Thursday, June 04, 2009

The Queen Of Sticks

May and June are high tick season out here in the French countryside. And, since Callie loves running through the tall grass on her twice daily walks, she comes home with many of the little buggers hidden in her coat.

The tick tool.

Sometimes we see them crawling on her white fur before they attach. We can pick them off of her easily and flush them down the toilet. But often, the ticks attach and bloat up as they feed. Yuck.

When we find an attached tick, we use a little tool that the we got at the vet's to pull it off. It's the greatest thing because the tick comes off whole, head and all. Nothing gets left behind. No fuss, no muss. And the dog is used to the process and remains calm.

Instructions for using the tick tool.

Of course, we use Frontline every month. We've never seen a flea on Callie (nor Collette before her) since we started using Frontline. And as for ticks, well, it doesn't keep them away. Instead, it poisons the dog's blood and kills the tick as it feeds. The tick then drops off the dog, dead, unable to reproduce.

The Queen of Sticks picked up some ticks all on a summer's day;
The Knave of Sticks, he spied the ticks and fainted clean away;
The King of Sticks picked off the ticks and tossed them out the door;
The Knave of Sticks outwitted the ticks: Frontline settled the score.


  1. Étonnant petit instrument.

    Marvelous little contraption.

  2. OH...OH...OUCH...OUCH!!

    The bard of ticks
    got in his licks
    and cast them on the net
    his lines were read
    by many who said
    arf! arf! off with his head!


  3. Walt, you have outdone yourself. I laughed in admiration.

    Bill in NH,I admire your fine poem as well.

  4. I spent a month in Corsica when I was 14 years old and got a tick while camping high up in the mountains. I didn't know what all those big pimples on my legs were until I found that plump "thing" that didn't want to come off. I used a wash cloth and finally it let go. Few years later when Lyme disease was in the news did I realized that it was a tick.
    By the way, Corsica is a gorgeous place to visit.
    Yuck!!! That little gizmo comes handy for Callie (or people)

  5. YUCK! I found one on me this past year and it freaked me out! I like the instrument. You guys are such good puppy parents...



  6. Hi Walt,
    Isn't Frontline great stuff?!
    Are French ticks as dangerous as Australian ones? In Aus they can cause paralysis and death for dogs. Hard to find on long haired dogs also.
    Our last day in France tomorrow,hard to believe a month has passed. One more day in Paris...sigh.
    We will get all our French jollies from yours and Ken's blogs after that so keep them coming.

  7. Ticks are the only critters that give me the screaming creeps. I hope the inventor of the tick puller made a mint.

    Love the "poetry!"

  8. Great poems. Do all vets sell these? How do I ask for one in French? - I would like to get one for Lulu. Our previous poodle got a tick just below her eye last year. I panicked but a lady in the poodle parlour in Chinon removed it for me. I was so grateful and she just said "de rien". She just used her very long and well-manicured fingernails as the tool.

  9. Those tick hook thingies have been around for a long time in Australia. I'd certainly seen them at least 15 years ago.

    Sue: The main focus in Europe seems to be the diseases ticks can pass on to humans, but I haven't owned a dog since we have lived here, so could be wrong. A recent article in one of my nature mags didn't mention serious problems for dogs, but it was written by the entomology team from the Health Protection Agency, so their focus is human health.

    Jean: do you want me to go in to Christian Martin and get you a tick remover?

  10. All this tick talk has caused me to do an inventory of my own to make sure the little varmints are crawling on me.

  11. Susan, yes please. That's very kind of you to offer.
    (Why is it that any mention of ticks or fleas immediately makes you feel itchy all over?)

  12. I'm ticked off by this conversation.

  13. It sounds like a bad fortune from the Tarot; the Queen of Wands/Rods/Sticks, reversed suggesting ill luck at some job is ahead of you.

  14. chm, it makes things much easier!

    bill, very clever! :)

    carolyn, hehehehe.

    nadege, I've had one once, here. It came off easily.

    judy, hooray for summer vacation!

    sue, the vet just told me last week that while the ticks are abundant, there have been no reports of any maladie associated with them for the moment, at least locally.

    chris, thanks!

    jean, I see that susan's going to take care of it for you. But you should also check out the web site, the address is on the instruction page that I posted.

    susan, I'd never seen one in the US.

    mark, I hope you mean "aren't..."

    cheryl, good one!

    urspo, oooooh... I'd better watch out!

  15. Walt: The existence of tick removers in Australia is probably explained by the fact that ticks can be the cause of a not very pleasant death for dogs there.

    Jean: de rien. I wanted an excuse to pop in and see him anyway. If he doesn't have them, he will know where to get them. Horsewood might have them too, I would guess.

  16. In this family it is I who is the tick (and stinging insect) magnet. I've had five ticks pulled out of me in the last year in spite of all the recommended precautions--they just find me and get in somehow. I also get all the mosquitoes, while the husband, standing right next to me, is left alone.

    We have a variant of that tick remover and it works like a charm.


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