Some interesting info. and conditions have to be right. But I don't agree with some of the other things. Also it was interesting about the foxes, coyotes, and wolves!
Natural Heartworm Prevention - The Whole Dog Natural Heartworm Prevention
Natural Heartworm Prevention
The cause of heartwormsis mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes carry these parasites that enter the bloodstream as larvae and migrate to the heart. Six months after reaching the heart, the larvae turn into adults, and that's when problems begin. Full-grown heartworms may eventually fill the heart, blocking flow of blood to the lungs and doing damage to the heart. Often, by the time you see symptoms, they've already done some damage to the heart.
What the average pet owner is not aware of, is just how perfect the conditions have to be for a dog to get heartworms in the first place:
has 5 separate larval stages referred to simply as L1, L2, L3, and so on. It also has two separate cycles which have to be combined to makeup the lifecycle of the heartworm. Only one cycle takes place in a mosquito and the other inside a dog.
The mosquito becomes infested when it bites a dog which is already harboring L1 (MICROFILARIAE). *This can only happen if the dog is also harboring the L5, which is the adult, male and female heartwormas the Microfilariae are their offspring. These Microfilariae can live for up two years in the dogs blood but must be taken up by a mosquito in order to develop any further. If they are not taken up by a mosquito to further develop, they will simply die of old age.
Once the mosquito is infested, the larva must then go through two stages of development or molts L2, and L3, before they can infect another dog. This, mosquito, stage takes anywhere from two weeks to several months depending on the weather. The warmer the weather the faster the development.
The importance of temperature:
While the larva are developing within the mosquito, the temperature MUST remain above 57 degrees Fahrenheit at all times, day and night. If at any time during the mosquito stage the temperature drops below 57 degrees F, the development is halted and it must start all over again. It is only the L3 larva which are capable of infesting your dog.
So, now let's say that a mosquito has bitten an infested dog and the temperature has remained above 57 F for a minimum of 14 days since that bite and the mosquito bites your dog. Still your dog is not infestedbecause the L3 larva are deposited in a tiny droplet of mosquito saliva adjacent to the bite notactually injected into your dog as many would have us believe.
Providing the humidity and temperature are such that the droplet does not evaporate, the L3 larva must then swim through the droplet of saliva and into the mosquito bite, thereby entering your dogs system. Once inside your dog the L3 larva must spend the next two weeks or so developing into the L4 larva. During this period of time the larva is living in the skin, not the blood of the newly infested dog. The L4 will continue to live and develop in the skin for the next three or four months where it will finally develop into the L5 stage.
Once it makes this development into the L5 it then leaves the skin and enters the circulatory system. The L5 or young adult then migrates to the heart and pulmonary arteries. Once there it will mate approximately 5 to 7 months after entering the dog's body. That is of course assuming that the dog has been infested with both male and female larva. This mating produces the Microfilariae.
is by far the most important part of medicine. As you all know by now, I am convinced that having a very strong immune system is of the utmost importance to your dog. I believe that a strong healthy dog will throw off parasites and illness all on its own.
With that said, dogs that are not at their peak of health should be first started with a good diet, I recommend a raw, species appropriate diet first and foremost. At the very least a home cooked diet, supplementation and general remedies for a period of time to strengthen their immune system. Then, the wonderful, natural treatment effects will kick in!
If your dog has been diagnosed with heartworm, it is imperative that you improve his or her immune system as stated above and don't cheat your dog out of perfect health.
Dr Jeffery Levy, feels as I do about the importance of treating the dog, not the heartworm.(emphasis is mine)
"The objective of treating a dog with heartworm should NOT be to get rid of the heartworm. You're not treating the heartworm, you're treating the dog... It makes a lot more sense to measure the treatment by looking at the dog's quality of life. So, he is positive for heartworm. The fact is, heartworms have been around forever and dogs and heartworms have been coexisting for all eternity. It's actually a relatively recent phenomenon that dogs are dying from heartworm. Heartworm is not, by any means, the death penalty it's made out to be. The dogs that die from heartwom are the dogs that are being vaccinated, fed processed pet food and are being treated with suppressive drugs for every little thing that comes along"."
Did you catch that? This is so vitally important to note. Please re-read that last sentence above again.
