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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Heartworm & Lyme Disease prevention
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Forum Posts: 398
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22 December 2009
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1 May 2010 - 9:12 pm
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Sorry if this was discussed in detail before, as I am quite horrible at finding my way around here … but …

Just wondering what others are doing to prevent Heartworms and as a tick preventative.  We live in an area of high Lyme Disease & Heartworms, and I'm trying to find less harsh products to use this year.

I see in a forum post from last year (Flea and Tick Prevention/Management) Defendex from VETiONX was mentioned as a natural solution to fleas, lice, ticks, mange, and all other kinds of parasitic bugs.  Did anyone try this … or anything else?

I, also, read an article (Battling Fleas, Ticks, & Mosquitoes: Pet Health Care or Billion Dollar Pet Industry?) posted in the nutrition section that stated, "In conclusion remember this: a healthy animal is NOT an attractive host to either parasites or disease."  So, again, I'm curious as to what others are doing, since most of our pets are not healthy and are battling cancer, going through chemo, etc … 

Is anyone still giving the monthly Heartworm preventative?  When we got Harley from the pound, he had Heartworms, and we don’t want to go through treating him for that, again.  

Amputation on 11/10/09, due to Histiocytic Sarcoma in left elbow. Angel Harley earned his wings on 06/24/10.

knoxville, tn
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2 May 2010 - 9:05 am
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glad you asked this question.  gayle is still receiving monthly heartworm preventative, as our vet said getting HW would be too much to deal with, and the preventative didn't react/fight with the chemo treatments.  HW is pretty prevalent here in ET as well.   i'd like to know what others think as well... knowledge is a tool! 

Life is good, so very, very good!!! Gayle enjoyed each and every moment of each and every wonderful day (naps included).  She left this world December 12, 2011 – off on a new adventure.

Love Never Ends


Here and Now

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2 May 2010 - 11:02 am
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We do give Wyatt monthly HeartGuard for heartworm prevention after discussing the pros and cons with the vets at Colorado State University. But we are now testing an all natural cedar oil spray for his flea treatment. Stay tuned for our full review, but it seems to be working pretty well so far.

Dr. Marty Goldstein has more excellent advice for natural pet health care in his book, The Nature of Animal Healing.

We don't have direct experience with Defendex from VetIonx, but if you find it works well for you, they do offer big savings when stocking up! Here is what VetIonx has to say …


[Image Can Not Be Found] Defendex Pet Shampoo – Buy 3 Get 2 Free (Plus Free Shipping)
  • Active enzymatic formula delivers deep clean & condition
  • Botanical and essential oil ingredients soothe and protect sensitive skin
  • pH balanced and safe for all pets and animals

Gentle on even the most sensitive skin, Defendex™ is formulated to provide a powerful clean lather and condition for your pet’s smooth, shiny coat.

Recommended for all pets and animals, Defendex™ uses a proprietary blend of active enzymes to effectively cleanse the fur/hair and skin without harsh chemicals.

In addition to its cleansing power, Defendex™ is packed with rejuvenating natural ingredients, including aloe vera and peppermint oil, to help soothe skin irritation and promote optimal skin and coat condition.

With all-natural Defendex you can . . . Wash away flea, tick, and mange infestation. Wash away eggs from sheets, pillows, car upholstery, and other household objects. Ensure your pet is not ingesting chemicals or pesticides – Buy 3 Get 2 Free!

2 May 2010 - 11:33 am
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Hopalong Harley said:

Is anyone still giving the monthly Heartworm preventative?  When we got Harley from the pound, he had Heartworms, and we don’t want to go through treating him for that, again.  

Funny, I just met with Fortis' Vet this weekend and asked him that very question. The day of Fortis' diagnosis I had mentioned to the Vet that I needed to purchase a 3 month supply of Revolution. He said I didn't need to be concerned with this any longer. Well after almost 3 months it just hit me one night. I started to worry. So once again I asked our Vet and his response was the same. No, I didn't need to give Fortis heartworm meds. So at this point I'm not giving him his monthly Revolution. I must say it feels strange not to.


Fortis' Dad  


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2 May 2010 - 1:21 pm
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Holly still gets her monthly heartworm preventative meds (Sentinel is the one she gets).  Her vet didn't want her to stop these, since he felt the risks of getting heartworm or parasites would be too big given the other stuff she's dealing with now.

And funny you should ask about ticks - she had her first tick about a week ago.  That scared me - the last think she needs is Lyme disease on top of os!!  The vet said the timing for her next bloodwork is good - so he'll add a test for Lyme disease when he draws blood to see if we need to start her on antibiotics.

