Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tick, Tick, Tick

So by now you know that you have lots of options for holistic prevention and management of fleas and ticks. Here is another really great Whole Dog Journal article about Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and how to deal with pests in ways that don't harm you, your pet, or the environment.

Oh my gosh, that thing looks like an alien! They are nasty little things, these ticks. But we are all being more careful this year, after Jenn got diagnosed with Lyme Disease last year. Here are some additional tick tips:

1. It's all about prevention. Use safe products to make you and your pet a non-welcoming host. There are many sprays on the market that don't have to contain DEET to be effective. There is now clothing available from Land's End with repellent in the fabric and good for up to 60 washes.

2. Check you and your pet everyday. Even if you use preventatives, it is still necessary to check all over.

3. If you find a tick, remove it properly. Don't just grab that sucker and pull it out with your fingers. Use tweezers or a tick removal tool, grasp at the head and gently pull out. 4. If you or your pet has had exposure to a tick bite, don't panic. But do watch for signs of Lyme Disease or other tick related illnesses.

5. Unfortunately, it is just not just about Lyme anymore. Co-infections are becoming more common in people and dogs, like babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, bartonella, mycoplasma, STARI, and not to mention Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and anaplasmosis.

These sites provides basic info on the human symptoms of Lyme and other tick related illnesses.

International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society


This site provides information specific to dog symptoms.

Tick Diseases in Dogs

So, keep yourself and your dogs active, protected and checked for ticks over the summer.

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