When our pets have skin diseases

Skin problems are one of the imbalances that a pet home urine health test will not be directly helpful with, unfortunately. Usually the problem becomes apparent when the dog or cat is itching like crazy or developing bald spots or scabs somewhere on their body.

My cat Oliver used to have some problems on his paws years ago–he would lick and pull at the hair creating bald spots. I changed the kitty litter and the problem went away.

I did lots of research on skin problems during that time and learned some basic things:

1. The first outward sign of something wrong is excessive licking…so it is best to take action as soon as you notice that change in behavior.

2. A good diet (no animal byproducts) is critical.

3. The immune system is weakened during this time, so find a good supplement that will support the immune system and give it regularly.

4. Administering a vaccine during this time can make the problem worse.

5. Study some of the natural remedies for fleas and ticks and start them early before the flea season starts. I am investigating some of these now and hoping to find something that is effective. I will keep you posted.

The search for natural flea remedies continues: nematodes

As spring is potentially arriving (we are getting about an inch of snow or slush today!), I have been doing more research into natural flea remedies. There seems to be several new products out there.

One is Nematodes..which are actually naturally occurring predators that live under the soil’s surface. They are not harmful to people or animals, or birds, plants and the rest of the environment, and I have read that they kill fleas in the yard or garden.

Nematodes start killing fleas within a day of their application, but it takes about 2 weeks for them to reach their full effect. An application lasts about 90 days and there are specific ways that they should be applied.

Has anyone had any direct experience with Nematodes? I like that each application lasts for 3 months and it seems like a safe way to keep fleas out of my enclosed cat pen in the summer and early fall.