Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘fleas’

I will be the first to admit that my lifestyle is less than easy. In a world filled with chemicals and convenience, I strive for a more natural approach. An organic or, as much as I loathe the commercialism of the word “green” lifestyle, is supposed to be the simpler path. However, it isn’t always the case when industries and corporations are pushing their products down your throat day in and day out.

Mushu and Milo

That’s why when we found out we had fleas, literally five of them at the time we made the discovery, I went into full blown research mode. As a veterinary technician (well, alright, I’m on sabbatical until my children are grown) I was aware of the plethora of flea medications, topical and oral out there. But, I conceded, these violated my very lifestyle, my natural philosophy. What was I to do? I couldn’t bear the thought of slathering toxic pesticides on my beloved four legged family members, nor could I stomach the idea of allowing them to ingest said pesticides. I was at a quagmire, destined to either battle fleas for the remaining days of my pet’s lives or find a solution that was both nontoxic and natural.

I read everything, as I often do when faced with a challenge. I found solutions ranging from feeding the animals garlic to recommendations for ‘all natural products’. I also found, as I had suspected I would, a giant amount of disinformation put out by pharmaceutical companies that slam the holistic approaches and tout the efficacy of their toxic counterparts. All too often I read people’s opinions that belittled and condemned the naturopathic alternatives.

Armed with information I set out to rid myself and my furry loved ones of their parasitic roommates. The first thing I tried was a solution of sweet almond oil, a common carrier oil used in aromatherapy and massage and lavender essential oil. I coated the kittens with the mixture and let it sit for about 15 minutes. I then washed it off with a mild shampoo, however, much to my chagrin the fleas had not all perished in the oil bath and some continued to scurry in and through my pet’s fur.

With this knowledge and a feeling of disappointment I went back to my reading. However it was the advice from a friend that would rid us of the segmented bloodsuckers. After spending no more that $3.00 at the local pharmacy, I returned home with a spray bottle and a large container of Isopropyl Alcohol or common rubbing alcohol.

Although the animals were none too thrilled with the application process, a spray bottle filled with the alcohol, it did yield almost immediate results. I began spraying at the neck and worked my way back preventing the tiny hitchhikers from hiding in my pet’s ears. I covered my fuzzy beloveds with the isopropyl and watched the fleas come to the surface of their fur and die instantly. It was gratifying. *Insert maniacal laughter*.

After each pet was adequately sprayed I gave them each a bath with gentle shampoo to remove any and all flea dirt and dead carcasses from the animal’s fur. Between the isopropyl and the gentle bathing the animals coats are shiny and parasite free, with no harm from poisonous ingredients and pesticides. Sure it took a little more time and effort, but that is the sacrifice we make to live a healthier and more naturally harmonious lifestyle. And the temptation of convenience can never bring that sort of peace of mind.

 

Precautions:

If your furry friend has a flea bite allergy or the skin is red and raw DO NOT use the isopropyl alcohol. You can wash the pet with Dawn Dish Soap and treat the skin irritation with coconut oil. Dawn dries out the skin so always use coconut oil after a harsh bath like that.

 

If you know you have fleas in the house or if you are the cautious type there are some natural alternatives to eliminating the infestation.

 

Rosemary Essential Oil

Fill a spray bottle with vinegar or water and add 30 drops of rosemary essential oil. Use this mix to spray bedding, soft furniture, carpet and baseboards.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is basically ground-up algae, but it has an array of benefits and is specifically known for killing parasites internally. You should be sure that you purchase a food-grade version of DE or it could cause breathing problems and other serious side effects for both your dog and you. You can sprinkle a bit on her food or you can sprinkle it on her coat. DE has very sharp microscopic edges, which essentially lacerate any bugs that come in contact with it. You can also sprinkle this on your carpet, let it sit for at least 24 hours and then vacuum it up.

 

Happy, healthy animals make for a joyous home,
Lauryn

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: