Starting spot-on tick treatment? Beware!

Starting spot-on tick treatment? Beware!

Tick bites can cause disease and infection on anyone, including your Morkie. But tick treatment for dogs, especially small dogs, can be worse!

Ticks can cause irritation and inflammation and even paralysis in some cases – but spot on tick medication can actually kill a small dog. The EPA has warned consumers since 2010 – don’t use these spot on tick treatments on dogs  under 20 pounds.


Tick treatments for dogs can be deadly. Literally.


Spot-on treatments like K9 Advantix and Frontline Plus work very well. The active chemicals in them are called neurotoxins — meaning they are toxic to the brain and central nervous system.

Neurotoxins work by hyper-stimulating the pest’s nerve cells to death. Although they’re supposed to work only on the pest, neurotoxins can build up in the pet’s organs over time, and not enough is known about their long term effects.



Likely to cause cancer for humans

Right on the label of the product – in very small type – it says most flea and tick products contain chemicals that are “likely to be carcinogenic to humans” according to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).


The EPA has identified at least 1,600 pet deaths over the past 5 years linked to spot-on flea and tick treatments.

The EPA also reports that spot-ons account “for more than half of ‘major’ pesticide pet reactions — incidents involving serious medical reactions such as brain damage, heart attacks, violent seizures and death.”

Back in 2010, the EPA warned the public about an alarming increase in pets’ adverse reactions to spot-on products.


The worst reactions were found in dogs under 20 pounds.

  • most adverse reactions happened in dogs younger than three years
  • often happened the first time the owner used a spot-on product

Although the EPA doesn’t know why, they believe some breeds are especially vulnerable to spot-on tick treatments. Those breeds are the:

  • Shih Tzu
    • Chihuahua
    • Miniature Poodle
    • Pomeranian
    • Dachshund
    • Maltese
    • Yorkshire Terrier
    • Bichon Frise

Further, mixed breeds seem more susceptible to adverse reactions from these products.

Alternatives to Spot-On treatments

In my previous post – Natural Tick Fighting Solutions  – I wrote about natural ways to fight ticks. You can also find some great resources here:


…or check my new book on

Today’s Resources:

EPA website:


Natural Tick Fighting Solutions

Natural Tick Fighting Solutions

Ticks on dogs are a nightmare – especially ticks on small dogs. Ticks carry dozens of diseases including Lyme Disease. But as ghastly as they are, there’s something more dangerous – commercial tick fighting treatments.

They can be deadly for small dogs. Luckily, there are natural treatments you can use instead.

Avoid tick hangouts

Don’t let your small dog wander through high grasses and uncut fields. Avoid walking in wooded areas. Ticks can be found in the foliage at dog parks and in your own yard.

And NEVER SIT ON A LOG! Experts say that sitting on a log for just 5 minutes means a 30% chance of picking up a tick!

Inspect, Spot and Remove

Examine your dog whenever he comes in; run your hands over him, feeling for small bumps. Ticks tend to latch on where there’s less hair, such as under the front legs around the ears or on the belly.

Here’s where ticks like to hide on your dog:

Keep ticks off your property

Clear any brush or debris off your property. Keep woodpiles well away from the house, and ideally off the ground.

Old lawn furniture or mattresses are an ideal environment for ticks. Keep your garden and yard clear of tall grasses.

If you decide to use a chemical treatment on your yard, here’s a list of lower-risk products: or at the Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC) at

Natural Tick Fighting Powder

You can click to view (or download) this all-natural and highly effective tick fighting powder here.

Use it on your dog, on your carpets at home, in your dog’s bed or wherever you fear they might be ticks.

What’s worse than ticks on your dog? COMMERCIAL TICK TREATMENTS!

At least 1,600 dogs have died needlessly in the past 5 years thanks to spot-on flea and tick treatments! It’s a tragedy that shouldn’t happen.

Commercial products to repel ticks can be deadly. The insecticides in these products are poisonous. Let’s face it: they’re formulated to kill stubborn parasites.

The hardest hit: dogs under 20 pounds. 

Learn how to protect your small dog from the dangers of ticks – without poisoning him! Order today – Ticks on Dogs: Small Dog Nightmare.

It’s Tick Time for dogs

It’s Tick Time for dogs

It’s spring and ticks will be here soon… you might even be getting notices from your local Vet that it’s time for Tick & Flea treatment. But before you act…

Think twice before you give your small dog spot on tick treatments

Ticks are bad news for any mammal who picks one up. Disease, infection, blood loss, serious allergic reactions and more can result. These nasty little creatures carry at least 15 common diseases, including Rocky Mountain fever, Lyme Disease and others, some so serious you can die! They also carry countless other infections, bacteria and diseases.

