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Front Line Plus/Lyme Disease


burdock
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I also happen to know four people personally whose dogs all became infected with Lyme, 2 with other TBDs as well, while their owners were regularly using Frontline.

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Interestingly enough, I attended an agility trial the weekend before last and the only dog I pulled any deer ticks off of was my foster dog who came treated with Frontline less then 30 days ago.

 

Best,

Jen

ADCH Enna TM - Silver, MX, MXJ - rescued champion

Ignited's Molten Rush, aka: Lava

Rising Sun's Hot to the Touch - aka: Fever - retired due to epilepsy

Flute AAD, AX, OAJ, OAC, OGC, NAJ - retired

 

I am not surprised that dogs that have been on a tick preventative/repellant - whether it be Frontline, Advantix, essential oils, or any other chemical or natural treatment; ingested or sprayed -- could contract a TBD.

 

IMHO, there is no vaccine, antibiotic, medicine, surgery, spray or whatever that is 100% effective. It's always a question of probability, and that is just the nature of the beast. Not everyone responds in exactly the same way to treatments. It is also my own personal theory that, with respect to tick control, there are regional differences. e.g. In one area, Advantix seems to work, whereas in another area Advantix seems ineffective (my experience), but Frontline seems to control ticks.

 

It can be trial and error sometimes to find what works for you. I wish it was easier.

 

Jovi

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simply reasoning that a natural product wouldn't be likely to harm their pet).

 

*I actually think you aren't giving the majority of dog owners enough credit. We aren't talking about your garden variety, buy Beneful and Hartz flea collars at the grocery store dog owner, but I would say that most pet owners do a bit of research or ask their vets before using a product. After the mass recall a few years ago, people are more cautious.

 

I'm not opposed to people using whatever works for them, but ISTM that lack of reports of adverse reactions doesn't necessarily mean any product is safe for an individual dog.

 

*Topical, conventional flea and tick preventavies are insecticides -poisons. I think people should be very clear about exactly what they are putting on their dogs or cats before they decide to do so. For those that use these year round or for several months at a time, this means constant, long term exposure to poisons. Would you use the same type of product on your children long term?

 

I've considered using essential oils, but because I also have cats, I have to be concerned about the adverse (toxic) effects on them as well.

 

*I would suggest discussing them with a holistic vet who can recommend those he or she feels will be effective without harming your cat. Essential oils from plants like lavendar and rose geramnium repel insects, they aren't insecticide although there are some plant extracts that do kill insects. The plants developed methods to protect themselves from insects which we borrow. There are times of the year where my property is muddy and I exercise my dogs off property almost every day. If I am doing so, I need to apply the spray containing essential oils each time I am planning to go.

 

Well, um, if the tick is engorged, how did it do THAT with paralyzed mouth parts?

 

*I have spoken to my own vet and other vets who all believe that the transmission times are not really concrete. The risk is higher the longer the tick is attached, common knowledge, but that doesn't really tell you that the bacteria cannot be transmitted before the 36 hour mark.

 

Anyway, I mainly just wanted to point out to others who might be reading this thread that absence of reporting doesn't equal absence of actual adverse effects.

 

* True, yet it doesn't change the fact that conventional topicals are poisons that kill instects that people are putting on their pets for long periods of time.

 

PS. I can't figure out how to use the quote function on the new format.

 

Jen

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Interesting that Mark found a reference stating that at least 36 hours were needed for a tick to transmit Lyme disease organisms--I had always heard 48 hours. And when I complained to Merial about finding engorged ticks on my treated dogs, their response was that the mouth parts of the tick would have been paralyzed, therefore no disease transmission. Well, um, if the tick is engorged, how did it do THAT with paralyzed mouth parts?

 

J.

 

Interesting about the 36 and 48 hour time periods :-)

I have always heard that the tick could transmit the Borrelia organism after 24 hours. This info is from 2 different vets and from published literature (from a few years ago). It is possible that the time frame has recently been pinpointed more accurately, but until I hear of a shorter time period than 24 hours, I will keep that in my head to try and keep my vigilance up.

 

Jovi

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Julie - Are your guineas loud?

 

Jen

Yes, annoyingly so. I have 8 I think, and would happily divest myself of a few of them if one of my friends wanted to take some. That's really their biggest drawback--the excessive noisiness. The chickens make noise, and of course the roosters do plenty of crowing, but it's nowhere near the "fingernails on a chalkboard" noise that guineas make.

 

That said, you could probably put a few hens out to free range and they'd eat whatever they'd find. I'm not sure why chickens aren't supposed to be as good as guineas at finding and eating ticks, but I can tell you that my hens will eat just about any insect (including grubs, larva, etc.), rodents, snakes, etc., that crosses their paths.

