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Discussion Starter #1
I don't like pesticides!

My dog does not roam around in the yard but I do take her to our local fresh water pond every day where she is allowed off leash. There is some brush and I know there are ticks because I found one on her. She mostly stays with me but will romp around with other dogs and zip and zoom around. I love that she does that, both because she clearly enjoys it and it is part of her daily exercise.

We are also planning on hiking more as a family now that we have a dog.

I am prepared to check her every day but she is a black/brown/salt/pepper dog with a wiry coat plus a fuzzy under coat - in short, very hard to search for ticks.

I tried to find good homeopathic prevention but the few scientific papers that talk about them are so scientific that I am having a hard time to translate the info into a product I can use. I know that essential oils can be dangerous on pets as well, so I don't just want to make up my own concoction either.

Advantix seems to be rather dangerous, which leaves Frontline to be used. I live in New England and we do have Lyme, so I am hesitant to just wing it and search her every day, hoping to have looked well enough.

What do you do to prevent ticks (and fleas... although I have to say I am less afraid of those since we have no carpets and leather sofas I'd be willing to chance it and treat only if she'll get them)?
 

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I too had this dilemma recently- after being condo people in the city for 20 years we were able to finally get a house with a YARD and what a yard 2 acres in the mountains- the dogs love it--after being city dogs they take to the country like ducks to water! But after a week I realized they had TICKS (We of course have deer, and where there are deer there are ticks of course, ALTHOUGH so far I have just seen the big brown dog ticks on them). So after using the oral pesticide pill for all these years -- Sentinel then Tryfectis (sp?) --- I made the decision to use Frontline. No ticks. They just all dropped off, I did not want to have to worry about pulling them off and having the head still be buried in the skin (risk for infection, etc)...
I feel secure that now my dogs are walking pest eradicators, whatever contacts them just dies on contact (we have a child in the home as well)...
They do have to take a separate oral monthly heartworm medication however.
Anyway thats my story.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Candydb, aren't you worried about poisoning your pets? I am not having sleepless nights LOL, but we also use Heartworm prevention (Tri-Heart Plus) and now I'll be filling the sebaceous glands with pesticides. It just seems a bit much... my other dogs never got any meds really until they were old and needed treatment for old age basically. I just worry that these meds have not been used too long and that there aren't any studies really that looked into long term consequences. But the way it looks I'll be doing what you do and I will just have to trust that it is the right thing.
 

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Candydb, aren't you worried about poisoning your pets? I am not having sleepless nights LOL, but we also use Heartworm prevention (Tri-Heart Plus) and now I'll be filling the sebaceous glands with pesticides. It just seems a bit much... my other dogs never got any meds really until they were old and needed treatment for old age basically. I just worry that these meds have not been used too long and that there aren't any studies really that looked into long term consequences. But the way it looks I'll be doing what you do and I will just have to trust that it is the right thing.
YES I am very cognizant of the fact that we are applying a systemic PESTICIDE to our pets. The only thing is, after my daughter broke out in a head to toe rash from flea allergy dermatitis last summer-- I decided its much more effective to treat the dogs then your child! Once the dogs were treated (actually at the time we switched from Sentinel, which stopped working on fleas-- we had used it for so many years --to Tryfectis, which works great but not on ticks hence the Frontline) the child's rash disappeared.
But I do worry about the pesticide thing. But I think ticks carry to much risk to not prevent, and both my Boxers lived all the life on some sort of pesticide-- my last Boxer is almost 13 at this time.
 

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If you are very diligent in carefully checking for ticks twice daily, then manual removal of the ticks can suffice. Ticks take time to transmit Lyme disease, it isn't something that happens as soon as they bite. Sentry makes a natural flea and tick repellent spray that seems to work reasonably well and uses essential oils in very low concentrations. The topicals like K9 Advantix 2 kill ticks rather than really repelling them; they die soon after biting and then you just remove the dead tick. If the head of a tick remains behind, it isn't a big deal as the dog's body will push it out similar to a small splinter. Some dogs get little welts and scabs where ticks bite them.

For fleas- you can do yard maintenance to make your yard less hospitable to fleas. Keeping the lawn mowed very short helps a lot as fleas like to have the damp tall grass to shelter in. Heat kills fleas and the more sunlight you can get on the ground, the better. Food-grade diatomaceous earth can be spread in the garden, around the house and indoors around the baseboards and behind the couch etc. Regular vacuuming is a must. Regular combing of the dog (outdoors!) with a flea comb will help take off any fleas hitching a ride from other dogs at the park. High heat in the dryer for towels and linens. And using a bed-bug mattress protector will keep that clean.

One middle-of-the-road option is to apply topicals like Advantix but on a less regular basis. It SEEMS to last about 6 weeks rather than the labeled 4 but this is entirely anecdotal.
 

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Garlic pills and tea tree oil work. I have a contact who does extensive emperical research with using natural substances to address natural occuring problems. And he told me this works for dogs. Just passing it along.

I use the tea tree oil on my lhasa for astringent/cleaning. I keep her short and can find a tick easily if she gets one from daily trips in the woods.
 

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Garlic pills and tea tree oil work. I have a contact who does extensive emperical research with using natural substances to address natural occuring problems. And he told me this works for dogs. Just passing it along.

I use the tea tree oil on my lhasa for astringent/cleaning. I keep her short and can find a tick easily if she gets one from daily trips in the woods.
Tea tree oil is toxic to dogs and for a small/medium dog, it takes very little to be deadly and/or cause organ malfunction.