Ticks are hard to treat and control. They have the tenacity of cockroaches. Some types can live for two years without a meal. They can hang on a small branch or stem for up to six months, waiting for a victim to walk by. Then they latch on and start their “blood fest.”

Ticks bite the victim, or ‘host,’ then burrow their heads under the skin. A barbed feeding tube syphons off the host’s blood. As they gorge, ticks expand to up to 100 times their original size, filling themselves with blood. A tick that starts out the size of a poppy seed can blow up to the size of a freakish grape after feeding.


A tick, before latching on to its victim (left) and after its blood fest (right).

But they are especially dangerous to small dogs.  As bad as ticks are… there’s something worse!

Commercial products to repel ticks can be deadly

Flea and tick prevention products can be just as dangerous for small dogs as the ticks themselves. The insecticides in these products are poisonous. Even the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns us about the dangers of spot-on flea and tick products, particularly for dogs under 20 pounds. When we buy products for ourselves and our household, we assume that they’ve been subjected to rigorous testing by “the government,” eager to look after us. The truth is quite different. Regulations around pet products are quite sketchy. For example, products for pets don’t have to be tested on actual pets. Many can be tested on rats instead. So flea and tick shampoo, dips or powders can cause tremors, drooling, seizures and worse for your small dog. Let’s face it, commercial flea and tick products are made with poisons. Poisons to repel and kill very hardy pests. It’s no wonder they’re dangerous for a dog, and even more dangerous for a small dog.

Over the next 10 days, I’ll be posting alternative ways to safeguard the health of your small dog, without endangering it with toxic anti-tick and flea treatments.

What’s worse than ticks on your dog? COMMERCIAL TICK TREATMENTS!

At least 1,600 dogs have died needlessly in the past 5 years thanks to spot-on flea and tick treatments! It’s a tragedy that shouldn’t happen.

Commercial products to repel ticks can be deadly. The insecticides in these products are poisonous. Let’s face it: they’re formulated to kill stubborn parasites.

The hardest hit: dogs under 20 pounds. 

Learn how to protect your small dog from the dangers of ticks – without poisoning him! Order today. 

The war on ticks!

The war on ticks!

   Americans spend more than $1 billion each year on products designed to kill fleas and ticks on pets!

eeek a tick   Are we winning the war? Probably not; fleas can be a real nuisance for dogs, but ticks seem almost impossible to conquer.

They are super resistant to insecticides and can live for long periods without food. Like a science fiction nightmare, ticks latch on to their host and bury their heads in the flesh, drinking the victim’s blood. Blood is their only meal, in fact.

Ticks are terrible for small dogs; tick control can be even worse

Ticks are extremely difficult to control and prevent, even with the most effective products.

But what’s better? Heavy chemicals to keep ticks away, or the risk of tick bites and disease? These chemical treatments can really tax your small dog’s liver and other organs. Some products are safer than others, but let’s face it – these are powerful insecticides, formulated to poison life.

The battle is on.sad-morkie

There are four main commercial options for fighting ticks and fleas:

  1. Spot-on products
  2. Flea and tick collars
  3. Powders and sprays
  4. Oral medications

And there’s the option to vaccinate your Morkie against Lyme Disease, one of the main infections that female ticks can carry.

Not one of these options is good for a dog like a Morkie.  Why?

Morkies (and other small dogs) have the documented, WORST adverse reaction to spot-on products in particular. No surprise – these are basically killer insecticides.

The EPA’s findings

In 2010, after extensive study, the Environmental Protection Agency published its findings:


↓ the most commonly affected organ systems were skin, gastrointestinal (digestive), and nervous.

↓ small breed dogs were affected more than larger breeds for some products – one reason why – all dogs are given the same dosage of some of the treatments!

↓ most flea and tick products contain chemicals that are, in their words, “likely to be carcinogenic to humans.”  So what about small dogs?

The worst offender – spot-on products

These have been identified as the worst treatments for small dogs. We may think that the liquid dose we apply between the dog’s shoulders once a month is safe. The idea is that when he shakes, that dose of pesticide gets distributed throughout this coat. The problem is, it also makes its way throughout the dog’s entire system. And it’s poison.

So what can you do?

Read all you can about tick treatment. If you decide to go ahead, then:

  • be sure your dog gets the lowest possible dose
  • think twice before treating every year: you can get your dog tested for signs of tick infection instead. There is some research that shows treating annually is over-kill.
  • consider the non-toxic way to go: keep your dog away from environments where ticks thrive; clear your home and yard of dangers; inspect your dog daily and spot & remove any ticks; and test annually.

   To learn more about the potentially-deadly effects of flea and tick treatment on small dogs, you can check out my new book at Amazon.  It’s on for a limited time for 99 cents and you can read it on your Kindle, ipad, computer, laptop or smartphone.


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