Friday, April 8, 2011

Summer Pests

Hi Sue,

What kind, if any, heartworm prevention do you use? Also what kind of flea and tick prevention do you like?

It's definitely the season to start thinking about these issues.  Also time to get a blood panel done, one that includes a heartworm test.  Although most dogs do not need yearly vaccinations, a yearly blood panel is an excellent idea as it may indicate potential problems before the owner is even aware that one exists, things such a chronic kidney failure in senior dogs.  Also time to put the dogs on heartworm medication if they do not get it year around.  To answer the above question, I do not use heartworm pills as I think the price is outrageous.  I prefer to use the 1% solution of Ivermectin, and no I won't discuss the appropriate dosage here.  If you have a good relationship with your vet, he may give you the information, but you will be using a medication off-label.  If you live in an area that has mosquitoes, please use something!  Heartworm can kill.

Because I live in the city and do not take my dogs to dog parks, I use nothing for fleas and ticks.  We may see one tick a year, and I can't even remember when I last saw a flea.  If I had a problem with fleas I'd use one of the systemic products like Frontline, but because we do not (knock on wood) have a flea problem I do not treat my dogs for a problem that does not exist.  My daughter uses a spray she makes from Lavender oil mixed with water and she swears that it keeps the Shepherds virtually tick-free in the spring.  That would be my preference too, if we had ticks in the neighborhood.

I do have a bottle of Adam's Plus Flea & Tick Mist and we use that at outdoor shows if we are concerned there may be a problem with fleas - especially at fairgrounds in the late summer - or if mosquitoes are a problem. 

My preference is to use as few medications & chemicals as possible - in & on the dogs and ME.


Jennifer Mathews said...

Thanks Sue, I purchased Ivomec from Tractor's Supply and was told to use 0.5 cc per 55 lbs. I have an appointment with a new holistic vet for annual blood work and will confirm with her before I give this to my dogs. I appreciate your help.

Sue said...

Let me know what your holistic vet says, will you? That's a larger dose than we use, but there is a large margin of safety (except with Collies and a few other herding breeds). It's used in higher dosages for demodex with good success. Did you purchase the 1% solution, or are you going to use the more dilute one?