Diatomaceous Earth, (DE) wormcount.com & titre testing

Have recently started using DE as a natural wormer & flea preventative.

Plan is to cease using chemical spot on wormers & aim for more natural health management.

An increasing number of owners opting for this route in light of some having concerns re risks from chemicals etc. Basically it is a powder made from fossilised diatoms. It is added to diet as a natural worm & flea preventative & can also be put on dogs coats as a flea preventative. There are various claims it has other health benefits.

I am very aware of the risks of worms so have not made this decision lightly.

For those unfamiliar with using DE, typically stool samples can be sent off by owners to check for prescence of worms. I have been recommended to use wormcount.com

I also aim to titre test prior to any further vaccinations. A process whereby blood sampling done to ascertain antibodies rather than simply injecting vaccines regardless. I am hoping that vaccination will not be routinely required. I am told that the lepto vaccine only safeguards against a few strains of lepto.

Recent mast cell removal has caused me to look more carefully not only at diet but also at what is being put into our dogs (we switched to feeding raw complete a couple of months ago but I will post re that elsewhere).


A friend has just had the worm count done of all three of her dogs. They have not been treated for some time but there was nothing untoward in their stools. I just treat mine with Drontal when I think about it (which isn’t very often). They are not high risk as they don’t forage and eat nasty things. I also clean their feet when they come in from a walk in case they have picked anything up and subsequently lick them.

I took my three to the vets three weeks ago for their vaccination and intended to have them titre tested but the vet said they were only due leptospirosis. They were given one each and I take them back next week for the second (four weeks apart). We live adjacent to a farm and a huge field with a brook running through it. We are therefore a high risk area for rats so I feel that lepto is justified.

Regarding flea treatment, one of mine had a flea in the middle of last winter - the vet spotted it. I have not treated regularly for fleas for some time and this was the first infection in many, many years. Treating the dogs is not so difficult but I can’t be doing with fleas in the home - they can be extremely difficult to eradicate so now I treat with fipronil every eight weeks. I just don’t want to risk another infection, especially with having three dogs.

Thanks for replying.

Just to clarify I am not suggesting owners should opt out from worming & flea treatments…The DE I am using is in place of wormer/flea prevenative products.

I will absolutely not vaccinate now unless titre test indicates it is required.

Mark Elliott holistic vet not a million mikes from us & apparently does titre testing for sensible money. Generally local vets charge daft ammounts to do this…I suspect many owners look at cheapest least hassle options &/or are swayed by their local vets.

I moved on to a natural wormer a long time ago and use Verm-X and also use Wormcount.com. It will be interesting to hear how you get on with DE. I commend your stance on vaccinations.To me it is something that one has to think of with the greatest of care.Titre testing can be expensive at least to my mind. In 2004 I believe, and you may of seen this before 30 vets signed a letter to the Veterinary Times regarding vaccinations http://www.canine-health-concern.org.uk/politicshealth.html
Catherine O’Driscoll of Canine Health Concern has long campaigned over the dangers of vaccinations

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I believe that pet owners should be very careful when taking the ‘advice’ of convincing people who have no veterinary qualifications. Unvaccinated dogs are protected by herd immunity but that can easily be lost if people follow such advice and stop vaccinating their dogs; it will only be a matter of time before distemper, parvovirus etc is rampant again. We saw this in the human population back in the eighties when there was a scare about whooping cough vaccine. Parents were not taking it up and the incidence of this potentially serious disease soared.

By all means have your dog/s titre tested if you want to be sure of their immune status but for those who do not want (or cannot afford) to go down this route, then I would say that they should discuss the vaccination schedule with their veterinary surgeon. Do your homework on the subject but IMHO people should not be influenced by the organisation (and the person) referred to in the aforementioned post.

Pet owners need to remember that if their dog becomes ill with any of these potentially fatal diseases, it will not be these ‘experts’ who are responsible for saving the dog’s life - it will be the veterinary surgeon.

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Re cost : Titre test form me at local Homeopathic Vet is £48.36…(£33.60 if they were my primary vet)

The principal Homeopathic vet at the practice concerned shares views with other vets & is quoted on the CHC website. I have read views of other qualified vets who support Homeopathic & natural healthcare. I have sought views of breeders & a managing director of a food manufacturer who Titre tests & uses DE.

I don’t believe comments re non qualified recommendations were aimed at me , however, to clarify - I am not suggesting owners should simply opt out of vaccines. A decision to test is a significant one & should only be made if the individual owner has researched the subject properly, considering available info, speaking to primary care &/or Homeopathic Vet first, ( I confess that I pretty much told my primary vet of my decision albeit with me providing reasoning & my understanding vet accepting my intended choices).

I agree re aspects of comments re benefits of herd protection albeit I believe Lepto disease is rat carried (many strains allegedly not covered by lepto vaccines).

To add context…My motivation to use DE as worm/ flea alternative & to Titre test prior to any further jabs has been influenced by my dog having had 3 surgeries to remove cancer mast cell lumps in area to the back of his neck (close to jab & spot on application site)…Coincidence or not - who knows ?

I have a dog owner handbook with more stamps than my well historied car, detailing every vaccination & worm/flea treatment given. I am not suggesting vaccination or wormer products cause cancer mast cell tumors, but having supported him through no less than 3 surgeries in the last year I am leaning towards adopting a more natural approach.

Currently sat typing this with my dog next with a significant 5 inch cancer, (oncology specialist referred) , surgical recovery wound to his neck !

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I think that we have to acknowledge that vaccines work and do save lives. There is ample evidence and proof of this both in humans and animals. Canine and feline vaccination is effective and I would not wish people to be sufficiently alarmed by unproven allegations against them to stop treatment altogether. There is a risk in all areas of life; it is a case of balancing those and deciding on the best way forward. The overriding benefit of vaccination of our dogs and cats is proven. It is a case of getting the schedule right, not stopping them altogether.

It is worth bearing in mind that dogs can be given each vaccine separately. This is what I did with my youngest dog when she was a puppy. It took longer but that wasn’t a problem. If anyone is concerned about giving too many vaccs all at once, discuss this with the vet and maybe ask for separate doses.

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Dottie, Your comments acknowledged & noted with thanks.

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