 

J.

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Jen,

I am a biologist and chemist by training, so I understand about natural repellents vs. manmade insecticides. I really think the whole thing comes down to what you're comfortable with WRT to risk vs. benefit.

 

For me, with multiple dogs (9 of them, plus the LGD) who spend a lot of time outside the immediate environs of the yard, I think it would be virtually impossible to count on a simple repellent to protect my animals from disease-bearing organisms. I set sheep at a trial over the summer on a property not my own, and even with additional repellents, I pulled A LOT of ticks (deer ticks) off the dogs I used. I'm sure this was a case of the population of ticks simply overwhelming any protection I had on my dogs, but still....

 

I don't completely agree with your reasoning that because the chemical comes from a plant that it is automatically safer than "chemical poisons." As Mark pointed out earlier, the oil in poison (ahem) ivy, urushiol, can cause severe reactions in some people (I am one of those people, and I live in fear of folks around here burning it in burn piles). I'm sure you've seen recent reports on kids getting high on nutmeg (which I imagine has the designation of GRAS--generally recognized as safe--by the federal regulating bodies for its use in foods) and the dangerous side effects it can have. I happen to love nutmeg, but then I am not using it to get high, so don't really worry about side effects.

 

My point is that even natural products can be dangerous. And the big drawback to many natural products is that clinical test data is lacking (not saying that the available test data for manmade products is stellar, but at least some exists), and claims for safety and efficacy are purely anecdotal. You have no greater idea of the safety of spraying your dog with rose geranium oil (are you sure it's not being breathed in or touching mucus membranes where it could be readily absorbed? and do you know that it's ingestion of respiration of the spray is safe?) over a period of years than does someone using manmade products. You think it's safer because it's derived directly from a natural living plant, but the data that supports those ideas doesn't really exist as far as I know.

 

And I'd also like to point out that often manmade products are initially derived from natural products. There's a huge segment of the pharmaceutical industry that starts with natural chemicals and attempts to find/create similar chemicals that will have even more or greater beneficial effects than the original chemical product.

 

I have no doubt that some individual dogs are more sensitive to chemicals than others, and these dogs, especially, need to be approached on an individual basis when it comes to putting chemicals in or on them. I just caution against blindly believing that a natural is automatically safer than any other product available. And as for the "would you put it on your kids?" question, it's really not a valid comparison since companion animals have shorter lifespans and metabolize things differently than we do.

 

I am not trying to be an apologist for the chemical manufacturers or anyone else. I use manmade chemicals when I think it makes sense to do so, and I use alternative medicine products when I think it makes sense to do so. I just think we need to be clear about claims of safety and efficacy in the face of a lack of data that supports such claims.

 

J.

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Insecticides (poisons to insects) can be synthetic or natural. The main difference between synthetic and natural products of these types is that the contents of the synthetic version are known and controlled while those of natural products are an uncontrolled mixture of many products. The impact of the synthetic versions are easier to ascertain while the impact of the natural is very difficult to quantify since the mixtures are highly variable.

 

 

google scholar search using +natural +insecticides

131,000 "hits"

 

examples:

"methanolic leaf and root extracts from Stemona collinsae displayed very high insect toxicity"

"Natural insecticides from cotton (Gossypium)"

"Neem and other botanical insecticides: barriers to commercialization"

"Ant venom alkaloids from species: natural insecticides"

"Insecticidal 1H-cyclopentatetrahydrobenzofurans from Aglaia odorata"

"Natural products as insecticides: the biology, biochemistry and quantitative structureactivity relationships of spinosyns and spinosoids"

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Jen,

 

To use the quote function press the "Reply" button below the post you wish to quote and then delete the portions you do not want

 

or type the word quote with the brackets, [ and ], arround it, type what you want to quote, and then end the section with /quote surrounded by the brackets: [ and ].

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Yes, annoyingly so. I have 8 I think, and would happily divest myself of a few of them if one of my friends wanted to take some. That said, you could probably put a few hens out to free range and they'd eat whatever they'd find. I'm not sure why chickens aren't supposed to be as good as guineas at finding and eating ticks, but I can tell you that my hens will eat just about any insect (including grubs, larva, etc.), rodents, snakes, etc., that crosses their paths.

 

J.

 

Okay, I think this worked now. :) I am actually keeping my eye out for someone selling an old coop or large old dog house I can modify cheap. I am thinking of getting a few chickens and letting them have the range of the yard. Not guineas though, because of the carrying on. :)

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"I don't completely agree with your reasoning that because the chemical comes from a plant that it is automatically safer than "chemical poisons."

