We have had a very mild winter here and as a result we are already seeing a lot of ticks. Thought this would be a good time to remind everyone how dangerous these little pests can be. They carry a host of diseases--ehrlichia, lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, tick paralysis--all of which can be fatal to dogs and humans alike. This is the time to start prevention if you haven't already done so. Not here to push products, so check with your vet to see what works best in your area! And remember that even with prevention, ticks can slip through and attach. Our Newfie got RMSF his last summer, even though we used prevention religiously. All that hair and the spring rains let one attach long enough to infect him. I truly believe that was what weakened his system enough that we lost him that fall. 

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  Due to a very mild winter here in N.Ca,We have had to keep Our pups on meds all year long.Tall grass at Our favorite dog park make checking the dogs every trip.Just yesterday,We found a tick on Keri's hairy tummy.Drugs were onboard,so it didn't attach.Too bad We can't put the stuff on Us!!Nothing worse than finding one in Our socks etc.Yuck!!

Yep here in N. Ca this weekend I've found a total of 4 ticks on the boys (and one crawling on me). I know Comfortis isn't made for ticks but I had just given them a dose and one of the ticks I pulled off was dead so I think at least when it is fresh in their system it kills them. Here Frontline and Advantix work great. Advantix I think works better because its a newer product so not much immunity in my area.

We have 2 rescues at our kennel in school with tick borne diseases. One has Lyme and one has erlichia. The lyme dog is only around 2 and is already having problems with arthritis due to the disease.

A good reminder. The nymph stage of deer ticks are so small that you would never find them on your dog, even if you were diligent. Our agility instructor had a friend lose a dog to Lyme. It's not to be taken lightly.

Just ordered treatment for ours.  Brody (my tick finder) found one on Lilly's ear the other day and at first I didn't believe him... she can't have one this early!  But sure enough there is was I need to pay close attention when he "snuffles" a spot repeatedly cause 100% of the time there's one there.

My daughter had a tick attach to her last week, first time I have ever had to remove one.   I hope to never have to again...so gross!!!

Please allow me to suggest guinea fowl. We too are bombarded by ticks here in Pennsylvania. When a lady came to dog school saying her dog had Lyme Disease (a co-op dog) on one of the well known tick preventatives since birth, I decided I need to take strong action. They lost that dog to the disease. I would recommend doing some research with regard to the guinea's as they are similar to but they are not chickens. Initially I attempted to excite my neighbor about them thinking if she got them they would be down here. If I got them they would be at her place. When 2 years of talking went no where I bit the bullet and got 8. It did take them about 3 years to catch up with the number of ticks we have. The guinea's will eat any kind of bug, skeeters, Japanese beetles, fleas, etc,  They are fun birds, so curious - they are here to protect the corgi's.  I currently have a flock of 30.. 

We tried guineas, but they want to go live in the woods with the wild turkeys instead of our yard where we need them. We're thinking of making a 'chicken tractor' for the guineas to move them around the yard now.

Does anyone know if trifectus guards against ticks?  It's been 5 years in Texas and i haven't found a tick yet on any of the dogs or the cats that go outside.

Guinea's do require training this is why I suggested research.  The easiest way to remember it is everything happens in 6's.  6 weeks until they are fully feathered, 6 weeks in the nursery.  6 weeks in the coop.  6 weeks in the play yard.  Now finally they are ready to roam. 

 

They will frequent the same places at the same time on a daily basis.  Mine travel counter clockwise.  Their route will change as the summer heat settles upon us.  Then you will find them in the woods.  In June they are in the yard - this was funny, one year they lined up about 4' apart and in a wave cleared the yard of June bugs.  While I have a list (I think it's after the June bugs), they will go to the meadow.  This is where my herder (corgi) is very helpful.  About noon we go out and bring them home. 

 

Hope this helps. 

 

 

We actually did the research and training, but they still want to head straight for the woods. Can't let them hang out there because in addition to turkeys, there are coyotes and bobcats. I think people who have success with guineas free ranging don't have a home surrounded by oak woods. Ours don't want to stay on the ground--they take to the air and trees. We also have a lot of hawks and owls. That's why we don't let our chickens free range. We have to keep the pens covered or by the end of the week we wouldn't have any birds left.

Ticks are alive and active here in NH due to the mild winter. I have pulled 2 off (at separate times ) of Lucy so far even though she is medicated. It was the first time for me as well--and no, I didn't like it, but I know it's necessary. A friend told me that flea combs can help pull ticks off. Has anyone ever used this for ticks?

 

 

I would not recommend using a flea comb to remove ticks, as you might leave the head behind. The best way to remove ticks is some method of suffocation, like a cotton ball with alcohol or a bit of vaseline. Let it set for about a minute and the tick will let go to breathe then the head comes out easily.

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