:Susan wants a discussion on flea and tick control..

I am the wrong person to ask about the various flea and tick products. Rarely do I see either on my grooming clients. Tick season isn’t very long. Fleas usually don’t do well in Colorado’s dry climate. Add the altitude I’m at and…well, it’s just ‘bug friendly’. So, those of you in Minnesota, what do you do for flea and tick control? Or heartworms? Rick and Sharlee asked me about heartworm preventative, which they gave to their previous Apso, Jenny.

Here’s Susan’s post:

On Friday all four dogs went to the groomer.  I was pleased that Kathy
felt that both Sammy and Raji were no longer overweight.  She cautioned
me not to let Rinchen get any thinner, which surprised me a bit, because
he hasn’t actually been on any diet;  in retrospect, though, although I
give him more food than I give the other three, he has definitely gotten
less treats than he once did, so maybe he really has gotten thinner. 
Anyway, I’m giving him a few more bits of kibble with his evening meal
and slipping him a treat or two when no one else is watching.

That was the good news.  The bad news was that Raji had a tick over her
eye;  looked like it had been there for about a day.  Now, my dogs don’t
go anywhere except on my own property anymore, so I had been having them
on Advantage only.  Advantage kills fleas but not ticks.  Kathy seemed
to think that our tick season here was about to be over and that I could
chance sticking with Advantage for the next 6 months or so, then switch
to Advantix in November.  Sounded fine to me.  BUT Saturday morning I
went to remove a bit of debris on Rinchen’s face, and  — it was a
tick.  Yuckerooo!!!!!!  Anyway, I dashed off to the vet’s office and
spent $135.00 for two months worth of Advantix for the four dogs.

But the whole issue of fleas and ticks and seasons and toxicity still
has me tormented.  Kathy says we have seasons for both;  the vet says
they are both here year round; last year I almost lost all four dogs to
what was suspected to be a “bad” or “bootleg” dosage of Frontline.

So, what’s a girl to do?  Advantage, Advantix, Frontline, Revolution
have all been suggested and/or are used by folks I know.  What else can
you tell me?

 

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9 Comments on “:Susan wants a discussion on flea and tick control..”

  1. I would probably follow my vet and groomer’s recommendations as they are familiar with the conditions for your area. As with Debby, even those of us at the lower elevations (5000 ft) in Colorado don’t have to worry to much about fleas and ticks. One does need to watch out, however, if living closer to the plains with lots of rabbits and prairie dogs!

    Regarding the “bad or bootleg” Frontline, this is a very genuine risk when purchasing drugs from online sources. Best bet is to purchase only from your vet (who will often match the online pricing plus shipping when asked). An added benefit of purchasing from your vet: the drug manufacturer will many times reimburse or cover expenses associated with an adverse reaction. Not so with flea/tick products purchased on line …

    http://cats.about.com/cs/parasiticdisease/a/conterfeit_flea.htm

    http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_counterfeit_flea_products.html

  2. Susan says:

    Thanks for posting this, Debbie. I do want to hear from anyone and everyone on this topic. I should add that I use Heartgard religiously every month for Heartworm prevention.

    And, when Googling about to find some information on Revolution, I noticed that it (selamectin) is purported to take care of heartworm in addition to ticks and fleas.

    My vet prefers the Advantage products over the Frontline product because she/they say that the company is more responsive if there are any issues, and also that the products are less difficult to remove if there is an overdosing issue…

    That is probably the sum total of what I know about what to do. I may like my climate better when we get spring while you are still in winter, but I definitely like the idea that you don’t have a problem with teas and flicks…

    Susan

  3. Julie says:

    Susan,
    If you give heartgard to your dogs and a flea preventive, go with REVOLUTION- It also kills the ticks! 3in1, In the long run you will save yourself alot of money. I have used it and have not had any reactions from it. Since in Minnesota our flea/tick,misquito season is limited we only need to treat about 5 months out of the year. Personally, I don’t like heartgard, Interceptor is a much better heartworm preventive and also kills internal parasites.
    One thing to remember is, with any tick preventive, the dog still picks up the tick and they usually attach (you still need to pick those nasty creatures off) If you don’t have deer ticks,which carry lime disease, normal ticks are just gross and don’t really hurt the dog. When I’ve taken my weimaraners hunting, sometimes I have picked off up to 30 ticks at a time and I don’t treat them for ticks. So the real question is, do you need to put poison into your animal just because the tick is a ugly, gross insect?

  4. Susan says:

    Re the counterfeit products, I really learned my lesson last year, and will not buy Advantage except from my vet, although they will not lower their prices to match what I can get it online from. The amount of money I spent getting 3 dogs back from death’s door wiped out anything I might have saved, and terrified me.

    As to taking ticks and/or fleas off them, I would have no problem with doing that as long as I was confident that I would find them early. Seeing the one on Rinchen’s face upset me. I only found it because it was sooooo obvious. If it had been in his groin or his armpit, I wouldn’t have seen it. And then, all four of these dogs sleep with me, and — yup, I’m totally grossed out by the idea that there might be even one tick in my bed. I’d rather be able to manage these nasty realities without having to medicate them, but reality intrudes in this case.

