Fleas & Ticks :
Take very good care!
With a flea’s ability to procreate rapidly, generating a house-wide problem, and Lyme Disease being a concern from the Deer Tick, all of us need to find effective ways to treat our dogs and cats as we enter the warm months of the Flea and Tick season. (Although you may not be aware of it, Fall is also a problematic time of year for flea control).
Spot-on Flea & Tick killers are all the rage right now with veterinarians and most pet stores, especially because of pet owner concerns about Lyme Disease. It is important to know the downside of their use, and what their toxicity can mean for your dog or cat. We will examine the 2 main spot-on remedies: Frontline and Advantage.
Fipronil, the active ingredient in Frontline, is a neurotoxin (nervous system damage), teratogen (reproductive damage), and cause of skin problems and organ damage (including altered thyroid hormones)*, and is a suspectred Carcinogen. Fipronil is banned in the EU (Europe). China is also banning Fipronil as of 2016, due to its toxicity to shellfish and bees.
Imidacloprid, the active ingredient in Advantage, has displayed evidence of contributing to thyroid lesions, organ damage, increased cholesterol levels in dogs, neurotoxic symptoms, and teratogenic complications*. It is banned in Italy and Germany.
If you must use a spot-on treatment, we carry Frontline and an alternative (at ½ the price) called SENTRY® Natural Defense™
SENTRY® Natural Defense™ is an excellent natural spot-on flea and tick killer.
SENTRY® Natural Defense™ Natural Flea & Tick Squeeze-On kills and repels fleas, ticks and mosquitoes for up to four weeks, yet it’s safe for use around children and pets when used as directed, even in multiple pet households. Each carton contains three monthly applications that feature natural active ingredients such as peppermint oil, cinnamon oil, lemon grass oil and thyme oil.
Kittens and puppies under the age of 16 weeks should never use spot-ons of any kind.
What are the safest approaches to control fleas on your dogs and cats?
Besides SENTRY® Natural Defense™, the safest approaches are to use Natural Flea and Tick sprays.
Do daily inspections of your pets, accompanied by a careful combing with a flea comb. Also, the daily addition of Brewer’s Yeast and Garlic tablets (you can also crush them and add them to the food) can be an excellent flea deterrent (also providing nutritive value).
Ticks can be manually removed with a pair of tweezers. Be careful not to handle the tick with your hands, because Lyme Disease is skin permeable, and can result in your becoming infected. If so, wash your hands thoroughly after handling the tick.
Traveling to a high tick area?
Let’s assume concern because your pet Let’s assume you are concerned because your pet will definitely be coming into contact with ticks and you want to protect him adequately without exposing him (and you) to potentially toxic chemicals. Here’s what to do:
- Use one of our recommended Flea & Tick Sprays -- and spray your pet every 2nd day (DAILY if he’s swimming).
- Inspect him daily and, should a tick appear, spray the tick directly with the tick spray prior to removing it.
- Grab the tick by the head or mouthparts right where they enter the skin. Do not grasp the tick by the body.
- Without jerking, pull firmly and steadily directly outward. Do not twist the tick as you are pulling.
- Clean the bite wound with a disinfectant.
- Wash your hands thoroughly.
Another approach is to have on hand a Flea & Tick Spray and saturate the tick, which will kill it.
You could also use the above spray weekly as a deterrent.
Indoor Cats. Is there a flea risk?
If there are dogs in the house or in the building you live, they can bring in fleas from outdoors.
Flea eggs can be picked up from outside hallways and streets by us (on our shoes and clothes) and brought into our indoor environment.
Fleas in the house?
If you need to treat a flea problem in the house, and on your pet, you’ll need to use your vacuum cleaner along with the above-mentioned Flea & Tick spray. You can also bathe your pet with a safe flea & tick shampoo.
We encourage you NOT to have your pet flea & tick dipped as the effective dips contain organophosphate poisons and can have deleterious side effects.
- Check the ears for fleas. Treat (don’t spray) with a cotton swab. Spray the neck, belly, legs, and where the backbone meets the tail.
- Spray any area where your pet predominately lies.
- Vacuum thoroughly, and throw the vacuum bag away.
- Repeat this procedure two more times, at 3-day intervals.
- Let’s get poisons out of our pet’s (and our) environment
- You will find that you can deal with fleas and ticks, both preventatively and curatively, without heavy-duty toxic chemicals – and still achieve the desired goal of having a flea and tick free pet (and house). Please speak with us for any further information or recommendations.
Back to Top