 

 

That's not what I said at all. I listed specific items, I have never actually made any type of general statement about natural chemicals being safe because they are natural. Cobra venom comes instantly to mind. :)

 

Frankly, the ever increasing amount of supplements and natural remedies available all over the place now is kind of scary to me. I was handing Fever over 15 supplements a day at one point at my most frantic when her epilepsy first surfaced. Everywhere I turned I found a new list of supplements the would prevent seizures. I still run into people all of the time who tell me about X or Y who put their dog on blank and got them off medication. I went back to a raw diet, filter my dog's drinking water, and took them off almost everything. They get a joint supplement, fish oil, my old dog gets some supplements that help with arthritis and cranberry and that's it. Fever is on 2 types of medication to prevent seizures.

 

I reasearch carefully and discuss something I am going to try with my holistic vet or a friend who is a homeopath before I use it and keep supplements to a minimum.

 

"And the big drawback to many natural products is that clinical test data is lacking (not saying that the available test data for manmade products is stellar, but at least some exists)"

 

 

I buy organic essential oils from a reputable company. And it is great that test data exists for manmade products, however I have yet to read multiple news articles or heard that the FDA is researching the safety of rose geranium essential oil, for example, as they are topical flea and tick products. To my knowledge, there haven't been multiple class action suits against a company selling essential oils as there have been against the maker of Rimadyl.

 

Testing doesn't make something any safer necessarily either. And if something (phen phen comes to mind)is a natural product and causes serious adverse side effects, it gets discussed in the media.

 

 

"over a period of years than does someone using manmade products. You think it's safer because it's derived directly from a natural living plant, but the data that supports those ideas doesn't really exist as far as I know."

 

You are absolutely right. But my original point was and still remains that there is very clear proof that the manmade topical flea and tick products are in fact dangerious, can cause death and have caused many, many adverse reactions in dogs, often very serious ones.

 

"And as for the "would you put it on your kids?" question, it's really not a valid comparison since companion animals have shorter lifespans and metabolize things differently than we do."

 

Cancer in dogs is increasing every year, exponentially. Why do you think that is? And for those people who have kids and use topical flea and tick products, do you actually think your kids are not exposed to what is on your dogs? I know I don't want to be exposed to it any more then I want it on my dogs, personally.

 

"I am not trying to be an apologist for the chemical manufacturers or anyone else. I use manmade chemicals when I think it makes sense to do so, and I use alternative medicine products when I think it makes sense to do so. I just think we need to be clear about claims of safety and efficacy in the face of a lack of data that supports such claims."

 

Here we will have to agree to disagree. I will use a product that doesn't have any documented, undiscovered reaction or adverse effects over a product with repeated, documented cases that it already does. Herbalists and holistic practioners have been using essential oils, herbs, etc. for many, many years. I am much more confident that they would make any potential side effects known. I certainly don't trust drug companies - take Pfizer, for example, who tried to literally pay my friend off for her silence when her dog suffered a permanent, serious autoimmune disease caused byt one of their rabies shots and diagnosed in writing by U of P Vet Hospital - or who only attempted to make the formula of Rimadyl safer, my favorite example - after several class action lawsuits were settled.

 

Best,

Jen

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I agree there there has been an explosion of findings of cancer in dogs in recent years. But my question is can you totally blame that on pesticides/insecticides? Or rather is it a mixture of things such as better testing, more owner awareness, etc...to include the use of topical solutions? If it cannot be attributed to any of the above then maybe we need to look at how people controlled fleas/ticks before the cancer explosion and learn from that, or did they just learn to deal ;)

 

And have their been any test done that definitively say that "natural" oils do not cause cancer? I'm not saying they do, but most forms of natural sprays/topicals have to undergo chemical changes to become suitable for use as a topical treatment, so that could change the effectiveness as well as what it does in the canine body.

 

I'm not for or against either side, just see the dangers in using both.

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Jen,

For the record, I am NOT trying to change your mind. I just think that your logic is not quite, um, logical. And my whole point in continuing this discussion is to insure that people don't read this thread and then think that absence of data somehow equals safety--for any product they might use. So this will be my last post on this subject.

 

To reiterate my points throughout this thread:

 

1. ABSENCE of any real scientific data CANNOT prove or disprove the safety of a particular chemical or product.

 

2. As I noted earlier, people who *believe* in the safety and efficacy of something aren't going to be the ones to jump to the conclusion that the essential oil they put on their pet is what caused it to have a seizure three days later.

