Bodhi and big pharma

Ever since I became a pet owner, I have resisted the big chemical flea and tick “medications.” In Denver it didn’t seem that they needed them. Then we moved to GA and I think we made it about a month before giant fleas were seen leaping off the kitty and onto my bare skin… I dosed the dog and the older kitty, then moved on to the culprit (the only one that seemed to have actual fleas on her). She was still a kitten and soon after I began she leapt from my arms. Can I just say that each animal reacted as soon as the “medication” touched their skin? Ok, so Ipicat (what? that was her name!) sped away from me. Some of the stuff dripped down her back a little and she attempted to clean it away…by licking it, obviously.

I have seen some energetic kitties in my life, but let me tell you, this was something else. Ipicat began racing around the room, scaling blinds, ripping furniture and foaming at the mouth. Thick, white and bubbly it covered her mouth like some kind of obscene milk commercial. A year later I was still finding spots of white on various objects, like my computer monitor.

It took her a good half hour to calm down enough to let me pick her up. She was still shaking and I did my best to calm her and clean her fur of the offending “medicine.” That was the last time I used it. Luckily for all of us we moved to MN soon after and the threat level seemed a bit lower. Also, Ipicat was no longer living with me, having become a Bookstore Cat in Augusta and the other kitty never went outside.

As for the dog, soon after arriving in Augusta I changed her to a whole food diet (with a base of brown rice and tofu) and began to add garlic and brewer’s yeast to lower the threat further. It worked for Detta.

The new dog, Bodhi (wonder at what point I’ll stop calling him “new”) has done well with the garlic and brewer’s yeast set up – till last year. After his heat stroke, the vet said that she thought it would be better to stop giving him the garlic, because she thought it might compromise his weakened system. So I stopped.

I started again around the beginning of summer, although using a lower concentration. And then we started going out into the woods much more regularly and I decided a flea and tick collar was the next step. I don’t really want to risk Bodhi’s life over some chemicals, and since his diet and life are pretty clean already, I decided maybe that was ok. Then I brought home the collar and dang, the list of risks and dangers seemed as bad as the ones I remembered from the Frontline. But I dutifully put it on.

Bodhi came home with ticks the second week. And again the third week. At which point I reconsidered the liquid “medication.”

I took Bodhi to the vet and got him all checked out and asked my very cool integrative vet for her recommendation. She said she understood my concerns, but especially with our impending move to Mass (to a house bordered by some protected woodlands), she thought I ought to bite the bullet.

I bought several months worth and brought it home.

Reading the list of risks and the advisory not to let the Frontline touch the human’s skin kept me from applying the “medication” right away. I finally did it, though. Bodhi was a good dog and sat still while I applied it, although his skin rolled and twitched where the “medication” was applied. He was pretty dry mouthed for a couple of days afterward, smacking and licking with much more frequency than usual.

Although I made my decision as carefully as I could, and I do think it’s better for him not to have ticks and maybe this is the safer course…I still feel pretty awful that I just applied a bunch of liquid that warns me not to let it touch my skin, or to dispose of it near water, food or feed storage, to call poison control if swallowed, and is combustable. Just sayin’.


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