Hurricane Hermine and the Bugs
In a much desired and fun experience, Mother Nature decided to grace the west coast of Florida with a sweet hurricane named Hermine over the last week. Another fun addition to the torrential monsoon that dumped, what seemed, like the equivalent of the Gulf of Mexico on us, is the fact that our yard is the lowest point in our neighborhood and floods like no one’s business.
I have spent years perfecting a series of channels that run throughout the yard that are quite effective at dealing with “normal” precipitation. But, Hermine was a little different. There was so much rain, so fast, that the pump and channels couldn’t keep up and I have been battling floodwaters since last Thursday!
I’ve won the battle, but the flood isn’t fighting fair. The standing water attracts a cornucopia of insect life, which means ticks, mosquitos, gnats, and a few other 6 and 8-legged species that like to feast on my dogs.
I found one in Johnny’s ear the first day I let the dogs into the yard after the storm. My default response here was to freak out and tear that thing out of his ear, but I remember my mom telling me that there was a right and a wrong way to remove a tick. So, obviously, google was my next stop!
Of course, Mama was right. There is a right and wrong way to remove a tick. The graphic below covers the correct way.
Fortunately, the tick in Johnny’s ear wasn’t a problem to remove. But, I was very concerned about the potential for disease that is associated with ticks. Our dogs are covered by BRAVECTO®(Fluralaner) so this is was my first tango with ticks in the three-plus years that we have had our dogs/been fostering. While BRAVECTO doesn’t prevent ticks from biting, it kills them in about 2 hours which, so far, has led to exactly 0 tick encounters on our dogs. The next step after the tick is removed is to identify which species we are dealing with to ascertain what potential infections we need to be on the look out for. The best resource for this is your veterinarian, but a close second is this Tick Identifier.
As I mentioned, our dogs all are protected three months at a time with BRAVECTO. I’ve also mentioned before that Florida is basically a giant swamp, so it was an easy decision for us to go with a flea and tick preventative that worked quick(within 2 hours), is uber-effective(100% killed in 12 hours) and lasts a really long time(12 weeks!). I find that experience is the best teacher for things like finding a tick on your dog. It’s a bad feeling. Like really bad, and, once I went through it, I never want to deal with one of those little buggers again. I talked with the rescue and we are starting to “BRAVECTO” all our dogs upon intake to prevent Florida from eating our puppies!
Now, there are a ton of different options for flea and tick preventative and we know that there are many variables that have to be considered when figuring out which is best for your dog and your situation. The single best weapon we have against these bugs is our ability to talk and our access to our veterinarian.
Make an appointment to discuss your options. Make sure you prepare yourself for the visit, take note of your dog’s habits, where she likes to go, where she lays outside, if she goes to smell around certain areas, etc. All of these things will help you and your vet to come up with the perfect option for your unique dog. We also recommend asking about BRAVECTO by name. I haven’t found anything else on the market that protects as well and for as long(12 weeks*) as BRAVECTO.
*Bravecto kills fleas, prevents flea infestations, and kills ticks (black-legged tick, American dog tick, and brown dog tick) for 12 weeks. Bravecto also kills lone start ticks for 8 weeks. Go to Bravecto.com for full prescribing information.
It’s no secret that we are huge fans of BRAVECTO! That being said, we also are huge fans of making the best choice for your dog. In our opinion, the best way to make the best decision is to educate yourself about your options. Below is a list of resources to read in order to arm yourself with as much information as possible when you go to your vet to discuss flea and tick control.
We want to hear from You!
What flea and tick preventative do you use? What are your experiences with fighting this battle? Have you talked to your vet about fleas and ticks? These are all questions whose answers are invaluable to our community of dog owners. We would love to hear from you about these experiences and anything that you have learned. Be sure to leave a comment so that we can all learn from you and your experience!
Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information published. However, it remains the responsibility of the readers to familiarize themselves with the product information contained on the USA product label or package. More product information is available here: https://intervetus.naccvp.com/product/view/1047512?e=d97b22ed63e734e84c1a5910a9c8f531z1688