[nagdu] heartworm prevention

Michael Hingson Mike at michaelhingson.com
Fri Jan 3 18:50:49 UTC 2014

I'm with Tina, and I think we have exhausted this thread.  Heartworms, in whatever form, can infect dogs at any time of the year as evidence has shown.  It is our choice whether or not to use year round the available heartworm remedies.  For my part, I take no chances since if heartworms do infect a dog we won't know it until it may be too late. 


Michael Hingson

-----Original Message-----
From: nagdu [mailto:nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Tina Thomas
Sent: Friday, January 03, 2014 09:30 AM
To: 'NAGDU Mailing List, the National Association of Guide Dog Users'
Cc: judotina48kg at gmail.com
Subject: Re: [nagdu] heartworm prevention

Your claims	 that some vets are just in it for the money might have some merit. However, speaking from someone who lives on the west coast and trusts the vet I'm working with, I think I will rely on her research, knowledge as well as having 30 years of experience working with animals. I am not willing to gamble with the health of my dog or put someone else's dog at risk by not being mindful of mites and fleas that can infect my dog as well as someone s else's dog based on sources sited on the internet. The best we as a dog handling community can do for ourselves, is to evaluate our lifestyle and what we do day to day with our dogs, so that we can make an informed choice to what is best for us and our dogs to have a long and lasting partnership. 
Tina and the girls               

-----Original Message-----
From: nagdu [mailto:nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Raven Tolliver
Sent: Friday, January 03, 2014 8:34 AM
To: nagdu at nfbnet.org
Subject: [nagdu] heartworm prevention

the heartworm pill does not prevent heartworm, it is a pesticide that kills heartworm babies. Nothing can stop your dog from getting heartworm unless it can stop mosquitoes infected with heartworm from biting your dog. You can reduce mosquito bites with mosquito control, but obviously, that is not 100%. The ultimate solution to fending off pests and fighting worms is a healthy immune system.
Getting a heartworm infestation is far more difficult than vets and drug companies would have us believe. There are 7 steps necessary for an infestation:
Step 1: A hungry female mosquito of a certain species must bite your dog. Female mosquitoes act as airborne incubators for premature baby heartworms (called microfilariae). Mosquitoes thrive in warm, humid conditions, as I stated in an earlier post.
Step 2: Our hungry mosquito needs access to a dog already infected with sexually mature male andfemale heartworms that have produced babies.
Step 3: The heartworm babies must be at the L1 stage of development when the mosquito bites the dog and withdraws blood.
Step 4:  Ten to fourteen days later — if the temperature is right –the microfilariae mature inside the mosquito to the infective L3 stage then migrate to the mosquito’s mouth. (Yum!) Step 5:  Madame mosquito transmits the L3′s to your dog’s skin with a bite. Then, if all conditions are right, the L3′s develop in the skin for three to four months (to the L5 stage) before making their way into your dog’s blood.  But your dog still isn’t doomed.
Step 6:   Only if the dog’s immune system doesn’t rid the dog of these
worms do the heartworms develop to adulthood.
Step 7:   It takes approximately six months for the surviving larvae
to achieve maturity. At this point, the adult heartworms may produce babies if there are both males and females, but the kiddies will die unless a mosquito carrying L3′s intervenes.  Otherwise, the adults will live several years then die.
In summation, a particular species of mosquito must bite a dog infected with circulating L1 heartworm babies, must carry the babies to stage L3 and then must bite your dog. The adult worms and babies will eventually die off in the dog unless your dog is bitten again!
Also, heartworms Development Requires Sustained Day & Night Weather Above 57˚F ...
The University of Pennsylvania vet school (in a study funded by
Merial) found: “Development in the mosquito is temperature dependent, requiring approximately two weeks of temperature at or above 27C (80F). Below a threshold temperature of 14C (57F), development cannot occur, and the cycle will be halted. As a result, transmission is limited to warm months, and duration of the transmission season varies geographically.”
The Washington State University vet school reports that laboratory studies show that maturation of the worms requires “the equivalent of a steady 24-hour daily temperature in excess of 64°F (18°C) for approximately one month.”  In other words, it has to be warm day AND night or development is retarded even if the average temperature is sufficiently warm. They add, that at 80° F, “10 to 14 days are required for development of microfilariae to the infective stage.”
Jerold Theis, DVM, PhD, says, “If the mean monthly temperature is only a few degrees above 14 degrees centigrade [57 degrees F] it can take so many days for infective larvae to develop that the likelihood of the female mosquito living that long is remote.”


The vets at Holistic Vet Center say:  “… monthly heartworm preventatives are actually 100% effective if given every 45 days and 99% effective if given every 60 days.”

Also, people need to understand that heartworm positive results is not a death sentence. there are various herbs which treat heartworm; and there is also Heartworm Free, which is both a preventative and treatment.

If you do a Google search for heartworm development and temperature, you will see the same facts on numerous websites.
Sorry, vets are in it for the money, and the vets at guide dog schools are no more competent than the four vets I visited with my golden. You know that money is a top priority in the guide dog programs because they feed the dogs foods like Iams, Proplan, insert low-cost, low quality dog food here. And these vets truly think that these brands of kibble are healthy. Any vet who says things like: "Iams is a healthy kibble," or "Eating kibble cleans your dog's teeth," are not good vets in my opinion. Statements such as these demonstrate that a vet is concerned about money over health.
Statements such as these come from the same vets who say give heartworm preventative once a month, even when there's not a chance of mosquitoes appearing for more than half the year. If you live in states with climates similar to Florida or Texas, I can understand where they're coming from. But in regions like the Northeast and Midwest, that is just overkill.

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