Abstract from Veterinarywatch.com
The article states: Tea tree oil contains 50-60% terpenes, toxicity is "similar to other essential oils such as eucalyptus oil." Toxicosis in humans has resulted from ingestion of 0.5 to 1 cc tea tree oil per kg of body weight. The 3 cats had about 20 ccs applied to them (each). Says cats may be more sensitive to this toxicosis than dogs, but that the tea tree oil toxicosis has been reported in humans, rats, dogs, and cats. Most patients have clinical signs of central nervous system depression. Dogs and cats with tea tree oil toxicosis will appear weak, obtunded, uncoordinated, ataxic, and usually have muscular tremors. Cats may exhibit signs of liver damage. Toxic components are fat soluble and rapidly absorbed via skin and GI tract. There is no antidote. Treatment involves general detoxification, supportive care, bathing with mild detergents, using activated charcoal if ingested.
Australian tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) Oil Poisoning in three purebred cats.
Bischoff K, Guale F Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation 10, 208 (1998)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys.

Just talked to my vet who recommended Advantix rather than Frontline (the latter being "useless" as per his experience...). He said that the main ingredient is permethrin which is a synthetic version of pyrethrum which is found in chrysanthemums... (so much for the difference of natural/chemical). I still hate going the chemical route but he said that ticks have been found everywhere this year, even in a local - city - dog playground.

I will not use it all year round and will try to stretch it to avoid too many applications, but Lyme is too scary.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If you are very diligent in carefully checking for ticks twice daily, then manual removal of the ticks can suffice.
Maybe if I shaved her ;). I always joke that I knew what I was doing when I got a black dog - you can't see the dirt on it too much, but now it's definitively a draw back. Her fur is pretty much the same color than the ticks' and her fuzzy undercoat is dense as heck. Ugh. Until the meds arrive I'll be inspecting her with a flash light daily... I often wonder what she is thinking - first the exfoliating glove in her mouth every day and now the fur searches!
 

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I apply Revolution every 6 weeks in summer and give mine a break from it during winter.
This ^ ... ^ ...^

I too ... am thinking of giving up the Tri-Heart Guard this year. that is all I used last year. All dogs are tested this year and all are heartworm negative.

Lucy is the only one with the revolution on right now. I am up in arms over this also. I think maybe natural remedies may be in order for my crew this year.
 

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This ^ ... ^ ...^

I too ... am thinking of giving up the Tri-Heart Guard this year. that is all I used last year. All dogs are tested this year and all are heartworm negative.

Lucy is the only one with the revolution on right now. I am up in arms over this also. I think maybe natural remedies may be in order for my crew this year.
I wouldn't go natural remedies for heartworm prevention. Fleas are an annoyance and can cause allergy reactions and irritation but nothing major for most dogs and while ticks can transmit lyme, at least there is a way to remove them manually, but heartworm is mosquitoes and there isn't any real way to prevent bites. Basically every dog that enters the city shelter (who isn't on HW prevention before arrival) is heartworm positive around here. The mild winter in most the US didn't even give a mosquito free season to take a break on Revolution or HW pills.
 

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I wouldn't go natural remedies for heartworm prevention. Fleas are an annoyance and can cause allergy reactions and irritation but nothing major for most dogs and while ticks can transmit lyme, at least there is a way to remove them manually, but heartworm is mosquitoes and there isn't any real way to prevent bites. Basically every dog that enters the city shelter (who isn't on HW prevention before arrival) is heartworm positive around here. The mild winter in most the US didn't even give a mosquito free season to take a break on Revolution or HW pills.
Well ... I had better use the heart guard then! :) I keep forgetting we basically had no winter!
 

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I second the tea tree oil and garlic. I'm using it now. You can also use Cedarwood, Lavender or Rose Geranium oils. One drop on the COLLAR not on their skin a week.

I rotate every other day putting garlic in her food and apple cider vinegar in her water.
 

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I wouldn't go natural remedies for heartworm prevention. Fleas are an annoyance and can cause allergy reactions and irritation but nothing major for most dogs and while ticks can transmit lyme, at least there is a way to remove them manually, but heartworm is mosquitoes and there isn't any real way to prevent bites. Basically every dog that enters the city shelter (who isn't on HW prevention before arrival) is heartworm positive around here. The mild winter in most the US didn't even give a mosquito free season to take a break on Revolution or HW pills.
I agree with this. Molly is on Interceptor for prevention of heart worms & other internal parasites. For flea/tick prevention, every few days, she gets sprayed with an all natural, essential oil-based preventative. It's just 4 essential oils & purified water. So far, so good. I feel much better about not putting chemicals on her. When a product tells me to wash off myself immediately if I contact it but I should put it all over my dog, I get a little suspicious about the product's safety.
 

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I live in New Hampshire, I never had a problem with fleas and ticks til last year. Both of my dogs had a few ticks each and one had a few ticks. I've been using Bug Off Garlic for years; the one who had the ticks was newer to us last year and had only been on BOG for a few months, not a few years like the other one. My holistic vet suggested Advantage to kill the fleas.
This year, we're also trying Vetri Repel from Vetri Science, it,s a spray we got from www.Kvvet.com, my favorite place to order. We are also getting cedar chips to put around our fence, to repel the critters.
 

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I definitely share your concerns about pesticides -- I just do not want to put them on my dog, who I cuddle with all the time ;-). But there have been times when we absolutely had to. When fleas became a huge issue. Juniper walks with a group of dogs and one of them kept bringing fleas into the house. I had a talk with our vet (which I highly recommend doing), and he steered us toward Frontline. He was reassuring in that the hundreds or so dogs their practice sees, there has never been an issue. I've read the horror stories on the web about spot-ons, but FWIW, much of the time the bad problems have to do with cheapo off-brand and overuse/misapplication. So while I wish I could always go all natural, sometimes you've got to give your pup some protection -- and I want to share that during those times, we have had no issue with Frontline.
 
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