4-P's Against Parasites

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We love spring here in New England with budding trees, daffodils and green grass everywhere and it is finally here!  This is what it must feel like to be a bear coming out of hibernation, shedding his coat out, feeling warmth from the sun’s rays and looking for something to eat. 

As humans, we too are happy to “shed” our wools and fleeces for lighter fabrics, shift our diets towards lighter, (more aerial), veggies in lieu of root-based options, and move our activities outdoors thanks to the longer, lighter days. Along with the sunshine, tall grasses, and increased outdoor time comes the dreaded infectious bugs that can put a damper on our warm weather fun. With the right protection for your pup or horse you can run and play to your hearts’ content, leaving your worry behind!

As pet owners we start to worry about how best to protect our dogs, cats and horses from parasites like mosquitoes, biting flies and of course, the dreaded ticks.  We hear friends and relatives talk about how sick they or their pet was with Lyme, Anaplasma or a myriad of other tick-borne diseases, and suddenly we find ourselves in a state of near panic, frantically trying to do everything we possibly can to protect the ones we love.

 

My 4 -P’s to help you keep Fido healthfully protected from parasites…

be 

Proactive:

You are the advocate for your pet; the keeper of his/her health and wellbeing. You would stand on your hands and walk backwards in traffic if it meant the pet you love and want nothing bad to happen to would remain healthy. Honestly, it doesn't have to be a gymnastic event to be sure that you're making the right decision in choosing how you are going to protect your pet from parasites this and every season moving forward. 

 

 

 → Do your research! If you don’t know what the ingredients listed on the label are and what they do in the animal body, whether it’s a topical or ingestible form of “repellant/tick &flea control”, find out.  Your “need to know” should kick in high gear here.

Did you know that the majority of over-the-counter or by-prescription products for flea/tick/heartworm control are based with neurotoxins? 

→ Neurotoxins are toxins that directly affect the Neurological (central nervous) system (thought, emotion, sight, taste, hearing, smell).

Research shows that many of the prescription flea/tick/heartworm products that are prescribed on a regular basis contain 1 or more neurotoxins that can cause seizures, respiratory failure, kidney issues and many other health issues.  Below is a link to a government site that provides amazing detail on hundreds of chemicals and their potential side effects.  I highly recommend using this list to determine if the product you may be considering or are currently using contains ingredients that could be neurotoxins or something even worse.

→ Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry
http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/substances/toxorganlisting.asp?sysid=18

Protect:  In New England, the height of our mosquito season starts in June and goes into October.  What constitutes the Heartworm danger zone is primarily the temperature.  It must be 60 degrees or more for 45 consecutive days for the mosquito to "brew" the life cycle of the parasite, otherwise it will not be completed, (or 80 plus degrees for a consecutive 14 days).  So protection should start in either early to mid-June and continue through mid to the end of October, depending on the temperatures over the varying years. Click here to visit William Falconer DVM's website, which you will love and learn from. Topical sprays and oils can be extremely effective in keeping most parasites from wanting to land on your pup or yourself.  Mosquitoes are in abundance at dusk and dawn so consider this when taking your pup out to play or for a walk. You can choose to stay inside at those times or use a truly non-toxic spray or oil rub made from essential oils, (preferably certified organic), that are diluted in a carrier oil and/or witch hazel or water if you prefer a spray.  Some of the chemicals that are used in fly sprays that claim "All-Natural" can be pesticides that have moderate to severe adverse effects on your pup.  Follow the Proactive paragraph above for these as well, and use the link I provided if you are unsure of the ingredients. Check out our Natur-Repel Oil and Spray options!
              
Prevent: A well balanced Immune System is key to prevent most any parasitic infestation, disease or infection.  Using toxic chemicals month after month and year after year only depletes the vitality of the animal, leaving them as a targeted host for parasites.  What is "proactive" is to enhance and modulate the immune system with the appropriate herbs and/or superfoods that are specific to the responses that biting parasites aim to engage.  Through prevention of a lowered immune response to tick or mosquito bites, you are effectively decreasing the chance any internal parasite/bacteria has of invading your pets' body. Herbs that are very helpful for this will also include anti-spriochetal herbs such as Andrographis, Japanese Knot Weed, Astragalus, Cat's Claw and others.  This is also true for anti-parasitic herbs such as neem leaf extract. Read about our Bor-L-Immune™ now!
→ Want to learn more about Lyme disease? Check out Joyce's most recent article in Fido Magazine titled, "Happy, Healthy Pets: Defining Lyme within Pets"

Provide: Support and balance for the immune system starts with a high quality species-appropriate diet. Whole food that nourishes every cell and provides the animal with the correct balance of calcium, phosphorous, vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, amino acids, etc. is key. This is what they need for a strong, healthy body, which provides the base for overall immunity to any attack on their immune system.

 

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  • Joyce Belcher