Protecting your Pomeranian from ticks, mosquitoes and fleas is a major responsibility because he needs to be protected every day. You need to eliminate them from your dog as well as from the house itself, another big ongoing problem.
Here are some facts to help you better understand diseases and how to handle them:
Mosquitoes: You and your Pomeranian will need a mosquito repellent, especially when your dog spends time outside in the Summer when there are thousands of mosquitoes hungry for blood. Mosquitos carry deadly heart worm disease. Ask your veterinarian about heartworm prevention for your Pom.
Ticks: While most dog owners are aware of Lyme disease, the reality is that there are seven different diseases ticks can spread. Sadly, thousands of our canine friends all around the world succumb to ticks each year:
- Lyme disease is caused by deer ticks. In Canada and the US, they’re also called blacklegged ticks. In Europe, they’re also sheep ticks and in Asia, they’re called Taiga ticks. Unlike the majority of other ticks, deer ticks thrive all year long. Winter doesn’t kill them and as long as the ground isn’t frozen or laden with snow, these ticks can be a menace. They’re most common in the US in the northern Midwest and from Washington to southern Maine.
- Canine Ehrlichiosis is a product of the brown dog tick. This one is located in many US states but prevails more often in the southwestern regions and Florida has a huge tick infestation. This particular tick attaches itself to dogs and mainly lives inside because it enjoys the warmth and will appear in potted plants. However, it can also exist outside in shrubbery, wooded places and grassy regions.
- Canine Anaplasmosis (aka dog tick fever or dog fever) is also caused by deer ticks.
- Canine Babesiosis is caused by both the brown dog tick and American dog tick.
- Canine Bartonellosis is caused by brown dog ticks.
- Canine Hepatozoonosis has two causes: the Gulf Coast tick and the brown dog tick. Ticks can bite your dog and cause the disease. However, if your dog eats a tick that’s carrying a disease, it can also infect him. This tick can be found in Gulf Coast states such as: Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Louisiana and Texas. It can also exist in: Kansas, Arkansas, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Oklahoma and Maryland.
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is caused by the lone star tick (found along the east coast and south-eastern states). The American dog tick is found in the eastern part of the US. Draw a line from Texas to Montana and you’ll find these ticks in all states east of that line as well as in the Pacific Northwest.
Important note. With the majority of tick-born diseases, you have a minimum of 24 hours to locate and remove a tick that’s feeding on your dog before the infection is transmitted.
Remember that your Pomeranian breed is small so he’s more likely to attract ticks as his body is close to the ground. If you live in any place where ticks are known to thrive, you should examine him every time he has been in tick-prone areas. This list includes: grassy areas (including your own yard), wooded areas, shrubbery, piles of leaves and fields.
You need good lighting. Feel his body for any small bumps and watch for small dark spots. Check his entire body, including: his face, head, both sides of his ears, chin, all around his neck, armpits, chest, stomach, tail, legs, paw pads and between his toes.
The best way to remove a tick.
Never remove a tick by hand because certain diseases can be picked up by humans through the tick secretions. Don’t try to burn the tick because you may accidentally burn your dog and it may force the tick to vomit into the site of the bite, causing further problems. There are special tools you can use to remove ticks safely. If you don’t have or don’t wish to buy such tools, tweezers can help. Follow these exact steps:
- Grip the mouth of the tick with the tweezers. This is the head part which will be buried under your Pom’s skin.
- Using slow, even pressure, pull it straight out. This ensures the whole tick is removed and the head isn’t left behind because it has barbs that arch backwards.
- Clean the site with warm water and soap. Then apply Betadine or another type of antiseptic. Always keep some in your Pomeranian’s first aid kit.
- Don’t flush the tick down the toilet or throw it in the rubbish. If your dog does get infected, you have the specimen for pathogen testing and correct identification. Put it in a small zipped plastic bag and label it with the date of removal. If your dog has no signs of infection a month later, you can then discard the tick in its bag.
- If you’re unable to remove the whole tick or if it’s too deeply buried, you must take your beloved Pom to the vet urgently so he can remove it within the vital 24 hour period.
Tips on maintaining a tick-free yard.
There are numerous things you can do to reduce the risk of tick infestations in your yard. Keep your lawns mowed short all the time. Seal all crevices and cracks around the home. Never let lawn debris pile up. Ticks love shady, damp areas. Prune your low-hanging bushes so sunlight can get in easier.
Remove fruit that has fallen on the ground, don’t spread bird seed, clean your barbeque of all food scraps and don’t have wood piles. All these tasks will help prevent rodents from entering your property and staying as there’s nothing of any appeal to them. If your property abuts a wooded area, use gravel, mulch or woodchips and create a three-foot barrier to protect your property.
Natural tick and flea sprays. This spray contains no chemicals and you only need to spray your dog once a week. It contains natural products such as:
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate.1.20% (a common ingredient in shampoos, soaps, mouthwashes, toothpastes and body washes), vanillin, water, clove oil, cedar wood oil and cinnamon oil. There are NO insecticides.
Insect Repellent for Dogs. This balm repels ticks, lice, fleas and mosquitoes. You put a tiny amount on your pet’s neck and back. Once the unique smell is gone, simply reapply. It generally needs a new touch up once a week. It has no insecticides. Its ingredients are: essential oils, organic beeswax, organic shea butter and organic olive oil.
These are products that work very well and receive lots of excellent reviews from dog owners. Every dog has a unique chemistry and your location is also unique so there may be times when the healthy products don’t work as well as they should and you may be forced to use a product containing insecticides. Each one differs in how it works and how your dog may react to it. Two products that seem to help in many cases are Frontline Plus (for high infestation areas) and Advantage Multi.
You also have to consider the stinging insects such as wasps, hornets, bees and others. Dogs are often prone to being stung as they love sniffing around in places where these insects hang around (i.e. bushes, etc.)
Facial stings can be quite painful but they may also face an allergic reaction and that can be more dangerous. If your Pomeranian is stung, watch him for allergic reaction signs such as a swollen face, weakness and/or trouble breathing. An antihistamine administered by your vet can save lives, if your Pom displays any sign of swelling contact your Vet immediately.
If your Pom gets three or more stings, you must rush him to the vet, even if he seems ok. Small breeds can react more severely and also faster than bigger dogs.
Check his body to see if there are any stingers still impaled. Don’t try using tweezers to remove as this can squirt out more venom. Use a plastic card (credit card) to scrape it out. Mix baking powder and water into a paste to apply that can reduce pain and swelling.
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