Last week and the week before, we talked about the pests that helped make the dog days of summer less fun and more pestilential—namely, mosquitoes, wood ticks, fleas, sunburn, and so on. Today, we talk about some solutions
The Revolution Solution
The main thing we do for our three dogs is use a product recommended by our vet, called Revolution. It is not cheap, but it is effective. How do I know? Tell you in a minute. First, once a month you apply a capsule-full of Revolution directly on the skin at the midpoint between their shoulders and just below the neck (so they can’t get at it to lick it). Make sure you part the hair so that the measured amount of liquid is placed directly on the skin. It is absorbed into the skin, which takes a couple of days. Our groomer says that we should be able to bathe them after three days of application without losing the benefit of the product.
This product was recommended to us by our vet because our previous product, called Advantage, had one drawback. It worked great on the two girls, LingLing and Tilly Tot, but Oreo turned out to be allergic to it and went nuts for about three days scratching, rubbing, and whining. We tried bathing him right away, but that didn’t work and there was nothing for it but to wait until it disappeared from his system. Revolution has proven safe for him, plus the girls. However, you probably won’t know if a product is safe allergy-wise for your dog until you try it.
Okay, how do I know that Revolution is effective? Well, it is definitely effective for ticks, because consider the fact that I rarely go outside in the summer because I am allergic to mosquitoes and their bites. Where I live, that’s almost a jail sentence for the entire summer, but it’s better than being in agony all the time because of the huge itchy/sore lumps that mosquito bites produce all over my legs and arms that last for weeks.
So, without my venturing outside, ticks will have a hard time finding me. Yet, often when I sit down, after I have been holding one of the dogs on my lap for a love-in, I may have a tick on me. Where did it come from? The tick fairy? Noooo, it dropped off my dog because it didn’t like the taste of the Revolution.
Revolution for cats is also available. Now all they have to do is find a Revolution-like formula for humans. One note here is that Advantage is less expensive than Revolution and it works well if your pet is not allergic to it.
You and Your Pet’s Vet
The best way for you to find out what will work for you and your dog or cat is to partner with your vet to find the best product. Revolution provides protection against fleas, ticks, heartworm, ear mites and sarcoptic mange. Unfortunately, it doesn’t list mosquito protection. One vet’s office recommends a special mosquito collar along with the monthly Revolution treatment. Once again, you can search the internet for different remedies and prices. Many other treatments are available and I’m sure that many of them are effective against the pests we have mentioned. Your vet is probably the best source of information on the subject, especially since s/he knows the type of pests native to your location.
What They Say About Spray
One last word of advice regarding bug sprays. Many sites online warn against using sprays made for humans on their pets, especially if they contain DEET. They also caution that even some sprays made for dogs or cats may actually be toxic to some animals. Spraying your home for pests such as cockroaches and ants is also dangerous, and recommendations are made to remove your pets from the home until the spraying is finished and dissipated. Birds are especially susceptible to airborne sprays.
Although I researched many sites on this last subject, the advice given by WiseGeek.org seemed…well…wise. Here is the link: http://www.wisegeek.org/is-bug-spray-safe-for-pets.htm. A comment at the bottom by one of the site’s readers describes a homemade remedy that she says works well for both her and her dog. I have not tried any of the products and am not recommending them, but simply offering some more information. Ultimately, your decision will be up to you and your vet.
How do you handle protection against mosquitoes, wood ticks and fleas for your pet(s)?
What remedies has your vet recommended for protecting your pet(s)?
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(Next week watch for “The Many Colours of Doggy Love – Part 1”)
Text and photos (except where otherwise indicated)
are copyright © 2013 by Sandra Bell Kirchman.
All rights reserved. (Volume 14-6.1, June 8, 2014)