 

3. Your arguments are ignoring the fact that the topical flea and tick products have been available for some years now, and even though there have been documented adverse reactions, you haven't presented any verifiable data that show the percentage of adverse reactions compared to the total number of animals on which these products are used. Given how vets push these topical products, I imagine a huge number of animals have been exposed to them, regularly or sporadically. I started using Program when it came out in the late 80s/early 90s and have used the topicals ever since they were introduced. I've not had an animal with an adverse reaction and my animals have all lived normal lifespans. Surely my positive (not counting the efficacy issue) experience is no less valuable than someone else's negative experience? I have an adverse reaction when given penicillin or any similar antibiotic. Does that mean that penicillin is inherently unsafe and that NO ONE should be allowed to use it? If you could present data that show a statistically significant number of animals have adverse reactions when a topical flea and tick preventive is applied, then your argument would carry a whole lot more weight. But just claiming "adverse reactions" and "class action lawsuits" doesn't PROVE a complete lack of safety.

 

4. Absence or presence of class action lawsuits depends, IMO, on how profitable such a lawsuit can be (i.e., does the company have deep pockets?) and whether the claims against a product have a snowball's chance in hell of being proven to some degree. That doesn't mean that the mom & pop natural products seller sells only safe products, though they certainly might; it just means that they aren't big enough to go after or no one has made a concerted effort to correlate health problems with the use of such products.

 

5. Blaming the apparent increased incidence of cancer in dogs on the use of topical insecticides is also illogical if you have no evidence that there is a correlation between the two. It could simply be that we have better diagnostic capabilities now and so actually detect cancers more often (vs. just letting Fido live until he dies of who knows what), that there are a lot more environmental pollutants to contend with, overvaccination, tainted drinking water, acid rain, and so on. Epidemiological studies on populations might provide the correlation you seek to establish, but without some sort of data that shows an association between insecticides and cancer, you're just speculating to promote your argument agains topical insecticides.

 

 

Anyway, as I've said repeatedly, I'm not trying to claim that natural products are either completely safe or unsafe, nor am I trying to claim that manmade insecticides are either completely safe or unsafe. All I've been saying all along is that if one is going to make believable claims about the safety (or lack thereof) and efficacy (or lack thereof) of any product, natural or not, one needs data that supports those claims. Absence of data certainly doesn't prove anything, no matter what anyone of us wishes to believe.

 

And finally, to repeat myself yet again, individuals need to decide what risk vs. benefit they are comfortable with and operate from that plane of comfort. I understand that you are comfortable with essential oils as insect repellents. But your comfort with them, and the fact that your dogs have had no adverse reactions that you have attributed to the use of those products doesn't GUARANTEE their safety any more than me not getting sick after accidentally swallowing sheep wormer guarantees that the wormer is safe for human consumption.

 

J.

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Jen, you seem to grasp the subtleties of this topic but since others read these I want to comment on two points you make here.

 

 

it is great that test data exists for manmade products, however I have yet to read multiple news articles or heard that the FDA is researching the safety of rose geranium essential oil, for example, as they are topical flea and tick products. To my knowledge, there haven't been multiple class action suits against a company selling essential oils as there have been against the maker of Rimadyl.

The regulations that essential oils are sold under are vastly less stringent than those of prescription drugs. There is no comparison. The claims by the sellers of essential oils and drugs are vastly different; typically no medial benefit clauses are labeled on essential oils (required by the FDA) which protects the sellers and the FDA. So why would there be law suits or recalls?

 

 

The FDA has not evaluated the statements on this website. No claims are made as to any medicinal value of this oil. The information presented here is for educational purposes of traditional uses and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

 

Rose Geranium Essential Oil

 

 

Cancer in dogs is increasing every year, exponentially. Why do you think that is?

Genetics & inbreeding are the major contributors to this increase.

 

Unleashing the Canine Genome

Elaine A. Ostrander and Leonid Kruglyak

 

In Rottweilers, this is due to a recent and very narrow population bottleneck.....A large part of the current U.S. population is drawn from a very small number of dogs that were brought to the United States from Germany in 1928......Thus, the group of registered dogs alive today, estimated to be about 750,000, is derived almost exclusively from a few founders and popular sires and experienced a very long bottleneck of some 30 yr before the recent population explosion.

 

......Golden Retrievers have not experienced any recent major bottlenecks. However, as this is a dog that tends to do well in dog shows, it exhibits several examples of strong popular-sire effects. The estimated relative risk (2.1) of all malignancies for Golden Retrievers was significantly greater than the comparable rate for all other dogs combined (Priester and McKay 1980), and lines of Golden Retrievers with an unusally high incidence of cancer have been reported anecdotally.

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