Well, I woke up in the middle of the night and inadvertently stumbled across my first tick of the year.
As a child whose parent has Lyme, this is like my worst nightmare. Well, to be fair, all bugs.
What’s annoying is I can’t even determine where it came from or if it just found its way into the house.
Curse you, Texas!
How do you guys prep for Spring/Summer? And do any of you Find it’s necessary to check the dogs after the dog park?
I don’t know if the ticks are really out and about yet over here in Virginia, or I just haven’t seen any yet. I don’t really do anything to “prepare” for tick season, other than apply K9 Advantix to my dogs. Some people don’t like using any kind of chemicals on their pets, but I’ve always used K9 Advantix and have never had a bad experience with it. I can honestly say that ever since I got my first dog less than two years ago, I have never had any problems with fleas or ticks. I’ve had to pick less than a handful off of Sam over the last year and a half that I’ve had her, and that was when I wasn’t keeping up on the K9 Advantix every month.
I live in a very heavily wooded area with lots of wildlife, so I know the ticks definitely get bad out there. My dad has gotten more ticks on him in this area than my dogs! I’ve had Motley since last August, and Helo since January — I have yet to find a tick on either of them… Even at the dog park, I don’t worry about checking them for any fleas or ticks because K9 Advantix is supposed to repel them. Sam has been going to dog parks since I adopted her, and has never gotten fleas or ticks from other dogs in my experience thus far. Even in our wooded/marshy neighborhood, Sam loves to be in the bushes and has never seemed to bring any bugs inside with her.
If you’re worried about Emma getting Lymes, you can have her vaccinated for it. Sam and Motley have been vaccinated for Lymes disease, but I have yet to get Helo vaccinated. It definitely doesn’t hurt to be on the safe side! Also, K9 Advantix has an improved formula (K9 Advantix II) which kills all life stages of the flea. Most of the retailers around here don’t even sell the original anymore, and instead sell the K9 Advantix II. So far it works just as well as the original K9 Advantix.
My dogs are very active in the outdoors, and we live in a heavily wooded and swampy area. My neighborhood is nestled on an island along the Chesapeake Bay. It may not seem like an island, but it is surrounded by water, even if some of it is marsh. The wildlife ranges from muskrats and raccoons to deer and foxes, so as you can imagine, the fleas and ticks are abundant. I don’t prefer to use chemicals on my animals, but to prevent infestations on my dogs or in my house, I choose to use a product called K9 Advantix II.
K9 Advantix defends against all life stages of the flea (including the eggs and larvae), ticks, mosquitoes, biting flies, and lice. Not only does this treatment kill upon contact, but it is also designed to repel. As with most topical solutions, you only apply the treatment once a month. I’ve only been using K9 Advantix for about three years, but it is the only product I have ever used on my dogs to protect against fleas and ticks. I have had great success with the use of K9 Advantix and would suggest it to anyone who lives in an area where fleas and ticks can become a huge problem.
If you’re not really worried about ticks or your dog is mostly indoors, I would recommend trying their Advantage II formula. It kills and repels all life stages of the flea and lice, but does not protect against ticks, mosquitoes, or biting flies. I think that both of these treatments are very effective compared to other topical solutions on the market. Not all flea and tick treatments repel the insects like Advantage and K9 Advantix.
While Advantage is created for both cats and dogs, you never want to use K9 Advantix on a cat (there’s a reason it is “K9” Advantix and not just Advantix). There are compounds in the ingredients of K9 Advantix that cannot be broken down by a cat, and may pose serious health concerns and maybe even death. I don’t know exactly what it can do to your cat, but I’d imagine seizures or death would be the answer. On the contrary, it is possible to use K9 Advantix on a dog if you do have cats in the household.
In order to use K9 Advantix on a dog with cats in the house, you’ll need to keep the dog separated from the cats until the solution dries. Once it dries, they can be allowed to cuddle and share the same space again. I would wait 24 to 48 hours for the treatment to absorb into your dog’s skin before letting him play with the cats. Some people like to apply the solution at night and let it dry while the dog is crated.
Keep in mind that every dog will react differently to different things. Some dogs have side effects after getting their rabies vaccine, while others do not. The same goes for flea and tick treatments. Some dogs may have a bad reaction to one type of medication, while another dog does not. In some cases, Bayer flea and tick products may not be the best choice for your pets. My dogs do perfectly fine on K9 Advantix so I’ll continue to use it and speak highly of it.
