Well, I feel terrible because 1) today I found fleas on my 5 month old baby and 2) in reading about fleas, I realize she has had "flea spots" on her for quite some time and I just wrote it off as dirt or something. :( I bathe her once a week, it should have been a red flag that the "dirt" never came off...
So I threw away several things (blankets, a cheap rug, etc) that I did not mind parting with anyway. I vacuumed like a crazy woman. I'm on my way to go pick up some Frontline (which I was told is ok for a puppy her age). I have no idea where the fleas came from - I live in an apartment so we go downstairs and outside for potty breaks; we've played with other dogs, gone to the dog park, hung out in my bf's yard...so I can clean the bujesus out of this apartment, which I am in the process of doing, but what other ways can I prevent this from happening again?
I have to admit, I'm a little annoyed at the vet - I've taken her in because she scoots quite a bit, and they've drained her anal glands 3 times now but I keep telling them she still scoots. I'm thinking now it's because the fleas are hanging around down there and it ITCHES!! Why didn't they notice this? Not that there's really anyone to blame. Dogs get fleas sometimes. I just feel bad. :(
Tips for cleaning? Washing? Prevention?
Fleas will live in the smallest patch of dirt & grass, and they'll find the dog even if it's out there for thirty seconds.
If your home has had previous owners/tenants with pets, flea eggs can live in the nooks and crannies of the flooring for years. A pest control guy told me that, when our house was once infested with fleas. We had to have the home treated.
If you have wall-to-wall carpeting, the least toxic way to treat it is with borax. Here in the U.S. a popular brand easily found is 20 Mule Team Borax. It dehydrates the fleas after you sprinkle generously on the carpet, and they die. Use a broom to brush or work it into the carpet down to the backing. Leave it on for a few days, then vacuum thoroughly.
Any dog bedding you think is infested should be washed in hot water. Seems like my vet tech said to add some Clorox (liquid chlorine bleach) as they thought it would help kill fleas, but I might be wrong about that, so check around. The hot water (130°F/55°C) will kill them.
Some areas have a lot of fleas and managing them can be difficult. But as noted, basically they can be anywhere in the environment, other dogs, cats, etc. Puppies sometimes have them too when they come from their breeder. You do get used to spotting them and noticing flea dirt (telltale sign is to dab a bit of suspect dirt with water -- if it is flea dirt it will run red as flea feces are basically, blood.
You can use a spray on bedding etc. A good topical treatment is generally the most effective. Use with vet advice on the product. Keep a house vacuumed refularly and so on and do bedding too or wash in a hot wash.
I've never really found I need to use a flea product more than every few months and don;t bother with treating bedding and so on myself.
On the bathing every week -- that's kind of a lot as dogs have natural skin oils that help keep skin from getting dry and also are good for their coat. Many vets suggest less washing is better than more -- many suggest as little as every month to every three months but I've never seen even groomers suggest more than every 2-3 weeks. If a dog is dirty, a simple rinse with warm water is better than using shampoos frequently and takes off dirt. A gentle brushing with a soft brush on a puppy also takes off dirt. :)
I don't know where you live Ladybug, but if you're in a really heavy flea area (I live in New Orleans - our warm moist climate is a year round paradise for fleas) the fleas here are developing immunities to the flea medications. I've never found frontline effective, advantage doesn't seem to work much anymore either. I had my dogs on sentinel, but even that wasn't lasting a whole month. I'm using trifexis now, which is expensive but effective. I've also had good results with revolution in the past.
The last 3 mentioned are combined heart worm/flea medications, so you shouldn't switch to those until it's time for another heart worm treatment.
Good luck getting rid of the fleas, hopefully frontline is effective for you.
Is Sentinel a pill???? Can You get this OTC or is it prescribed by vet???
Originally Posted by Soushiruiuma
Sentinel is a pill. It's only available through a vet.
