Tuesday, June 7, 2016

To the tick that bit me and died: Good riddance! To the rest: I DARE you to bite my dogs! #12Bravecto

I am one of those people who has a hard time killing things, even spiders (so I capture and release them, if I can). But there are a few creatures on this planet that--no matter how I've tried, even researching their value in the food chain--I would like to see eradicated from existence. At the top of that list? Ticks and fleas.

This post is sponsored by BRAVECTO® and the BlogPaws® Pet Influencer Network™. I am being compensated to help share information about BRAVECTO.  But we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers. Neither Intervet Inc., nor Merck & Co Inc., are responsible for the content of this article and have not written, reviewed, or edited it in any fashion. For more information about BRAVECTO please click here

Dewi (also a natural resource) enjoys "protected" status no matter how far he strays from the sign. Fleas and ticks take notice. 

True story: A couple weeks ago my neighbor called to see whether my husband or I had experience with big black snakes in our yard. As in, there was one coiled up warming itself on the neighbor's back deck, and they needed someone to come over there ASAP and get it the heck off. (And now you know why I needed to preface this paragraph with "true story.")

Well, being the animal nut lover I am, and having had experience collecting slimy critters, like toads, slugs and tadpoles, and handling live snakes on field trips to the science museum, for example, as a kid, with a surge of giddiness, I declared, "I'm not afraid of black snakes; I'll be right over!"

Three minutes later, armed with the walking stick my 12-year-old son made out of a tree branch and my husband (who was being overly protective), I'd made my way through the overgrown lot between our houses. Looking up the steps to their back deck, I hadn't felt that big an adrenaline rush in a really long time.

You know what would ruin this picture? Gross fleas and ticks parasite-ing on my sweet, handsome boy!

Turns out she (I know in my bones it was a girl snake) was curled up on a step descending the other side of the deck. My husband got there first.

Even though I was relegated to observer and supervisor (had to ensure no snakes were harmed in the making of this story) I stood in amazement of the (at least five-foot-long) creature's shimmering beauty.

Several more minutes than I expected later (turns out this snake was in no hurry to leave her sunny perch), my husband gingerly coaxed her down the steps, through our neighbor's side yard and into the adjoining tall grass (next to some woods).

As we made our return walk home, back through the overgrown grassy lot between our two houses, I said to my husband, "I bet there're ticks all through this grass. You better check yourself well when we get back home."

The next afternoon, I found a teeny tick embedded in my right thigh. With a tissue between it and my thumb and index finger, I gently twisted. It fell out after only one revolution... dead as a doornail.

There can be no other explanation: I'm poisonous and should be packaged as an organic tick killer. ☺


OK, that last sentence was a joke (sort of? I still have no explanation why that tick died while it was embedded in my leg). But ticks (and fleas--we have those in the tall grassy fields around the house, too) are not. (Never mind the black snakes. They might look scary, but they take care of vermin that carry diseases borne by ticks and fleas. And they're both non-venomous and non-aggressive. As long as they stay off the porch and only visit the yard at night, they're cool.)

It's not just a sexy beast; it's thousands of fleas and ticks waiting for their day of reckoning!

Where was I?

Oh, yes! Fleas and ticks. They SUCK! (Literally and figuratively, right?)

And if you think we have a problem with HUMANS getting ticks around here, imagine what the risks are for our low rider corgis!

Tick Control and Flea Prevention: It's On!

We try to keep Jon Farleigh and Dewi (and this year, foster dog Lele, too) away from the tall, unkempt grass flanking our yard, but it's not always possible. Plus the bloodsucking insects have a hard time respecting the border lines. I've had to pull ticks (and fleas, long story from a couple years ago) off both the dogs (and a couple stray cats, including my once-feral ginger boy, Bobby Flay, when he was a tiny kitten). I hate that; not just because it's gross as all get out, but because every time they get a tick, I worry they'll get some terrible disease, like Lyme.

Jon Farleigh having an extreme sensitivity to flea bites (and allergy-prone, senior Lele with skin disease) aside, if we got a flea infestation in the house, which would spread to the indoor cats, it would be a HORROR story! We'd need something to kill them fast, not after they had a chance to feed and produce more fleas.

Go ahead and try to get a bite out of my toothless, geriatric foster chihuahua with already itchy (because of something besides ticks and fleas) skin. You will DIE, fleas and ticks! Every last one of you!

Because it's simply not practical to treat our lawn for fleas and ticks as an only precaution, we've been treating the dogs, with varying topical flea and tick preventative (alongside their chewable heartworm preventative), their whole lives.

I wish I could say I never forgot a dose.

So, what if there was a flea and tick preventative for dogs that lasted 12 weeks per dose, and didn't need to be administered topically, but instead, came in a single meaty chew?

(Wait for it.)

I'd be all over it, is what!

Excuse me, hairy blue one, but she just knocked me over with a heron feather. Weren't you paying attention?

And when it comes time to replenish the dogs' (including Lele's) preventative in a few weeks, I'll be requesting Merck® BRAVECTO® (Fluralaner) --which is exactly as I just described--a 12-week-lasting*, fast-acting (starts killing fleas within two hours and kills 100% of fleas within 12), edible, meaty chew--from their veterinarians.

* BRAVECTO kills fleas, prevents flea infestations, and kills ticks (black-legged tick, American dog tick, and brown dog tick) for 12 weeks. BRAVECTO also kills lone star ticks for 8 weeks.

