DECISION, DECISIONS – Marilyn Armstrong

I worry about small things even more than big ones. Right now, I’m worrying about ticks and fleas. We got some lethal mosquitoes in the area which is bad enough, but as I was petting Duke the other night, I realized that his flea and tick collar was too tight. The Duke has filled out.

We’ve had so much rain that it has been soaked repeatedly which I think made it expand some — and I just couldn’t get it to open more. Finally, I gave up and cut it off him which left him with no flea and tick protection. All three dogs were wearing the Seresto (Bayer) collars which are highly effective, but also poisonous. All is well as long as there’s no allergic reaction and your dog doesn’t get sick. Some dogs get sick and older ones tend to have a lot of skin, eye, and ear issues anyway.

Two of my dogs are getting kind of old and I figured it was time to replace their collars anyway. But with what?

Buy the very expensive Seresto ($52 to $58 each, if you please) collars or go with the less effective “natural oil” collars that apparently work for some people, but who knows if they will work here?

There aren’t a lot of choices. You can buy the Seresto collars (Bayer) and there’s one other manufacturer that makes poison collars, but I looked at the ingredients and decided no, I don’t think so. So I went with Tuzik Flea and Tick Collar, which is one of the “herbal oil” collars. Most of these contain essentially the same oils:

      • Citronella
      • Lemon Oil
      • Clove Oil
      • Peppermint Oil
      • Eucalyptus Oil

Some also include: cedarwood, cinnamon, lavender, thyme, and geranium oils — and some don’t use cinnamon or clove oil. There is some dispute over clove oil, but I think it’s probably safer than Flumethrin or Permethrin.

The things none of them use are Permethrin, Pyriproxyfen, Flumethrin, Imidacloprid, Fipronil, Pyrethrins, Nitenpyram, Deltamethrin, Diatomaceous Earth, Tetrachlorvinphos. There are a few other poisons used on other collars. The thing is, these poison collar work very well … except when they kill your dog. Sometimes, your dog does okay with no problem and you never see a tick or a flea — which is great. Sometimes, even after using them for a long time, your dog breaks out in a bloody rash that can be hard to cure. Or dies.

I finally went with the “natural oil” version. Do I think it will work as well as Seresto did?

Probably it won’t.

Did I make the right decision? I don’t know. It’s not like there’s a third choice — like “a little poisonous, but not too bad.” It’s either natural oil and non-toxic, or really toxic and let’s just hope everything works out okay.

I hate this kind of choice. Because I never know if I made the right decision.

22 thoughts on “DECISION, DECISIONS – Marilyn Armstrong

  1. I would tend to go with some of those natural oils. The poisons sound nasty even though they are effective.
    Don’t forget you’re being exposed to them too.


  2. I’ll be interested in knowing how the Tuzik collar works out. We’ve always used the Seresto for Cody because that’s what the vet recommended after she reacted to the topical liquid stuff, and she’s never had a problem with the Seresto. But the day might come when we have to switch to something else.


    • There’s no “good answer.” But I have to deal with it. The EEE mosquitoes have arrived, so all of our autumn evening fairs have been canceled and we are ALL advised to stay in after dusk when the skeeters are out. They kill horses and dogs and cars AND people. Nice.


      • oh brother. That’s well and truly terrible….. That was what made me climb the walls when I was in Florida, in another life time….. People have to stay indoors all the time or pack up their places all round in mosquito nets. This is crazy!!!! (sorry for the exclamation marks).


  3. We don’ t so far have a problem with ticks in Tasmania but for fleas, I generally use either something like Frontline to go onto the skin or an edible chew. Cindy likes the chews, she thinks they are treats. Polly is better with the Frontline as that way I can make sure she has it. Cindy used to swim whenever David took her to the park so I felt that was a better solution than a collar. It probably would not matter now of course.


  4. …., as much as you can’t be a little pregnant. It’s either ‘natural’ which doesn’t mean ‘organic or healthy’ or just bloody poisonous. I know what I’d take. (same as you!)
    But the price for one of them, that’s terrible. I just wondered loudly over a friendly demand for my money to support a French Dogs for the Blind association. With a blind mother and 2 sisters & a brother with bad eyesight and myself seeing only a percentage of what one normally can see that’s a no brainer BUT they put the amount of a donation in relation to what it can buy: €20, going TOWARDS a leash, €100 nearly buying a full ‘frock’ for a working guide dog, etc.
    But protected they must be, your dogs – cut them down on the biscuits…. 😉


  5. We don’t use a flea/tick collar on our dog. We used to use Frontline Plus, a liquid you’d apply once a month to the dog’s skin beneath the fur around its shoulder blades. But then our vet recommended NexGard once a month chewables and they’re working great. You need a vet’s prescription, but you can buy them from and have them delivered right to your door. A six pack costs about $110.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We have THREE dogs, so it gets a bit pricey. I will check with my Australian company, see if they have them and what they cost. Right now, we have an invasion of the EEE killer mosquitoes and they are advising people to stay in after dusk and are in the process of spraying our entire county. All the surrounding towns have been literally closed down due to these poison mosquitoes — the worst ever invasion (might have something to do with climate change!). All the autumn fairs have been canceled. These skeeters don’t just bite and kill people. They LOVE horses and dogs, too. So my nervousness is not out of line. These mosquitoes never used to come this far north, but it has been warmer than usual and we live in the woods, which does not help.

      Ironically, I already HAVE two containers of it in the house. The problem is the dogs really HATE it. Nothing helps, not even jam or peanut butter or cheese or any of the things that usually make them eat anything. So it’s prying open the jaws and shoving in the pill. But since we already have it and the end of the month is arriving shortly …. sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Let us hope you don’t get them. These guys came up from Florida, but as things have gotten warmer and winters not as cold, with frost coming later … they’ve just been climbing the coast. They probably have a home in Mexico, so if it gets warmer where you are, who knows? Climate change really IS here.

          Liked by 1 person

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