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We just adopted a beautiful, healthy, jet black lab - border collie mix from our local pound. We took Bear to the vet for his checkup and worm check. In the five minute visit, which cost $72 (stool check and checkup) we were given brochure for chipping, lyme disease vaccine, pet insurance and a monthly thing they eat which will make him toxic to fleas and ticks that crawl on him. The substance is 1-Naphthalecarboxamide, 4-(5-(3-chloro-5(trifluoromethyl)-phenyl)-4, 5-dihydro-5-(trifluoromethyl)-3-isoxazolyl)-N-(2-oxo-2((2,2,2-trifluoromethyl)amino)ethyl.
The brochure contains the usual info (side effects etc.) but no mention of its effects on humans. What happens when your dog licks your toddler's lips, or you play and pet your dog, then take another bite of your sandwich? What if your dog sleeps with your child, inches from his nose? This stuff kills fleas and ticks! DEET just repels them and has to be applied when you go in the woods. As nasty as it is, you don't have to eat it and it doesn't last a month.
I WILL NOT GIVE THIS POISON TO MY DOG!
Of course, vets, like doctors, never mention safer alternatives to their pharmaceutical potions.
We have always used diatomaceous earth on our dogs. It is not toxic but you don't want to inhale it, like you wouldn't with any powder.
What a drugged up society we are.....
 

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i fully agree, there are allot of safer and more natural options. with my dogs and cats i sort flea treatment out myself. the vet askes, but i say no thank you. like doctors, they just want to sell. the vets here in town have just started prescribing this new flea treatment, which is hugely expensive. allot more than the one they used to prescribe before, because apparently the fleas have gotten immune to it....you what???
 

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Both of my dogs are vaccinated and on flea, tick, and heartworm preventative. My dogs sometimes lick me in the mouth. And my one puppy is a poop eater. To each their own. ;)
 

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Most often the products active ingredients are species specific, therefore only toxic to fleas/ticks/other worms. My dog is on a topical called Revolution, which kills fleas, ticks and works on roundworms, hooks, and heart worms, in the summer months and I've never had an issue with my family members getting ill and yes she likes to lick my face and sleeps with me.
 
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I have to say, if there was a tick preventative I could take to prevent/repel ticks from crawling on me, I'd probably take it in a heartbeat.
 

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Curious about the natural solutions. Would love to know.
My dogs get the heartworm, tick/ flea stuff. And no fleas on me.
I remember the days before we had it. My legs were cratered with flea bites, fleas love me. I used to powder the dog, and the cats with toxic stuff that contained the instructions 'do not inhale'. Tried holding my breath, and then the cats sleep with me, covered in powder. And they lick themselves. And then vacuuming the carpets and every nook and cranny followed by more toxic powders and spray everywhere, which would give some relief, sort of.
I worked at a farm. The 'cat room' had so many fleas, the floor moved. Some of the kittens (my boss took in stray cats and had them spayed or neutered) were emaciated due to the flea infestation. The vet gave her some drops to put on the cats skin, at the time only approved for horse & cattle. No more fleas on me, or those cats.
 
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1/3 people in the US get cancer now!
Sure, and the average life span of a US citizen is around 75 years (where it used to be 30 in the early 1800s and then around 50 in the early 1900s), what's your point?

I totally agree some more dangerous chemicals shouldn't be used, but these aren't used in dewormers. These are medications and these medications have been stringently tested to ensure the majority of patients,and their owners, would benefit from their use and have little to no side effects from usage.

That being said, I would only use dewormer from the vet, I know for a fact the quality testing is stringent for a vet to be able to sell a medicinal product which makes dewormers like Advantix, Heartgard, Revolution, and Drontal safer to use than the stuff you can buy at walmart.

In my opinion, dewormers have way more of a benefit than a risk. But that's just me.
 

