Ticks are rather admirable creatures – they do what they are meant to do at the expense of everyone hating them… nope! Just kidding they aren’t, they are the epitome of disgustingness and if I had to deal with them again, it would be too darn soon.
A few weeks back, we brought Cotton to the fairly new Sembawang Dog Run to celebrate her first official year with us.
We have had brushes with ticks, but none attached, hence we always assumed that her shampoo with neem oil and the monthly Revolution preventive were doing the job of keeping the beasties away.
What we never would have thought of was that we would bring home close to 50 little devil spawns (seed ticks) back with us!! What a great birthday present to Mama Tan and Cotton, right? -.-
For those who have been fortunate enough to not know of seed ticks, seed ticks are probably, in my humblest of opinions, a billion trillion gazillion times worse than adult ticks (sans preggo mamas).
Seed ticks are about the size of a pinhead. They are the larval form of ticks, and they swarm their unsuspecting hosts in tens to hundreds within seconds.
So of course, being the paranoid parrot that I am, I had to google and research possible ways and preventives to never put myself through such agony ever again – I (and pretty much everyone else) detest any thing that walks on six legs or more.
Here are some ways which have worked for other dog owners and *hopefully* will work for me!
1) Chemical preventives
The two most common brands here in Singapore would be Frontline or Revolution.
Frontline is more specific to ticks, while Revolution only protects again the American brown dog tick, which as the name suggest, does not reside in Singapore (hence rendering it rather redundant and useless)
However, because I have never had encounters with tick with Cotton apart from once a few months back, I continued with Revolution because of it’s heartworm and mange preventive properties.
However, now hearing the horror stories from our local friends about how revolution was useless resulting in an tick infestation, we will be changing to other forms of preventives! Boy do I not want to deal with little devil spawns again!
2) Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar has even said to help with a multitude of dog related problems, such as arteritis or indigestion, but it can also apparently act as a natural flea or tick repellent. The usage as a everyday use product would be 50/50 water to ACV, but for cases such a tick infestation, the full strength can be used.
The moment I discovered that those little black dots were ticks, I immediately washed Cotton with 50/50 ACV to water and let her soak in it for around 5 minutes. After drying her off, the ticks were honestly slightly easier to remove than before. It was still a major pain in the butt due to her long hair, but to give credit where it’s due; Cotton was such an angel throughout the 2 hour tick-plucking session!
3) Neem Oil
Neem oil remedies itchy skin for both humans and dogs, and has been used as a tick and flea preventive since the ancient days. We were a little too overconfident regarding our tick-free streak and diluted the neem oil shampoo a little too much, resulting in our horribly miserable predicament 😦
However, it was a blessing that we had neem oil shampoo as the tick bites were extremely itchy for poor Cotton and the neem oil shampoo remedied the sting for her.
4) Rose Geranium Essential Oil
A little known essential oil that apparently does wonders in repelling ticks and fleas. We just ordered a bottle from iherb so we will let you know how that goes 😉
When we first got Cotton, we were told to abstain from garlic as it can cause haemolytic anemia, a condition in which the red blood cells in the body burst. However, some recent studiesl have shown that ticks and fleas can be repelled or attracted by certain body odours, and garlic is one food that seems to repel ticks.
However, because Cotton is relatively small and the use of garlic is still rather controversial, we are playing on the safer side and have yet to give her garlic to try. She only gets garlic from treats with minute amounts of garlic present.
Of course, the best way of them all would still be regularly checking the pups after a walk or an outing, especially between the paws and feet. In addition, we wash Cotton’s beds every week to ensure any pesky creatures that got a free ride will be washed away. #kiasu
If you have other methods of keeping the ticks and fleas away, let me know in the comments! 🙂
A little late, but Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Jamie and Cotton
Visit Cotton’s Instagram here!