Fleas, comfortis, and Heartworm Preventative...

posted Mar 14, 2011, 1:40 PM by James Cass
Here is an email discussion I had with someone that may have some useful information for someone...

This discussion started out by someone claiming that comfortis is all-natural, so that must mean it's safe...

My reply...

First of all, comfortis is NOT natural. Yes, it is derived from naturally
occurring bacterium, but it doesn't happen that way naturally. However,
with that being said, it is considered the most mild
of pharmaceutical flea/tick treatments available.

Second, you're right, a raw diet does not prevent fleas, nor does the
garlic. What prevents them is a very healthy immune system, which is
typically supported by a healthy raw diet. Anything that compromises
health, adds to the susceptibility of parasites...heartworms included.

A healthy animal can naturally prevent parasites, at least in part, from
becoming an infestation. Many times, a healthy animal is just not appealing
to the parasite.

Topical flea treatments, heartworm preventatives, and commercial food (with
it's correlation to poor oral health) all add to a compromised immune
system, which makes for a tasty target to parasites.

Once an animal is on the road to better health through diet, lack of
poisins/toxins, exercise, and positive mental health (through training,
play, and happy environment), then it wont need anything it doesnt naturally
get in the wild. So flea/tick treatments, heartworm preventatives, and
vaccines all qualify. A healthy dog or cat will not succumb to flea, tick,
or heartworm infestation. The problem is, many people, including many vets,
wrongly classify their animals as healthy. For example, my neighbor and I
have a shared gate in our backyard, so our dogs can roam between both yards.
My dogs and cat(raw diet, very healthy) do not need flea treatment and dont
get fleas, except for the occasional one or two. At the same time, their
dog and cat (crap-tastic food, who has tried every flea preventative known)
is constantly fighting infestation.

It's not the area or environment, it's not the individual breed and it isnt
anything in particular that one eats or is supplemented with, it's overall
immune system health. That's one thing that takes a long time to build, and
can be compromised very easily with pharmaceuticals, toxins and drugs.

If anyone wants more information, I'd love to share it with you in detail

James Cass
V.N.D. Candidate
Kingdom College School of Natural Animal Health

Her reply:

Thank you for the Comfortis info!!  I have asked the vet techs about it and all I could get out of them was how safe it was, what a great product it was, etc.  Then the bad news that my dog couldn't take it because he has seizures occasionally.  What is that all about?  My sister in law gave comfortis to her dog and it did not work. (?)

My dogs and cats have had flea medicine only occasionally over the last 20 years.  Every few years some fleas infest and I have no choice.  It does seem that fleas are becoming tolerant of the "spot on" flea treatments too.  The dogs are fed raw only for the last 3 years.  I wish I could figure out what the magic is that keeps their immune systems healthy and fleas away.  

Even though I give them the best of everything (that I can) last spring the fleas invaded.  After two months of cleaning and bathing and washing everything in sight did I resort to the chemicals.  Everone has been fine all summer and now that the colder weather is here life should be good again here in Central Florida.

All info that can help keep my pets healthy is welcome!

My reply...

Vets and Techs never give the whole picture, and that is frustrating.  It's always about the positive benefits of something, never the risks.  I'm not saying there isnt a place for drugs and pharmaceuticals, but I am saying they should be talked about truthfully, so owners can truly make educated decisions.

Nothing works for all dogs and cats.  And sometimes, fleas get bad due to weather and outside influences, but there are natural ways to combat them, even though it seems they dont work as well as pesticides.  The advantage there, is that the fleas dont build resistance, and the environment gets more balanced over time.   Things like cedar sprays, DE, and beneficial nematodes do work, but you have to apply often, and it's frustrating during the current year's battle, but the following years, the results are really observed.

For me, when I first started feeding raw, I stopped the vaccines and topicals, but my dogs still had fleas, for over a year. During this time, they still received heartworm prevention.  Several months after stopping the heartgard, is when I noticed the flea problem getting lighter.  Of course, the entire time I was battling the yard and house with the methods I described above, so I'm sure those had some effect, but I do believe the heartgard is a major factor.  When considering how ivermectin works, it makes complete sense.  It is probably one of the biggest contributors to poor immune system health, besides booster vaccines, that one can give to your dogs and cats.  It acts like a low-dose poison, much like arsenic, to kill (not prevent) heartworm microfilaria circulating in the blood.  This constant barrage of poison to the system keeps them sick enough to be an easy target to parasites, but still appear healthy.

A healthy dog will not succumb to heartworm infestation.  They may get a very small amount of heartworms, that will go unnoticed by the animal, with no negative effects (much like having a few fleas onboard).  Soon, the dog's own immune system learns how to naturally kill the microfilaria, so no new heartworms take up residence.  In about 1 to 2 years, those few heartworms that did get through, will die, and no more should take hold.  In the learning phase (of your dog's immune system) you can use heartworm nosodes, a homeopathic defense against heartworms.  By fighting heartworms naturally, and getting off the ivermectin, you will boost their immune system substantially.  Hopefully that is some of the magic you are searching for, even if it doesnt sound that appealing.  Knowledge is the key, it just isnt always a pretty key.