Mosquito season is just around the corner, and that means you need to protect your dogs from heart-worms!
These are parasites that are transmitted by mosquitoes and enter the bloodstream as larvae then migrate to the heart. Six months after reaching the heart, the larvae turn into adults, and that is when problems begin. The heart will eventually be filled with full-grown heartworms, blocking the flow of blood to the lungs and severely damaging the heart. The heart has already been damaged by the time you see symptoms. Your veterinarian can perform a simple fecal test to determine if your pet is free of heartworm infestation. However, many veterinarians will recommend a daily or monthly pill to prevent heartworms. This pill could do more harm than good!
Heartworm medications are designed to stop the heartworm larvae from becoming adults. This is not an accurate definition of prevention. The chemical insecticides contained in these drugs, administered over a period of time, can cause serious side-effects such as vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, and convulsions. You pet’s immune system is weakened by the toxins in the pills, and the liver and kidneys become overworked from trying to eliminate the poisons from the body. This undue stress makes the pet’s body too weak and your pet becomes ill more easily. Holistic vets, such as Dr. Jeffrey Levy, 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.
Mosquitoes still bite animals on heartworm medication.
The key is to get the blood of the pet in a healthy enough condition that the mosquitoes are uninterested. Feed your dog wholesome food, free of artificial additives and preservatives. Mosquitoes are a parasite. Herbs, such as spearmint and turmeric, have anti-parasitic properties that discourage not only mosquitoes, but fleas and ticks also. Geranium, tea tree, and lavender essential oils repel mosquitoes, ticks and fleas. Use these oils topically after bath time and before going outside. Do not use essential oils on cats; however, neem oil is safe for use on both dogs and cats, and is very effective. Also, keep your yard mosquito free with cedar mulch.
You should feel comfortable discussing holistic and integrative medicine with your vet. Weigh your options and make the best informed decision for your pet’s health and overall well-being.
The best defense against any disease is a happy, healthy pet!