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Eliminate Ticks and Fleas on your Lhasa Apso

N.B This post contains links that will redirect you to my Amazon Affiliate Program.

The chances of your dog catching Ticks and Fleas will be greatly increased if you live out of town. For the last seventeen years, I have had to combat these bugs that attach themselves onto my Lhasa Apso Lucky. Eliminating them early ensures your dog will not get diseases that these unwanted critters carry.

Has your dog got Ticks or Fleas as unwanted guests? The best way to Eliminate dog Ticks and Fleas is easy.  I use a tick puller and some homemade flea and tick lotion. The puller gets the ticks off with a twist and pull. This lotion will kill the small fleas and ticks before they do any harm to your dog.

Fleas are not nice to have on your Lhasa and I am going to reveal my homemade recipe and some others found doing Google research. There is nothing worse than finding a fully blown up tick on your dog YUK. I am going to tell you the best and harmless way to remove them if they have already become attached to your pet.

What is a Tick Puller?

A tick puller is an implement that is used to remove ticks that have embedded themselves on to your pet. Normally made from plastic, they have two small protrusions, like flat fingers that gradually arrive at a point where they join. Just like you do the Victory sign. I personally have two of these plastic-type tick pullers. A small one if the ticks are very small the other one is a little larger to remove ticks that are beginning to get larger. Some people like to use tweezers these must be small at the end so you only get the head and not the body of the tick.

The model I use is very practical, you just slide the fork underneath the head of the tick, very close to the skin of your dog, then with your thumb and finger roll the shaft of the tick puller so that there is a rotating action, at the same time slightly pulling away from the skin of your dog and and the tick is out.  You can find exactly the same as the one I use on Amazon.

 

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Tick pulling tool


How to Make Homemade Flea and Tick Lotion.

I am going to propose two different types of lotion that will keep away fleas and ticks from your Lhasa Apso. Here are the ingredients for the first

one cup of water

2 cups of white vinegar

two spoonfuls of almond or vegetable oil

one or two spoonfuls of lemon juice or lemon oil or peppermint oil

Mix this all together thoroughly. Transfer your lotion into a small spray bottle and start to spray your pet’s dry coat. Do pay particular attention so as not to get this in your dog’s eyes or part of the anatomy that may be sensitive. If your Lhasa remains indoors most of the day then one treatment per day of this lotion will repel ticks and fleas. On the other hand if your dog is outside like my Lucky and always in the garden then you will need to spray your dog quite a few more times during the day to be well protected.

The second lotion consists of essential oils and can be used safely on small dogs to repel fleas and ticks. These oils are citronella, eucalyptus, cedarwood, and peppermint. You will notice in this lotion that there is no white vinegar.

one cup of water

15 / 20 drops of essential oil

Before each spray treatment be sure to vigorously shake the bottle to mix the oil with the water.

What other Products Repel Ticks and Fleas?

There are products that you can buy from large supermarkets.  Maybe you do not have the time or the facilities where you can make homemade lotions. Then tick and flea repellents from big stores that come to mind are Frontline,  K9 Advantix from Bayer, amongst others. For those of you that prefer to purchase ready-made solutions, I recommend this from Amazon 

There are also collars that are impregnated. These are placed on the neck of your dog, giving up to 8 months of protection. I would change before this 8 month period though to assure your pet is fully protected. Replace with a new one. Here again, you can find a tick and flea collar from Bayer called Seresto on Amazon

It is also possible to make your own powder to control tick and flea infestation on your Lhasa Apso. For this, you will need 3 ingredients. Personally I have never made this, ask at your local chemist for these powders, they are available on the internet.

Diatomaceous Earth (DE)  get it here

NEEM (Dry Form)               get it here

Yarrow  Powder                    get it here

Once you have these three powders, mix them together in equal amounts thoroughly. Apply this powder into your dog’s coat. Be careful of the mucosa,  as the DE can cause irritation. Once the dust is no longer in the air, there are no problems.

What is the Best way to Kill Ticks and Fleas Instantly?

Is it possible there is a product that would kill ticks and fleas instantly?  I have my doubts as to the well being of my Lhasa Apso. Using a product that would kill these parasites instantly I think would be detrimental for our pets. Let’s take a closer look at one of the products available.