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I don't use any heartworm/flea/tick poison. I test for heartworm, as my vet recommends. My dogs and cats(two of which go outside) rarely get fleas. Every once in a while I'll have to treat with some topical, but it's less than once a year. I also use DE and make up a spray for the dogs for use in summer or when we go into the woods. It's a mix of lavender, ceder, tea tree and eucalyptus oils. I don't have fleas crawling all over, it's rare to even see a flea. But my mom's dogs, who do get treatments do get fleas, normally when she is delayed reapplying it. I also give the dogs b complex, I've heard from hunters that they use it to keep mosquitoes away. I have no proof it works, but I figured it can't hurt. IMO people are way overusing chemicals, and there are side effects. None of them are 100% safe.
 

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If you don't like it, then don't use it?

I adopted my dog from the South and we had huge problems with fleas and worms (which may have been a result from the fleas and/or from contaminated soil) for a few months. It was a nightmare. I ended up using a few things- flea shampoo and flea spray which were natural and also K9 Advantix. I don't know which finally ended up working but I haven't seen any fleas for the past month or so.

Also, that's a pretty random statistic- 1/3 people get cancer. I also don't think it's entirely accurate, I've read about 40% (~37%- 43%) of Americans develop cancer. There are a billion different things that cause cancer- chemicals yeah, but also things like exposure to sun, genetics, the food we eat, the incredible ages we reach now. The body can't go on living forever- we push it to extremes and over the years the cells will mutate. I'm pretty sure flea preventative has very little, if any, impact on whether or not we get cancer.
 

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There is a problem with all this overuse of chemicals/meds in animals and people too. Many diseases are now resistant to them. Many times fleas are harder to kill and there are bacteria that are now resistant to antibiotics. Head lice are now becoming resistant to the shampoo that are commonly used. So even those of use that don't use them, we are affected by these super bugs.
 

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Slightly off-topic.
The problem isn't with the actual antibiotics. The problem is people demanding them when they don't need them, and more importantly, not finishing your full course of medication. If you stop taking them when you feel better, you don't kill all the (generally) bacteria. If one is able to survive (generally through a resistance gene on a plasmid) then through replication, it will pass the plasmids to other bacteria, and bam, hosts of bacteria now immune to that particular antibiotic.

This is a classic case in antibiotics such as methicillin (which is why we now have Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, which is the popular "superbug" in the hospitals) and vancomycin (where we can Vancomycin resistant Enterococci).

In short, finish your darn medicines, and stop using ridiculous "antibacterial spray/soap". Mechanical disruption (scrubbing your hands) is far more effective.


Edit: Enjoy my MRSA Bug.


 

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If you ever move where fleas are a problem, or heartworms are nearly guaranteed if a dog is not on a preventative, then you'll understand why people use the preventative.

I live in the deep south and fleas can become a huge problem if something is not done to prevent them, to top it off my dog is allergic to fleas. I choose not to fiddle around with "natural" products. In the past I did and ended up battling fleas, both on the dog and in the house, it was using a topical flea preventative that finally worked.

Down here it's nearly guaranteed that a dog not on a preventative will get heartworms. I treated my rescue dog for it, watched as my friends rescue dog nearly died while being treated for it, convinced a neighbor that they should treat their dog for it rather then let it die a slow death, remember a childhood neighbor's dog dying from them, and watched a neighbors dog slowly die from them before she was finally taken to the vet to be put to sleep. The deaths were not easy since the dog's heart is clogged with worms. Knowing how hard the treatment can be if a dog gets heartworms, how hard the death of the dog is if the owner chooses not to treat the dog if it gets heartworms, and the fact that the dog I treated lived 10 years on heartworm preventative and the dog I raised from a puppy lived 17 years 8 months on preventative, I choose to use the preventative.

I have no problem with people choosing to not use preventatives, especially if they live where fleas, ticks, or heartworms, are not a large problem, just like I don't have a problem with people only vaccinating a puppy and then after that getting tithers done rather then over vaccinating. I do believe we as a society tend to over medicate, but sometimes, as with the case of heartworms, it's better to use the medicine then risk the parasite.
 

