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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello fellow Vizsla lovers! We live in Western New York State. It is considered zone 5 for planting purposes. We have warm to hot summers and very cold winters. Ernie is 16 months old. Last year we gave him his last dose of nexgard in December when we got freezing temperatures, and continued heart guard on the advice of our vet year round. We started heart guard again in May. This year I am questioning if he needs heartgard all winter. I am curious as to what method the forum members use for protecting their dogs. I always want to do whatever is best for our boy and balance protection vs exposure to chemicals.
 

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Heartgard all year! Heartworm is one of the things that can kill him, the Heartgard actually kills after infection. And, the active ingredient (Ivermectin) is at a low dose, and historically been shown to be safe..Ivermectin is also used at much higher doses for other ailments safely, as well. Use it monthly, thru the year.


With regards to tick prevention....know that Nexgard is newest and also has a higher incidence of side effects and issues than Frontline Plus. I Live in the same zone as you, and also feel as you do about limiting chemical exposure. Ticks are active most in April/May, as well as Oct/Nov...however, they are active any season or month when the temp is above 40 degrees or so. As tick borne pathogens are just so nasty, I use it yearly except when there is snow on the ground, which obviously covers them and prevents transmission. Additionally, I check for ticks daily, and if I pull an engorged one off that hasn't been zapped by the Frontline, I use Doxy as a prophy given to me by my vet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you Gingerling. Is Frontline plus as effective? I guess a little research is in order. In an effort to minimize how much of a chemical dose he gets at once I have been alternating Heartgard, then waiting 2 weeks to give Nexgard. The vet recommended a 3 month dose “so we wouldn’t forget”, but I don’t like the idea of having so much floating around in his system. I wish there was a natural way to protect our dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Gingerling, I am so glad you mentioned that Nexgard has side effects. I did not know. The FDA has issued a warning about flea and tick products dated September 20, 2018. The side effects are frightening. I would encourage all forum readers to read the warning.
 

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I've been using Frontline for 25 years, no issues. I agree about chemicals, but b/c tick borne illnesses are so serious and so prevalent, I hold my nose and do it, and wait for the snow to give him a break.

Nexgard is oral, which means it's systemic. So, the chemicals go thru his body. Frontline is topical, so it stays just below the dermal layer and isn't systemic.
 

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There are warnings on every heartworm, flea, and tick preventative. Try, and stay current on all new data. Then go with the one known for causing less problems in dogs. Studies, and data change over the years. It's good to do a little research every year.
Try, and stay away from anything brand new. Latest, and greatest can take some years before problems come to light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That is good advice texasred, thank you. Between training,choosing proper nutrition,eye goop, histiocytomas,vaccines,preventatives etc there is a lot to keep up on. I am grateful to all who post here bringing a situation to light and appreciate the advice offered especially by the senior members and administrators. Your experience help us all to do the best we can for our beloved Vizslas.
Have any of you tried essential oils as a tick preventative? I heard about a company called young living that has a vet on their board as an advisor and products specifically formulated for pets.
 

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I have tried lavender before.
It appeared to repel ticks, but had a down side.
I'm a bird hunter, and the dogs couldn't scent the birds. It made me wonder if it would also limit their ability to avoid snakes by smell.
So I never used it again.
 

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i used an ultrasonic repellent (attached to the collar) and geranium oil for Bende. both work great up until the minute he starts jumping into lakes and creeks... then they become useless. so for our type of lifestyle (getting a swim daily) the oral version of preventive works more reliably.
the geranium oil i still spray on myself when we go hiking, seems to work on me and i don`t jump into lakes and creeks during our walks:))
 