Edible Flea and Tick Preventative That Lasts Three Months in ONE Dose - Who Knew?

Have you heard of BRAVECTO? I hadn't until a few weeks ago. I try to keep up with the advancements in flea and tick preventative, but with our current brand becoming available over the counter a couple years ago, having the conversation with the vet hasn't been as regular as it used to be.

Note to self: Talk about flea and tick preventative with the vet at each check-up, every time (especially now that we're approaching summer and the dreaded...season).

BRAVECTO is FDA approved and available only from a veterinarian or clinic. Ask your dog's veterinarian about it today. (Locate a veterinarian or clinic that carries BRAVECTO.)

Money-saving tip: Register at My Pet Rewards for deals, such as cash rebates!

For the latest news and promotions, follow BRAVECTO on social: Facebook | Twitter

Do you have a problem with fleas and ticks in your area? Do you like the idea of a high-end preventative chew that lasts up to 12 weeks, and is administered in a tasty treat? Do you like snakes?

I'll be back next month with an update!

Psst. In case you aren't convinced my story is true...although, this isn't video from the neighbor's house (two weeks ago), it's video from two DAYS ago! I'll take one of these slithery critters over fleas and ticks ANY day! 

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information published. However, it remains the responsibility of the readers to familiarize themselves with the product information contained on the USA product label or package. More product information is available here: https://intervetus.naccvp.com/product/view/1047512?e=d97b22ed63e734e84c1a5910a9c8f531z1688


  1. Um, no snakes (or ticks) for me, thanks. You are much braver than me. Luckily we've never had to deal with ticks in our dog, but he is actually on Bravecto. We like it.

    1. But snakes are great! ;) Glad to hear Bravecto is working for your dog (no ticks are good ticks).

  2. We are always protected too. Yucky snakes!
    Lily & Edward

  3. No snakes for me! They scare the living crap out of me. Flea and ticks make my skin crawl, so Bravecto is great!

  4. Thankfully in the city we don't see a lot of fleas and ticks but whenever we go to the lake in Wisconsin I am all over additional preventatives like all-natural sprays on top of their regular preventative. It is just SO not worth it for our poor pups to endure those nasty things! PS-I am terrified of snakes so more power to you for facing that head on! I would of run away crying haha ;)

  5. Ticks are so scary especially now that I have a dog who loves to romp in the woods and the grass. Great info here!

  6. I sooo despise ticks! We have been trying all sorts of natural items since my corgi Ty has lymphoma. But ticks can be stubborn with those.

  7. Mr. N is also low to the ground and has a flea allergy so I am united with you in your dislike of fleas and ticks!

  8. Geez mom was freaking out that you would have a picture of the snake! She has a horrible fear of snakes and she would have preferred that you killed it because to her the only good snake is a dead one. Sorry but she grew up in Texas and had one too many run ins with rattlers and water moccasins. Oh ticks. Bad. A friend of ours got Lyme disease bad and her dog. Love Doly

  9. I'm still shivering at the thought of both the snakes and ticks. I wish there was a preventative oral solution for cats. I, too, sometimes forget the monthly topical solution for the girls.

  10. Our backyard is forest, with who knows what growing up in it!! Rugby hates any kind of topical....either goo or spray. Glad to know that there are alternatives that work!

  11. My dog is very sensitive to flea bites and we have a lot of ticks in the woods right behind our house. I try to be very vigilant about keeping her protected against fleas and ticks, but it is easy to miss a dose. Last summer we switched to a flea collar and that worked really well for my dogs.

  12. I am so glad we don't have ticks UGH they are horrible things! I would never go near tall grass again if I saw a single tick!!!!

  13. I don't much care for getting my flea treatment but mom says it is very, very important so I tolerate it. It would be great if there was something in a meaty chew for cats!

  14. I love your angle on this. And fleas and ticks plain and simple suck. Having been through the ringer with them in the past, we are doing good with prevention now. And this sounds like a fab product!

  15. I like snakes - I often hold them at Pet Expo - i just filmed a young girl who is a reptile expert for a pilot for a new kids series. A little nervous when I see them around a house or garden as we have so many deadly ones in Australia. I hate fleas, ticks and mosquitoes - just can not see anything good. About to decide on Kilo's new treatment so good to know.

    1. Finally! (I don't like the poisonous ones, unless they are behind glass in a zoo or science center; we have copperheads--very dangerous--here, too, and I would never get so close to one.) Sounds like a fun kids' series you are working on!

  16. The worst thing about summer is all these critters! We had a snake in our back yard last week and I had to call animal control to remove it. It's scary business this time of year!

  17. I have no problem with snakes but ticks and fleas are a good enough reason to burn down the house and move! ;-) Thankfully, we don't have a major flea problem where I live but the (insert a non family friendly expletive here) ticks are awful out on the hiking trails.

  18. Three cheers for bravely wanting to help convince a snake to reside elsewhere! I'm glad the tick you found on your leg wasn't, well "ticking" anymore but make sure you keep an eye on the area for the bullseye marking, just in case! Lyme Disease blows (I've had it twice)!

    Thanks for sharing information about Bravecto! Such a cool concept.

  19. OK, so ticks and snakes freak me out and I do my best to avoid both. I love that this product is chewable and lasts 3 months. Will absolutely discuss at Ruby's next vet appointment.

  20. Excellent post, Black Snake Goddess! You are far braver than I. I'm so excited about Bravecto, I can't wait to try it! Such a huge improvement in flea/tick protection.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them


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