Fleas are prolific breeders. Female fleas can lay 500 eggs or more in their lifetime. Generally an adult flea lives two or three months, however, it’s life cycle can last from two weeks to several months depending on environmental conditions. Eggs will hatch quickly in ideal temperatures and high humidity, while others will hatch slower when it is  cold and dry.

There are more than 850 species of ticks. Numerous flea and tick products are on the market, many oral and topical products contain serious pesticides that can be detrimental to your pet.

In September 2018, the US food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an alert for isoxazoline class of flea and tick products. Data indicate that some animals receiving Bravecto, Nexgard, Simparica and Credelio experienced adverse reactions such as muscle tremors, ataxia, and seizures. These products contain pesticides and the pet owner needs to realize this. When you put topical pesticides on your pet’s skin, it is getting absorbed into their bloodstream. How else would it kill a flea or tick when it takes a blood meal from your pet? Think about that. It’s no wonder there are adverse events. The EPA found that adverse reactions are more frequent in dogs between 10 and 20 pounds. Higher risk breeds include Dachshund , Chihuahua, Shih Tzu, Pomeranian, Miniature Poodle, Maltese, Yorkshire terrier‘s, and mixed breeds.

Before placing your dog in harms way consider more natural means of flea and tick control. The first good old-fashioned solution is a flea comb. Flea combs can effectively remove fleas, flea eggs and flea larvae. Use the flea comb on your pet daily. Additionally, vacuum your home once a week. Make sure to empty the bag and dispose of the contents. Regularly, bathe your pet in natural shampoo.

All natural products available at Animal Wellness Center include: Buck Mountain Parasite Dust. This product contains Neem, Yarrow and Diatomaceous Flour. It repels fleas, flies, ticks, mites and more.

Vetri-Wipes and Vetri-Spray contain lemon grass oil, cinnamon oil, sesame oil, and castor oil. A natural flea and tick repellent. These products are not toxic if your pet licks their skin. Many of my clients will utilize the Vetri-wipes or spray first and let it dry. They then apply the parasite dust. This combination seems to work well according to the feedback I get.

Another option is to make what I call “lemon water.” Take a pot and fill it with water. Depending on how big the pot is cut up between 6-12 lemons. Boil the pot of water. Close off the heat when it starts to boil. Place all the lemon pieces into the pot, including the rinds, pulp and seeds. Put the lid on the pot and let steep at least 2-3 hours. Filter out the water with a piece of cheese cloth. Place the water into a spray bottle and spritz on your pet prior to going outside. It repels fleas and ticks. You may need to spay your pet more than once if going into the park or the woods.


Dr. Rose DiLeva

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