It is a natural reaction of any dog owner when faced with the worrying reality of having to have their beloved pet treated for a heartworm infection, to wonder whether having their dog injected with the powerful drug, Immiticide, is really the right way to go and whether there is another alternative.
This may be one of the reasons why a treatment called HeartWorm Free (HWF) is getting a lot of publicity on the internet and we decided to research this product for ourselves. We have published our findings here, presenting the facts for you. We would welcome your comments and personal experiences, both positive and negative if you have used this treatment for your dog.
Ultimately, prevention is the best medicine. Sadly, many pet owners face the difficult decision to treat their pets for a heartworm infestation. To date, there have been only two drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The first drug approved by the FDA was Caparsolate Sodium. This drug is no longer manufactured or used in the United States. Immiticide is the second drug that has been approved by the FDA, and it has a proven record to be safe and effective.
While there is a trend to use natural herbal treatments to prevent heartworm infection, there is a strong trend to use natural remedies to treat a heartworm infestation. None of these treatments are FDA approved, nor are any of these treatments approved by the American Heartworm Society.
The manufacturer of HeartwormFree (HWF) claims it is effective for the following:
- Repel and prevent parasitic infection
- Improves blood flow and circulation
- Promotes healthy kidney function
- Controls coughing
- Supports heart function
- Cleanses the blood vessels of parasites
The following is the list of ingredients contained in HWF:
Garlic, Black Seed, Licorice, Hawthorn, Hops, Sorrel , Apricot Pits, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Flavorings, Alcohol,Distilled Water
Amber Tech, the company that sells HWF, references studies that show HWF effectively treats a heartworm infection within 16 to 36 weeks. The studies referenced by Amber Tech do not indicate whether they were performed by a licensed veterinarian or any other scientific expert. There is a link below to the document where you can view the study results for yourself. In our opinion, the number of dogs included in the study is too small – however, we leave you to draw your own conclusions.
In the United States, it is illegal for manufacturers of herbal remedies to make claims that their products cure or treat diseases unless the manufacturers have met stringent FDA guidelines. A common practice is to advertise and market herbal products as an effective and safe alternative treatment. The required disclaimer must be published on all web pages where such a product is advertised and this is what the disclaimer says:
“The Dietary Supplement Health & Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994 requires us to state: “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease“
If you are considering using HWF to treat your dog, we recommend you print the list of ingredients and visit your veterinarian for advice. Your veterinarian will appreciate your concerns regarding the use of Immiticide. While Immiticide does contain arsenic, it is the only drug that is licenced by the FDA and approved to kill and eradicate adult heartworms.
As a pet owner, you want to do what is best for your dog. Our advice would be that before you make the investment in HWF, please take the time to discuss it with your veterinarian.
Heartworm treatment with Immiticide is expensive – however, if you carefully check the requirements for the quantity of Heartworm Free you would need to purchase for the size of your dog for the recommended 36 weeks course, treatment with HWF. Our calculations show that it could potentially cost significantly more than the FDA approved Immiticide treatment.