I use Comfortis. It was a godsend for me when I could not get rid of Brooky's fleas. Make sure, after you treat, to flea bomb. You have to treat the dog AND the environment. You can buy flea bombs at the pet store...and don't worry, everyone else has gone through this, I had the worst time at 6 months (I live in Sydney, they don't die here!), but then used Comfortis, flea bomb and used a natural thing in the yard. That stopped it all.
They can pick it up from anywhere, even a walk...contrary to popular belief, fleas don't come from dirty houses or mangy dogs...they just exist unfortunately and we have to deal with it!
I (personally) also give my dog garlic in her diet as a natural preventative in addition to the above, but I know this is a controversial topic among dog owners, so I won't go into it much here.
Good luck!! Nasty little things!
We treat Jessie with Sentinel Spectrum each month. The only issue that it doesn't kill adult fleas, but stops them spreading. That's when it's handy to have capstar on hand, not that we've had to use it as yet, but that treats adult fleas. We live in a brand new house and it's pretty cold where I am, so this time of year it isn't a concern. Sentinel Spectrum is pretty good, it treats or prevents worms, heartworm and flea spread and it's just a small chew each month.
There are lots of complementary and natural things you can try too. We give 6-8 granules of dried garlic once per day for 5 days of the week [in their dinner]. I use the NAF horse garlic granules.
I know a lot of people are having success with Neem - the chews are good [not to be fed to pregnant and/or breeding animals] - now available from the Cavalier Gift shop, currently on a very special introductory offer!! http://cavalier-gift-shop.org/cavali.../prod_347.html
There is a very good Pet Guard Spray http://www.mekuti.co.uk/neem.htm#Guard Ingredients: Neem Oil, Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium and Lemon Grass which will soon be available from the Cavalier Gift Shop - smells really nice :)
I have in the past made up a spray with a sliced lemon, handful of fresh rosemary sprigs seeped in 500ml hot water overnight, strained and then kept in spray bottle in the fridge, lasts about a week. It does smell nice too :)
We have found an Amethyst crystal in the water bowl to be quite effective too, against fleas and ticks, takes a few months to start to work, one of those things that even I didn't believe could work but it has greatly reduced the amount of problems we have - some years we have hardly seen a flea. It has to be recharged with sunshine or moonlight about once a month.
Diatomaceous Earth is a natural way to fight fleas and ticks:
http://www.lowchensaustralia.com/health/diatearth.htm NEVER use pool filter grade or any diatomaceous earth other than those labelled "Food Grade" around animals. It can poison or kill them. I used to use this with the chickens, I am slightly concerned about inhaling too much but ingestion is not a problem if the dog licks it - it can be used as a natural wormer.
dorwest herbs - www.dorwest.com do a range of products, it is really a matter of trying different things and/or a combination of things to find what works for you.
Photos - ugh http://www.dartmoorcam.co.uk/dartmoo...tos/photos.htm
Always keep a tick hook, check dogs carefully after a walk and if you ruffle the coat this can drive them up to the surface. Wash your hands after handling ticks as they can carry disease which affects humans - so never, ever squeeze a tick. Always remember to remove them in an anticlockwise direction as this disengages the mouth parts, if the mouth parts are left they can cause an infection. You can apply something like silver spray, Bach rescue cream or aloe vera to the area to help with healing. Often they can get a large bump where the tick has been
I've read that to avoid disease you need to remove them within 48 hours of them attaching - UK only, in other countries they can carry some extremely unpleasant and even fatal conditions.
Don't forget to check yourself too - I'm told that smearing vinegar on your skin stops them attaching UGH. BTW if you do get one, the area can be extremely itchy and this can go on for several YEARS after the bite :(
I avoid conventional treatments unless absolutely necessary, I had one Cavalier with epilepsy and of course you have to avoid this type of product with them. I also find that due to overuse these products quickly lose their effectiveness :(
I think being vigilant with the dog and also vacuuming and grooming very frequently are some of the best ways of controlling these problems.
If you are not sure if what you are seeing is flea dirt [droppings], then comb some out onto a piece of damp paper. A ring of brownish blood will appear if it is flea dirt.
Thanks for this post! I had never heard of flea spots. This is definitely something I will be watching for!