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 New husky owner - flea & tick prevention advice

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LEyre
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PostSubject: New husky owner - flea & tick prevention advice   Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:31 pm

Hi everyone! I'm a new husky owner and trying to navigate my way through husky intricacies, this all seems overwhelming!

So, here are some of my questions... I've heard that huskies need to be brushed almost daily? Can I use any kind of hair brush, or does it have to be a special dog hair brush? Also, we have a lot of ticks where I'm from and I know someone personally who died from a tick bite in my neighborhood, so ticks really worry me! I have heard there are two good options against ticks: Preventic dog collar (does anyone know what size collar I'd need, 18" inches are for dogs up to 60 pounds, and I have a thin female husky around 2 years old) or Frontline Flea and Tick treatment (is it a treatment? a shampoo? drops? foam you rub into the fur?)... the thing with Preventic dog collars is that I've heard they are only effective in areas near the dogs neck, ears, upper back? And about the Frontline treatment, if I brush my dog almost daily, won't that sort of neutralize the Frontline treatment then and make it less effective? And, if I apply Frontline and a Preventic dog collar, will that be really bad - since it's a double dosage? Also, since huskies have a really thick fur, do these products work effectively? Ahhh, please tell me it's not as complicated as I am making it! drunken Thanks, everyone! wave
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hypers987
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PostSubject: Re: New husky owner - flea & tick prevention advice   Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:59 am

New dog owner in general? Razz First off, get her vaccinated for Lyme disease, it is transmitted through deer ticks. Second, tick/flea collars are worthless in my opinion. There are topical treatments that are a liquid that you apply to the back of the neck that spread over the entire body over a 24 hour period. Frontline is one and another is called Advantix. Both are effective. If you use a topical, make sure you part the hair and apply it to the skin. Daily brushing will not affect treatment Wink Val can tell you about how she prevents ticks and fleas as well, she uses special essential oils that repel them, (pretty cool huh? lol) but I've never tried it.

As for brushing, I don't brush everyday, but once or twice a week. (or as needed) I use a standard metal flea comb for everyday, and a de-shedding rake for when he blows his coat. There are several different types of de-shedding tools, all work about the same (cost doesn't matter, they are all good). I use a Furminator. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: New husky owner - flea & tick prevention advice   Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:48 pm

@LEyre wrote:
So, here are some of my questions... I've heard that huskies
need to be brushed almost daily? Can I use any kind of hair brush, or
does it have to be a special dog hair brush?

The daily brushing is mainly limited to when they are blowing coat, outside of that many get by just fine with weekly brushing. Of course each coat is different so how often and with what brush will vary from dog to dog.

As for which brush to use, there are plenty of options and as I've mentioned before different brushes work better or worse for different dogs so I recommend trying, or better yet buying, several different brushes to use. A lot of us use a combination of common brushes like slickers, undercoat rakes, flea combs, Furminators, strippers, and shedding blades. Even on a single dog, certain brushes work better on some parts of the coat than others. For example with my own sibe I find that using an undercoat rake works better than a Furminator on the longer fur around the neck area, while the Furminator does a good job handling the shorter fur along my boy's sides.

@LEyre wrote:
Also, we have a lot of
ticks where I'm from and I know someone personally who died from a tick
bite in my neighborhood, so ticks really worry me! I have heard there
are two good options against ticks: Preventic dog collar (does anyone
know what size collar I'd need, 18" inches are for dogs up to 60 pounds,
and I have a thin female husky around 2 years old) or Frontline Flea
and Tick treatment (is it a treatment? a shampoo? drops? foam you rub
into the fur?)... the thing with Preventic dog collars is that I've
heard they are only effective in areas near the dogs neck, ears, upper
back? And about the Frontline treatment, if I brush my dog almost
daily, won't that sort of neutralize the Frontline treatment then and
make it less effective? And, if I apply Frontline and a Preventic dog
collar, will that be really bad - since it's a double dosage? Also,
since huskies have a really thick fur, do these products work
effectively?

Like Brooke, I wouldn't waste my time or money on a tick collar. If you did want to use the tick collar then all you need to do is measure your dogs neck, typically add 2" and cut it to size I believe. I call my essential oils use a DIY flea and tick collar sometimes. And like Brooke suggested, if ticks really are a big problem then you might be wise to get the extra lyme vaccine for peace of mind.

Flea and tick solutions come in various forms including a topical solution you apply to their skin once a month, monthly oral pills, shampoos, sprays, and even powders. The most popular thing that most people use are the monthly topicals. I think the most popular used flea & tick combination topicals are probably Frontline Plus and K9 Advantix.

The way topicals work is you separate the fur and apply the product directly to the dogs skin in several spots along the back. Once applied, the product is absorbed into the bloodstream and circulated throughout the body so that the entire body is protected. Because the product is absorbed into the bloodstream you don't have to worry about the product being washed off by a bath or brushing so long as you wait the specified amount of time before bathing as stated on the products packaging.

One problem with topicals is that not all of the product will be absorbed into the bloodstream though. Some of it will stay in the fur and that can be an issue if your dog is right on the borderline of the weight range for the product, especially if you are using a topical like Revolution where it can be a big deal if the product is ineffective against heartworm which has been the case with a number of pets. Not saying that to scare you but rather to make you aware as you decide what brands and course of action to take in pest prevention.

Another thing to consider when using products to prevent pests is that pests can and do become resistant to long term, widely used products. The same way bacteria become resistant to antibiotics, fleas and ticks become resistant to widely used flea & tick preventatives so it may be a good idea to rotate between different flea/tick topicals every year or two to help lessen the chance of pests becoming resistant. And unfortunately, depending on what products others are using in your area, the fleas and ticks in that area may already be resistant to a product you're considering using. Hopefully that is not the case but it's something to keep in the back of your mind.

And it's not just flea/tick prevention that this resistance is affecting, it also includes heartworm prevention as well. My holistic vet advised we switch our dogs off of Heartgard Plus to a less common heartworm preventative pill such as Interceptor (which we've used in the past) because she is seeing a rise in the number of patients who are on monthly HW prevention (Heartgard/Iverhart/generics) yet the heartworms are becoming resistant and some of those patients are still contracting HW. Scary stuff.

And as far as their thick coats affecting product effectiveness, that does not apply in the case of topicals absorbed into the bloodstream. However that may be an issue with the tick collar since it will only give your dog localized coverage.

Below are a few past threads that may be of use to you:
What BRUSH?

What flea preventative is best? HELP!

Flea's TREATMENTS

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