The Chinese Lion Dog and the Flea
My Shih Tzu, Chan, has had a problem with fleas recently. Being a dog of Chinese descent, I wanted to give traditional Chinese medicine a try, so I began to look into the different options for treatment.
Shih Tzu means “Lion Dog” in Chinese because they were bred to look like lions. In fact they feature in a lot of ancient Chinese art, like the porcelain statue of a Shih Tzu that my mother keeps on her mantlepiece. It’s not quite my cup of tea but I have to admit the quality of the craftsmanship is exceptional.
Dogs and Fleas
It came as a bit of a shock to me when I noticed the first flea on Chan’s body. I always thought of myself as a very diligent pet owner, always keeping up to date with his worming and flea prevention treatments.
But when I saw the flea crawling around on his stomach I realised I’d been too complacent by giving him regular baths and thinking that would take care of any fleas that might be lurking.
If you want to keep the fleas at bay you need to use some proper control methods as prevention.
Natural Dog Flea Treatment
I had experimented with various natural Chinese Medicine treatments in the past for a number of ailments on my dogs, but came to realise that they were of limited use in the treatment of fleas.
Garlic is usually quoted as the best Chinese Medicine treatment for fleas. It does seem to help with, “digestive accumulations”, but against fleas it seems to have almost no effect whatsoever.
Lavender is a good deodorant for a smelly animal and can help to soothe stressed pets, but its use as an insect repellent is vastly exaggerated if you ask me. It did nothing to reduce the flea infestation that Chan was suffering from.
Somebody had mentioned teatree oil to me in the past, too. This had no effect on the number of fleas present on my itchy pooch but did seem to soothe the irritation caused by the bites somewhat.
Best Flea and Tick Treatment for Dogs
After a lot of searching around and asking for advice from the vet, I ended up using a spot on treatment called Frontline for Dogs, which had the problem under control very quickly indeed.
I also used a flea shampoo but my vet has since told me that there was really no need because the Frontline was more than enough to see the fleas off.
I also had to vacuum the whole house, paying special attention to the areas where my dog sleeps. This was to suck up any stray fleas that might have been waiting to re-infest poor Chan after the initial treatment. I also washed his bedding; some people said I should have treated the patio area out back as well but I thought that was overkill and I haven’t noticed any re-infestation problems.
I continue to use regular treatments of Frontline each month and Chan’s itches have become a thing of the past.
So, if your pet gets unwanted guests setting up home in his coat, you know what to do. Get hold of some Frontline and say goodbye to the little horrors.
If it works on Chinese fleas, it’s bound to work on fleas where you are.