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Categories: Health

Q. My vet says I should still give the dog heartworm meds by mouth and use the flea control oil. Is this harmful and should I be doing this?
Hi Cindy:

Thanks so much for all your wonderful work. I have taken to heart your advice about over vaccination after losing my beloved dog 2 years ago. I had to put her in a kennel (big mistake) for almost two weeks as we were leaving the country and had no one to watch her. At the time I was ignorant of all this and followed their rules about kennel cough, bordatella, parvo, etc. They required that all these be given before they would board her. Within a week after we brought her home she fell ill and never recovered - pancreatitis, and ultimately kidney failure. After many trips to the vet and lots of money spent, we finally had to put her to sleep. I am so thankful I stumbled upon your website. I tell all my friends with pets about it.

Long story short, I have another dog almost a year old now and have not given her any vaccinations other than what the breeder gave her. I have a very understanding vet with regard to all this as well as feeding a raw diet. However, she says I should give the dog heartworm meds by mouth and use the flea control oil that is applied to the skin at the nape of the neck. Is this harmful and should I be doing this? Also our state mandates a rabies vaccine. I don't want to break any laws, so what happens if I don't decide to get this? What are the chances of the dog actually getting rabies if I don't vaccinate?

Thanks again.


A. Depending on where you live I would probably recommend the heartworm meds but I don't like to use that flea medication. It goes against everything I believe in to put poison on my dog and let it absorb through the skin. We don't use any of those topicals and we have never had any fleas on our dogs.

I would direct you to the search function in the upper left corner of the website for any additional questions you may have.. If you type in your key words it will guide you to articles, Q & A's and posts on our forum. There is a ton of info about fleas, ticks and heartworm meds on our website.

We just got a new DVD in yesterday, called In Search of the Truth About Dogs, it's a video you may want to recommend to your friends with dogs. You can read the write up on the webpage.

The only way for a dog to actually get rabies is for a rabid animal to bite them. So, depending on where you live, your dog needs to be out of your control (off leash or loose) and needs to come into contact with a rabid animal AND they need to be bitten. For many dogs the odds of this happening is almost nil. You have to weigh the benefits and risks for your own situation.

As for the legal aspect, I can't comment on that. The laws vary from state to state.

I hope this helps.

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