After researching I have found that there does exist tick and flea spray which contains pyrethrins. Is Pyrethrin safe and what is it? Its chemically sounding name, Pyrethrinis, is far from being a chemical, it is a natural compound that is withdrawn from chrysanthemums flowers.

This flower is found in East Africa, Asia and north Eastern Europe. Many North Americans call this plant a mum which is very decorative in the fall season. Inside these plants there is a substance called pyrethrin.

When a chrysanthemum is attacked by insects or pest animals, this is the plant’s natural defense to protect itself. Pyrethrin has a deadly effect on the insect’s nervous systems. Paralysis is almost instant once the insect makes contact, resulting in instantaneous death.

Another way to kill ticks and fleas is to wash your dog. With a reputable tick/flea shampoo. Don’t forget to wash the armpits, around the collar area, where ticks and fleas love to hide. You will need to do this on a daily basis just until you find no more fleas or ticks on your dog. Fleas will lay eggs on the skin of your Lhasa Apso, these hatch, so more fleas, and the eggs do not latch on to your dog but fall off! so constant washing and grooming with a flea comb like this one is essensual in this never-ending combat against these parasites.

How do You Use a Tick Puller?

Using a tick puller could not be simpler. Once you have located a tick on your Lhasa Apso, do this by parting the hair, you will notice whether the tick has just attacked itself or if the tick has been there a day or two. The telltale sign is that the body has become bloated. In the first case, when the tick is small, when he’s trying to attach himself, use the smallest of the 2 pullers. In the case of a bloated tick, opt for the larger of the two.

Having calmed your dog and holding them closely to you, now relocate the tick. Part the hair with one hand and with the tick puller in the other hand gently slide those two protruding fingers underneath the head of the tick, really close to the skin of the dog.

If you are certain you have correctly placed the tick puller, now you need to twist this with your thumb and forefinger, clockwise or anticlockwise it does not matter. At the same time a gentle pulling away from the dog’s body will remove the tick, the body, the head everything.  Simple really wasn’t it. Now you have a tick, that is still alive, Yuk!  what to do with it?     I take the tick outside, put it on the floor and squash it. They are tough little critters and take some force to squash them when small, if you have a big one then look out for blood splashes……

In this video, I show exactly how I remove a tick from Lucky

As I am typing this post, here in southern France the tick and flea season is at its highest level, so checking Lucky is a regular daily job. Remember that ticks spread the disease Lyme amongst many others.

Here you can read why you should vaccinate your Lhasa Apso against Lyme disease

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A fully bloated tick

What to do if the Head of the Tick has Broken off?

The first thing is to understand that a ticks head can continue to stay attached to your dog. This can happen in the removal operation where maybe the tick puller was not correctly placed.

This head could transmit other diseases. It can grow a new body thus continuing the cycle. So you must take immediate action. Certainly, do not go digging into your dog’s skin to try and remove the head exposing broken skin for more infections.

Just as our body expels splinters and foreign bodies so your dog’s natural defense system will expel the head. I suggest you thoroughly wash the area with an antibiotic shampoo and apply some antibiotic cream.  Keep an eye on the progress and if the head does not seem to be rejected then consult your veterinarian.

What you Must do and Not do When Removing Ticks and Fleas

If your dog like mine, is in the garden every day where they can get ticks and fleas, you must check them daily. Once you have found a tick then you must remove them within 24 hours. Observe your pet, if you notice them scratching or biting an area repetitively this could be a sign there is a tick or a flea.

Using your tick puller remove the parasite, then dab a cotton pad soaked in an antibiotic lotion to disinfect the area afterward. Now you have successfully removed the tick you need to dispose of it. I will normally take the tick outside put it on the floor and squash it under my foot. You may also flush it down the toilet or put it in a small container with industrial alcohol, not the good whiskey type!!! If you have the slightest concern that your Lhasa Apso may have a tick infected disease then consult your veterinarian immediately.

There are certain manipulations you must never do in trying to remove a tick. The first one I will never do, because it is so disgusting, that is to try and remove a tick with your fingers. Also, don’t try and kill a tick by crushing it because this could push the fluids back through its mouth and into your dog’s body increasing the dangers of infection.

