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FLEAS!! Please help me and the little doggie monsters

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not_ally

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Hi guys,

After dithering for too long about whether the costs (health-wise, not money-wise) of commercial flea treatments outweighed the benefits, the piper has arrived demanding payment. Ie; my dogs (Fred and Patsy) and I are all scratching like crazy. I guess I am going to have to break down and get the commercial flea treatments for them and use human insect deterrent stuff for me, but in the meantime and as well I want to be able to treat us and the furniture (sofa, bedding, dog beds) with something that will deter the little bastards from long-term residence/friendly visits.

I am making up an MP (so I can use it right away) dog flea soap from David Fisher's Candle and Soap site. Link, in case anyone is interested:

http://candleandsoap.about.com/od/soaprecipes/a/dogsoaprecipes.htm
I would also like to use a flea-repellent spray containing flea repellent essential oils (of the non-dog toxic/relatively skin friendly ones I have cedarwood, eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint in-house) on the furniture/dog beds/bedding after washing, but am concerned about the dilution rate for the dogs.

Ie; it will not be applied directly, just to fabrics, but even so am concerned about the smell making them ill, not to mention skin contact and licking aspects.

Does anyone have any experience/insight/guidance/thoughts to offer on this problem?
 

dixiedragon

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Comfortis.

Vacuum. If it's a vacuum bag, put it in the freezer until trash day, or burn it.

You may need to bomb your house.

I will use natural remedies on myself, b/c I can observe if they have any negative affects on me. I do not use natural remedies on my pets unless they have been well tested.
 

dixiedragon

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IMO, it's better to just jump right to the proven chemical stuff, then you can use gentler treatments as maintenance - in your case, just go ahead and flea bomb it, then maintain using Comfortis, diotemaceous earth, etc.

I know of what I speak - I live in humid Alabama and have 7 dogs and 3 cats. We have not had a flea infestation in YEARS b/c we regularly dose the dogs - we used Frontline for years, but it is no longer affective. Right now we use Comfortis on the dogs. We don't anything on the cats.

Bummer is that Frontline worked on ticks, but Comfortis does not. :(
 

not_ally

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Thanks a lot, Dixie. I hate the idea of bombing, but I hate the idea of all of us getting bitten left and right even more. I actually ordered some Frontline for Fred months ago when he was scratching a lot (med. size dog level of dosage, Patsy is a midge) but then it subsided and I never used it. When you say it is no longer effective for fleas, is it b/c your dogs are immune to it after long-term use or it no longer works on dogs generally, eg, like antibiotic resistance? Thanks again for taking the time to answer.
 

dixiedragon

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In my area (I have no idea how widespread this is) fleas have become very resistant to Frontline and most vets no longer recommend it.

I like Comfortis b/c it is a tasty tablet vs the skin application. BTW, if you have multiple dogs, you may need to separate them when you give the Comfortis b/c they may try to steal a double dose. One of our dogs actually likes to roll on hers (because dogs are gross), so we have to separate her so her dose doesn't get stolen while she is trying to roll on it.
 

not_ally

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OK, Comfortis sounds perfect. One of the reasons I didn't want to use Frontline (actually, have to check that this is the one I have, I am suddenly uncertain) is that it said you had to apply it and then wait for 24 hours before touching the dogs, that would be v. hard for us to manage.

My dogs are definitely all about the tasty, if it tastes good I don't think there will be much rolling time involved! Thanks again for the good news.
 

Seawolfe

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The Confortis works really well, without it we get over run with fleas here at the beach. Actually I use it for the cats and the dog still gets frontline or advantage because a) it works on him and b) he gets a lotta baths. The cats have to use Confortis - Advantage gave Nimbus cat a bald spot on his back!! Confortis is not cheap, but the relief is well worth it. From years of working at the kennel and vets I have learned to act quickly and with great discrimination against fleas.
 

not_ally

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Confortis it is. So glad little Max is flea free. I will make sure Fred and Pats are flea free before any play dates!
 

snappyllama

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We used to use frontline when we lived in the south, and it worked really well. We didn't avoid touching our co-dependent collie, Ms. Beadie, except on the spot between her shoulder blades where it was applied. She would have had a nervous breakdown without her hourly belly rub.
 

Susie

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I am going to vote with the "no mercy" folks. Ask your vet what works in your area, then use it faithfully. Put a reminder on every calendar you own when to give them another dose. Then bomb the house the day you treat the dogs, then again 1 week later to kill the ones that hatched out. You should not need to re-bomb again unless you miss a dose on the dogs. Here in the deep south, it is always flea and tick season, so we never get to skip doses, YMMV.
 

DeeAnna

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I vote with the others about having no mercy on ticks and fleas. I dose only my dogs with flea meds and let the cats enjoy the "herd immunity" provided by the pups. Frontline is still effective for me, but I switched to NexGard (afoxolaner) chewable tablets this summer to see how they work. Looks like it's as effective as Frontline. The dogs love the taste of the tablets, so I watch like a hawk to see each one gets the proper dose. Everyone, human and canine, also likes not having that oily (and apparently itchy) spot on their fur.
 

