Ticks--even with Frontline

darenkaJune 6, 2009

I recently moved to tick paradise. The only appropriate place to walk the dogs happens to be in a semi-wooded, vineyard, grassy area. A lot of this area isn't actively being used so the grasses get tall. The dogs love it, we can get off-leash time, and it would be ideal, except for the ticks. I apply Frontline and 18-19 days later the dogs come home covered in ticks. The first time I didn't realize it wasn't going to work for the advertised 1 month, I pulled off 10+ engorged ticks, and I stopped counting at 40 non attached ticks. Now I brush carefully, but I do not get them all. I'm afraid of applying Frontline more frequently. I tried Bio-Spot and had the same result. They both work well for the first two weeks, but then have greatly diminishing results. Does anyone have any suggestions? Honestly, there really isn't another exercise option. I'm in Germany, don't speak the language yet, and the town is heavily populated with narrow sidewalks. I don't need to understand German, to understand that many people are bothered by 2 big dogs in a congested area. There are no dog parks, and it's too dangerous to walk them alongside a busy road where there are not pedestrians. So, has anyone found an effective way to battle the ticks?

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I forgot to ask, how do you folks feel about the Lyme disease vaccination? I've read lots of cons, a few pros, and I just don't know what to do.... I loved former vet, but current vet just shrugs and say's it's my decision.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 5:15PM
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I feel for you. I have good results with Frontline Plus (you are using the Frontline Plus I think?) and I find more ticks on me than on the dogs :) Look into the Preventic Tick collar. Stay away from other tick collars as they're dangerous, but I've read very good reports on the Preventic collar even with sensitive dogs. My understanding is that you can combine the collar with Frontline Plus and achieve much better levels of control in heavily infested areas.

I don't give my dogs the Lyme vaccine as it's known not to be completely effective (60% maybe? don't remember) and I avoid any vaccines that may do more harm than good. But I'm less concerned with Lyme than with other tick borne diseases which are more damaging (Erlichiosis, Babesia).

Does tick season end in winter there?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 6:42PM
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I'm currently using the Preventic collar on my 3 labs with great success. My area seems to be more heavily infested than usual this year, and the Preventic has made a radical difference ! Mine came in a pack of 2 from the vet's office, and cost about $30.00. (And I believe each collar is good for 60 to 90 days) You could probably get them online for less. The Preventic collar was the only one my vet recommended.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 10:20PM
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I live in California and it is also tick paradise.
As far as Lyme goes, I would check with a local vet to determine the number of "confirmed" cases in Germany in your area. I always opt for not overdosing my pets and hate the idea of using so many pesticides and insecticides. I just pull off the ticks. I like having a hands on relations hip with my dogs and use the time to massage my pup and check for any abnormalities. I often pull 25 ticks off of him and at least 10 off of me after a romp in the field. Good luck with your issuee, I know it can be an unpleasant task day after day. My only other suggestion is to get a treadmill (if legal) and run your dogs right at home - not nearly as fun for them..

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 12:33AM
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i had the same problem with frontline plus. my 2 corgis rarely get ticks but my great dane seems to be a tick magnet. i switched her to advantix because it's suppose to REPEL ticks but i still find one on her occasionally. bleh!!!

i've also heard great things about the preventic collar and that it can be used in conjunction with spot-on treatments. i was ready to get one for my dane girl but opted not to after reading the warnings. they are not to be used on dogs whose health is compromised. my male corgi suffers from degenerative myelopathy and since he gives his dane sister a bath every night, i didn't want him to lick her and come in contact with the collar.

tick season seems to be winding down here and it won't happen too soon for me!!!!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 7:34AM
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spedigrees z4VT

It takes 24 hours I think for the frontline plus to kill attached ticks, but there have been reports of ticks gaining immunity to fipronil in heavily tick infested areas. Frontline plus is supposed to kill ticks before they have been embedded in an animal long enough to transmit Lyme disease.

I have vaccinated my dogs against Lyme disease each year since the vaccine became available (and I had the full series of innoculations myself before the vaccine was pulled from the market.) I also have both my dogs tested annually for Lyme and erhlichia (sp?). Vaccination is the only sure protection against tick borne diseases, although frontline plus helps.

