Our pets can suffer from all sorts of worms such as hookworms, tapeworms, roundworms, lungworms, pinworms and whipworms. Please note – ringworm is not a worm, it is a fungal infection.
Chemical wormers are poisons to kill parasites and that is what they do. Imagine what they do to your pet! And on top of it, worms get resistant to chemical wormers! Our pets get an overload of chemicals anyway, so I started looking for alternatives – and I found it!
Food grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE) – what is it?
Diatomaceous Earth has its name from the diatoms which are the fossilized remains of microscopic shells of one-celled plants (phytoplankton) that lived in the oceans and lakes which once covered the western parts of the US and other parts of the world.
There are 2 different kinds of DE – food grade DE and pool filter DE.
Only use the food grade DE, the pool filter DE will poison your pet due to the added chemicals!
Food grade DE is EPA approved and is quite often used as an anti-clogging agent in table salt, or mixed with grains to control mealworms.
How does it work?
Food grade DE has razor sharp edges and it is also extremely hygroscopic (attracts water), when the worms move in the intestines and rub against those edges, their skin gets scratched open and due to the hygroscopic effect of the DE they simply dry out and die. It is a mechanical process and therefore the worms cannot get resistant to it. There are no toxins in DE and it is absolutely safe to use! And no, it does not cut the intestines, it is more like an emery paper, giving the intestines a healthy clean which is beneficial for the immune system.
It is crucial to feed DE long enough to catch all newly hatching eggs, a minimum of 60 days is suggested, 90 days for lungworms. Once you start worming with DE, do not stop for at least 3 weeks. The dead/dying worms emit bacteria and toxins which can cause a toxic overload, which can make your pet even sicker.
You can also feed too little, be assured, you cannot feed too much.
Daily recommended food grade Diatomaceous Earth feeding rates:
Puppies: ½ - 1 teaspoon
Kittens: ½ teaspoon
Cats: 1 teaspoon
Dogs up to 15kg of body weight: 1 teaspoon
Dogs 15kg – 45kg: 1 tablespoon
Dogs over 45kg: 2 tablespoons
A few important guidelines:
- Make sure to only use a high quality product, it should be very fine and white, powdery like flour
- Do not inhale as the small particles can cause health issues when inhaled into the lungs. If suffering from asthma or some other lung ailment, wear a mask
- Do not get DE in the eyes. It is very hygroscopic and would dry the eyes. Be careful in windy conditions
Please note that food grade DE does not kill or prevent heartworms.
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