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I personally recommend if there's a flea problem, the Serento 8 month collars from Bayer. Yeah the people who make aspirin. They're cheaper by a good bit than the poison drops down the back, and there's no residue smell on your hands OR on the dog, and it works well! You don't have to worry about your dog licking you and transferring poison then.
 

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Sure, and the average life span of a US citizen is around 75 years (where it used to be 30 in the early 1800s and then around 50 in the early 1900s), what's your point?

I totally agree some more dangerous chemicals shouldn't be used, but these aren't used in dewormers. These are medications and these medications have been stringently tested to ensure the majority of patients,and their owners, would benefit from their use and have little to no side effects from usage.

That being said, I would only use dewormer from the vet, I know for a fact the quality testing is stringent for a vet to be able to sell a medicinal product which makes dewormers like Advantix, Heartgard, Revolution, and Drontal safer to use than the stuff you can buy at walmart.

In my opinion, dewormers have way more of a benefit than a risk. But that's just me.

I agree. Too many people seem to think that 'all natural' = safe and chemical = evil. Snake venom is all natural, as are poisonous mushrooms.

You need to look at the actual item, what it does, what tests were done. You'll find that there are man-made substances that are safe to use and those that you should steer clear of, but this is also true of 'all natural' products as well.
 

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We do not have fleas in our area or heart worm but when you go into the Vet, they have advertisements and sell stuff for both and I am sure people buy it especially if they move here from another area that does have fleas or heart worm.

Our dogs are more likely to get lice from the deer or bitten by a tick but the Vet never mentions using anything for that.
 

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Alternative Flea Treatments

If you're looking for flea/tick alternatives, I recommend using Beneficial Nematodes
(What are nematodes? : :: BioLogic ::). They are tiny insects that you "sprinkle" in your yard (i.e. grass) and they survive by feeding off of fleas, etc. They naturally die off once there is no longer food for them to survive. They are safe for plants, humans, and pets. This is a great, truly 100% natural flea treatment. It's recommended to apply in spring and fall.
My husband and I have experienced horrible flea infestations in the past and tried all of the chemical options, including having our house sprayed every 3 months for over a year. This didn't work. However, once we started using the nematodes every spring and fall, we've never had a problem with fleas since- almost 2 years now. :)
We also use diatomaceous earth in and out of our home. We sprinkle it around our house outside, but only once in awhile because we're not really sure how effective it is since it can easily be blown away, but it can't hurt. We also sprinkle it in our basement once a week during heavy flea times, such as spring and fall. Outside of those seasons, we sprinkle it in our basement once a month. We choose our basement because our dog never goes down there- it's an old house with the scary basement. You are supposed to sprinkle it very, very lightly though because the idea is that it has to be a thin enough layer that fleas will actually "walk" through it; thus, allowing the d. earth to break down the flea's waxy exoskeleton. This is how it kills the fleas. Sometimes, we might sprinkle some lightly underneath furniture or anywhere else that our dog would not be able to come into contact with it. I've never heard of using it on dogs. It's an abrasive so I'm not sure if I would feel comfortable doing that. Humans should wear gloves and protective eyewear when applying it, especially if using it repeatedly because it can impact your lungs. I'm sure you can find more information about that online.
The third thing we do is use essential oils from Mountain Rose Herbs. We typically use cedarwood, eucalyptus, orange, tea tree, and/or peppermint essential oil. We blend them with something like olive or coconut oil and put a drop or two on our dog's collar a couple times a week. Don't make it too strongly scented though since it will be going on your dog's collar and they are obviously more sensitive to smells. We wouldn't want to "overload" them with the smell.
I also combine the oils in water and use it to mist around the house during spring and fall.
 

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Just because it's natural doesn't mean it's safe or better. Most of the time for fleas and such, it just means it doesn't work if the problem is bad. I've used flea/tick control for many years and never had one issue with it, not with my dogs or with people. I don't LOVE using pesticides, but I'd far rather that than the issues and diseases they bring. And like I said, never had a problem with them.

I'm not saying natural is bad or won't work, but I wouldn't count out the normal stuff. It's better to research them all before saying man-made is all terrible.
 
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