Some dog owners will try and suffocate tick by using Vaseline, nail polish or other repellents which I disagree with.  The tick might have an adverse reaction to this and vomit into your dog.

Once you have removed this parasite tick from your dog do not put it in the trash can or put it in the sink, a tick can easily crawl back out.

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A Squashed Tick

What are Ticks and Fleas?

Ticks and fleas are parasitic insects that like to take up residence on your dog and feed off them.

Let’s start with that little critter the flea or fleas, as there are 2500 different species of these insects. The sizes of flea’s vary between 1.5 to 3.3 mm in length. Normally dark in color, this helps you to locate them on your dog, as long as your dog’s skin is not too dark.

To help them make their way through the forest of hairs on your Lhasa Apso they have bodies that are compressed (like and envelope) being so slim they can make their way through a dense coat very easily. Their body is covered with hairs and spines that point rearward, this also assists them to get through the hairs and reach their goal, the skin of your pet.

Fleas are without wings. The only means of traveling for a flea is by jumping onto their future living quarters. The legs are long and are adapted well for jumping. Once they have landed on your dog they hang on with their claws situated on the end of their legs.

For their size, they are extremely powerful with the ability to jump up to 18 cm vertically and cover a whopping 33 cm in distance so we can see they can easily jump onto a dog. They really enjoy moist humid climates and can be found in shady areas, long grass, wood stocks and in the dog’s house if it is outside.

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Flea

Ticks that you find on your Lhasa Apso are small eight-legged creatures ranging from about 1 mm up to 10 mm in size. They look somewhat like a small spider. We have learnt the flea is tall and thin. Totally the opposite, the tick is low and thin when young. Their bodies are brown in colour, making the job finding them on dark-haired dogs difficult.

Infectious diseases are carried by ticks, they hold second place after mosquitoes for spreading diseases to people and animals alike. They are able to spread diseases from dogs to humans or humans to dogs. Ticks can be found living in long grass, fields and of course forest areas.

Ticks cannot fly or jump, they attach themselves to your dog as they walk in long grass. As your dog brushes the blades of grass where the ticks are waiting, they will drop onto your dog.

Are Ticks and Fleas a Problem all Year?

It depends where you live in the world. Ticks and fleas can be a problem all year-round. Living in warm climates with high humidity levels the chances of ticks and fleas being active all year round will be higher. Ticks can be around from early April, going through to the end of September in normal climatic areas. Living in colder, drier climates have the benefits where ticks and fleas are no longer active over the winter months.

Tick and Flea Diseases in Dogs

These two parasites that live on our dogs transmit various diseases. Depending on where you live some diseases listed below will only be specific in certain regions and countries. If you have recently moved to a new area or you are a new dog owner, then I would suggest you consult your local veterinarian, ask them what tick and flea diseases are in your area.

The most well-known diseases from ticks are called Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. There are also others that you must be aware of, these are.

  • Haemobartonellosis
  • Babesiosis
  • Tick Paralysis
  • Ehrlichia
  • Flea allergic dermatitis
  • Anemia
  • Lyme disease
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever

Haemobartonellosis

This disease is transmitted by ticks and fleas. Once a tick has bitten your Lhasa Apso a microorganism called mycoplasma will enter the bloodstream, attacking the red blood cells. The red blood cell’s job is to carry oxygen around the body. The mycoplasma is the smallest germ that is free living. Ticks and fleas pick up these mycoplasma germs when they feed on an infected animal and then pass it on a new host, infecting it.

Babesosis

This single-celled parasite can create a diseased state in your Lhasa Apso. Your Lhasa Apso can get this by being bitten in a fight with another dog. Having a transfusion, or of course by being bitten by ticks. Once a dog has been bitten there is a 2 weeks time lag During which time the parasite is in an incubation stage.  it could take months or even years before there are any signs that your dog is affected. These parasites attack the red blood cells and multiply within. Resulting in the blood cells breakdown then jaundice will set in. The parasites continue their attack on the red blood cells. These red blood cells that are being destroyed are decreasing in numbers. They will be unable to produce new blood cells and anemia will set in.

