Here is our Blackbear barking at a Bull Snake. He looks viscous here, but everyone knows he is just a teddy bear!
My daughter, Kaila, wrote today’s post. She has trained Blackbear and shown him in 4-H for seven years! What she shares here is an attempt to shed light on an alternate heartworm treatment without spending $600-$800 and without administering the harsh chemicals that can sometimes kill the dog. This is Blackbear’s story.
In 2009, my dog, Blackbear, was diagnosed with heartworm. It was devastating! I didn’t know what to do. We had always heard about how deadly heartworms can be. Being an aspiring Veterinary Technician, I wanted to find a way to cure this horrible worm cycle from my dog, without having to pay $800 to give him chemicals that would shorten his life span!
Now, you might be wondering, “if you cared so much about your dog, why didn’t you give him heartworm pills so he WOULDN’T have acquired it in the first place?” Well, my family and I used to live in southern Indiana, and mosquitos (who transmit the heartworm eggs from infected animals to clean animals via their saliva) were pretty much nonexistent. So heartworm pills were rarely used by any dog owners in that area.
After moving to northwest Indiana, we were greeted by hundreds of thousands of those little devil insects! Being busy with the move and my Dad’s new job, we did not put him on the heartworm preventative until it was too late, or so we thought.
After Blackbear was diagnosed, my mom and I started to look for holistic remedies for heartworm. First of all, $800 is a lot of money, and there are also a few side effects that come with the chemical treatment. It could also be fatal if he is too active after having the treatment. After hours of researching, we finally found the website PawHealer.Com. This website isn’t owned by a veterinarian either! Her name is Holly Mead, and she has her doctorate in Oriental Medicine. She uses Chinese herbs to heal different ailments, including heartworm!
We were excited to find a natural way to heal heartworm even though we were still not 100% sure that it would work. We ordered 3 months’ worth of the herbs. We were excited when the package came in the mail, and immediately gave Blackbear the prescribed dose.
After giving this treatment to Blackbear for 3 months, we did see a change in the way he acted, but, when we got him retested, he was still positive. So we decided to take him to another vet and get him retested again. And, of course, he was still positive, but the veterinarian told us some vital information that played an important role in curing him of heartworms.
He told us, that if we gave him the heartworm pills, the heartworms would eventually go away. The reason being, the heartworm pills kill the microfilaria (baby heartworms). After a certain period of time, the older heartworms would die out, and there would be no more microfilaria to take their place, making him heartworm free in 2-5 years! There was a risk that he would go into shock by giving him the pills, but it was only a 1% chance, so we went ahead and bought pills for him.
During this time, Blackbear had already lost 15 pounds (weight loss being another side effect of heartworms) and we were getting worried. But, he seemed to be acting fine and never had a cough or other visible symptoms. Following the vet’s advice, we started to give him the pills. The progress was minimal, but that didn’t stop us!
It wasn’t until the beginning of 2012 that we started to see a huge difference. We had stopped giving him the pills for a couple of months, because we had problems buying them. He lost 10 pounds in a two month period, and his stomach was inflated (he looked like he was pregnant), and he was acting a little sad and drowsy. But after getting him back on heartworm pills, he started acting better! And his stomach deflated, and my sweet, happy boy was back!!
We took him to the vet in March of this year and he tested negative with heartworm! I know for a fact, that treating his heartworm without deadly chemicals and keeping him on heartworm preventative, saved my sweet Blackbear’s life!
We encourage you to talk to your veterinarian and ask for this option. Where as before, it was a no-no to give a heartworm positive dog heartworm preventative pills, now it is an option that could make it more doable for you!