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Help me with fleas

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  • Help me with fleas

    I am at my wit's end here; last summer I (gradually) turned a stray barn cat into a house/outdoor cat, and I think she introduced fleas to my dogs. Dogs were already on Adantage, so i started the cat on the cat version. My dogs (one, 7 yo St Bernard, the other, 5mo old St Bernard) have been scratching like crazy, yet I don't see fleas on them. However, I still suspected fleas, because my cat had tapeworms. So, i treated for the tapeworms, and got a "premise spray" recommended by my vet (this was around Christmas time). I have been vacuuming regularly, do NOT see fleas or flea dirt on them (though only the puppy is easy to check because he has a nice pink belly); now this weekend my adult St. has 2 humongous hot spots. I am thoroughly discouraged, and feel like I am pouring my money down the drain since I keep treating the pets and the house for something I can't see! BTW. years ago i had a flea problem (like 10 years) and it was very obvious as we were getting bitten also, and I could see them. What can I do?????

  • #2
    Maybe try and switch flea products or it could be something completely unrelated to fleas since you seem to be taking care of that.
    I love cats, I love every single cat....
    So anyway I am a cat lover
    And I love to run.

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    • #3
      where are you located? what is the pollen like there? have you switched their food? when you vacuum are you tossing the contents of the bag out? EVERYONE needs to be on flea stuff. I am not a fan of typicals (that is just me, I like orals; Trifexis and the like). are their stray animals they may be dropping fleas off at your place?
      www.facebook.com/doggonegoodgoodies
      http://doggonebakedgoods.com/

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      • #4
        Advantage and Frontline stopped working for me last year. I have switched to Revelation. It has been a WONDERFUL thing (I live in FL so have fleas most of the year).

        Shhhhhh but I get it from Canada for MUCH cheaper than anywhere I could find it here. (I have several cats and a BIG doggie).

        Good luck!

        Kim

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        • #5
          frontline has not worked for me ever (and my dog passed away 5 years ago...)

          you have to also treat your house:
          put a fogger into each room, spray the yard
          repeat 30 days later.

          that actually cut the flea problem I had since my beagle mutt arrived (a small handful of pup, half of it fleas...) down to acceptable levels.

          my cats get revolution now.
          Originally posted by BigMama1
          Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
          GNU Terry Prachett

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          • #6
            Foggers are a waste of money. The spray goes straight up and comes straight down. You need a directional spray like Knockout from Virbac that you can use to get UNDER your furniture and directly in the cracks around the floorboards. You can also use it directly on furniture (under the cushions, in the cracks, etc.) and it contains and insect growth regulator. It should not need to be repeated more often than once every few months.

            Wash all bedding / cloth items that they sleep on in HOT water and dry as hot as you can. It will be a battle and can take up to three months to fully break the flea life cycle.
            Life-long horse lover, dreaming of the day when I have one of my very own.

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            • #7
              I have a JRT that is so sensitive to fleas! Hot spots year 'round! (I live in TX)

              It is impossible to keep her in a flea free invironment between dog shows, horse shows and the and cats at the barn. She is also quite the mouser so...


              What has worked for me is three things. Bathing her with Microtec shampoo, a FLEA COLLAR and treating the rugs in the house with good old fashioned Roach powder (Boric acid).

              I can tell you that I have rarely seen a flea on her, or flea dirt. I can also tell you that I haven't had a hot spot or any itching above and beyond "normal" since I started using the flea collar, etc.

              You can get a flea collar for about $5. Roach Powder is also about $5. The Shampoo is pricey at about $25 but if you are only using it on a small dog it lasts forever! I wouldn't want to guess how much you would use on your St B's!
              It's well worth the price. Very soothing to the skin, easy to rinse out and really gets the stains out.

              To treat the rugs with Boric Acid, I sprinkle it around before I leave for the day (with the dogs), then vacume when I get home. Throw the bag out! The residual in the rugs will continue to kill fleas as they hatch for several months!

              Comment


              • #8
                My parents noticed that our indoor/outdoor cats start getting fleas at 3 weeks rather than 4 so they give frontline every 3 weeks. Problem solved since then. You may want to try that.
                "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
                "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

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                • #9
                  For the dogs I use a combination of Program and Advantage. The barn cat just gets Program, and sometimes an inexpensive topical. For the past few years, this has been working very well for me.

