Spring is on the up and up and I personally cannot wait for it to get here! It’s been a long winter here in New York and springtime cannot come any quicker. Even my pets are going stir crazy!

Speaking of pets, now is a good to time prepare them for the warmer weather. Spring time brings lots of unwanted things, such as fleas, ticks and heartworms.

The spring season is usually the time when dogs and cats should be inspected for heartworms. Most veterinarians recommend having your cats and dogs take a daily or monthly heartworm prevention pill, but I am not sure I agree. I have two cats at home and as much as I would do anything for them, I just cannot see myself giving them both a daily pill. When it comes to my pets, I always look for a natural cure first.

Believe it or not, heartworm pills contain a chemical pesticide, which, when given to your pet daily or monthly, can make them sick. The side effects alone are dangerous and can cause harm which are fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting, and even seizures. Heartworm medications can also take a toll on your pet’s liver and kidneys by making work harder at eliminating toxins from their body, which, in the long run, weakens their immune system.

What exactly is Heartworm?

Heartworm is a parasite that infects dogs mostly, but also cats. Heartworm is transmitted to animals by infected mosquitos. When the infected mosquito bites the animal, their larvae move through the animal’s body to their heart and lungs. From there, adult worms grow and cause serious, potentially life threatening damage. If left untreated, heartworm can kill be deadly.

Symptoms of heartworm disease include:

Changes in weight/loss, fatigue, breathing problems, and coughing. Heartworm is only diagnosed through a blood test. Sometimes there are no signs or symptoms of the disease in the beginning stages.

How is heartworm treated?

The heartworm pill get rid of worms from the heart and the lungs. While the pill is effective, there are many health risks that go along with the treatment because the medication contains pesticides which accumulate in their body after a while. Dead heartworms can also become dislodged and block blood vessels, causing your pet to die.

If your pet has heartworm, please speak to your veterinarian when deciding what treatment is best for your pet.

 

If you and your veterinarian decide that an alternative approach to prevention and treatment for heartworm is best, there are a few steps that you, the pet owner, need to take:

 

  1. Put your pets on a healthy diet. Raw foods, like fruits, vegetables, meat, bones and water are the best foods you can give your pet. Cats are meat eaters, so raw meat, bones and chicken giblets are good for your cat. Refrain from giving your pet milk and foods with sugar, artificial flavors and preservatives.
  2.  Keep your pet’s immune system healthy. Animals with healthy immune systems are less likely to be bitten by mosquitos because their natural defense systems will work better to kill off larvae. Things that weaken immune systems are frequent antibiotics, frequent vaccinations, low quality pet foods, improper diet, stress and synthetic medications. It is crucial for your pet to have a healthy liver to remove toxins and prevent illness. A healthy heart also helps circulation, which helps your pet to fight off disease.
  3.  Do your absolute best to keep mosquitos away from your pets!

 

Remember, prevention is key. Heartworm prevention requirements differ according to where you live. Speak to a holistic veterinarian about homeopathic heartworm prevention and treatment plan options that will help to fight off heartworm before it occurs.