Skip to main content

Natural Tick Control

In the spring I purchased a  popular brand of tick control. Namely, the commercial solution that you drip between the shoulder blades.

Bruiser was somewhat despondent for a day but Rocki was SICK...lethargic, shaking, didn't eat. I did some research online and found that many dogs got sick from this "preventative" measure and indeed, some even died. I toyed with taking him to the vet but he slowly got better and I never did do that. What I did note was that even with the treatment, they still had the odd tick that was immune to the chemical cocktail in their systems and still had to be removed. However, it stuck in my head that there must be a better way to treat them for ticks without them getting violently ill from commercial products.

After much research, I discovered that Geranium Oil (which can be purchased at any health food store) was recommended for ticks. So, my boys became guinea pigs in my Shih-Tzu lab. I bought the oil and applied it between the shoulder blades and then let them out. No ticks. I reapplied it after a couple of days. No ticks. They run in the grass and we own part of the forest behind the house where they run - no ticks. So what are at the side effects of Geranium Oil? Nothing...except your dogs smell like geraniums. Which could be a good or bad thing depending on your sense of smell!

I am not totally against commercial products. Indeed our vet told us about two prescription products I could consider for the boys. I told her what I was using and she said to be careful of the baby ticks which are hard to see. Also she is concerned, of course, with lyme disease. But, because my dogs are not "outside dogs" they are not exposed as much. I refer to them as deck dogs. But I am considering a prescription product only because we are supposed to be facing one of the worst seasons for wood ticks due to the sheer numbers predicted for this year.

My vet admitted she had never heard of Geranium Oil to prevent ticks but she told me if it works, then that's fine. One of the reasons she said this was because one of the prescription products may cause seizures in dogs susceptible to them. Well, my little Rocki has had seizures and I told her that. But she did say keep an eye out for any ticks on the dogs and that I could come by and get the prescription anytime.

So I'm still waiting and watching while reading brochures on the products the vet is recommending. And my boys smell like geraniums!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ear infections

Dogs with long, floppy ears are prone to ear infections, and Shih-Tzus are certainly not immune. My oldest just got treated for one.

At first, I didn't even realize he had an infection. When I was growing up, we had a Lhasa Apso and whenever she got the infection, there was a distinct odor that came from her ear so we knew it was time to go to the vet. However, when I checked my oldest, there was no odor so I let it go longer than I should have because I thought that it was just overly itchy and perhaps a bit irritated because of this scratching. I realized something was wrong after my husband told me he got up in the middle of the night and found our oldest scratching his ear and crying. That was enough to convince me something wasn't right. I immediately made an appointment with the vet and, lo and behold, he had an ear infection.

So what are the signs? Assuming there is no odor (which is a dead giveaway), this is what you need to watch for:
1. repeated scratching of the affec…

Grooming the Shih-Tzu's eye area

The eye area, and the face in general, are the hardest parts of grooming simply because you need your dog to sit perfectly still in order to cut away in these delicate areas.

The most important tool? Sharp, snub-nosed scissors. I picked mine up at a holistic pet shop where the owners regularly show their dogs so they had a lot of expertise in grooming and actually cater to people who groom their dogs for show, so they had all the right supplies. However, many pet stores carry grooming equipment. The owners explained to me that the snub-nose is most important because if your pet does move, there is no pointed tip to harm them.

Now I have trained my boys to sit still by using voice commands...speaking gently to them and raising my voice slowly and adding firmness if they continue to squirm around. Now they will lay in my arms or sit quietly on the floor while I groom their face. This method of training requires an inordinate amount of patience (which, thankfully, I have). However, I know …

Shih-Tzu hairstyles

I, for one, am fascinated by the hairstyles given to Shih-Tzus. In particular the "top knot" seems to be the thing to do with this breed.

Although my boys have short hair, I've found some links for those who are a bit more adventurous and want to give their dog a bit more panache.

1. Shih-Tzu top knots - illustrations of how to tie the top knot, show knot and puppy knot.
2. A casual Shih-Tzu top knot and the illustrated guide to the Show knot (curling iron required. Really!)
3. One of the most fabulous pics I've seen of a Shih-Tzu. I have no idea how they got the dog to look so perfect, but I suspect it took quite a few hours and hairspray was involved.