One thing to keep in mind is that some pet owners and veterinarians suggest alternating between different topical solutions for the most effectiveness. Fleas and ticks can sometimes become immune to these treatments. When I worked at a pet supply store, I seemed to hear a lot about Frontline losing its effectiveness due to an immunity build up. People who swore by Frontline for years were beginning to complain about their homes becoming overrun by fleas.
At the same time, I’m very aware that some people do not keep up on the routine of reapplying their dog’s flea and tick prevention every month, and wait until after their dogs have become infested with fleas before reapplying it. In most cases, these complaints are from people who expect these treatments to cure their entire house of fleas without understanding that it will only kill and repel fleas that come in contact with the animals who have been treated.
If you have a bad case of fleas, you can’t expect your dog’s flea and tick prevention to kill all of the fleas in your house. There’s a huge chance that fleas have gotten into your carpet, furniture, and clothing and are laying eggs all over the place. If you already have fleas in your house, you’ll need to use other products like carpet powders and sprays that are formulated to kill on contact. Frontline and K9 Advantix are products that are designed to protect your pets. Not your entire house. So once these insects break into the household, it’s a whole different ballgame.
We brought home our new puppy last night. He is an eight week old German Shorthaired Pointer (we think his father may have been a Bluetick). The family we adopted him from are not breeders, but had taken in a female GSP who was pregnant. I had been in contact with the family ever since the puppies were born (4:00AM November 8, 2011). Out of all of the puppies, ours was the second largest. He seems very healthy and outgoing, but appears to have a bit of a flea problem. He also has an umbilical hernia, but that is not something to worry about until it’s time to have him neutered.
We decided to name our new puppy “Helo” (pronounced hee-low), after a character in the sci-fi television series, “Battlestar Galactica.” He is white with black patches and ticking, and also appears to have a bit of tan coming out in his face and on his legs. We have a vet appointment scheduled for him next week. He will need a physical exam, his first set of DHPP, a fecal, and if he is negative for internal parasites, we will get him on Interceptor immediately.
So far Sammy and Motley are doing fine with the new puppy. They aren’t quite sure about him. It’s strange to them right now, but they’ll learn that he is their new brother. Motley is still a puppy herself and likes to push herself on him. We are trying to teach her to be less exuberant with the puppy so he isn’t overwhelmed by her excitement.
Sammy is doing well with the puppy. She has even shared her water bowl with him, and they were snuggled at my feet earlier today. Motley, on the other hand, might have difficulty sharing with a new puppy. She likes to carry around her toys and “guard” them. She allows Sammy to take toys from her, but we are closely monitoring this behavior so that it doesn’t turn into something aggressive. The last thing we need is a dog who is possessive, and will bite other dogs to protect their things. We are showing Motley that everything belongs to me, and that she can play with my toys when I allow it.
Anyway, I have lots of videos uploaded already on my YouTube channel. Helo is really fitting in well! I look forward to seeing him grow up. He has such a wonderful personality. He has so much to learn. Right now we are letting him settle in, but he is learning his name, how to come when called, and to potty outside. So far, not a single accident in the house! We are sure to take him out very frequently. If he takes a nap, I’ll take him outside as soon as he wakes up. If he eats, I’ll take him out about 15-20 minutes later. If he was crated, I’ll take him out immediately afterwards.
This is a very exciting event for me. I have never had a puppy from scratch before. All my rescued girls came with backgrounds. Sammy belonged to a Navy couple who was getting ready to have a baby and were afraid she would nip the baby, so they gave her to me for $120, Motley was given to us for free by an Army wife who no longer wanted the responsibility of taking care of her husband’s puppy while he was across seas, and we adopted Baeo for $150 from a man who had kept her as an outside dog and no longer wanted her.
This is my chance to see if I really know what I’m talking about when it comes to dogs. Are my training methods effective? Sammy came to me already very obedient, and used to a well-structured home. Motley didn’t have the same structure. She could pretty much do whatever she wanted in her old home, and the same goes for Baeo.
As Helo grows up, I’ll be continuously uploading videos of his puppy-hood and I’ll try to keep up on blog entries regarding his training progress. We’re in for a wild ride. :)