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Thread: Question About Heartworm Treatment

  1. #1
    Veteran Member mellowsong's Avatar
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    Default Question About Heartworm Treatment

    I have a 5 y/o 8lb dog that was diagnosed with heart worms last week. She says that she can pretty much guarantee he had them already when I adopted him. His case isn't advanced but isn't mild either. The medication to treat is not available and date of availability is completely unknown. So...I've been researching alternative treatments but there are 2 problems:
    1. They are way too expensive
    2. They have the exact same problem that the conventional treatment does: The dog is at risk of dying from the treatment as the adult heart worms die.
    The treatments I have found are herbal and most contain black walnut and artemesia which are very toxic. I asked the vet and she said she's known people who have tried these and she's never seen it work. She's also seen 2 dogs die from the herbs...of course, dogs die from the arsenic in conventional treatment too.

    A friend told me about a treatment using Guinness Black Label beer...saying it must be the one in glass bottles imported from Ireland. You use one ounce per 25lbs; so one six pack would last a very very long time. At first I laughed at this...but started researching. Everything on the web about this goes back to ONE post. I cannot find studies or anything else about it. The agent that kills (or prevents) the heartworms is the hops. So, I started researching hops. I know hops is supposed to be toxic to dogs, however that is the actual spent grain left over after brewing. The tiny amount of alcohol involved would not hurt the dog either. What I found was very interesting. There is actually a compound in hops that has anti-cancer and anti-parasitic activity. Apparently hops has been used in Europe and Asia for centuries for many medicinal purposes and is also used by Native Americans. Has anybody ever heard of treating heartworms with Guinness? Any input on this? Does anyone know of any other treatments out there?

    The vet has him on what is called a slow-kill program where he gets ivermectin monthly, doxycycline every 3 months and steroids every 3 months. They have found a bacteria called Wolbachia that lives symbiotically in heart worms and this is what causes a lot of the inflammation and illness with heart worms...hence the doxycycline. Right now, this is the program I am probably going to continue due to pocket book restraints....unless someone can convince me the beer might work! I don't like going conventional; however, he's got the heart worms. The risk to the dog is death as the adults die...this risk is the same regardless of the agent used to kill the worms. I'm not willing to sit back and not treat him at all. Anyway, thanks for any input
    Last edited by mellowsong; 10-07-11 at 01:48 PM.

  2. #2
    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question About Heartworm Treatment

    I really have no input. All I can say is I can get actual live hops if you want them...and you don't have to buy the whole six-pack (unless you want the Guinness for you, of course, and I heartily approve); you can buy a single bottle.
    ➤ Happiness is the frosting on the cake of contentment.

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    Veteran Member mellowsong's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question About Heartworm Treatment

    Quote Originally Posted by Islander View Post
    I really have no input. All I can say is I can get actual live hops if you want them...and you don't have to buy the whole six-pack (unless you want the Guinness for you, of course, and I heartily approve); you can buy a single bottle.
    Just like wine, I have never developed a taste for beer As to the hops, thanks but no. I need info that will totally convince me there's something to this and I don't think I'm going to find such confirmation.

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    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question About Heartworm Treatment

    I don't care for beer either, Mellow. But Guinness? Draft Guinness? That's in a class by itself. If you have never had the exquisite experience of sipping the genuine article, words cannot convey its heavenly goodness. Food for the gods, it is....
    ➤ Happiness is the frosting on the cake of contentment.

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    Veteran Member mellowsong's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question About Heartworm Treatment

    Oh dear; after all the reading on it I've done the last few days, now I'm tempted to go find a bottle and give it a try...for me, not Toby

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    Veteran Member Maurya's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question About Heartworm Treatment

    Draught Guinness, when fresh, tastes totally different from the bottled stuff.

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    Default Re: Question About Heartworm Treatment

    And it tastes NOTHING like American beer! Guinness is definitely a taste worth acquiring. It's never too late to start!
    ➤ Happiness is the frosting on the cake of contentment.

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    Veteran Member mellowsong's Avatar
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    Post Re: Question About Heartworm Treatment

    Gee whiz....get a vice this late in life? Sounds like fun and I can do it in the name of research!

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    Member bormal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question About Heartworm Treatment

    Hi Mellowsong- Don't know if you have finished researching this so far or reached any conclusions about what to do, but thought I would send these links along anyway. I found it by looking at another site-where I was looking for info regarding Lyme Disease. This guy has some interesting viewpoints also- so may be worth checking out the site: http://terriermandotcom.blogspot.com/ . The site that had some info on heartworm treatments was this http://www.oldcountryvet.com/
    From what I read, he recommends the practice of continuing to give heartworm pills to heartworm infected dogs- without the expensive and more toxic treatments that vets usually recommend. I hope that this is information that you can use in your search and I further hope that everything is going well for you and your two and four legged family.

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    Veteran Member mellowsong's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question About Heartworm Treatment

    @bormal: Thank you for the links. After doing a massive amount of research and with the vet saying while his infection wasn't mild, it also wasn't extremely advanced, that is exactly what I've decided to do. I'm giving him ivermectin twice a month and doxycycline for 30 days every 2 months. He seems to be doing OK with this. There is still no time frame for the availability of the treatment medication anyway.

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