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Flea and Tick Remedies

Natural Flea and Tick Remedies

Natural, herbal treatments for cats and dogs to help prevent fleas and ticks and relieve itching due to flea and tick bites.

The immune system is a complex array of cells that are found throughout the body. Immune cells are designed to function in conjunction with other cells to provide a defense against unwanted invaders. The complexity of the immune system requires a multi-dimensional approach of nutritional factors.

More and more dog parents are concerned about the potential harmful effects of conventional flea control products (e.g. flea collar, topical flea medications, flea bombs, etc.), not only on their dogs, but how the chemicals affect humans and their environment. Increasingly, pet owners are seeking natural flea and tick remedies that are milder and safer for all.

Herbals are powerful alternatives to conventional flea and tick medications, with the added benefit of the complexity of plant chemicals making it unlikely that a flea or tick will become resistant to natural products, In comparison, fleas and ticks have developed resistance to many synthetic products. 

The most common allergy seen in dogs and cats is caused by fleas. Flea-bite dermatitis is a skin condition caused by an allergic reaction to the flea’s saliva, which contains up to 15 allergens.  It  only takes one bite from one flea to set off an allergic reaction that will leave your pet feeling itchy and uncomfortable for anywhere between a couple of hours to many days.

In many cases, pet owners are not even aware that their pet has fleas because they are such difficult parasites to control. Allergic reactions can take between 3 and 7 days to appear after exposure to a flea allergen. Studies have shown that up to 40% of dogs and cats have flea bite allergies, and it can develop at any age.

Not only do fleas bite and cause hours of frustrating itching and scratching, they can cause other serious problems such as tapeworm infestations, flea-bite dermatitis and in severe cases, anemia.

What makes fleas so incredibly difficult to control is their amazing resilience. One female flea can lay over 2000 eggs in her life span which means infestation can occur rapidly, and the eggs that are laid can survive for months in the environment simply awaiting an appropriate host. For this reason, it is essential to control both the fleas on your pet as well as the fleas in the environment. The perfect areas for fleas include sand, bedding, flooring and carpets.And due to the overuse of antibiotics, fleas in many areas are now antibiotic resistant. 

Common symptoms may include an allergic reaction to flea saliva that causes flea bite dermatitis, excessive biting scratching, itching and licking skin or fur, as well as wounds, redness, swelling, rashes, hair loss (alopecia) which may appear in single or multiple areas of the body.

Your pet’s coat may also thin, especially in the area above the tail, and they may even experience a generalized hair loss all over their body. Other symptoms include red, inflamed skin, rashes, thickening of the skin and / or small bumps on the skin.

Just like mosquitoes, fleas bite their hosts and suck the blood for nutrition and when they do, they leave small traces of saliva under the skin.

Organic Remedies - (listed in order of relevance and recommendation by holistic vets)

Herbal remedies can be used to address flea bite dermatitis and flea bites; to help soothe skin irritations and support overall skin health; acting as antibiotic, antiviral, anti-inflammatory for bites and skin irritations; helps boost immunity, cleanses and purifies the blood to keep animals healthy and happy; works to limit histamine triggers that are often associated with allergies.

Baby Love Bits – (learn more) helps to build, promote and support muscle, joint, bone, cartilage and tendon health, mobility and flexibility; as a powerhouse Probiotic Vitamin B complex; helps prevent against flea and tick infestations; supports the Central Nervous System; stimulates immunity and healthy metabolism; aids digestion and promotes whole body microbial balance; improves liver function and liver health; purifies whole bodily systems; keeps the skin, hair, eyes and mouth healthy; for dental disease, gout, Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD); for infectious diarrhea, including rotavirus diarrhea, for nervousness and fatigue.

Gland Candy - (learn more) contains healthy fatty Omega 3 acids used to support healthy body weight, used in the treatment of skin conditions and to promote healthy skin and coat, to support and tone the lymphatic system, to balance glandular activities including the thyroid, adrenal and pituitary glands, to support and maintain healthy thyroid function and to soothe the thyroid and endocrine system, for allergies, alopecia, allergic dermatitis, moist dermatitis (hot spots), to stimulate tissue repair and for all types of arthritis.

