At the start of flea season, I did what the majority of pet owners do and bought flea/tick/mosquito repellent drops for my dogs.  The kind that have to be reapplied to their skin every month.  The majority of the flea/tick stuff is expensive.  Therefore, I looked for a less expensive generic version and found one.  I applied the appropriate amount as the directions indicated to both dogs.  Within a few days Kahlua, my old chocolate lab who has hip dysplasia, started to decline in health.  Her symptoms included:

  • Loss of appetite to the point she stopped eating completely
  • Shaking
  • Inability to walk up stairs
  • Lethargic

Bandit is a handful for a three-year-old puppy.  He believes that he is in charge and can show jealousy when Kahlua is getting attention.  He also does not like to share his toys.  When Kahlua started to get sick, he showed her real compassion.  He would go and snuggle against her.  He would let her get a lot of attention without issue.  At times when she got her head rubbed he would come over, snuggle against her, and purr.  He also would push his toys at her to try to encourage her to play with him.  His entire demeanor toward her changed.

She went to the vet who said that it couldn’t possibly be a reaction to the flea/tick stuff.  They also said that they come to the home now for putting pets under when the time comes.  I looked the flea medication up online and found others who listed out those very symptoms from giving their dog that exact product.  As soon as they stopped using the product the symptoms cleared up.

When it came to the food, I tried to tempt her with everything and anything I could find.  I tried dog food, wet dog food, and even those little gourmet wet dog foods and at that point she refused it all.  I finally went and bought her a bunch of baby food that contained ingredients that she can eat, and made fresh steel cut oatmeal.  It was a mushy liquid mess but she ate it.  Gradually she ate more.  I even got out the food processor and blended her dry dog food with the baby food into a “dog food smoothie” for her to eat.  As long as it was soupy, she ate it.

Little by little, she felt better.  How do I know?  Little by little, Bandit was going back to his usual behavior toward her.  Then one day she got a few kernels of dry dog food.  She ate one and looked up at me like; “You were not supposed to see that!”  I immediately stopped using the food processor to blend her food.  She went back to her usual diet of dry dog food with some soft on the top.  Bandit still lets her get more attention now than before she got sick.

I have moved to an organic, non-chemical solution to the flea repellent issue.  A recipe that I located uses boiled water, apple cider vinegar, lemon, and witch hazel.  I also add a few drops of Dawn Dish Soap to their bath.  The vet said that it was fine but to keep in mind that it would take twenty-four hours for the oils in their fur to return to normal.

I have also found that ants don’t like that vinegar recipe either.


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6 thoughts on “Compassion

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  1. The labs and goldens do have problems with their hips. Our current retriever two year old leaps down the stairs, so he is destined for problems. I am glad Kahlua (awesome name) is doing better.


  2. I’m glad Kahlua got better and even more glad for you that Bandit moderated his behaviour towards Kahlua. It would have been so stressful to have to deal with both! Glad you found an organic solution, that’s why we also hesitated to use Donna’s tick thingie too regularly 😛 Although she showed no ill effects from it. We use apple cider vinegar too, but with water and calming essential oil. 🙂


    1. Thanks. I was glad Bandit showed her more compassion when she got ill. I am also glad he didn’t have an adverse reaction too.

      In the past I had used the more expensive flea/tick stuff without trouble. The generic version had what I thought were similar ingredients. If I hadn’t searched online I’d never have found out that others had the same reaction as she had to the generic.

      I did notice that once I used the Dawn Dish soap and the apple cider vinegar solution she stopped itching. Also made her fur softer. I haven’t added any oils to the apple cider vinegar mix yet. I’ve read that a few drops of peppermint oil can be added. I have to wait for my peppermint plant to grow some more before I can make the oil. 🙂 What calming oils do you use?


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