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  1. #1

    Heartworm Treatment

    I use the same chemical that is in those expensive (prescription only) pills at a fraction of the cost. The prevention that I use is given once every 30 days (monthly) the same as the pills. In parts of the country during the coldest times of the year when no mosquitoes could survive, the prevention can even be suspended until the weather starts warming up again. If you suspect a dog may already have heartworms, before putting a dog on the following prevention it should be checked by a Vet to be sure it has no heartworms. The cost of this exam is generally between $5 - $15. It is a lot cheaper to have the exam to make sure your dog is not already infected, than it is to have a Vet save an infected dog during the advanced stages of heartworm infestation. This prevention (describe below) is only good to prevent an infection from ever occurring, once a dog is already infected then it must be given the very expensive treatment described in the first paragraph of this page.

    The exam consists of a vet drawing a small amount of blood, putting a smear of it on a slide and looking at it through a microscope. The microfilariae look like tiny wiggler fishing worms. This prevention is not to be given to collies or part collies. What I use is Ivermectin. It is a 1% injectible cattle wormer with the trade name of Ivomec ? . You can purchase it (without a prescription) for $40 - $50 at your Veterinarian Supply Store or through a catalog from a Vaccine Wholesale Supplier. The bottle comes in a 50cc size. I give it orally which means by the mouth. I use 1/10th of 1cc for each 10 pounds of body weight. The syringes I use are 3cc and are marked off in tenths of 1cc.

    The way I do it is to draw out 2cc of Ivomec. Then I inject what is needed into an empty syringe (without a needle) with the plunger pulled down on the 1cc mark. I dribble it into the empty one until I have the proper amount. I will have a few ounces of soft drink or orange juice in an open container. I will draw in 1 - 2cc of the juice to mix with the Ivomec. I put my finger over the end of the syringe and shake up the mixture. The reason for this is to give me more volume to work with and to make it taste better for the dog. I put my hand across the dog's nose with my thumb on one side and my fingers on the other side. Then I put pressure on my thumb and fingers to force open the dog's mouth. I then tip its head up and squirt the contents of the syringe in the roof of its mouth. Finally, I then close the mouth and hold it closed until the dog swallows. This is the only correct way to orally administer all types of liquid medications to dogs so that you do not accidentally squirt the liquid into the dog's windpipe and/or lungs.

    I do this treatment to each and every dog once every 30 days. The Ivomec kills all those little microfilariae (larva) in the bloodstream so they never have a chance to mature into heartworms. Microfilariae will circulate in the blood for more than 30 days before attaching to the heart, so if you give this prevention on schedule there is "NO POSSIBLE WAY" for your dog to get heartworms. Even if a drug is labeled as safe for pregnant and/or lactating bitches. Personally, I don't recommend you give any kind of medications to a pregnant bitch unless the life of the bitch is in grave danger; however, I will give medications to lactating bitches. The difference is the pups are already born and not in their developing and forming stages in the womb.

    The cost is very minimal for each dog. If the 50cc bottle of Ivomec costs you $40.00, this is 80 cents per cc. Given 12 months in a row, a 20 lb. dog will take 2cc per year. That is a cost of $2.00 for a one year prevention. The shelf life for the Ivomec is about 3 years if kept refrigerated. Therefore, this method is feasible to use even if you only have one (dog), and it is by far the cheapest and most effective prevention against heartworms. If you have two or more dogs this can save you hundreds of dollars per year!

  2. #2

    Someone else told me they do this, too....

    Thanks for the info! And thanks for making it so detailed! :D I feel more comfortable using this now that I know the science behind it. What about if a dog's recently been treated for heartworm and is ready to start a preventative again. Is it ok to use this? Do the preventatives from the vet contain any other active ingredients? Thanks!

  3. #3
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    It is great info Marty! A good way to save some dough in these trying economic times.

    Regarding the active ingredients:

    "Heartgard Plus [the standard HW preventive for dogs] contains ivermectin, a broad-spectrum antiparasitic medication used to prevent heartworms. Heartgard Plus also contains Pyrantel Pamoate, an anthelminthic, used to prevent roundworms and hookworms."

    Now someone else please correct me if I am wrong, but I believe a dog kept in clean conditions that does not eat fresh-kill game or whatnot should not be exposed to roundworms or hookworms.

    However I'll probably keep using the Heartguard just for the convenience, just because I only have one dog at this time :)

  4. Preventive Measures agains the cause of Heartworms - mosquito bites. It is my humble experience that I rightfully mixed Listerine with water and spray it in the Dog's Cage likewise nearby surroundings to repel mosquitoes. Yes this is awsome Environment Friendly way to repel mosquitoes and not harm our Beloved Pets.

  5. #5
    do you know if they still sell the not chewable tablets still? one of my dogs is a VERY picky eater, its the 9 year old go figure...well forceing him to swallow a large chewable is not fun, the little tiny pill was much easyer, have not asked the vet out here yet if they still make the tablets or if its all gone to chewables now, any ideas?

    ---------- Post added at 02:08 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:07 AM ----------

    o yea just to make myself clear, I am talking about the heartworm prevention tablets...not sure if the injections are in pill form yet or not, not had a dog with heartworms since I was about7 years old.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty View Post
    I use the same chemical that is in those expensive (prescription only) pills at a fraction of the cost. The prevention that I use is given once every 30 days (monthly) the same as the pills. In parts of the country during the coldest times of the year when no mosquitoes could survive, the prevention can even be suspended until the weather starts warming up again. If you suspect a dog may already have heartworms, before putting a dog on the following prevention it should be checked by a Vet to be sure it has no heartworms. The cost of this exam is generally between $5 - $15. It is a lot cheaper to have the exam to make sure your dog is not already infected, than it is to have a Vet save an infected dog during the advanced stages of heartworm infestation. This prevention (describe below) is only good to prevent an infection from ever occurring, once a dog is already infected then it must be given the very expensive treatment described in the first paragraph of this page.

