Just an update on my natural preventative journey for fleas and paralysis ticks (Australian).
Since the beginning of March to beginning of September (about 6 months), I have NOT used Advantix or Frontline or any other chemical treatment on Harry and Lola for fleas and ticks.
They were given the following as a preventative:-
- 1 x Kyolic Garlic Capsule once a day or 1/2 raw garlic clove crushed
- 1 teaspoon Braggs Organic Apple Cyder Vinegar
- Sprinkle diatomaceous earth (human grade) into coat once a week
- Each had a Sludo Electronic Tick Repeller on their collars
My observations are:-
- Did not see a single flea
- Did not see a single tick
March to end of August is Autumn and Winter here in Australia, so fleas and ticks are not a major issue as they are in Spring and Summer, however they are still around and can still be an issue for dogs not treated with a preventative. In the area I live, local Vets were reporting dogs dying from paralysis ticks in July and August (winter!!!) so they are around regardless of the temperature.
I have noticed over the past 3 months that Harry's skin on his inside top thigh and groin area is dark reddish and losing hair, the hair is now completely gone and he tends to lick the area. I talked to my vet about it a month ago, she thought he may be developing hypothyroidism, I am very familiar with this as Lola has it. I did a thyroid blood test (Lab one not in-office one) and has come back negative, which is good, however I now need to look at allergies. So I decided to look at food allergies first with chicken as the potential culprit as many dogs are allergic to chicken. About 6 weeks ago I took Harry off Earthborn Holistic Primitive dry kibble as it has chicken in it and slowly introduced Earthborn Holistic Coastal Catch (no chicken, just fish) - he developed SIBO and his gut was horrendous, I now have to treat him with Tylan for 45 days - not happy as he was doing brilliantly with his poops and weight gain - being an EPI dog, but since changing dry kibble he is having trouble.
So I have decided that perhaps it is not a food allergy we are dealing with, but rather a flea allergy. When I think about it, I have caught him suddenly biting his back and beginning of tail area, almost as though he feels a flea moving there, even though I have never seen a flea on him or in our house. When I look at his hairless rash and compare it to pictures googled of dogs with flea allergy rashes, it does look similar.
This has left me thinking that perhaps a flea or 2 may have been on him but the natural preventatives I used either killed the flea or stopped the flea from nesting and maybe Harry has an allergy to flea saliva???????
Now, Lola does not have a rash, so the natural preventatives were a great success for her, but because it looks like Harry is allergic to flea saliva the natural preventatives were not enough for him.
All this has left me wondering if I would continue to use natural flea and tick preventatives during the Spring and Summer (a time when there is an infestation in the area I live in) and I have come to the conclusion that if Harry did not have a possible flea allergy that I would continue both of them during Spring. At this stage I don't think I would want to continue to test them during Summer as our paralysis ticks are deadly and kill dogs and cats very quickly, especially dogs like GSDS with a thick double coat - ticks can be very difficult to find, so I would use Advantix every 2 weeks in the summer purely for tick protection. This means they would only be treated with chemicals for about 3 to 4 months out of the year and I'm reasonably happy to do this.
Unfortunately as Harry has presented with a flea allergy, he will have to be treated chemically all year round, however I will still continue to treat Lola with the natural preventatives during Autumn and Winter, possibly Spring as well.
if your GSD is eating and eating and eating and losing weight - please consider testing for EPI.
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