Tick Paralysis

This disease is found in North America, although rare it is a serious disease.  When a female tick bites your Lhasa Apso the salivary glands, which produce a neurotoxin, will be passed into the bloodstream of your dog. This toxin then gets into the bloodstream and will attack the nervous system. Resulting in a lack of coordination of the lower muscles. You will notice after 6 and 9 days from the day the tick was found on your dog the first symptoms. If you have the slightest doubt in the health of your pet do consult your veterinarian immediately because respiratory paralysis can also occur, as the term implies they are going to need immediate medical assistance.


Ehrlichiosis

This particular disease is caused by bacteria transmitted by ticks. Ehrlichia bacteria is found on ticks worldwide and especially in humid and warm regions. Normally in 1 to 3 weeks your dog can fight off this infection naturally. If they are unable to combat this invasion of bacteria, the period of infection called acute develops, the bacteria will be producing in the white blood cells now, your dog will start to show symptoms such as poor appetite, inflamed eyes, high temperature, lack of energy, bleeding abnormally. These symptoms can last up to a month if untreated, then strangely enough affected dogs tend to get better on their own.

Flea allergic dermatitis

If you see your Lhasa Apso scratching a lot then maybe they are infested with fleas. Dermatitis is a skin disease. Younger dogs are most likely to suffer from flea allergic dermatitis, but it can also attack older dogs, but less often. Flea dermatitis is transmitted to your pet as the flea bites and the saliva enters the body. If your pet is sensitive then as little as 1 flea bite can bring on a flea allergic dermatitis.

Anemia

Anemia is a serious problem in dogs and it needs to be treated by your veterinarian. Once your dog has been bitten by a tick, that has passed on parasites and other nasty germs, they will start to attack the red blood cells. Anaemia is a condition when there are not enough red blood cells to carry the oxygen and pick up carbon dioxide from around the body. If your dog has anaemia its own immune system is killing its own red blood cells. Dogs reproduce just as humans do new red blood cells from the bone marrow. he problem with anaemia is the immune system mistakenly thinks the new red blood cells are intruders and kills them.

Lyme disease

This is a commonly known tick transmitted disease. Of the dogs infected around 10% will show symptoms. Lyme disease is found in Europe and the United States and is found in greater numbers in the upper midwestern states. Pacific coastal areas and the Atlantic seaboard are not excluded. If not treated early by your veterinarian, who will prescribe antibiotics, it could eventually lead to kidney failure. Normally treatment lasts a minimum of 4 weeks and maybe longer depending on the severity.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

This disease is commonly known as Rickettsia, they are microorganisms that look like bacteria and act like viruses. Viruses reproduce in living cells, so this is going to be attacking the living cells of our Lhasa Apsos. Certain breeds of dogs are more prone to having a severe reaction to the Rocky Mountain spotted fever and these are mainly large dogs and purebred dogs. If your dog gets a high fever within 5 days then they could well be contracting rickettsia.  some other signs to look out for, anorexia, irregular heartbeat, blood in the urine, depression, swelling of the limbs, blood clots,and painful eyes amongst others, this Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a nasty disease for our pets to pick up.

Conclusion

After reading through this post and seeing the problems that ticks and fleas can inflict on our pets then we need to take positive action to combat these tick-borne problems. Firstly you must always have all your vaccinations up-to-date, and then I would suggest using some of the ideas I have mentioned above. You could use the homemade lotions, the commercial products, or the homemade powder. I personally use a product that my veterinarian recommends, this is a small tube, I squeeze the liquid onto the backbone of Lucky, and he is good for a couple of months.

Do bear in mind that ticks can attach themselves to humans if you see ticks on your dog then keep an eye on your own body.

Related Questions

 

What do ticks look like on a dog?

Ticks are bigger than fleas so they’re much easier to locate visually. Ticks look like spiders and are shaped like an egg, if they have their head buried into your dog and are sucking their blood. I normally find ticks on Lucky as I caress him, if a tick has already attached to him and has started to draw blood then I will be able to feel the body of a bloated tick.

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Typical dog tick

Can a Dog Die from a Tick Bite?

Unfortunately YES a single bite from a single tick can kill your dog, depending on what disease it has transmitted. These diseases create anemia, weight loss and uncontrolled bleeding that can end in death. You do not need dozens of tick bites, just one bite from one tick could kill your dog. You have been warned!!

 

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