Yelp for Kelp - (learn more) provides critical trace nutrient support for the endocrine system, to energize the body, for building and toning enzymes, tissues, hormones and bones, for enhancing natural cleansing and detoxification, as an osteoporosis preventative, to promote immunity and for metabolic disorders, including the thyroid gland and other glands and tissues that affect the thyroid, for thyroid disorders, to cleanse the lymphatic system, to maintain healthy levels of TSH, T3 and T4, and for metabolic disorders.

Skin Nirvana – (learn more) functions as a natural antibiotic, antifungal, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, immune modular and antioxidant to help  repair the effects of topical skin wounds, scars, burns, hot spots, allergies, insect bites, environmental exposure to toxins, antigens and microorganisms, both bacterial and viral, containing a natural antibiotic base capable of fighting skin bacteria related to Escherichia Coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomona Aeruginosa and Propionibacterium acnes.

Life’s An Itch - (learn more) is used to promote optimal immune response, reduces all types of allergic (acute and chronic) reactions by stopping histamine response, reduces respiratory disorders, relieves wheezing, chest discomfort and sinus inflammation, soothes smooth muscles and tissues and alleviates respiratory congestion, including asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, laryngitis, esophaghitis (GERD, reflux), rhinitis, sinusitis, bronchitis, COPD; relieves viral and bacterial infections, hot spots, remedies skin allergies and irritations, soothes itchy skin and coat in dogs and cats, and works to cut recovery time and prevent recurring infection. 

Helpful suggestions:

You can help reduce the discomfort your pet may be experiencing by bathing with an all-natural, oatmeal bath or Epsom salts. (Please buy your pet’s shampoos from an independent retailer that will carry truly all-natural shampoos, conditioners, detanglers, etc.)

A recommended alternative to flea, tick and mosquito medications is the Shoo! Tag, which is non-chemical, water resistant and most important, not toxic.

Cool water baths may help dogs suffering with flea bite dermatitis. Make sure that the water is cool, and not cold.

You can help reduce the discomfort your pet may be experiencing by bathing with an all-natural, oatmeal bath or Epsom salts. (Please buy your pet’s shampoos from an independent retailer that will carry truly all-natural shampoos, conditioners, detanglers, etc.)

If your pet has flea-bit dermatitis then monitor them closely for any signs of infection as excessive scratching and grooming can result in lesions which can quickly become infected.

Use a pet-friendly flea control product on your pet regularly to avoid infestation. Your veterinarian or independent pet shop will be able to advise you on an appropriate product.

Treat your house regularly with a safe anti-flea product, and wash any pet bedding regularly. Frequent vacuuming can also help reduce the chances of flea infestation.

Conventional Remedies:

Diagnosing flea-bite dermatitis will entail a thorough examination by your pet’s veterinarian and a detailed description of the symptoms and when they occur. An allergy test may also help to determine if your pet is allergic to any other allergens. The veterinarian may also perform some standard blood tests and skin scrapings to rule out other conditions such as fungal, yeast or bacterial infections.

Obviously the first course of treatment is to get rid of the fleas, but this is easier said than done. One female flea can lay over 2000 eggs in her life span which means infestation can occur rapidly. It is therefore essential to regularly treat your pets for fleas, as well as treating their immediate environments. Once your pet is on a good flea control program, it is not uncommon for them to still get the occasional flea bite which can then be treated.

The conventional methods of treating flea-bite dermatitis usually include using antihistamines, or in severe cases oral steroids which can be used to help manage the itching. If a hot spot develops as a result of the dermatitis, then oral antibiotics may be prescribed. Some of these pharmaceutical medications may have unwanted side-effects so be sure to ask your veterinarian of any known risks and explore alternatives.

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