Will your pet, no matter what, catch fleas and ticks in the jungle? It’s a definite yes. But, with scheduled upkeep, it is possible to keep it to a minimum. You can do a combination of little things that brings positive results.
Ticks and fleas are bloodsucking parasites who attach themselves to the skin. There are a large variety of species of both ticks and fleas, and many are known to carry diseases. One of the more common one is Lyme disease. Here’s an excellent article by The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station if you want to learn more about ticks. And eHow has good info about fleas.
We have four cats and two dogs in a tropical lush jungle environment, so dealing with those parasites have become part of our life. After some trial and error, we have come up with a combination that has worked out best for us.
For the kitty cats, I do the 30 day squirt between the shoulder blades with a product such as Advantage® and Frontline®. If you buy online (which I do as these products are very expensive in Belize) please make sure it is genuine and not a fake which can be inefficient but most importantly, harmful to your animal. I also brush the kitties almost daily with a fine tooth brush which keeps their coat clean and fluffy. They play outside a lot, but they cuddle in bed with us too, and rarely do I find fleas or ticks.
Sammy & Watson
Hey Sammy, lets go chase the other kitty cats!
Now the dogs are a different story! Since they are mostly outside, and like to sleep in the dirt and roll in the grass, it is more difficult to keep under control. In addition to treating the dogs coat, you also need to treat his sleeping and living quarters. The dogs get a monthly shot of Ivomec® and B/12 vitamins. A year ago I had never given a shot to anything, and didn’t really like getting any myself. But now I’m a pro! In Belize, you can buy medications, syringes etc. for your animals. At Reimer’s Feed in Spanish Lookout, a nice guy directed me to the different treatments and instructed me on how to administer the injection. My first time I was very nervous but it turned out to be real easy. Then a neighbor started bringing me her dog every month, and now she too does it herself!
Watson’s sleeping quarters under the power shed
Spraying their sleeping quarters is crucial. Watson likes to sleep on the shed’s porch or under the shed. To keep him off the ground, under the shed is lined with wood pallets. These areas get sprayed with a product called Bañol® (which also controls other local parasites that burro into their skin and cause them to scratch until the skin is raw). Mixed with water, using a yard sprayer, we spray the porch and the pallets. Since this product is also to be used to bathe dogs, we spray him at the same time (watching out not to spay the eyes/face or genitals). For the surrounding areas around their sleeping quarters, we keep the lawn mowed short and also spray a mixture of bleach and water. As for the frequency of the spraying, it all depends on the season and the weather. Being on a creek, the dogs swim pretty much daily, so they also get a regular bath with herbal flea and tick repellent soap. During wet season where it is harder to control, we also use Fipecto® Spray which is good for dogs or cats.
You may have to experiment with different procedures and ideas, and also ask the neighbors what their tricks are. But it is important to keep on top of those parasites as they are very uncomfortable to your animal(s) and if left untreated, can cause skin infections and sores.
1 ~ Living Comfortably In The Jungle Of Central America!
2 ~ Producing And Storing Your Own Electricity, You Have The Power To!
3 ~ Building Off-Grid In The Jungle, Fun But Challenging
4 ~ Easy Broadband Satellite Internet Access
5 ~ Water Supply Considerations, Off-Grid In The Jungle
6 ~ The Domestic Cats’ Life In The Jungle
7 ~ The Belize Mennonite’s Lifestyle
8 ~ How To Live As An Expat In A Foreign Country
9 ~ The Invasion Of The Flood Flies
10 ~ Living in Paradise! But, Where Is It?
11 ~ Solar Panel Placement & Sun Chart Creator
12 ~ Health Issues When Living Abroad
13 ~ Telecommunication Challenges In A 3rd World Country
14 ~ The Dangers Of The Black Poisonwood Tree
15 ~ To Buy Or To Rent When Moving Abroad
16 ~ Home Schooling When Living Abroad
17 ~ Tips & Hints On Things To Watch Out For During Construction – Part 1 of 2
18 ~ Tips & Hints On Things To Watch Out For During Construction – Part 2