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The Truth About Heartworm Medication 
Holistic Alternatives To Protect Your Pet This Season

Heartworm Is Not A Canine Epidemic? 

Heartworm "prevention" is a major health decision for pet parents and a multi-billion dollar Big Business for drug companies, veterinarians, testing laboratories and on-line sellers of medication.

When health intersects money, there's a lot of room for conflict of interest. Only by understanding the business aspects and the truth about heartworm transmission can you make an informed decision about if, how and when to protect your dog with commercial products.

While everyone agrees that heartworm infestations can be life-threatening, infestation is far from inevitable nor is it the immutable death sentence advertisers would have you believe. Otherwise all wild carnivores would die.

Many holistic veterinarians have major concerns about the long-term safety of heartworm  medications. Well-known vet, author and columnist Martin Goldstein wrote in his wonderful book  The Nature of Animal Healing that he sees heartworms as less epidemic than the "disease-causing toxicity" of heartworm medicine.

Dr. Jeff Levy, vet and homeopath, concluded "that it was not the heartworms that caused disease, but the other factors that damaged the dogs' health to the point that they could no longer compensate for an otherwise tolerable parasite load." Those factors include, "... being vaccinated yearly, eating commercial dog food, and getting suppressive drug treatment for other symptoms...."

Heartworm medications do not, by the way, prevent heartworms. They are poisons that  kill heartworm larvae (called microfilariae) contracted during the previous 30-45 days (and maybe longer due to what is call the  Reach Back Effect).

Having heartworms is a misconceived  disease, advertised as a death trap for irresponsible  pet parents, that many people fall into. As pet parents you are constantly told of the terrible implications of heartworm, you are stuck in the progression of wanting to protect your pet from chemical toxins and also a terrible disease? Its like the Keanu Reeves scene from the matrix all over again, blue or red pill? Why wouldn't  you administer medication to your dog, when this horrible disease is so rampant today?

 Well the good news is that heartworm disease is not rampant, it is the same as it has always been. What is different is how the pharmaceutical companies push veterinarians  to sell their product. There are also so many other natural alternatives!  

The basis of protecting your dog from heartworm is not feeding them carcinogenic  neurotoxins that have the ability to cause seizures, depression, epilepsy, auto immune disease etc. The true way to manage heartworms is by building your pets immune system.

 Having heartworms is made to seem as an inevitable disease but it is quite the opposite, all diseases prey on the weak. The most important thing you can do is help your pet thrive! Feeding a species appropriate diet, not over vaccinating or vaccinating at all and supporting your dogs immune system is the perfect balance for creating a heartworm free pet. No need to choose your lesser evil! 

The Fear Tactic

Okay lets talk about the fear jar. Most veterinarians have a "fear bottle" in their office which shows a canine heart riddled with spaghetti-like  heartworms . Nothing generates cash like a  heartworm  fear bottle. A veterinarian will often place one prominently in his or her office as a kind of cash-generating machine since one look will sell a  heartworm  test and a year's worth of  "heartworm preventative" , no questions asked. 

So where do these fear bottles come from? I've done a bit of research and it appears  pharmaceutical sales representatives were passing these jars out like candy. Most of these wormy hearts in jars come from stray animals killed in Mexico, and the heart specimens themselves (often decades old) were given out by pharmaceutical company representatives when they first began selling Heartgard back in 1986. 

One thing for sure: today, you can go to any traditional veterinarian  and find a wormy heart in a jar even though the local veterinarian has never even seen a dog with this severe of a case in the last 20 years.

Pharmaceutical  companies had to find a way to convince people this drug was the newest health trend, they scared people into believing it was absolutely   necessary  for a healthy dog. Through the past decade the holistic pet community has been avid about uncovering the truth behind not only pet food but medications that are given to our dogs monthly with no questions asked! The truth is that these so called " preventative" medications are not the golden ticket to your dogs optimal health, so lets talk about what is! 

What makes Heartworm Medication Toxic?

The word "preventive" is a misnomer.  None of these drugs actually "prevent" heartworms. Instead, they work by killing heartworm larvae that may already be in your dog's body. 

