I am not a veterinarian or a nutritionist. This is a personal blog where I explore dog nutrition and raw feeding. If you have a health question or concern, please contact your veterinarian.
Yesterday, a Facebook friend tagged me in a post that contains a natural heartworm cure, and I was intrigued. We have three ponds on our property, which means we have a lot of mosquitos.
Although heartworm isn't currently a concern in Washington state, I'm not prepared to believe that we're completely out of the water. I won't subject my dogs to harsh preventatives, however, I would like to know of anything I can do to protect them from heartworm, should it arrive in our state, or cure them without using harsh chemicals and poisons.
Symptoms of Heartworm in Dogs
In the beginning, many dogs don't show any symptoms; however, they test positive for heartworm.
- A cough
- Low stamina (shorter walks and play sessions)
In Later Stages
- Heart murmur (heard with a stethoscope)
- Weak pulse in hind legs
Guinness Beer Heartworm Treatment
Let's start with the guidelines of the treatment. Keep in mind that I'm not a veterinarian and I'm sharing information available online. I haven't tested this treatment on my dogs.
- You must buy Guinness Black Draught, a beer from Dublin; there's something about the hops grown there that sterilize the heartworm, preventing them from reproducing. And Dublin water that makes the treatment work.
- You can allow the beer to sit and go flat to avoid gas and bloating in your dog.
- Give your dog 2 tablespoons of beer per 25 pounds of body weight; this can be mixed into their food, or they can drink it directly.
- As a preventative, give your dog the beer once, then again in two weeks, then monthly after that.
- As a treatment, give your dog the beer every two weeks for three months.
Keep in mind that the beer doesn't go bad, so if you don't use it all in one treatment, you can keep it on hand to use in the future.
Read More About the Guinness Beer Treatment:
- Does Guinness Beer Kill Heartworms? – Life with Dogs
Does the Guinness Beer Heartworm Treatment Work?
Of course, there aren't any studies to confirm that this treatment works. The conspiracy theorist in me says “there aren't any studies because Big Pharma isn't about to take a hit to their bottom line by offering a natural alternative to a deadly disease.”
If you do an online search for “Guinness Beer and Heartworm” you'll find many ‘anecdotes' from people who claim that the treatment worked (or is working) for their dog or they know someone who swears by the treatment. Either there are a lot of lucky dogs out there enjoying a beer or there is something to this treatment.
An Argument for Giving Guinness a Try
The poison in the current heartworm treatments kills the worms and can be fatal to dogs. It's a very harsh treatment for the dogs, and many of us believe that it's the only alternative available.
And with so many people reporting that FrontLine isn't as effective as it once was, it's not hard to believe that heartworm preventative medications will soon fall short (if they haven't already), failing to protect dogs.
The Guinness beer treatment, if it works (and I believe it does), is more natural and has lower risk and side effects.
An Argument Against Giving Guinness a Try
Alcohol can be toxic to dogs. Hops can be toxic (although in my reading, it's the plant that's toxic). If someone is foolish enough to double the dosage under the believe that more is better, than they risk a negative reaction in their dog.
In my reading, people share that the dosage isn't enough to be toxic, however, with no studies or veterinarian recommendations, I'm not sure if it's safe to take the risk.
A Natural Heartworm Treatment that Works
If you're not ready to start feeding your dog beer, there is another heartworm treatment that is working. Dr. William Falconer created a course for Dogs Naturally Magazine that shares the protocol he uses with his patients that has protected them against heartworm. His theory is that if we work to strengthen our dogs' immune system, their body will naturally block heartworm.
I'm currently taking the course now, and I encourage you to check it out too: Vital Animals Don't Get Heartworm
I also discovered a Heartworm Guide over on Dogs Naturally Magazine; that's next on my reading list.