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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Dogs and ticks!

It seems like the ticks are everywhere this year. When we were at the agility trial this past weekend, we heard people talking about how they found 1, 2 and 3 ticks on their dogs from walking them around the building where the competition was held.

Gracie and I have been lucky. Mum has never found a tick on us, but we are vigilant about checking our fur for ticks anytime we are anywhere out of our yard, or in a tall grass or wooded area.

Since we've never had a tick, we did some research and wanted to share it with you.

Here's some great info from DogsandTicks.com:
A tick-free dog is a healthy dog.

Each year, thousands of dogs contract Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and other vector-borne diseases. With their furry coats, proximity to the ground and love of exploration, dogs are 50 to 100 times more likely than humans to come in contact with disease-carrying ticks.

Ticks can be present anywhere—from the deep woods to urban parks. Their Web site is filled with tips to educate you about Lyme disease and anaplasmosis, as well as other diseases carried by ticks and mosquitoes. You’ll find pictures of ticks, information on how to protect your dog from ticks and how to recognize symptoms of tick disease in dogs. With tick education and awareness, you can help keep your best friend happy and healthy.

Learn more about the different kinds of ticks, what they look like, in what parts of the country you find them, and what diseases they carry.

Learn how to check your dog for ticks, and properly remove them; and how you can prevent them from sticking to your pup.

Keep this tick prevention cheat sheet handy and in your first aid kits (in your car and home).
DogsandTicks.com has a list of traditional tick preventatives on their site for you to review. Being the green pup that I am, I've also been looking into holistic alternatives in preventing ticks and tick born diseases.

Some of our Twitter friends have mentioned Diatomaceous Earth combined with a mix of essential oils - utilizing the D Earth around dog runs, in the yard and even suggested rubbing some in your pup. We use D Earth around our yard every year and we love it. But is can be very dusty and shouldn't be breathed in, so caution is recommended to protect your pups airway, if you decide to do this.

Our friends at Only Natural Pet Store have a couple of essential oil blends for ticks, including Neem Protect Spray, and their own brand, Only Natural Pet Herbal Defense Spray. They also have a new product, Anibio Tic Clip (which unfortunately at this date is on back order), that utilizes a bioenergetic field around your pet to create an energy barrier that repels insect pests for two years, through a tag for your pups collar. If you're interested in this product, check back with them for availability.

Dr. Pitcairn, who wrote the Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats recommends dusting your pups coat with an herbal repellent powder, preferably one with eucalyptus to ward off ticks. Dr. Shawn, the natural vet from Martha Stewart's Sirius Radio program, has a nice Q & A on prevention of ticks (and fleas) for pets.

I have heard repeatedly from my holistic vet that only some essential oils are safe for dogs, and many, many are not safe for cats. The reviews on the OnlyNaturalPet website show that these products work more for dogs, but have had some adverse reactions in cats. So, caution is recommended.

So, what do you use for your pup to prevent tick infestation? Do you use the traditional methods, or go the holistic route. What product(s) do you use, and what results have you seen? Let us know, so that we can have a nice resource of info here!

And remember, it's always good to check with your vet with any health matters relating to your pup!

8 comments:

  1. You're right to bring this up; ticks can lead to serious health issues.

    We had a thread discussion about natural worming alternatives on our community site www.doggysnaps.com so I've no doubt members there have good flea / tick tips as well. Of course it's always important to check with a vet before using any treatment.

    Great post. :)

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  2. Hi Johann--

    It's been a while and I wanted to check in with you. I've been working on my agility and am learning the signals and doing 4 jumps in sequence. Also, doing the 2o/2o whenever we come to a row of railroad ties. Ms. Alpha has me walk on them for balance and when I come to the end I have to "hold it".

    Most importantly, we just researched ticks, Lyme Disease and vaccines this am, so we were really excited to see that you covered this. Way to go, Johann. We need protection!

