I know many vets differ in their practices so I am not going to generalise, but let me tell you my experience. I also have to say that my vet personally has been excellent when ever I have taken Luna! But the practice itself is a business and they really do try to get every penny possible out of you.
From day one I walked into the Vets with a beautiful 8 weeks old Vizsla puppy, Luna.
After she received her first vaccination I was then handed a chemical wormer spot treatment (Advocate). The vet nurse asked me if I have applied it before, I said no, and he showed me how.
She then told me that I NEEDED to apply this treatment once a month to prevent a handful of nasty worms (showing me a bunch of photos on the wall of various parasites and dogs dying). I could only assume that this was the right way. In fact, the way it was worded sounded like it was the only way. They then gave me a payment plan form to fill in which included a 12 months supply of the chemical wormer.
After the appointment we went home and Luna was slightly lethargic and had runny stools. I just put it down to the vaccinations. The following month after the spot treatment was applied again she had the same symptoms. This went on every month. But I had just seen it as a slight side effect from something which was an absolute necessity to help keep my dog healthy.
When I switched to raw feeding I started to educate myself on the natural approach to most things. I kept saying to myself ‘This is something I am definitely going to do it like this, someday’ but I kept using the chemicals the vet was giving me because I has signed up to a years supply from day one.
It wasn’t until 6 month in that she started to get some more serious side effects. We found out that when ever we applied the spot treatment that if she came in contact with nettles or another potential allergen which she would usually be fine with she came out in terrible hives from her head to tail!
She always runs through nettles and often retrieves the ball with her face completely submerged in the nettle bushes and never had a single problem. But the day or so after her worming treatment she would be in serious discomfort and her body filled with itchy lumps. Apparently this happens due to the chemicals compromising their immune system and making them more sensitive to allergens. These powerful worming drug products kill everything in your dogs body including all the good bacteria which are there to keep your dog healthy. This was the wake up call I needed to put the theory into practice, ditch the nasty chemicals and begin our natural approach to worming.
Here is what I found out
Spot-On Pesticides and chemical wormers trigger adverse reactions in dogs and cats, shorten life spans, cause terminal illness, and premature death. . The active ingredients in these solutions include chemicals such as imidacloprid, fipronil, permethrin, methoprene, and pyriproxyfen, all of which have caused serious health problems in animals in laboratories. Even some of the inert ingredients can be hazardous to your animal companion’s health. Other forms of flea control powders, collars, and sprays are no less dangerous to you or your companion animals. Labels may warn not to get these substances on your skin, to wash your hands after applying it, and to keep it away from children, yet these chemicals are absorbed by your animal’s skin. Immediate effects of pesticide overdose include vomiting, diarrhea, trembling, seizures, and respiratory problems. If your dog or cat shows any of these symptoms after the application of a pesticide, immediately wash the product off and seek veterinary care.
So what do I do to help prevent parasites?
First of all let me point out that parasites and worms do generally not like the guts of truly healthy dogs. Feeding a raw diet creates a health digestion track and a low PH level which help keep them parasite free. In Kibble fed dogs there is usually a great deal of ‘food’ still in their gut and with a PH average of 6 making them a perfect host for a group of nasties. .
I feed my dogs a clove or two of garlic every other day. Garlic is a natural flee and worm repellent. It helps keep the immune system strong and good bacteria happy. If you missed my article on Garlic you can find it here GARLIC
Diatomaceous Earth is an eco-friendly, naturally organic material that is an EU approved feed additive (Silicon Dioxide) E551C and has been used for over 25 years for controlling both internal and external parasites. Parasites do not build immunity to DE as they do with traditional chemical wormers.
DE is made from unicellular algae-like fossilized water plants called diatoms, these have been around since prehistoric times and are mined and finely ground. Besides containing approximately 3% magnesium, 33% silicon, 19% calcium and 2% iron it also contains approximately 15 trace minerals essential to our well-being. DE is particularly beneficial for growing youngsters.
There are numerous benefits from taking DE on a daily basis. It can be taken daily by humans, dogs, cats, poultry and farm animals for eliminating worms and as a general supplement.
Other benefits include:
DE is a natural detoxifier and as it goes through the system it attracts and absorbs: bacteria, fungi, protozoa, viruses, endotoxins, pesticides, drug residues, E-Coli and heavy metals.
It can be used externally to:
As DE mixes with water there is never a build up in the system, consequently, to get the maximum benefit it should be taken daily.
Recommended Daily Dosages:
Small dogs and puppies - 1 tsp
Medium dogs (20 kg) - 2 tsp
Large dogs (45 kg) - 1 tbsp
Very large dogs (50+ kg) - 2 tbsp
Giant breeds and humans - 2+ tbsp
There are lots of other natural ingredients and products which help to keep your dogs parasite free naturally. We stock lots at Pure and Raw.
Feeding Fur or Feather. Simple treats like Fury Rabbit Ears are excellent. What the fur does is it cleans the dogs GI Tract out, helps keep the gut healthy and remove any parasites. We sell Fury Rabbit Ears for 50p each and Fury Venison Ears for £1.89 each.
Pumpkin Seeds. Pumpkin seeds are an extremely effective deworming agent because they contain an amino acid called cucurbitacin. This paralyzes the worms making them easily eliminated from the intestine. They can be fed whole as a treat or you can grind them into a fine powder and add into your dogs food.
Apple Cider Vinegar. This has so many heath benefits for your dog including boosting their immune system, cleaning cuts, it has antibacterial and antifungal properties and of course, helps to prevent worms, flees and ticks. You can splash the vinegar onto their food or into their water bowl. If you live in a high tick area spraying onto the dog will prevent picking up those nasty things.
Verm-X. Verm-X is a natural parasite prevention which is full of active herbal ingredients all of which help to prevent parasites. It contains: Cinnamon, Garlic, Thyme, Peppermint, Fennel, Cleavers, Nettles, Slippery Elm, Quassia, Elecampane.
Worm counting is a process we do regularly which gives you peace of mind that your dog is parasite free.
Worm counting is where you take a sample of your dogs stool and send it off to the lab to be analysed and checked for traces of worms or eggs.
It is advised to do a worm count every 3 months for puppies and active working dogs and every 6 months for normal healthy adult dogs. Make sure you test for the Lung Worm too as this one is particularly nasty!
You can pick up your Worm Count Testing Kits from our shop or online here www.prettypointer.com/product/worm-counting-kits/
We have been following this natural regime now for over 7 years and all our test results come back completely clear of all worms and parasites!