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sorry, i was not trying to treat this serious subject on a funny way. i am concerned about chemicals too. Where we live (Houston, TX) ticks and mosquitos are an all year round issue and we go pretty much on daily off leash hiking to an area where there is wildlife too. So while i absolutely hate the chemicals, had to make a choice to use them. Trust me, my heart bleeds every month when i give them the preventives. I separate the heart worm and flea/tick ones, and have 2 weeks in between them. i also separate the different types of vaccinations and leave at least 10 days in between, luckily my vet is very understanding. Other than preventives and vaccinations i try to keep my vizslas as much chemicals free as possible: clean with vinegar and lemon, have a company treating our yard which uses mint and other herbs, no chemicals, wash dog stuff with vinegar, disinfect wounds with silver colloidal, don`t use makeup as they lick that off, or if i have to, i wash my face before the boys get to me etc.
I fully understand your concern and it is an all in subject, not just the preventives in my view, as chemicals add up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Gabica, You made me laugh out loud! No need for apologies. When you wrote about not jumping into creeks it reminded me of the day I went in the lake, fully clothed, to help level off Ernie who was trying to swim but was vertical and going nowhere fast. My brother brought a Vizsla into our family when I was a kid, and I have wanted one ever since. Thirty years passed before life and work schedules allowed for the time to devote to that special breed. I spent a year reading and stalking this forum to prepare before we chose a breeder. It was a long time coming, but Ernie has been so worth the wait. He is sweet and smart and a real wigglebutt. We love him so. After I read the FDA adverse drug effect report I was sickened by what I had exposed him to. I was really mad at myself for not researching it and just going along with giving it to him. You sure so right about minimizing chemical exposure when possible. We don’t swim daily and likely won’t until next year, so Geranium oil may be a good choice. Do you dilute it with water and spray it on your dogs?
Back in the 70’s Buddy ate whatever we did plus grocery store dog food. He was lean and strong and healthy. He went to the vet for vaccines and check ups and wore a flea collar in the summer. I don’t remember monthly preventatives.My Mom kids with us when we give Ernie supplements or remind her not to sneak him a grape and that Buddy ate everything and lived over 15 years. Something to ponder.
 

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Erniesmom,

thank u for the feedback. seems like u and i went similar path, childhood attachment to the breed.
I was trying to find where we ordered the geranium oil spray we have, but of course no luck. will take a picture tomorrow for u. it is ready to use as such, no need to dilute. smells neutral to nice to me, i keep it in our garage, as that is where i leave from to our off leash hikes.

btw we just had a fire ant bite incident with the boys this afternoon (post rainy weather in Houston). i treated them immediately with silver colloidal and later on they jumped into the pool which has a salt filter, helping skin remedy further. blisters already going down and none of them itching, i expect all of this will disappear latest by Sunday. if i still see blisters tomorrow afternoon, they will get an epsom salt bath. ants got a nice 30% vinegar shower, they are gone.

kind regards G
 

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i wanted to provide an update on this topic. i decided to stop using Nexgard and go back to more natural methods, luckily these days there are natural oil infused collars available too.
Several weeks ago very shortly after giving the monthly dose, Miksa started getting into and excessive drinking and urination spiral, waking up in the middle of the night (he has not done anything like that since 11 weeks old..), going out for long (like 2 minutes without ever putting down his leg) pees, behaving very excited afterwards, in the middle of the night and then crashing from tiredness. It was always followed by flaky skin too. Bende some flaky skin as well. No other symptoms, but i still took Miksa to the vet, urine and blood analysis, everything came back perfect, no sign of infection or kidney issues, except the gravity of his urine was very low, due to the excessive drinking kind of washing out his system, so vet had no answer what could be the cause.
It took me some time to put together, that even in the past, if i have seem any abnormality, it was after administering Nexgard. We are in week 3 now, the toxin level in their bodies much lower, and i see less and less symptoms. So hopefully weaning them and going back to the natural method will work.
Obviously i will need to be much more vigilant, as tick season is starting it`s peak here....
 

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I've been giving Nexgard, but now you've all got me thinking - especially since he's been chronically itching and I've had trouble nailing down what is causing it.

Does anyone have experience with using Revolution? It says it's for fleas, ticks, heartworm and is topical.
 
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