Ticks are horrible little spider-cousins. They carry disease, bite, suck blood and scare us half to death. But for small dogs, there’s something worse than ticks:
Tick prevention treatment
Commercial tick fighting products contain toxic chemicals necessary to kill parasites. For small dogs, that deadly cocktail can be overwhelming. Way back in 2010, the EPA warned consumers to be very careful treating smaller dogs because of the number of deaths and serious illnesses reported after using a tick treatment.
In September 2018, the EPA reissued the warning: pet parents need to be very careful with these products and manufacturers need to be more clear about their dangers, and proper dosage.
For more, read the previous post – Flea and tick pills for tick prevention. Safe or not?
Ticks are a nightmare for small dogs… and the meds to protect against ticks are even worse than the ticks.
A tick feeding on a dog. Note how swollen the tick is, with the victim’s blood.
The War is On!
Americans spend more than $1 billion each year on products designed to kill fleas and ticks on pets!
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 (up to 2 years). 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.
Incidents of tick-borne illness are spiking, and ticks are spreading out across North America and around the world.
Ticks are terrible for small dogs, but 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 possible disease?
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. They’re simply not safe for a small dog.
Small Dog, Big Danger
Small dogs are easy victims for ticks.
They’re so low to the ground that small dogs are a handy snack for ticks, who latch on to their small bodies as they pass by. And even indoor dogs and cats are not safe from the tick, because we can carry ticks indoors ourselves; then the tick sets up housekeeping, looking for a handy victim, like a small dog.
Ticks carry deadly diseases
First, ticks carry some serious diseases that can hit small dogs hard, including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme Disease and a host of others with names 12 syllables long.
Ticks can cause infection
Even when ticks are not carrying any diseases, their bite alone can be dangerous. The tick bite, filled with bacteria, can generate a nasty infection. The same bite obviously packs a bigger punch in a 5-pound dog, than in a 95-pound pet.
Ticks can trigger a bad allergic reaction
Any dog, or human, for that matter, can have an allergic reaction to a tick bite. But for a tiny dog, this allergy can turn into a life-threatening response — an anaphylactic reaction.
For dogs, an allergic reaction hits the liver hardest. This brings on sudden diarrhea, defecation, urination, and vomiting. A small dog quickly dehydrates and could lose consciousness and ultimately slip into a coma and death if left untreated. If an insect or tick bite sets off a reaction that bad, there’s no time to waste. Your dog needs immediate medical care, or he could die!
Tick bites can even mean excessive blood loss
A female tick can consume more than 100 times her body weight, in blood. A couple of them on your small dog can actually lead to anemia from blood loss, specifically the loss of red blood cells.
Tick prevention medications are WORSE
Special EPA Warning – for dogs under 20 pounds!
Most flea and tick products contain chemicals that are “likely to be carcinogenic to humans” according to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). This appears in tiny print on the product packaging.
In fact, 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 confirms 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 adverse reactions to spot-on products. The worst reactions were found in dogs under 20 pounds.
How can you protect your Morkie from ticks AND from tick repellants?
The Alternative to Deadly Tick Treatments: a smart, 3 part program
This 3-part program offers sound protection, without the potentially deadly risks. At a glance, here’s the program:
1. BANISH TICKS from your home and yard, and avoid places where they hang out. Use a safe, alternative repellent on your small dog to deter ticks.
2. SPOT & REMOVE any ticks from your dog and watch the bite area carefully. Check your dog every time he comes in from outdoors.
3. TEST ANNUALLY for tick-borne diseases at your Veterinarian’s, via blood tests.
Check for ticks every time your Morkie has been outdoors. Here’s where to look.
Magic Tick Fighting Dust
for your home, your pets and yourself
Use this tick repellent safely in your yard, in your home and apply it right on your small dog. Dust it on your outdoor clothes for more protection.
If you see a tick inside, sprinkle some of the magic dust around about once a week. Or be proactive and use it regularly.
(with thanks to www.PrimallyInspired.com)
- 1 cup FOOD GRADE Diatomaceous Earth or DE
- 1/2 cup Neem Powder
- 1/2 cup Yarrow Powder
- 20 Drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
- Mix everything together and put in a shaker jar. To use it dry, simply sprinkle lightly on your dog; in your yard, on carpets, your outdoor clothes – whatever you want to protect from ticks.
Reapply daily if your dog is outside for long periods each day.
Notes on ingredients:
The ingredients for “Magic Tick-Fighting Dust” are available online from Amazon and other online retailers, or in health food stores and many drugstores.
- Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth or DE. This is made from sedimentary mineral rock and contains the important trace metal called silica. It’s very important that you pick FOOD GRADE, not the DE that’s for pool filters.
- Neem Powder is ground from the bark, seeds, leaves, and flowers of the Neem Tree. It has been used for centuries as a general cure-all in Indian medicine. Drugs.com notes that around the world, neem leaves are used to treat worm infections, leprosy and ulcers, and for heart disease.
- Yarrow Powder is made from the common weed yarrow, native to most of the Northern Hemisphere. It is used as a herbal treatment for fever, cough, the common cold, diarrhea, skin allergies and more. It’s often an ingredient in natural and organic shampoos.
- Eucalyptus Essential Oil is offered at most health food stores. It’s thought to be stimulating, healing and regenerating, and it repels pests. This is the same Eucalyptus Oil used in aromatherapy. (Look for pure or organic versions.)