The Outdoor Experience - Bugs, Snakes & other Creatures
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:
And one of my preferred websites to order vaccinations is this one:
Center for Disease Control - Ticks
- CDC - Tickborne Diseases of the U.S. - Ticks
Overview of tickborne diseases in the U.S. Provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Ticks and Dogs
- Ticks, Dogs and Disease: Protecting Your Dog from Lyme Disease and Other Dog Tick Diseases
Description: Protect your dog from Lyme disease and other tick-borne disease. Covers prevention, symptoms and treatment of dog tick diseases. Includes Dog tick photos, dog tick removal. Sign up for free updates on dogs and ticks.
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!
How to Remove a Tick from a Dog
- Gordon's Permethrin-10 Livestock & Premise Spray, 8 fl. oz. - For Life Out Here
Find Gordon's Permethrin-10 Livestock & Premise Spray, 8 fl. oz. in the Livestock Health & SupplementsInsecticide | Brand : Gordon's | Insect Ty
- Hot Shot
Learn about your pest control options to kill bugs in your home, lawn and garden. Hot shot bug control products protect your home from unwanted pests.
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!
The American Heartworm Society
- American Heartworm Society
Lots of great info under Pet Owner Resources!
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
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!
- CDC - Rabies
Rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. The vast majority of rabies cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) each year occur in wild animals like...