I (as well as other veterinary naturopaths and many holistic vets) maintain that, "Allopathic medicine is based on fear - fear of disease, fear of pathogens, fear of death. It's fear-based medicine. Allopathic/fear based medicine has been the approach that's been used to get people to use heartworm preventives. It is not to say that heartworms don't exist, obviously, they do. The very same fear-based approach is used as the main basis of vaccinations and for a lot of things.
Disease, illness and symptoms come from within. A relatively healthy animal will not be susceptible to those things. So the ultimate answer is not to prevent heartworm (or distemper or parvo or whatever), by some artificial means, but rather to work on improving and maintaining good health. To the degree that you can improve your dog's level of health, disease of any kind becomes less threatening."
(See my articles on the immune system)Here
NOW, realize this, a dog must be essentially healthy in order to resist succumbing to heartworm (or its treatments). This statement is more than just an idle observation, it is the principle that ensures the survival of wild canines, who (think about this now...) suffer far greater exposure to heartworm-carrying mosquitoes then our domestic pets; however, they succumb in far lesser numbers than our domestic dogs!
Dr. William Falconer, a veterinarian with a homeopathic practice in Austin, Texas states: "The heartworm has been out there forever as far as we know, but we don't read reports of wolves and coyotes being wiped out by heartworm, and yet domestic dogs are falling prey to it."
Interesting point, don't you think?
So why are our pets/domesticated dogs falling prey to heartworms? Surely they are healthier then the wild canines, with all our feeding of "scientifically balanced", processed foods and vaccinating them to prevent them from getting all the nasty and sometimes fatal diseases right? ... WRONG!
We are vaccinating our dogs way too much and way too often, we are feeding them poor nutrition to say the least, and we are using chemical pesticides to kill their fleas, ticks and any internal parasites they may have. All of these things combine to weaken their immune systems, and their immunity is the only thing that can save them.
On the other hand, foxes, coyotes, and wolves go un-vaccinated, eat only raw meat, bones, and a very few herbs and/or berries when there is no meat available. These wild canines are never exposed to the dozens of toxic chemicals we use to kill fleas, ticks and even heartworm on our dogs and in our homes. Interesting that some coyotes and foxes have been found through research, to be able to "fight off" heartworm infestations and some others become host to the parasite however, in small enough numbers that the heartworms don't threaten their hosts' lives.
Dr Jeffery Levy again thinks as I do and states: "Thanks in large part to the scare tactics of many veterinarians in promoting (so called) preventive drugs, many people believe that contracting heartworms is the equivalent of a death sentence for their dogs. This is not true."
Dr Levy concluded as I and many other have from this; that it is not the heartworms that caused disease, but the other factors that damaged the dogs' health/immune system to the point that they could no longer compensate for an otherwise tolerable parasite load. "It is not really that different from the common intestinal roundworms, in that most dogs do not show any symptoms. Only a dog whose health is compromised is unable to tolerate a few worms. Furthermore, a truly healthy dog would not be susceptible to either type of worm in the first place. It seems to me that the real problem is that allopathic attitudes have instilled in many of us a fear of disease, fear of pathogens and parasites, fear of rabies, as if these are evil and malicious entities just waiting to lay waste to a naive and unprotected public."
Whichever end of the scale holistic veterinarians and veterinary naturopaths, place themselves on, we all agree about the first step toward heartworm prevention and treatment: A dog must be essentially healthy in order to resist succumbing to heartworm (or its treatments). This is more than an idle observation, it is the principle that ensures the survival of wild canines, who suffer far greater exposure to heartworm-carrying mosquitoes but succumb from the parasites in far lesser numbers than domestic dogs.
Parasites were never intended to kill their hosts. It and when they do, then you can be assured that something is very out of balance. A parasite's whole evolutionary thrust is to continue to live/survive its life cycle; if it kills its host, then there is a dead end. The fact that our dogs are dying of this disease in greater and greater numbers indicates loudly that something is way out of whack!
Given the wild canine's innate efficiency in dealing with heartworm, virtually all veterinary naturopaths and holistic practitioners, recommend utilizing as many aspects of the wild canine's lifestyle as is practical for domestic dogs, including, most importantly, a natural diet of raw meat and bones, minimal vaccination, and severely curtailed exposure to flea/tick -killing pesticides. Just STOP using them! There are many alternative, healthy ways of preventing and even killing pests but again, a healthy immune system is the key.
Animals with healthy, balanced immune systems are not in need of any specific preventives because their very lifestyle is their preventative!