    For now the program is Heartgard and Advantix monthly. I’ve got enough of both for at least another month, so I’ll keep my eye on this thread and do as much research as possible before deciding what to do after that.

    Thanks, and I’d still love to hear from more people about what THEY do.

    Susan

  5. MARYANNA NEASE says:

    I LIVE IN CHARLESTON, S.C., HOT AND HUMID, THUS FAR, I CANNOT BRING MYSELF TO USE CHEMICALS ON MY 20 MONTH OLD LHASA APSO. HER NAME IS GRACIE. I AM USING GARLIC TABLETS. MY OWN MIX, BASED ON BOOKS I’VE READ FROM DEBBYS WEBSITE, A MIX OF LAVENDER WATER, TEA TREE OIL, EUCALYPTUS (FORGIVE SPELLING) OIL. I SIMPLY RUB THIS INTO HER FUR WHEN I THINK ABOUT IT. I GET EVERYTHING FROM EITHER WHOLE FOODS OR EARTH FARE. ALSO, I POWDER HER WITH TEA TREE BODY POWDER, ALL NATURAL. I SPRINKLE 20 MULE TEAM BORAX ON MY RUGS AND CARPET AND THIS KILLS THE FLEAS AND WHATEVER MAY BE CRAWLING ON YOUR FLOORS. SHE IS GROOMED EVERY 4 WEEKS AND STACEY DID FIND 2 FLEAS YESTERDAY, LAST TIME THERE WERE NO FLEAS. THIS IS MAJOR MIRACLE FOR THIS AREA. THE TIME MAY COME WHEN I WILL HAVE TO USE A CHEMICAL, BUT I WILL TRY REALLY HARD NOT TO.

  6. katy says:

    Hi Susan,
    The comments above by MaryAnna are right in line with all the recommendations I’ve found in the several books I’ve consulted. Garlic, brewer’s yeast fed to the dogs help repel fleas, and the use of the borax and diatomaceous earth inside and outside kills both fleas and ticks. Good nutrition is the foundation for prevention. Any natural remedy that contains di-limonene also is said to be effective. There are many natural herbal powders and oils that are great repellents.
    Rosemary is one. You have to take a holistic approach.
    Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to natural Health for Dogs & Cats has pages and pages about natural flea and tick control, and cautions strongly about the over use (or use at all)Frontline, Revolution of many of the pharmaceuticals, most of which contain cancer-causing ingredients. Dr. Busby’s book (How to Afford Vet Care) also has similar cautions (and he’s a vet from MN). He recommends Frontline if you use a pharmaceutical,and give tips on how to save money by buying the larger doses.
    You really need to do some research on the systemic insecticides present in the flea and tick prevention drugs. Especially the organophosphates, Organochlorines and the newer neurotoxins, which are applied to the skin, have many toxic effects, some quite severe and long-lasting. I’d rather deal with a few ticks and fleas than cancer, seizures and long term neurological damage.
    Ticks are mostly just gross. The ones that are attached to the dogs aren’t going to leave their host, as yucky as they are. (They suck the blood, get satiated, then eventually fall off to lay eggs). During tick season, run you hands over your dogs daily to check for them. If you find one, just remove it slowly with a pair of tweezers, right at the skin, trying to get the whole tick. It’s the ones that aren’t attached yet that might fall off and get on you. If you don’t have deer ticks, then lyme disease isn’t an issue. Eucalyptus powder is said to be very effective against ticks. So are the herbal flea powders and the borax and diatomaceous earth. If you are only dealing with the occasional tick, then natural methods seem to be the most logical. I have read of attacks by literally thousands of ticks where the only solution was a chemical one.
    It may be dry as a bone here in NM, but we have virtually no fleas, very few ticks and no mosquitos where we live. A great blessing! But we have dealt with them in the past in other areas, and there are ticks here. Ours sleep with us, too, and even with our old hunting dog, we never got fleas or ticks ourselves!
    Best to you and your pack,
    Katy

  7. Susan says:

    Thanks everyone. I guess the upshot of this conversation is that I am going to do just as the ApsoRescueColorado poster (sorry, I don’t know any better name) has suggested and continue on the path suggested by my vet and my groomer: Heartgard and Advantix.

    Although I would like to be the owner who is willing to comb through all four dogs religiously every day scanning for fleas and ticks, I’m just not her. I do what I can, but that isn’t in my nature. I rub them a lot, touch them a lot, play with then, nuzzle them, sleep with them, but I can’t manage daily examinations…..and I’m not willing to deal with the possibility of either fleas or ticks in the bed with us. Ugh. Additionally, I do believe that I would lose my groomer entirely if I were not treating my dogs for fleas at the very least.

    Anyway, good ideas are always good ideas. Thanks for sharing yours with me.

    Susan

  8. >>> ApsoRescueColorado poster

    Uhhh, Susan, that would be me … Vickie

  9. Susan says:

    Ah, thanks, Vickie.
    I misplaced my mind there for a bit…

    Susan


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