Protect Your Pet From Ticks, Fleas, Other Parasites

By Kimberly Thomson

Preventing ticks and fleas for your pets using natural methods such as herbs and garlic. dog fleas, cat fleas, flea and tick, ticks, flea control, natural flea control, dog flea, flea medication, dog, tick, flea bites, flea treatment, flea control for cats, wood, tick, fleas, dogs, kill ticks, natural, garlic, natural tick repellent, fleaMost animals love to frolick in the forest, but they could bring home an uninvited guest that can wreak havoc on their health.

Ticks, fleas and other parasites can lead to serious health problems, some of which can result in death. Ticks are a dangerous parasite because they carry many diseases, and dogs are between 50 and 100 times more likely to be bitten than other animals due to their coats and proximity to the ground.

Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, are just some of the diseases associated with tick bites, and symptoms usually appear seven to 21 days after a bite. Lyme disease symptoms include recurrent arthritis or lameness that lasts three to four days, sometimes accompanied by loss of appetite and depression. Reluctance to move or a stiff, painful gait, swollen joints that are warm to the touch, pain in the legs or throughout the body, fever, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes are some of the signs to watch for. Canine Anaplasmosis symptoms include arthritis-like stiffness with painful joints, high fever accompanied by lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea, neckpain, and neurological signs resulting in seizures, though the last isn't a common symptom. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever can be identified by fever, skin lesions, stiffness when walking, and neurological abnormalities.

Preventing Parasitic Illness

The good news is that there are many natural ways to protect your animals from heartworm and other parasites like fleas and ticks.

The first thing to consider is placing your pets on a well-balanced raw food diet. This is the best way to improve their immune system as a whole. Adding garlic to their food is also a great deterrent to parasites of any kind. A dog weighing more than 50 pounds can have up to two teaspoons of garlic daily, and smaller dogs can have up to one-half teaspoon daily, but you should consult your veterinarian before adding garlic to your dog's food because it garlic can be toxic to dogs and is particularly toxic to cats.

Herbs offer another line of defense. Herbs commonly used to prevent ticks and parasites are Mugwort, Cloveflower buds, Spearmint herb, Turmeric root, Black walnut, and Wormwood. These herbs can be found at natural product stores and/or retailers specializing in herbs and can be used orally in pill form or tinctures to make the blood less attractive to these parasites.

Before going into a wooded area or areas known to have ticks, you can dust your pet with an herbal repellent by mixing equal amounts of powdered Rosemary, Rue and Wormwood. Apply by sprinkling the mixture over your pet—avoiding the eye and nose area—and working the powder in with your fingers so it reaches the skin.

Detecting and Removing Ticks

Ticks can be brown, black, or a putty-grey color, and they range in size from that of a small sesame seed to a fingernail.

Wearing surgical gloves, run your fingers over your pet's coat to detect any lumps under the hair. Pay close attention to the area surrounding the eyes, ears, legs, belly, and face. Once you have determined that a lump is in fact a tick, place tweezers as close to the skin of the dog as possible, as this is where the tick's head is, and pinch the the tweezer ends together firmly. Slowly but forcefully, pull the tick straight out and put in a jar filled with isopropyl alcohol to kill it. Apply tea tree oil to your pet's skin with your hands to disinfect the area completely.

It is possible that the head of the tick will break off. Sometimes it will simply expel itself, but keep an eye on any spots you have treated to make sure that there is no major swelling and or infection.

Feeding your pet a good raw diet and practicing herbal prevention puts your pet in the best position for avoiding parasites.

By Kimberly Thomson| March 13, 2009
Categories:  Nest

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Kimberly Thomson

Kimberly Thomson

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