I want to start this blog post with saying, both of my dogs are OK. Neither of my dogs are symptomatic or have active infections. So before you freak out, just know that they are currently healthy and doing well. However, I wish I could go back and do things differently and so I'm going to express to you how you can.
About a month ago I took my dogs in for their yearly health check. They were both completely healthy with no concerns whatsoever. We did our blood panel and left feeling fine. About a week later I received a phone call from our veterinarian...
She went on to tell me, "Here is the good news, Tucker's blood panel came back negative for heart worm and lyme, but positive for anaplasmosis." I instantly freaked out but she reassured me that it would be easy to take care of with 30 days of doxycycline and since he was asymptomatic that I don't need to worry. I took a breath and then continued with "Okay, what about Oakley."
She continued, "Luckily, Oakley came back negative for heart worm, but unfortunately he came back positive for both anaplasmosis and Lyme disease." My heart instantly sunk deep into my chest. I felt like an awful dog mom and my mind went to terrible places thinking of the worst things that could happen because of this. Thinking how Oakley wouldn't be able to be himself and possibly be in pain. Our veterinarian is amazing and she calmed me down on the phone, reassuring me that Oakley's blood count of lyme is extremely low and he isn't showing any signs or symptoms. She told me that this is a great thing and that it's possible he won't ever show symptoms from it and that it may never be an active infection.
Although neither of my dogs had an active infection, I decided to move forward with treatment for both of them. Now over a month later, I can happily say nothing has changed and they still seem completely normal.
Anaplasmosis and Lyme disease are both transmitted by ticks. Being in Massachusetts this past year, the ticks were the worst they've been in a long time. I even remember several articles discussing how bad the ticks were this past year. We love to go hiking several times a week and a downside to that means exposure to potentially infected ticks. Because of the controversy of different products on the market causing health concerns in specific dogs, I tried going the natural and "safest" route.
Last year I decided to only use oral tick medication every so often and minimize how many toxins were entering my dogs' bodies. I relied on natural oils, sprays, and different remedies to fight the ticks off. I used things like rose geranium oil, cedar spray, natural mineral supplements and more. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough.
After this devastating news, and to prevent any further exposure, I've decided to triple up on tick prevention using proven medications that work. No these are not all natural, but to me, the alternative is further exposure to these diseases and potentially risking an active infection to develop. My personal dogs have never had an adverse reaction to any of the products in this post, so I am giving you my personal experiences and best recommendations.
I hope that you don't take the dangers of ticks lightly. Many people don't realize how dangerous those little buggers can be. Spring is here and that means all of the bugs are back.
Below I've attached links to what I'm currently using to keep ticks at bay. I have to tell you, this combination is working really well now that spring is here and the ticks are back. Ever since I've been tripling up, I have yet to find a sitting tick on them when we get home after our hikes through the woods.
This is a monthly pill that kills the ticks once they bite. It has to be prescribed by your vet but if you use Chewy. com you can enter your vet information and they will contact your vet for you. If your dog is on this, a tick may climb on them but the tick won't be able to transmit any disease because they will die trying as soon as they bite. Some dogs have had negative side effects to these but my dogs have no issues.
2nd: Seresto Colllar.
This tick/flea collar gets ticks off. It works pretty well if you leave it on at all times. It's supposed to last up to 8 months but less if your dog swims often. This is why I am also using nexguard in case one little bugger slips past.
3rd: Natural Tick Spray.
I'm still using a spray on the dogs before we go out. This has just been beneficial to keep ticks or other bugs from jumping on them in the first place. I use it on myself and my clothes as well! This spray and many other natural sprays don't seem strong enough to use by themselves, but a little bit can go a long way especially when using more than one type prevention.
4th: Hurtta bug suits.
I recently started using these suits from hurtta not only for bugs, but to help with the mud, burrs, thorns, etc. I think they help because its an extra layer to get through! Not only that, but they're made with bug repellent inside of the fabric. Plus, they look hilarious in them.
Unfortunately my dogs have already been exposed to tick-transmitted diseases but luckily they don't have active infections. You may not need to go to these extremes for ticks where you live, but since we live in a place where ticks thrive and we go hiking almost daily, this is what we have found that is consistently working for us.
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