How do Natural Heartworm Prevention Methods Differ from Ivermectin?

Does your vet tell you about natural heartworm prevention, or only about the chemicals that most vets recommend?  Heartworm is a deadly condition which must be avoided by some type of prevention regime, and natural heartworm prevention works just as well as its chemical counterpart.  What you need to know about preventing heartworm in your dog naturally

What’s your take on mosquitoes?  A pesky little fly which can bite you, draw your blood, and cause a nasty, itchy patch?  Well, that’s the least damaging problem that mosquitoes can cause.  For humans they can, in certain locations, cause the debilitating condition, Malaria.  And for pets, they can cause heartworm.  In case you’re uncertain as to what heartworm is, it is a life-threatening condition which, if left untreated, will prove fatal to your pet.  Natural heartworm prevention is a viable alternative to the chemical heartworm prevention methods recommended by almost all vets. 

Your vet may tell you that the chemical treatments (whether daily tablets, monthly chewable tablets, or annual injections*), the most well known of which goes under the brand name of Heartgard – or Ivermectin, being the generic name.  What is Ivermectin, you may ask?  Well, although many veterinary experts are of the view that it is non-toxic to dogs in the doses given to prevent heartworm, it is in fact chemically related to the insecticide Avermectin, which is the active ingredient in many for-home-use ant baits.  I certainly wouldn’t want to be ingesting such a chemical, would you?  – Especially when there are herbal heartworm treatment and prevention alternatives readily available, which work just as effectively.

So what exactly should a heartworm preventative do?  Because the cause of heartworm is mosquitoes, and it starts when the parasites enter the bloodstream and migrate to heart as larvae and then grow into adult heartworms over a number of months, the objective of natural heartworm prevention and chemical heartworm prevention alike is to kill the larvae off before they develop into full grown heartworms.

Why?  Because adult heartworms continue growing, and filling the heart, and eventually block the flow of blood to the lungs completely. 

Because we’re talking about parasites here, anti-parasitic herbs are ideal for this function.  Anti-parasitic herbs also work on other types of worms (as to the chemical heartworm treatments), and some anti-parasitic herbs also work with some effectiveness on fleas and ticks, which are also parasites that affect our dogs.

Some herbs which have excellent anti-parasitic properties include Geranium (usually administered externally in the form of Geranium Oil), Garlic, Black Walnut, Artemisia, Wormwood, Clove Fower Buds, Ginger Root, Turmeric, Spearmint, Hawthorn Berry, Capsicum, Lavender and Tea Tree (the latter two also administered externally in the form of Lavender Oil and Tea Tree Oil.  The key is in using the right combination of these herbs to do the best job.

 Diet is another area that can affect the likelihood of your dog being susceptible to parasites, and contracting heartworm.  It is essential that your dog have a natural, healthy diet, to maintain optimal health and immune system functioning.  A dog in peak health will naturally repel parasites to some extent.  Add to that a natural heartworm prevention system, and you’re onto a winner.  Combine a healthy diet with a chemical heartworm prevention, though, and you’re defeating the purpose somewhat.

In summary, there are several methods available to help prevent heartworm in your dog, but the safest and most efficient prevention is a natural heartworm prevention method.  It eliminates the potential for adverse side-effects that can occur with the chemical alternative, and supports an ongoing cleansing of your dog’s blood and immune system, as well as actually preventing heartworm.

* Although in the United States the adverse side effects to these annual heartworm injections are more widely known, the annual shot is still being peddled elsewhere, including Australia.  Do not believe the advertisements.  If you must use the chemical heartworm treatment, opt for the monthly dose.  It is safer than the annual injection, from which dogs have died.  Even if your vet recommends the annual shot – unless they can show you uncontroverted proof of safety, why take the risk?

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