View Full Version : Flea and heartworm preventatives

14th February 2006, 11:32 PM
Hi, I'm Laura.
We will be getting our first Cavalier, a puppy, in about 2 weeks. I am trying to get information from Cav. owners about flea and heartworm meds. I live in northern California and it doesn't get very cold here, so fleas and mosquitoes can live for much of the year.
Did any of you start your puppies on flea and heartworms meds. right away or did you wait until fleas were present in the home or you noticed mosquitoes flying around?
There is so much debate about what we are putting into our pets and is it all necessary, I just wanted some advice. I'm trying to put together a list of topics to discuss with my vet. (vaccinations are on the list too). Any input would be appreciated.

BTW, thank you to everyone for welcoming me to the group. :)

15th February 2006, 12:51 AM
The Whole Dog Journal -- which is very well regarded -- has an article this month on heartworm. It says of all the things you might decide to treat in various ways, this is really the one thing that must be treated using the commercial preparations as the consequences of not ensuring the dog is covered during vulnerable periods are pretty horrific. If you have ever seen a picture of a heartworm infested heart, you will understand why. It is like the chambers are full of writhing spaghetti.

I very highly recommend the Whole Dog Journal not least because you can get an online subscription with access to the archives at even less that the standard print version. This is great for those of us who live outside the US but don't want to wait a month to get our copy!! :)

Here's more info and the links to their site if you want more info. The Journal would normally be very supportive of various holistic/natural approaches.

Many people subscribe just to get their annual list of recommended dog foods! :)


This is from the article and may be of interest:

Some argue, but...
As the co-moderator of an e-mail list on dog health and nutrition, I frequently see people allege that as long as you have a healthy dog, feed a raw diet, and do not over-vaccinate, your dog will not get heartworms. If only this were true! These measures may help to some degree, but they are not foolproof. The only way to know for sure that your dog is protected is to give heartworm preventatives.

Christie Keith, who lives in an area of Northern California where heartworm is relatively uncommon and has raised Scottish Deerhounds naturally for over 19 years, learned this the worst way.

“I went 16 years not using any form of allopathic preventative on my dogs. At the end of that 16-year period, on routine testing, I found that two of my dogs were heartworm-positive,” says Keith. “One of the positive dogs was Raven, a Deerhound I bought from another breeder. She came to me at 17 weeks with bad ear infections and severe allergies, and no one could argue that Raven was healthy or had a normal immune system.

“In contrast, my dog Bran was a third-generation, naturally reared dog of my own breeding. He was unvaccinated other than minimally for rabies. He was raw-fed. His mother and her mother were raw-fed and unvaccinated other than minimally for rabies. He was, by any definition available, extremely healthy and robust. He had never been sick a day in his life.”

Christie successfully treated both her dogs, though Raven almost died of a pulmonary embolism during treatment. Bran became heartworm-free after months of using the “slow kill” method of heartworm treatment, with no sign of any adverse effects. Unfortunately, Bran died of acute renal failure not long after that. Necropsy results were inconclusive, showing that Bran had glomerulonephritis, but not why.

In her research to try to find the cause of her dog’s death, Christie discovered that glomerulonephritis is a potential side effect of heartworm infection. Although she and her vets eventually came to the conclusion that Bran’s renal failure was caused by Lyme nephritis rather than heartworm disease, it was disturbing to realize that heartworms can affect more than the heart and lungs.

“I have no intention of ever living through what I lived through with Raven and Bran. I can’t keep silent when I see people starting to believe that healthy animals don’t get heartworm and that we can blithely forgo using preventatives if we don’t overvaccinate and feed raw. It’s just not so. And it’s not realistic to rely on the health and natural disease resistance of our dogs to protect them from a threat that they are exposed to frequently, as is the case in heartworm-endemic areas.

“No creature is in a static state of health 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If our dogs are frequently exposed to an infectious parasite, eventually they may well succumb to it, no matter how healthy they are normally.

15th February 2006, 06:08 PM
Thank you Karlin. I really appreciate the information and i will definitely check out The Whole Dog Journal. Sounds like they have great topics.

2nd March 2006, 10:20 AM
I use Ivomec to treat my dogs monthly for heartworm and general worming. For puppies I use Pyrantel Pamoate (probably didn't spell that right!) - which is the active ingredient in Nemex 2. I use Frontline Spray to treat for fleas and ticks.

2nd March 2006, 01:22 PM
We use Interceptor for heartworm and Frontline Plus for fleas and ticks.

We do the heartworm treatment year round. The flea/tick stuff usually April - November. We've had a rather warm winter, and I pulled a tick off Pixie just last Sunday. Needless to say, we started the Frontline again.

Our area is pretty heavy on the tick scale. The vet's office told us that if it's over 45 degrees out, then ticks are active around here. :?

2nd March 2006, 05:22 PM
Our vet this time gave us Stronghold, which fleas and worms then it also treats ear mites... but normally they are on Frontline flea, drontal wormers and I clean their ears once a week and also try and brush their teeth.

Heritage Cavaliers
2nd March 2006, 10:54 PM
I start all puppies on Revolution at 8-9 weeks of age. It will treat heartworms, fleas, ticks, mites and mange. However, it does not treat intestional worms like some of the other products.

I have been very pleased with this product and none of my dogs/puppies have any reactions.

3rd March 2006, 10:18 PM
where i live, there aren't any ticks that i know of, and with my cat, we only have fleas in the summer. When she starts scratching, i give her Program and one or two months of that usually takes care of it. She does not go outside. With puppy Zack, i have been reading up on what is available. I would like to minimize the insecticide exposure if possible, but he scratches a lot and i used Advantage on him because of that. But now i don't think the scratching had anythnig to do with fleas. But my plan for fleas is to try out a product called Archer Insect Growth Regulator ( http://www.fleasmart.com/fleayard.htm ), which you put in your house and yard, i would be interested if anyone has tried it, and then also give both animals Program if necessary. Also, i am thinking of having Fleabusters come out and do the yard, and possibly the home. Also interested if anyone has tried that. I think it's boric acid, which shouldn't be a danger to pets or kids or other humans. I'm wondering if any of the herbal flea repellants i've seen advertized are effective. I read that some of these herbs are very toxic to cats.

4th March 2006, 05:45 AM
I can't find what Archer is composed of,do you know?I had fleabusters do the yard several times when the girls were young,they use nematodes(microbugs)instead of chemicals.It was effective in my book,but many think fleabusters are a scamLet us know if you decide on Archer and how it goes.In the 80's I used much malithion as the fleas were horrible and had two cavaliers raised then die of lymphomas which may have been caused by the malithon.Lynn

4th March 2006, 12:12 PM
There is an all natural product that is supposed to work work, it's called Diatomaceous Earth.

Here's a link to read more about it. http://www.hydromall.com/happy_grower16.html

I do have some here and intend to use it myself; just haven't thus far. :) You can also use it in your gardens as pest control there, which is one reason why I bought it.

4th March 2006, 05:30 PM
Thank you everyone for the information. I will try to find the best product for my situation. We have found a few fleas on Riley. They are definitely in our yard, so i am going to treat the yard as well. I just want to make him more comfortable, i'm sure he doesn't like the itching these little nasties cause. Why do fleas even have to exist in the world?? :x Wouldn't it be so much nicer if they just didn't? :D