The Outdoor Experience - Bugs, Snakes & other Creatures

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No dog should look like that!
No dog should look like that! | Source

Bugs - Ticks

The worst bug to encounter is probably the tick. You don't always notice them until it is too late; and if you are an Outdoor person like we are and have a pond and woods, you are in for a summer long annoyance!
But they are not only annoying, they can also cause diseases like Lyme-disease and such. And while there are multiple vaccinations you can use to protect your dog, they also come at a price! Another way of protection is the simple observation of your animals. If you see them, use one of the multiple procedures of removing the ticks. Just ignoring the problem for a few days can leave your dog looking like the poor creature in the picture!

For more information on removal of ticks, see the dogs & ticks website below under 'Removal'.

I personally either use the little tick-pliers I bought long ago in Germany or simply tweezers or my fingers. You grab the tick, turn it a few times until it feels lose and pull it carefully out. Make sure you get every bit of it!

Here are multiple choices of tick pliers or turners:

http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=A0oG7kZRivdOJVUAjAhXNyoA?p=tick%20pliers&fr=crmas&fr2=piv-web

And one of my preferred websites to order vaccinations is this one:

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/general.cfm?gid=1037&c=3307

Annoyance times a million!
Annoyance times a million! | Source

Bugs - Fleas

They are tiny and agile and hard to catch! You have to me darn fast to catch one of these creatures in the act! And sadly such products as Frontline and K9 Advantix have failed our expectations over and over!

I have heard many solutions to the problem. One product that recently came out, Comfortis, is a seemingly great product for most dogs, but comes at a steep price: Roughly $20 a month PER dog! Others like Hartz and Sergeant have caused skin issues and allergic reactions. Shampoos only help so long.
Another option I heard for the inside, besides regular vacuuming and carpet powder, is the electric fly catcher you plug into the wall. Never tried it, but it is out there.

A friend of mine swears on Hot Spot. A large bottle is available for $10 at the home improvement store. I personally had a lot of success with a dip mend for livestock that has a tab for dogs: Permethrin 10. You buy the livestock type and safe a lot with the same effect!

Cleanliness is a major part of flea control! But if you have dogs/cats inside, you want to keep your house clean anyway.

In my last history class I heard of one of the worst diseases spread by fleas: The Plague! Some blamed the Mongols, since they covered a gigantic territory on horses carrying fleas. History has proven otherwise. But the fact remains that fleas and lack of cleanliness caused The Plague and killed many!

http://www.stopthefleas.com/flea-diseases.html

How to Remove a Tick from a Dog

Sneaky little creatures that can cause giant damage!
Sneaky little creatures that can cause giant damage! | Source

Bugs - Mosquitoes

Who would have thought that these tiny little creatures can do such horrible damage!? But they are really nothing but the often underestimated and overlooked couriers of hell!

One of the most well known dog disease spread by mosquitoes is Heartworms. And yes, it does also affect cats and other creatures of the same 'family'!

You can't see them and you can't hide from them! All you can do is try to use the protective measures available for you!

For cats and dogs there are pills and such that may cost you from $5-$10 a month, but can save you $500 or more for Heartworm treatment! Sadly, most irresponsible dog owners will rather dumb their Heartworm positive dog at a kill shelter than take care about the problem they caused with their lack of basic care!
Another option is the various forms of Ivermectrin available at your farm stores. But be very careful with the dosage and do your research! The same goes with other livestock medications such as dewormers that more experienced people tend to use. The ingredients are often the same, but the dosage varies! So do your research!

http://www.mosquito.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=39&Itemid=116

Don't expect them to always warn you with their 'Rattle'!
Don't expect them to always warn you with their 'Rattle'! | Source

Snakes

The first time I crawled into the Texas version of 'Woods' (aka cactus and mesquite), I met one! I could have done without!

While afterwards it seems funny, it really was serious business!

My daughter jumped across the little ditch in my backyard and rudely awoke a rat snake out of its beauty sleep. She jumped 3 feet high, the snake slithered away for its life and I wondered for two hours on the internet if it was poisonous and if my kids would be safe in the future!
Not to talk about my free-roaming cats and my dogs!

While some areas have more than others, we all have them in some shape or form.

Take the time to educate yourself about what is 'available' in your backyard! It may save your own or your pets' life/lives! Especially when you are unfamiliar with the area!

Poisonous Snakes of North Carolina

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Raccoon, Coyote, Badger, Rabies

They may look cute from the distance, but we shouldn't forget that they are what they are: Predators!

And we are intruding into their World!

Our dogs don't always know how to act around wild animals. Some like the deer they will chase; others like Badgers, Raccoon, Coyote, Snakes, even Wild Bores may give them a chase for their lives!

But the injuries that can be inflicted by wild animals are not just a worry because of their severeness!

Wild animals can carry diseases that can cause great damage to both our animals and us! And the worst of all is Rabies!
Rabies can be easily prevented with a shot that can cost you as less as $5 at a local low-cost Rabies clinic! But it may save the lives or your animals! The wild animals living around you are not so lucky! There is no way to vaccinate them all!

It is very important that you know where you are going, what to expect and how to protect both you and your animals! If a wild animal is unusually friendly, there may be a serious problem!

Remember that you are walking into their World and that the rules in their World differ a lot from those in ours!

Do your research and be prepared!

Bugs

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Comments 4 comments

rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

Thanks for the information on all these darn pests. My dog had heart worms but we got them under control!


writer20 profile image

writer20 4 years ago from Southern Nevada

Great hub for hubbers with pets. Not me I would always be sneezing. voted interesting and very useful.


Rachel Richmond profile image

Rachel Richmond 4 years ago from California

Excellent info on how to care for our pets. That poor dog in the first pic must have been hurting!! EEk!! I agree with you too about the best way to control & reduce home pest issues is being clean. Using a 50/50 vinegar and water solution was helpful back in VA - I'm hoping it works out here on the west coast. Thanks!


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 4 years ago from US

Great hub. Garlic is very good for pets. I put it sliced raw thinly in cat food or tuna for my cat and she is a healthy 17 year old.

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