It sounds like ticks are rampant where you live, darenka. Wish I had some magic solution, but then don't we all.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 11:16AM
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Thanks so much for all the information and suggestions. You folks are amazing. This move has been traumatic in a number of ways--ticks thicker I knew they could get, and the golden, who was always a bit anxious has gone over the edge. Previously, behavior modification seemed to work with a shot of rescue remedy for help--we are so beyond that now. Between what I've learned here, and reading the anxiety posts, I feel so much more informed. The vet here had given her acepromazine and now that's going down the toilet. Does that drug actually have a good use? Anyway, I have preventic collars on order and tomorrow we'll make another vet appointment for some better drugs.

Sierra Trading Post has dog coats that look mighty similar to the ones people are using for compression wraps for anxious dogs, but $27 vs 70--and with a coupon, I got mine for $20. I actually got similar ones for them to travel in and to acclimatize to a colder place (we came from Arizona--no ticks or snow). They are made out of a soft-shell material similar to what I wear. I ordered a smaller size then what they use for cold weather. I'll let you know how it works.

And now that I've rambled all over the place... I do have Frontline Plus, and I think I'll hold off on the Lyme shot. I want to give the Preventic collar a try. While I find ticks disgusting, tick removal isn't the worst thing I've done for my friends. I've had Rocky Mountain Spotted fever and I wouldn't wish it on anyone--and that's one of the best things your poor dog can get from a tick. I just want to keep these guys healthy and active for another 30 years. (Yeah, I know I'm dreaming...)

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 10:32PM
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Can you say more about your dogs anxious behavior? What sets it off? How have you decided to deal with it? What does she actually do?
Rocky mountain spotted fever and tick paralysis are two creepies I dont want anything to do with - fortunately here in California they are rare to the point of non existence, Lymes is rampant but like I say I pick ticks off by the bucket full. I hope the collars work for you, please post and let us know how they are doing.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 4:09PM
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Well, I have a vet appointment later this week, but I'd like to get some xanax for storms, or big upsets. My 8-year old Golden developed thunder phobias while we were in Phoenix. This was a difficult move for many reasons and it took 6 months after the movers came for us to finally get here. I could tell she was adding anxieties. Now she doesn't like gun shots, loud noises, unexpected movements, car rides, etc... If it's an short event (gun shot) we do a "settle" exercise and she can calm down. A thunderstorm brings: panting, shaking, clawing, alternating pacing, and cowering, trying to climb on top of my head, she urinates, and this is always followed by diarrhea (that she usually manages to contain until the storm subsides and she goes outside). What concerns me most is the fact that she's adding fears. I'm going to try to desensitize her to the storms, but we need drugs to break this association. I know it's not just the thunder as she starts freaking long before I even realize a storm is coming in. I'm sure she's sensing the pressure change and the static, which she's come to associate with bad things. The first 6 years of her life she was nearly shock-proof; I do not remember her being afraid of anything--sometimes to my great dismay. When she's really upset, I just cannot distract her. "Animals in Translation," was written by an autistic woman who says she made a compression machine for herself when she was overwrought. She says they seem to work on animals much the same way and it's very calming. I'm hoping that a multi-pronged approach will help my dog: compression, distraction, drugs...

Can you think of anything else that might help? Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 7:53PM
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Show her the bathtub :) It's the most grounded spot in the house, and that's where Dannie goes when there's a storm. She was so phobic she was returned after two years in a home. I see from your note that another vet prescribed ACE. Glad you understand that's not a good solution for anxiety. Xanax should help her. I also give Dannie a Vitamin C supplement daily to tolerance, (C supresses Cortisol - stress hormone) and keep the room she's in as cold as possible in order to keep the humidity low. Lots of little changes do help, and sounds like your dog is a pretty severe case too. I'd be cautious with the desensitization, you can only try it out of season, and it's not really the NOISE that's triggering her response anyway.

Counterconditioning with yummy highest value treats may help, but when they're panting they can't smell anything so usually won't take food.

The wisdom used to be that you should not sooth your dog,(to avoid reinforcing the fear reaction) but in her most recent book Patricia McConnell took a different approach. She's a very well regarded behaviorist (ethologist). The answer is probably somewhere in the middle: to avoid emotion, and set an example but also quietly reassure the dog. The severe cases definitely need anti anxiety meds to help.

Dannie in her bathtub :)

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 8:49PM
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Try Advantix maybe?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 3:53AM
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