 So they are really treatment drugs, not preventive drugs.  And they treat a condition your dog may not even have!

Heartworm drugs are pesticides that work by paralyzing the worm's nervous system.  What might it be doing to your dog's nervous system? I can tell you nothing good at all...

When you see the reports from the FDA's website, you'll see that many of the side effects reported are conditions that involve the nervous system.

Does this sound like something that's safe for your dog to take?

And all these drugs also treat other parasites like various types of intestinal worms ... whether your dog has worms or not.

Again, why would you treat your dog for something he doesn't have?

Common Side Effects Of Heartworm Medication:
  • Immune: anaphylaxis and/or anaphylactoid reactions, urticaria, head/facial edema, pruritus, pale mucous membranes, collapse, cardiovascular shock, erythema, immune-mediated hemolytic anemia, immune-mediated thrombocytopenia (signs re ected in other system categories could be related to allergic reactions, i.e., gastrointestinal, dermatologic, and hematologic)
  • Gastrointestinal: vomiting (with or without blood), diarrhea with or without blood, hypersalivation
  • General: depression, lethargy, anorexia, fever, weight loss, weakness
  • Dermatological: injection site pruritus/swelling, erythema multiforme
  • Neurological: seizures, ataxia, trembling, hind limb paresis
  • Hematological: leukocytosis, anemia, thrombocytopenia
  • Respiratory: dyspnea, tachypnea, coughing
  • Hepatic: elevated liver enzymes, hypoproteinemia, hyperbilirubinemia, hepatopathy
  • Urinary: elevated BUN, elevated creatinine, hematuria, polydipsia, polyuria
    Cardiopulmonary signs such as coughing and dyspnea may occur in heartworm positive dogs treated with heartworm. 

How to Build Your Dogs Immune System

Dr. William Falconer wrote a fantastic e-book called " Vital Animals Don't Get Heartworms".

 In his e-book he discusses the truth about heartworm medication. His talks about the truth of how wild wolves and wild carnivores are not succumbing to heartworm disease.

 Although our dogs are so closely related to wolves there are some minor differences, that being their exposure to toxins. Dr. Falconer states five main exposures " nutrition, vaccination, toxin exposure, disease outcomes, lifestyle". 

Attending to these areas appropriately will allow your dogs immune system to be fully equipped to deal with any kind of parasite like heartworm. 


Feeding your dog a raw species appropriate diet is so incredibly vital to your dogs health, staying away from processed foods like kibble will help keep your dogs immune system in top shape, feeding the body all of the incredibly important nutrients it needs to thrive. Essentially, a healthy immune response depends on a healthy diet!


Limiting our dogs exposure to vaccinations or refraining from them altogether is essential in maintaining a solid equilibrium of health. Over vaccinating or annually vaccinating decreases your dogs natural ability to fight disease. Over vaccinating causes a myriad of imbalances in the body due to the heavy amount of toxins added into vaccines. So what do you do in place of that? The answer is simple, immune supporting supplements! Those include products like medicinal mushrooms, Peak immune by Glacier Peak Holistic or Transfer Factor by 4life, all of which we can assist you with.


Everyday you and your pet are exposed to an array of different toxins like household cleaners, lawn chemicals, conventional flea & tick control, non purified water, chlorine in pools etc. Limiting their exposure by being  more conscious with the produ cts you're bringing into your home, will have a tremendous impact on their health. Using all natural household cleaners, switching to natural yard care, giving your pet only filtered water etc. will be a huge step in helping maintain the health of your dog. 

Natural Heartworm Alternatives

  HWF (Heartworm Free):    

HWF is a natural blend of herbs that may help normal heart function. HWF is designed to help detox contaminates left by environmental stressors.

Hawthorn Berries are an active ingredient in HWF. It's recorded as been used to treat heart disease as far back as the 1st century. Studies report hawthorn contains antioxidants, including oligomeric procyandins and quercetin. 