    The exam consists of a vet drawing a small amount of blood, putting a smear of it on a slide and looking at it through a microscope. The microfilariae look like tiny wiggler fishing worms.

    Actually there is an antigen test that most vets use (Idexx Snap, Heska to name a few)

    This prevention is not to be given to collies or part collies. What I use is Ivermectin. It is a 1% injectible cattle wormer with the trade name of Ivomec ? . You can purchase it (without a prescription) for $40 - $50 at your Veterinarian Supply Store or through a catalog from a Vaccine Wholesale Supplier. The bottle comes in a 50cc size. I give it orally which means by the mouth. I use 1/10th of 1cc for each 10 pounds of body weight. The syringes I use are 3cc and are marked off in tenths of 1cc.

    If you use the 1% (10mg/ml) solution and give 1/10cc that equals up to 1mg/per 0.1cc.

    1/10cc debate so when I went to work I looked it up and copied from the Plumb's drug formulary. Now according to them it is .006cc/kilogram. So lets say a 50pd would need .13mg. And the bottle we have at work is 10mg per cc which would make it 1mg/per 1/10cc(.10cc) which would be way to much for a heartworm prevention. Now again like I said it would depend on the concentration of the Ivermectin you get. That that is a overdose.

    1 milligram (mg) = 1000 mcg (g)

    If Heartgard comes in 0-25pds (68mcg) 26-50pds (136mcg) and 51-100pds (272mcg) then that should tell you that even 1/10cc (which would equal 1mg of the concentration I have) would be WAY to much. And you can not say it is across the board for all dogs due to the fact that it goes by weight and depends on the concentration of the med.



    Even if a drug is labeled as safe for pregnant and/or lactating bitches. Personally, I don't recommend you give any kind of medications to a pregnant bitch unless the life of the bitch is in grave danger; however, I will give medications to lactating bitches. The difference is the pups are already born and not in their developing and forming stages in the womb.

    No you do not want to stop a heartworm prevention anytime. And Heartworm Preventions (Revolution, Heartgard, Iverheart.....) are safe for pregnant bitches. And the risk of stopping them is not worth it. All it takes is one missed dose for a dog to develop heartworms. Depending on the region of the country you live in an what season you miss the prevention if you were to miss 1 month your dog can get infected and the prevention will not be sufficient. From day 30 - 80 after a bite from a mosquito neither a heartworm preventative or a Immiticide treatment will kill it. That is why the American Heartworm Society now recommends a 3 dose Immiticide injection protocol. To cover that gap.

    The cost is very minimal for each dog. If the 50cc bottle of Ivomec costs you $40.00, this is 80 cents per cc. Given 12 months in a row, a 20 lb. dog will take 2cc per year. That is a cost of $2.00 for a one year prevention. The shelf life for the Ivomec is about 3 years if kept refrigerated. Therefore, this method is feasible to use even if you only have one (dog), and it is by far the cheapest and most effective prevention against heartworms. If you have two or more dogs this can save you hundreds of dollars per year!

    Actually not refrigerated. You have to keep it out of direct light. And you NEED to look at the experation date on each bottle. It will vary by bottle.
    My replies in red.

    ---------- Post added at 03:08 AM ---------- Previous post was at 03:05 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by buddysmom View Post
    It is great info Marty! A good way to save some dough in these trying economic times.

    Regarding the active ingredients:

    "Heartgard Plus [the standard HW preventive for dogs] contains ivermectin, a broad-spectrum antiparasitic medication used to prevent heartworms. Heartgard Plus also contains Pyrantel Pamoate, an anthelminthic, used to prevent roundworms and hookworms."

    Now someone else please correct me if I am wrong, but I believe a dog kept in clean conditions that does not eat fresh-kill game or whatnot should not be exposed to roundworms or hookworms.

    However I'll probably keep using the Heartguard just for the convenience, just because I only have one dog at this time :)
    No BM the reason why is that a stray in your yard, or someone walking their dog, or you walking your dog can infect your animal. It is fecal/oral transmission. Eggs can live in the environment for months.

  7. #7
    Good post, Cyn. (as usual :p )

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miakoda View Post
    Good post, Cyn. (as usual :p )
    Thanks :)

  9. Preventive measure for Heartworm is much much better than cure if you agree with me. Spray Listerine dilluted in water at the cage and nearby surroundings of your Pitbull and you will observe that mosquitoes will be driven away.

    Avoid spraying chemical based Insecticides it is harmfull not only to your Pitbull but much more so to our Environment. This is just a friendly reminder from an Environmentalist. Hope this is not spamming.

  10. #10

    Just a little fix...

    Cynthia...your answers do credit to your experience and training!

    One point that I want to bring up is that the microfilaria seen on the microscope slide in the drop of blood do NOT grow up to be adult heartworms in that dog nor do they attach to the heart. Also, microfilaria have been shown to live for more than 210 days in a dog's bloodstream. The microfilaria must go through the mosquito in order to undergo the transformation to L3 larva which then are dropped into the wound the mosquito makes while feeding on the next potential host. It is these L3 larva that grow up to be adults.

    Another limitation to the microfilaria test (the drop of blood on a slide) is that the microfilaria activity levels are different during different times of day (they are more active at dawn and dusk). This test is not very sensitive (in other words, it misses a lot of positive dogs) and can totally miss a dog who developed adult heartworms but then started on HWP.

    ---------- Post added at 02:41 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:39 PM ----------

    Syd...can you give me the citation of a scientific journal that shows the effectiveness of Listerine as a mosquito repellent?

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