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  3. Thanks for the invaluable information on dog-tick prevention information and for sharing DogsandTicks.com website which sounds like a great resource to refer to.

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  4. with all the going about...i do get ticks occasionally...

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  5. Peter Troast (aka theodog on twitter)Thursday, May 22, 2008 10:15:00 AM

    Great post--thanks. My sister is living with Lyme, and is thus super acute to tick issues around her 3 jacks and one guatamalan rescue. She lives here in Maine where ticks are big. She's been doing some great, practical, real world testing of tick repellents. Here's a recent note from her that I thought was particularly informative:

    "for dogs i was spraying their halters (the more coverage the better, puppias are great) with naturpel (main ingredient citronella) and using rose geranium oil behind their ears and under their arms. that was cutting down a great deal on the amount of ticks they were bringing in. the down side is they hate it. their idea of a good scent is a lawn mowered frog with a good three day lead time. so they would run from their harnesses before walk time then spend 5 minutes trying to rub it off. Never put naturpel directly on the dog. and only use pure rose geranium oil. aura cacia has one. it is just under geranium oil though.

    i broke down and spent the big bucks on vectra. i got it from the homeopathic vet in augusta named judy herman. i have not pulled one engorged tick off of them since. i have seen some crawling which brings me to the best prevention- checking them. we lucked out with the short-white- fine hairs so they are easy to spot. twice a walk i stop and check by raking their fur forward with my fingers. and checking the hot spots behind the ears and under the arms and elbows. one note on vectra- the three jacks had night time accidents of the soft -runny stool variety for a week after putting it on them. this is a rarity and obviously something was up. i am pretty sure vectra was the culprit.
    for the humans - we are easier believe it or not. i have taken to spraying my high muck boots with a product called Repel Permanone. it is for clothing and gear. it repels and kills ticks and mosquitos. i know this because i tested it. i sprayed a q-tip with the repel and drew a circle on a piece of paper, let it dry, then placed the ticks 1 female and 2 male deer ticks (all adult) in the center. the female which has always been the first to cross went up to the circle, touched it with her feeler and recoiled. she then went into a head stand over on her back and died within 5 minutes. the boys followed suit. so now that leaves me with a problem as i have killed all my test subjects. this stuff is left on clothing and is good for up to 2 weeks with multiple washings. so i have my walking/hiking clothes. and when i return i throw everything in the dryer for 10 minutes on high and it will kill any ticks on the clothing plus they are sweaty any way.

    things i have tested and the time it took the ticks to cross the line. by the way the ticks aren't just sitting there they are walking around the inner circle the whole time.

    repel- never crossed- died
    naturpel- 1 hour
    rose geranium oil- 15 minutes female/ 1/2 hour male
    cutter woodsman- 1 minute
    off- deep woods- 3 minutes
    avon's bug guard plus picardin- 3 minutes
    avon's bug guard plus expedition- 1 minute (this by the way is labeled to repel ticks for 6 hours)"

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  6. What a useful post Johann.

    We have lots of ticks near us in the countryside in Spain as there are so many animals around.

    Mistress would like to use some natural products but at the moment I have frontline drops every couple of months (also protect against fleas and some other nasty). There are loads of fleas too because there are a lot of feral cats. Master checks me regularly for ticks and usually only finds the odd occasional tiny one (usually towards the end of the two months). Mistress screams when she finds them, although she does try to squash them when she has finished screaming.

    I will check out all your links. Thanks again for the post.

    Pippa

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  7. this is helpful info. i am going to bookmark this page. i have had my dog for a year. i used Vectra 3-D on him today but i don't want to use it again. it sounds really toxic to cats and i have one cat who buddies around with the dog. i don't want that cat to be exposed to the Vectra 3-D.
    i think i will try the old fashioned method of checking the dog each day for ticks.

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  8. Thanks for all the great information for preventing ticks to flourish.

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Thanks for barking in!

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