Obsidian

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I've used a tablet from Dr. fosters with really good results. I can't remember the brand but they were so much better then the nasty stuff you stick on the skin. I'll never forget when frontline made all the hair fall out on the cats back, he was bald for weeks.
 

dixiedragon

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I am with the llama - when we used Frontline (on both cats and dogs) we just had to avoid touching the greasy spot - not the whole animal. Also, you are not supposed to bath the dog 48 hours before or after using it, b/c it is distributed through the natural coat oils. We don't use anything on our cats, b/c they go out rarely, so by treating the dogs the cats are protected.
 

nsmar4211

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Actually, my vet told me ANY time you bathe after Frontline you wash it off (eeek) unless you use a soapless shampoo (don't ask... I have no idea). Reminds me, I need to go get more Comfortis....
 

not_ally

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I can't take it, we are all itching like crazy. I am going to go to Cosco right now and get Frontline or the like, it looks like Comfortis/Nexgard would have to come from the vet or be ordered on line. I am going to take everyone's advice and go Terminator on those little *^&%'s butts RIGHT NOW. Teach them to torture me and my babies. I will apply it when I get back and go from there tomorrow with the bombs and if the other stuff does not seem to be working over the next couple of days I will order Comfortis.

Thanks to all for their good advice, it was very helpful. Left to my own devices I probably would have faffed around for several more days fitfully and frustratedly trying natural stuff.
 

misera

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I can't take it, we are all itching like crazy. I am going to go to Cosco right now and get Frontline or the like, it looks like Comfortis/Nexgard would have to come from the vet or be ordered on line. I am going to take everyone's advice and go Terminator on those little *^&%'s butts RIGHT NOW. Teach them to torture me and my babies. I will apply it when I get back and go from there tomorrow with the bombs and if the other stuff does not seem to be working over the next couple of days I will order Comfortis.

Thanks to all for their good advice, it was very helpful. Left to my own devices I probably would have faffed around for several more days fitfully and frustratedly trying natural stuff.
Did you get rid of your problem? Natural way for fleas never fully worked for me but it did help soothe her skin. Things I had to do when my dog had a continual infestation b/c apparently Frontline Plus didn't work where I lived in VA:

1. Flea comb the crap out of dog and manually remove as many as possible. Do this with a bucket or bowl of soapy water next to you. Every swipe, dunk the comb in the water so that the caught fleas would not jump off into your home and disappear to bite you later.
2. Wash dog with regular dog shampoo. Then again with oatmeal shampoo and mix in Neem oil. Then after toweling off, rub neem oil into fur.
3. Give dog a capstar or generic nitenpyram. If dog already has hotspots, put a cone on dog to prevent them from making wounds worse.
4. Put all linens in washing machine and hot wash.
5. If you have carpet, salt the carpet.
6. Vaccuum everything. This will suck up fleas/eggs and cause fleas to emerge from eggs.
7. Resalt.
8. Clean all of house and all your laundry.
9. Brush dog with flea comb and manually remove fleas each day.
10. Vacuum again and resalt. Salt will help dehydrate them suckers.
11. Rewash dog again and reneem oil if needed. Give another capstar/nitenpyram. I buy the 12 pack and give once a day for 3 days straight. If you don't need to rewash dog, it is ok to put topical ointment on dog now 3 days after washing. Dog needs dog oils in fur before you reapply topical ointment or else it's not as effective. It also helps them not have as bad as a reaction to the topical ointment since their skin has a bit of oil on it as protection. I use k9 advantix ii. It's strong stuff but after battling full apartment infestation of fleas I couldn't take it anymore.

Neem oil has a peanuty smell to it and may make your dog's fur look oily, but just brush him/her and it'll go away in a couple days if you put too much on.
Each time you vacuum, make sure you empty the canister and take out the trash plus rinse the canister out. And resalt. It takes a couple weeks to get all the cycles of the fleas. Bombing would be faster but in case you can't, salting the carpet is a slower alternative. Oh and diatomaceous earth too but make sure to not leave the DE anywhere your kids or dogs might get to (eat).
 

not_ally

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Thanks, Misera, the frontline/house cleaning steps seemed to work. Although it has been almost exactly a month, and the fleas are starting to bite again, I can see them on the pup's stomachs. Amazing how resilient/persistent the fleas are, like cockroaches they will probably be around after the apocalypse. I am going to administer a dose of Nitenpryam today - ordered it back when I first posted - and give the puppies the next round of Frontline tomorrow.

ETA: Man, it is hard to give dogs pills, even with the help of hot dogs. I have little tiny fingers, but I feel like they are logs doing it. Thank goodness this is the last time until next month.

ETA again: W/in 30 ms of giving Fred the Nitenpyram he started acting hyper, panting, scratching like mad, generally being really weird - hanging out in the bedroom by himself, going under the bed, ignoring his dinner. I was pretty freaked out, but apparently stuff like this does happen w/Nitenpyram/Capstar (I googled). It subsided w/in an hour (and then he ate his dinner and Patsy's as well :), but it was pretty scary while it was happening. He is fine now, and Patsy (little 6 lb midge, Fred weighs about 30) was fine from the start. Just an FYI if you ever use it and experience these side effects.
 
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TeresaT

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The fleas are crazy here, too. I've tried the natural way, with no luck. Next week the house is getting bombed. I'll have to take a few days off from work to deal with it, but I am tired of picking fleas off of the dogs and getting bitten myself. Grrrrrr.
 

not_ally

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Teresa, I really wanted to avoid using the chemicals w/the dogs, but (IMO) it was sort of better all round than the flea madness.

Hm, I wonder what you are going to be doing w/that time off?
 

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