My dog had fleas last month (despite using Frontline), so I took him in to the groomers and got him a medicated bath and put more Frontline on him. The fleas appear to be gone, but he has a few "hot spots" such as where his tail meets his back, and he is licking his legs and paws some as well. These are new habits, and I'm a little concerned. Any thoughts or suggestions? I checked to make sure the fleas are all gone, and they appear to be gone.
Frontline isn't supposed to be applied immediately after a bath, the soap residue can prevent it from being absorbed properly.
Dogs can have flea allergies, and have a full body reaction from just one bite. So, something like Benadryl might help.
Also, you can get a steroid spray from your vet that will help immensely with licking/chewing...GentaSpray (Gentamicin Sulfate). It might help stop the cycle of licking that causes it to be itchy again....even if the fleas are gone.
Let me just say, I've been using Frontline for years on my dog, and for the past several months on my new dog. This summer was the first time ever that my dog brought in fleas. I realized I had been about 10 days past due on reapplication, so reapplied right away. 48 hours later, adult fleas were still having their way on my dogs. So, I called the vet in a panic. She suggested: 1. give them all a CapStar pill 2. bathe them in Dawn (the original blue dish soap) to remove any residual Frontline (and it will kill adult fleas) - I combined mine with apple cider vinegar for stronger punch to the fleas 3. wait for them to dry (at least 24 hours) and apply K9 Advantix II. So, that's what I did. And it worked. Except I didn't even think about the 4 cats that also live in my home. Ugh. Another call to the vet and she suggested CapStar pill followed by Advantage for the cats (same manufacturer as the K9 Advantix). She also suggested I spray Mycodex all around my house. I did all of the above, and no more fleas.
According to my vet, this year almost 100% of her clients who have called or come in complaining of flea infestation have been using Frontline regularly.
Hot spots at the tail and licking at feet are very common indicators of fleas. Good luck, OP!
Last edited by spotteddrafter; Oct. 16, 2013 at 08:56 AM.
“Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of Solitaire. It is a grand passion.” ~Emerson
The suggestions given are all good, so I won't reiterate. But make sure Frontline isn't applied for at least 48 hours either before or after a bath. My sensitive-skinned dog needs to have a good 3 days pass before and after baths.
It could be a flea allergy - an allergic dog can scratch himself raw after even one bite. Benadryl can help this. I would consult with your vet.
A couple more possibilities - Has his diet changed at all? Food allergies can cause these symptoms also. He can also develop a food allergy over time.
How old is he? Arthritic dogs can also manifest pain by licking painful areas - the base of the tail is classic, as are the legs.
Capstar will nuke any fleas present, but it does not break the cycle or stop new ones from hatching/jumping on. Very temporary fix.
The hotspot is probably a secondary infection (i.e., yeast) to something else. Scratching at fleas may have even created the opportunity for other bacteria or yeast to invade the skin. Heat and humidity don't help.
Any diet changes lately? Food allergies can trigger hotspots. Nutritional deficiencies can cause a dog to more susceptible to skin infections. Adding some omega 3s or salmon oil to the diet may be enough to keep the skin clear, or you may find a need to run some blood panels. Systemic issues like hypothyroidism also contribute to skin problems. But in all likelihood, you caught a flea/yeast/weather cycle and just need to get to the bottom of that.
I vote with Aggie. I bet it's the flea bites, and maybe a food or dog biscuit allergy. Some biscuits have incredibly cheap, low quality ingredients. I had a dog that licked her paws at night sometimes. I switched biscuit brands (the original brand was Milkbone), and within 24 hours she stopped licking.