Heartworm Program.
Mosquitoes still bite animals on heartworm pills. The key is to get the blood of the pet in a healthy enough condition that the mosquitoes won't want it. Mosquitoes are a parasite. Herbs that have anti-parasitic properties will discourage not only mosquitoes, but fleas and ticks also. Geranium is an essential oil that repels mosquitos, ticks and fleas and can be used on dogs
Comments From Veterinarians
Dr. Michelle Tilghman, D.V.M. says, "Strengthen [your pet's] resistance with whole foods. Dogs and cats are more likely to resist heartworms when they are given all-natural foods, which help keep the immune system strong. If you don't want to make their foods at home, use a commercial food that is free of additives and preservatives."
Dr. Mona Boudreaux, D.V.M. says, "Give [your pet] garlic. This pungent herb repels mosquitoes, cleanses the blood, and strengthens the immune system. Dogs over 50 pounds can have as much as two teaspoons of garlic a day, and smaller dogs can have 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon a day. Garlic can be a problem for cats, so don't give them too much. A safe limit is 1/8 teaspoon or less a day for up to two weeks at a time."
Read about Life's Abundance Natural Pet Foods.
Heartworm prevention requires a multi-faceted approach which includes not exposing your dog to mosquitos as much as possible. Bandit is an inside dog and I've been successful with a preventative program, but would not recommend this for dogs who are kept outside because they have increased exposure and are thus at higher risk.
To provide as much protection as possible from mosquitos, use cedar mulch in the area where the dog does his "business." Make sure there is no standing water for the mosquitoes to breed. Prior to leaving the house and again upon returning after play or "business," spray your pet with the essential oil spray mentioned above. You can also add 4 drops of Lavender Oil if you have it. Shake before spraying. I use this on myself as a great bug repellant. Nice and safe with no worries of toxic chemicals on the skin. Garlic Barrier is a natural mosquito barrier for your yard and garden with added benefits. Get more info at garlicbarrier.com.
Keeping your pet parasite free, whether it's heartworms or other parasites, requires a good quality pet food. We recommend Life's Abundance because it's real food. You can't keep parasites away when you're feeding them "food" that's made from beaks, feet, blood and tumors. Please compare the brands you are using to Life's Abundance. It will save a lot of vet visits.
We do not recommend people go off their heartworm medications unless they agree to do so with their vet.
The Preventative Program
The prevention prorgram that consists of three products:
Artemisia Combination (389 mg/capsule) - This is used like a monthly de-wormer.
Black Walnut (500 mg/capsule) - This is a great nutrition booster helping metabolism and keeping the animal less desirable by parasites [fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes].
HS II (460 mg/capsule) - This is used to keep the heart strong.
Since weight determines the amount of herbs that should be taken, here's what Robin suggested for healthy dogs.
Under 5 lbs – 1/4 capsule Artemisia Combination and a sprinkle of Black Walnut capsule [equivalent to an eighth of the capsule]
5-10 lbs – 1/2 to one capsule Artemisia Combination and a 1/4 of Black Walnut capsule
11-25 lbs – 2 capsules Artemisia Combination and 1/4 capsule Black Walnut
26-50 lbs – 2-3 capsules Artemisia Combination and 1/2 capsule Black Walnut
51 lbs and over – 3 capsules Artemisia Combination and 1/2 capsule Black Walnut
Artemisia Combination is given the first week of each month. Black Walnut is given 5 days on, two days off. I've found that most pets like Black Walnut. A little bit of Black Walnut goes a long way, so be sure to adjust this according to weight like the rest of the program. HS II is used to keep the heart strong. It can be given every few days or at least once a week.
If you have a dog that is not in good health, we advise that you check with your veterinarian before using the program. The amounts aren't as critical as when you are working with a dog that has heartworms.
Another thing to consider is if you are in a climate area that has a winter and a period of time where there are no mosquitos. Vets generally do not tell you to use heartworm medication at that time of the year. I don't bother to use the spritzer at that time of the year, but I still do the herbal program because Black Walnut is such a healthy supplement and the Artemisia Combination keeps him parasite free.
Please use wisdom and common sense in deciding whether the natural approach is for you and your pet family. Since the herbal way is less expensive than the drugs, please be sure you make the investment to have your dog tested annually.
The decision to use, or not to use, any information is the sole responsibility of the reader. Opinions expressed here are those of individual contributors. This web site does not obtain verification of the claims of contributing writers. The success stories and information on this site are not meant to diagnose or prescribe for you or your pet. The ideas and information on the success stories pages have not been endorsed or approved by the FDA.