Join Date: Jun 2009
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My feeling is that I want to use the least toxic, least complicated medications/preventative possible on my dog. I don't want to mix several different chemicals that treat several different problems, and I want them to be as short-acting as possible.
Here's why. First if you are giving several different chemicals (or vaccines) at the same time, and the dog has a reaction, how do you know which one caused the problem? Do you then avoid all of them from that point on, or do you take a chance guessing at which one was the culprit? Second, the more you double up on different chemicals/vaccines at the same time, the more LIKELY it is that you will overload your dog's system and cause a reaction, when they might not have had one if each ingredient had been given separately, with time for the body to recover in between. Those are the reasons I don't use combined treatment options.
I don't use long-term treatments, because if my dog DOES have a bad reaction, I want the chemical to clear my dog's system as quickly as possible. You are in for a long haul if you've given your dog a chemical with a half-life of 6 months, and it causes them harm!
So I choose treatments are have the longest track-record of use as possible (I don't jump on the band-wagon for new treatments). I choose treatments with the fewest ingredients possible, and I choose short-acting over long acting.
In terms of Heartworm specifically, I use Heartgard, every 6 weeks rather than monthly (as suggested by my veterinarian, BTW) and only for the part of the year that temperatures are warm enough for mosquitoes to pass on the disease. (this will vary depending on where you live) You start one month after the first date of possible infection, and continue until one month AFTER the LAST date of possible infection, as Heartworm meds work by killing off microfillaria present in the dog's system. They do NOT prevent infection.
Then, when I have to use flea/tick treatments, I make sure that I apply them at least one week before or after giving the Heartgard. That way, if there IS a reaction, I know what caused it.
Karen, Kodi, Pixel and Panda
(ARCHMX Starborn Kodak Moment CGC, NTD, BN, PCD, NA, NAJ, CDX-CCH, RE, RLV, RL1X3, RL2X4, RL3X3...
plus Starborn's Picture Perfect & Nauti Herd Compact Flash RN, CGC, NTD, SN-C, RL1)