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Heartworm is a condition caused by bites of mosquitoes. Not all mosquitoes are contaminated but if it does carry this infection, it can transmit larvae into the animal’s tissue which travels to its bloodstream. When not treated immediately, the larva reaches adulthood and travels on to latch itself on its host’s vital organs. When this happens, results are oftentimes fatal to the dog.
It sounds scary doesn’t it? Well, heartworm is a valid concern for all pet owners; however, there are simple you can employ that will ensure that your dog will not have to suffer this condition.
The key to avoiding heartworm is to make your pet as healthy as you possibly can. You can do this through maintaining a good diet and regular exercise for the dog. Many commercial pet foods may contain chemicals that will be detrimental in your dog’s health. A diet of raw meat, vegetables and helpings of fruit is a better alternative to feed him.
Regular physical activity also keeps the animal’s heart and circulatory system in top working order. Healthy white blood cells fight infection effectively, further strengthening the dog’s immune system. The liver is a vital proponent in having a good immune system so you can also consider using recommended supplements that encourage excellent liver function.
Your dog will not have a chance to develop heartworm if mosquitoes are not able to infect them. Several of these common heartworm natural prevention herbs that are repugnant for mosquitoes are black walnut, turmeric root, spearmint herb and garlic. Garlic and heartworms do not go well together for the simple fact that the pungent aroma is enough to repel the mosquitoes.
For dogs under 50 pounds, it is safe to add ½ teaspoon of garlic a day to his meals. For heavier dogs you can go up to 2 teaspoons but consult with your veterinarian first. Too much garlic is also harmful to animals when ingested. It is also a good idea to mix water and garlic together to make a garlic spray. You can lightly cover your pet or around the areas of the house that mosquitoes are most likely to congregate with a thin mist of this garlic spray.
While garlic is effective in keeping mosquitoes at bay, you do not want to repel your family and visitors with eau de garlic assaulting their noses when they visit you. A more pleasant version of a natural mosquito repellant is mixing 3 drops each of lavender and citronella oil, 10 Tablespoons of rose geranium oil, 1 Tablespoon of alcohol based black walnut extract with 10 ounces of purified water. Spray this concoction around the house or wherever needed.
These natural prevention measures are much better than having to use the conventional preventive medications. These medications kill the heartworms by poisoning them; consequently they too are toxic and harmful for the dog as a whole. Have regular bi-annual check-ups with your veterinarian to test for heartworms so it can be treated as soon as possible.