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Old 02-18-2014, 06:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Heartworms in Florida

Good evening all. Just wanted some input from you with regard to heartworm/flea preventatives here in FL. I have read through many posts in this forum that many of you test twice a year in spring and fall and do not use any preventative, and only treat if positive. I would like to adopt that same philosophy for my fur babies, but am scared being that we now reside in Fl. Any advice? Thank you!


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Old 02-18-2014, 06:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Roxysmommy77 View Post
Good evening all. Just wanted some input from you with regard to heartworm/flea preventatives here in FL. I have read through many posts in this forum that many of you test twice a year in spring and fall and do not use any preventative, and only treat if positive. I would like to adopt that same philosophy for my fur babies, but am scared being that we now reside in Fl. Any advice? Thank you!


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Tough call as you basically live in Mosquito country. If you do zero treatment except for positive tests then I suggest getting your dog tested 3 times (or more) per year. Some preventative measures may be called for. I don't live in Florida so I don't know from experience but perhaps a minimal preventative plan is called for in your situation. It's a tough call honestly as both heartworm and the cure/antidote can both be very damaging. Naturally it varies from dog to dog and some tolerate the treatments without issue while some show massive side effects.
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Roxy, your in Florida it is not will they get heart worm ... But when it's almost guarantee!
Believe me I hate giving any kind of meds.. But I had a Boxer go trough the treatment it's not pretty. Once a month I would do it. Less is best I would stay away from all the new fangel 4in1 3in1 malarkey. Do some home work.
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I've heard of herbal preventatives working in the south still. If you search for Bandit's Heartworm Program I want to say they followed it. I will use black walnut tincture alone this year for heartworms, but I'm up north. If you can find a holistic vet around you they may have other suggestions also.


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Old 02-18-2014, 08:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Let me put it this way, if it were me and my dogs living in Florida. I would, personally, do preventative care. If the difference is them not feeling good for a few days or getting heartworm? That's really not a decision at all, they'd be getting the heartworm meds. Florida is the "Ground Zero" for mosquitoes there's just no way to get around the heartworm medications. I'm not telling you to do this I'm just telling you what I would do in your situation.
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Old 02-18-2014, 09:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm in Florida. We treat our yard for bugs a couple times a year. Our county also sprays continually during mosquito season. I rarely see mosquito's around here. I am north of Daytona and south of St. Augustine. I am on a fresh water canal. Not sure what to tell you, I do not treat for heartworm. I just hate putting any poison on my babies or giving any type if poison. Of course I am not average, I don't even believe in giving human babies immunologic shots.
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank you all for your insight. It is greatly appreciated 😉. I think I will go with a preventative. I am too afraid to take that risk.


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Old 02-19-2014, 01:04 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I live in mosquito county lol I treat with sentinel from April through October. I try to only use the sentinel every six to eight weeks. It drives my vet crazy but it has worked for 6 years now.

My mom rescued a heartworm positive dog. She came from my county so we know it is a problem here.
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:52 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I live in mosquito county lol I treat with sentinel from April through October. I try to only use the sentinel every six to eight weeks. It drives my vet crazy but it has worked for 6 years now.

My mom rescued a heartworm positive dog. She came from my county so we know it is a problem here.
Great information to have and kudos to your mom.

I may not love the idea of some of these preventative meds but I'm not going to risk heartworm. It is so very destructive that I can't fathom the thought of either of my two having it.

@Brutus, the immunological issue is definitely one for a different board and something I'd be cautious about myself but I think you and I would have to agree to disagree about that one.
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Old 02-19-2014, 03:07 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Here you go guys, I have no personal experience with it but it makes sense. I live in a low risk zone, I hear there are mesquites near the river??

I'd have to drive to that, not much in the way of standing water out here!
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