Ticks on Dogs: Be Wary, Groom Regularly, Prevent Naturally
I hate ticks. Hate, hate, HATE. I have experienced first hand what Lyme disease can do to a person (and how woefully inadequate our own health sector was in the process), so I’m left with a healthy respect for ticks on dogs. In fact, if it was that bad in afflicted humans, using the best hospitals, imagine how far behind the average vet is. But it’s not just Lyme disease our vets might be confused on. Further confusing them is the deluge of outrageously bad, corporate-sponsored science that is convincing them ticks on dogs are far more prevalent than they actually are (check out our article on the Big Tick Project, it’s a shocker). Finally, it is clear one of the most popular chemical preventatives for ticks on dogs recommended by them, the chewable tablet Bravecto, has a pretty alarming safety record. I certainly recommend avoiding it all costs.
All the above makes for a suitably alarming read. Thus, while I’m not worried about fleas or gut worms in dogs for all the reasons in those articles, if we find them we can easily treat them naturally, no biggie, I do believe ticks on dogs are something we do need to take some steps to avoid. And, should you ever be faced with one hanging off your dog, you know how to safely remove it and, not only keep an eye out for symptoms but possibly help treat it (naturally) in the background.
The good news is there are lots you can do to prevent ticks on dogs, safely remove them and naturally treat your dogs should Lyme disease be on the radar.
Ticks on Dogs, How To Prevent Naturally
For humans, the best prevention is to wrap up. No exposed skin. However, it’s nearly impossible to prevent ticks on dogs unless you wrap them in an all-in-one bodysuit, which isn’t happening.
One solution, certainly the one recommended by vets, is a regular dose of chemicals. However, when you consider just how potentially nasty some of them are, it can leave many of us wondering which is worse. Luckily, there’s a lot you can do naturally to prevent attachment. Anecdotal feedback online suggests it’s very effective.
There are natural homemade and over-the-counter remedies that will work to stop these guys latching on. If you want to buy something then consider Billy-No-Mates. You feed it to the dog or cat and over time it should offer them some protection. Check out those reviews on Amazon, a lot of positive feedback.
Or you could make it yourself. Dogs Naturally formulated the following mixture. They have a whole team of vets and herbalists working on their stuff now. The below remedies are taken from that article verbatim. You can order all the ingredients online from Amazon.
Best Natural Preventative Remedies for Ticks on Dogs
Goodbye Ticks Essential Oil Blend
- ½ oz base oil (raw organic coconut or almond oil)
- 2 drops geranium essential oil
- 2 drops rosewood essential oil
- 3 drops lavender essential oil
- 2 drops myrrh essential oil
- 2 drops opoponax essential oil
- 1 drop bayleaf essential oil
Blend all oils and store, ideally in a dark glass dropper bottle (find here on Amazon). Apply two to four drops topically to the neck, chest, legs and base of tail. You can also add the drops to a bandana or cotton collar …and you can pop a few drops on your own clothing while you’re at it.
How to Safely Remove Ticks on Dogs
Ticks are hard to spot, initially, but they usually look something like the below. You’ll find them anywhere but the warmer and the thinner the skin, the better, so ears and armpits are favourite spots.
If you see a tick, remove it. You can do it. Check out the video below for the how-to. Two important tips given in the first video below is, should you remove a tick, keep it in a covered jar (ideally with a bit of alcohol in it, yes vodka is fine). Then, should suspicious symptoms pop up in your pet (or you), you can easily have the tick examined to see if it was a carrier of any baddies. Secondly, once the tick is removed, disinfect the area with whatever skin safe disinfectant, e.g. 50/50 Apple Cider Vinegar and water (add salt for extra power), lemon juice, Colloidal Silver, iodine, or any suitable medical swab or antiseptic cream, etc.
The best tool for removing them is a tick-remover tool. As the tick is holding itself in by a barbed tooth, you must slowly rotate the tick to remove it (keeping it’s mouth-parts intact and stuck to the body, you don’t want to leave these in there as they carry baddies). We stock them in the shop but for 2019 we’re giving one out free with every order form our shop. We hate ticks that much. This video below will show you how to use them.
Can Dogs get Lyme Disease? You betcha.
The good news is the vast majority of tick bites are relatively harmless. However, rising temperature and damp conditions favour the spread of Lyme disease and it is most certainly on the rise in humans and dogs. Unfortunately, our health sector is grossly unprepared to deal with this issue. If you haven’t done so already, I urge you first to check out my friends experience with Lyme disease. The story shows how difficult it was to get diagnosis and how close she came to being lead down the wrong road as a result of repeated misdiagnosis from various doctors. Really scary stuff. If this is how bad it is in the human health sector, imagine how hard it will be for the average vet to diagnose Lyme disease in dogs.
Like humans, dogs can get Lyme disease too. Apparently, only 5-10% of dogs will show symptoms of the disease. The most common symptom is lameness due to inflammation in the joints. There may also be a lack of appetite and depression leading to eventual organ damage and nervous dysfunction. Other symptoms include:
- Loss of appetite.
- Reduced energy.
- Lameness (can be shifting, intermittent, and recurring) and stiffness of joints
- Generalized stiffness, discomfort, or pain.
If you suspect a case in your dog, always get them quickly to a vet. Don’t hang around reading another single thing on the internet.
Studies Show Oregano oil, Cinnamon bark oil, Clove oil and Garlic Oil Outperform Some of the Best Antibiotics for a Stubborn Lyme Infection…
As we highlighted in our article on Lyme Disease, there are some unbelievable studies testing various essential oils which found they outperformed some of the best drugs for stubborn Lyme infections.
Researchers evaluated the use of 34 essential oils against B. burgdorferi, in particular, the persistent phase of the organism, the part that is most stubborn to clear. They found 23 essential oils that were more active than the control persister drug Daptomycin at killing the bug off. In particular oregano, clove bud, and cinnamon bark, which displayed remarkable activity even at a very low concentration of 0.125% (instead of the usual 1% inclusion rate).
[Garlic oil too was found to be effective, and garlic is fine for dogs in small doses].
This is pretty staggering info, from researchers with no skin in the game.
They conducted a second study and found 10 more essential oils with highly potent anti-Lyme activity. This time they note that 16 of the essential oils tested worked better than three of the strongest antibiotics used against chronic Lyme disease.
You can discuss these findings with your vet. If they show no interest, consider discussing the results with your local, qualified herbalist who will guide you as to dosage and potential drug clashes, if there are any.