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Continued and Consistent Success with Heartworm Treatments and Prevention

Over the last several years now we have had opportunity to treat several heartworm positive cases in various stages of the disease with excellent results. The treatment focus is to specifically target the dog’s own immune system against the parasites directly. There are no side effects to the treatment and dogs do not need to be confined during treatment as they would with conventional drug treatments. There seems to be no risks of the parasites dislodging and creating vessel blockage as the body apparently is dissolving them down as they would with any other dead or diseased tissue. In conventional treatment the parasites are immediately killed off in a massive attack, which could lead to obstruction of vessels causing immediate death of the animal, thus the need for the animal to remain confined and quiet for 3-4 weeks.

Long term side effects of traditional treatments are known to lead to heart or liver problems. With the natural protocol there are no long-term side effects, except maybe the dog is now actually healthier then before treatment!

Natural treatment generally involves specific homeopathic and herbal formulas to target the body’s killer cells against the specific invader. Treatment protocols are individually designed to meet the patients needs; as an example some patients might require extra liver support to aid in the detoxification process that allows the immune system to operate at it’s full potential. Remedies are easy to administer and most are given twice daily which makes for easy compliance.

This approach is truly integrative. The owner, depending on the case, may determine that ivermectin also be given monthly to keep down the parasite load of microflaria while the dog is killing off the adult parasite load that exists in the body. This helps to ensure that no further parasites could migrate and eliminates the compounding effects of the parasites. We have treated cases with or without the use of ivermectin with equally good results.

The only small drawback for the natural protocol to heartworm treatment is that it does take a little patience. Of course, results will vary, but in general remedies are given at full dosage for approximately two months. Then fewer remedies are required but are continued for approximately another two months (or longer if necessary).

It is well known that when re-testing a dog who has been through conventional heartworm treatment it may take 4 to 6 months for the heartworm test to come back negative. The body’s circulating antibodies are often still present during this time frame, thus the result of a heartworm test will show a positive reading. This is also true when re-testing a naturally treated dog.

It is good to know that there are safe options available for the treatment of heartworms and the persona of fear and the death sentence surrounding heartworm patients can be dispelled.

Heartworm Prevention

Knowing the above; that the heartworm parasite can be treated successfully by the body’s own immune defense mechanisms; it is not hard to comprehend that the body can also successfully prevent this parasitic infection too.

For several years, many holistic practitioners have had good results in prevention tactics. The best and most reliable I have found is by using the heartworm nosode in conjunction with a certified organic black walnut tincture.

The nosode helps the body’s cellular memory to build a defense against the parasite should it come in contact with it, thus enabling the body to take care of the problem at the early stages so no further development could occur. The nosode is initially given at a lower strength and over a course of five weeks is built up to the maintenance potency. The maintenance strength is then given monthly on a year round basis to continually strengthen the defense against the heartworm.

The herb black walnut has enjoyed a long history of good effects and a safety record as a vermifuge. The effects of the black walnut seem to pass through the stomach and into the blood systems thus making it effective against the heartworm parasite. As a nice side effect, the properties of the herb are very bitter and permeate through the skin, leaving the blood system and it’s odor uninviting to mosquitoes or other biting insects. To be effective we have found it best to be given daily in the food during mosquito seasons. If you live in a climate that has mosquitoes year round then it would be best then to give the herb five days on two days off to give the body a rest.

In clinical usage I have seen consistent protection offered to dogs with the above protocol. Over the last seven years I have only seen a couple of breaks, in which dogs did turn up positive for heartworm; one was a severe/ chronic auto-immune case and another where the dog had no spleen. In both incidents it could be surmised that at a given point the immune system was diverted and could not keep up to the parasite attack. However both dogs recovered without traditional drug treatment! An interesting note; I have also known of dogs who tested heartworm positive while on traditional monthly prevention.

Obviously, lifestyle of the dog can play an ever important role (i.e. natural diets, less or no vaccines etc.) in helping to maintain a strong immune function in the animal. It must be pointed out that generally those who have chosen to do a natural heartworm prevention protocol are also already taking steps to ensure an overall clean diet and minimal drug usage.

Again, it is nice to know we have options in choosing both treatment and prevention of heartworm and that decisions can be based without the rhetoric and fear of the disease.