Holly joined the world of tripawds on 12/29/2009. She has a big little sister, Zuzu, who idolizes Holly and tries to make all of her toys into tripawds in Holly's honor. And she's enjoying life one hop at a time!

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2 May 2010 - 1:28 pm
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I think that it is still a good idea to give heartworm preventatives, since Heartgard in particular is very safe and heartworm can be so deadly.  Some vets may say not to give it since they may be assuming the dogs won't be around long enough to get sick with the disease (it takes 6 months for the worms to develop in the heart and then months to years for the dog to have clinical signs).  I am an optimist by nature and have seen many dogs live longer than 1 year with amputation alone so I say why not give it?

Flea and tick control is different because if you have a problem you can see it.  Depending on where you live you may not need year-round prevention. We do not have much a tick problem here in Seattle so I only use flea products if needed.  If you live in Wisconsin or the East Coast I would consider Frontline or a Lyme vaccine since Lyme disease can be spread by just 1 tick.

Natural products are great to try for fleas and ticks or you could consider treating the yard with beneficial nematodes (eat flea larva) or diatomaceous earth (dries out and damages eggs and larva).


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2 May 2010 - 2:04 pm
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I am still giving Magic heartworm (in fact as I type this he is swallowing the last of it) and have decreased the amount since he decreased his weight!!  I asked the vet about his frontline and the vet said no problem so that is what I am doing...I also used to put Advantage on OJ, but since he has taken to crawling under the covers and there is a two day period after applying the advantage that he has this awful spot on his neck then it disappears, I have slacked off on him.  Hopefully we can keep a handle on the fleas with just Magic being treated...if not, I'll start with OJ again also.  I used Advantage through the three years of chemo with OJ.  I hope I am not making a mistake with leaving it off OJ because I have had a flea infestation and don't ever ever ever want to go through that again in my whole life...ever.  Did I make it clear that a flea infestation is not something I ever want to do again??

I know there are other ways to do it, but this seems the least stressful for all of us since Magic (gasp) has never had a bath in 11 years....can you see me trying to start that NOW????  And poor OJ, I have to do so many unpleasant things that involve sticking him with something every day, I think   doing a flea dip would send him on the road looking for a new home (HA...fat chance)

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2 May 2010 - 2:40 pm
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Thanks for all the responses! 

Harley was tested last week for Heartworms, Lyme Disease, and Anaplasmosis … all thankfully negative.  Yay! 

I gave him his Heartworm pill yesterday on the 1st … and then last night I had a panic attack thinking maybe I wasn’t supposed to give it.  I was almost sure I was told it was okay to give it, but that little bit of doubt wouldn’t go away.  So, I thought I would post and see what everyone else was told.  I need to stop over thinking things.  lol

We, actually, don’t vaccinate for Lyme Disease, even thought we live in a high incident area.  Our Vet said it was up to us, but it had become a controversial vaccine and that prevention was the best course to take, in his opinion … so, we chose to stop vaccinating several years ago.  Glad to know others are still doing Frontline, as well ... I'll make sure to get that on him.

Like Fortis’ Dad said, it would feel strange to not give this stuff.  I already feel edgy that his Rabies vaccine is past due; our Vet said he would give it next year … I like his thinking!!  If only I could be that positive/optimistic all the time. 

Again, thanks for all the replies!  You guys always put my mind at ease when I start over thinking things.  You’re the best! laugh

Amputation on 11/10/09, due to Histiocytic Sarcoma in left elbow. Angel Harley earned his wings on 06/24/10.

2 May 2010 - 4:37 pm
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My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
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2 May 2010 - 5:08 pm
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Trouble's vet stopped all vaccines EXCEPT heartworm preventive.  Of course we live in SE TX and that is a given disease if you do not do preventive here.  I carry a letter from the vet stating she is disease free, but has not been vaccinated due to her illness.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

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3 May 2010 - 12:19 pm
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I have to think that if they did titer tests on all of the older dogs, they may have all the protection they need if they have been receiving regular vaccines....I just got a notification (bless computers....) that Magic was ready for some vaccine...I shall have to ask cuz frankly, I don't remember that one so it may be called something else that I can remember!!  No reason for them to send a card if we HADN'T been giving it!!

I don't have to worry about the rabies this year thank goodness...we are still under protection of whatever year we are in!  I don't care at this point, just that I don't have to stress over to give or not to give.

Don't worry about overthinking - I overthink, overworry, overtalk, overpost, and here is the place to get it all fixed and better!!

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