At Bark Avenue we recommend giving HWF during the warm months to help detox the cardiovascular system of any invaders. This product is perfect for people who like to have extra support, without the toxins! 
Transfer Factor:

The 4Life Transfer Factor canine or feline is a scientifically manufactured formula from natural products that combines a comprehensive and balance of nutrition including valuable vitamins and minerals. The 4Life transfer factor canine and feline has over forty valuable nutrients including probiotics, essential fatty acids and amino acids. The transfer factors i.e. the immune system messenger that facilitates the transfer of sensitive immune information are strengthened with ingredients such as Cordyvant andThymuPro to create a superior immune strength. 

The 4Life transfer factor canine is a unique product that has smart molecules that help the body to remember past health threats. They also have a unique extraction process that transfers factors from egg sources and colostrum. These valuable ingredients guarantee the optimal health of your dog and they come in a great tasting flavor that your dog or cat will love.

A lot of our users have found 4Life Transfer Factor canine product to be highly beneficial for their dogs. This product works for all types of dogs or cats, even those that seem uninterested by helping them to regain their fiestiness. 

Many users have reported a change in their dog a few days after using this product. Your dog will immediately feel better and look good. If you note that your dog has gained a few extra pounds leading to loss in playfulness, use our product. The 4Life transfer factor canine and feline formulas works like a charm. Start this great product now and you will never regret.

So What Is The Next Step? 

Come to Bark Avenue! There are an abundance of ways to prevent disease in our animals. There is no need for harsh and toxic medications!

Here at Bark Avenue we truly believe that food acts as medicine. If used properly, it can heal the body and provide the upmost source of health and vitality. We carry many different super foods and supplements. We are always excited to talk with our customers about nutrition and health. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to come talk to us! 

Thank you so much for being a customer here at Bark Avenue!
 We are very grateful to be a part of your furry companions health journey. 

With Love,
Kiana & The Bark Avenue Team

Source: Dogs Naturally Magazine, 4Life, " vital Animals Don't Get Heartworms", Amber Technologies

            What's New At Bark Avenue?          
Adored Beast

Love Bugs - Our new probiotic formula! Glacier Peak Holistics has discontinued their Pro-Bio Complete formula, but fear not! Love bugs is equally as fantastic and offers the same benefits.

       New and fun collars in!  From brands like Yellow dog, Cycle Dog and UpCountry!

New Toys!

So many cute new summer toys! Including brands like Planet Dog, Kong and West Paw!

Upcoming Event!

Attend this training to receive Buy One, Get One Free on Tucker's Raw Pet Food (limit 5 free bags)!!
Join us on Wednesday, May 15th from 5:00-6:00pm for a training given by Keith Parker, Key Account Sales Manager with Tucker's Raw Pet Food. Keith has been in the pet food industry for 9 years.
He will discuss the benefits of feeding a raw diet and what makes Tucker's innovative and unique, such as Zoological based nutrition, USDA facilities, making feeding raw more convenient and taking the Ick Factor out of it.
Space is limited. Call us today to sign up 817-656-2275!

May Promotions!

Rawz Kibble
  • $4 Off Small Bag
  • $6 Off Medium Bag
  • $8 Off Large Bag 
  • $4 Off Small Cat
  • $6 Off Large Cat
Bones & Co. Frozen Raw
  • 10% Off

Stella & Chewy Freeze-Dried
  • 20% Off 14 oz. Only

Earth Animal No Hides
  • 15% Off Chews

Small Batch NEW Lightly Cooked Sous-Vide
  • 15% Off All Proteins

Diggin Your Dog Treats
  • 20% Off

  • $5 Off Cat Litter
  • Dog Cans 20% Off
Doggy Dawgs Sausages
  • Buy 2, Get 1 Free
  • 20% Off Feline 14oz 
  • Free Bone Broth With A Purchase Of Large Bag Of Fromm Kibble
Harbor Hound Bone Broth
  • Free Bone Broth With The Purchase Of Any Large Bag Of kibble (excluding Fromm)
Dr Will Falconer has written the e-book, "Vital Animals Don't Get Heartworms".  
It truly is a life-changing way to look at heartworm prevention.  Click on the following link to get your copy today: 

Tammy & John | Bark Avenue Market & Bakery | 817-656-2275 | [email protected] |