                  For fleas in the house, I use Raid Fumigators. The smoke gets into nooks and crannies that regular foggers don't. They also work great to get rid of wasps and other creepy crawlies in small outbuildings. Since using Program and Advantage, I haven't had to fumigate inside.

                  FWIW, I live on a farm and the dogs are outside a lot- exposed to areas where flea harboring critters such as woodchucks and rabbits hang out. I don't treat the lawn or anything else with pesticides. I'm sure it helps that I don't have any carpet in the house, and usually one of the dog beds is cedar.

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Thanks everyone; I am using "knockout" in the house; I live on a farm, so treating the "yard" isn't an option! St Bernards aren't so easy to bathe in winter, either. But I had a thought last night....my husband started to give them eggs in their food (someone suggested it as a dry skin treatment) and I think it may have exacerbated the problem in the older dog, who MAYBE is having an allergic reaction to the eggs, hence the hot spots? I honestly can't find any fleas, and I have searched. Anyway, hot spots no better, may have to get top the vet tomorrow as cortisone might be necessary to allow the hot spots to heal. Benadryl is helping some, but he is not very happy.

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                    • #11
                      We took out all our carpets - only have scatter mats now. Much better.
                      Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

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                      • #12
                        None of the home products worked well for us. Finally we used a commercial exterminator (called The Bug Man ). They sprayed, and we were flea free for years! We just resprayed last week, not because we had new fleas, but it has been so long we wanted to do a preventative. It works wonders. We also Frontline the dogs.
                        “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
                        ¯ Oscar Wilde

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                        • #13
                          Capstar to get rid of the adults (single dose). Comfortis (or Trifexis) monthly to keep them away. They are really the best products.

                          Treat all other animals (i.e. house and barn cats) they come in contact with.

                          Of course, you need to keep up with the vacuuming and wash anything that the dogs/house cat has been on.

                          Because of their lifecycle, fleas can take a few months to get under control after you have an infestation. You need to be diligent with good flea product for at least 3 months. It sucks, I know.

                          Luckily, fleas prefer to live ON animals, so if you aren't seeing any in the carpet, you may have averted crisis. If your dogs are very itchy and you don't see flea dirt, I would first think about a flea allergy (all it takes is one). If you treat consistently and in a couple months have no change, you may need to think about environmental or food allergies, although it seems unlikely they both would suddenly come down with the same allergy. I would also think about if I've had any recent change in products/objects (laundry detergent, products used on the floor, new carpeting or furniture, etc) that may be causing a contact dermatitis.

                          Also-- are the dogs biting over the tail head/hindquarter region? That is classic flea. If they are itching elsewhere, I might consider another cause.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Salting the carpets can hel, plus it's cheap and safe. I was stuck living with a roommate who had a flea infested house and refused to treat the dog, 2 cats or the house. Me and my kitty were miserable, getting bites all over from just sitting on the couch. I read that basically fleas live and lay eggs in your carpet/blankets and only jump on the animals to feed. So when you kill the fleas on the dogs with say a topical or shampoo, the rest of the fleas and eggs are still in wait in the carpets. The salt either dries out their exoskeltons and/or ruptures the eggs.

                            Lock the dogs in a room or remove them from the house. Cover the carpets with salt, wash all blankets in HOT water and vaccum all the couches, pillows etc. The time you are supposed to leave it on varies, but I'm assuming the longer the better. Then vaccum it up. Bathe and spot treat the dogs before releasing them back into the house, then do the same thing with the room they were just in.

                            Pretty much the only thing I was able to do was bathe my own cat and salt the carpets (since neither his dog or cats would let me bathe them) but just the salting helped tremendously. Do it regularly to make sure everything is good and dead and gone and to prevent future infestation.

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                            • #15
                              I know of your pain... You're doing the right things but you're not completing the flea life cycle attack. You're doing the whack a mole! Kill in one place and they pop up in another.

                              Do ALL of the above plus use an insect growth regulator to get the fleas that hatch after each treatment. The growth regulator has to be used on the animals , their living areas, AND a house spray. Also tape worms use the flea as part of their life cycle. Treat ALL animals for that AND dispose of all feces too. Bury or flush. Leaving the feces on the ground is just helping the tape worms.
                              Equus makus brokus but happy

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Eventer13 View Post
                                Capstar to get rid of the adults (single dose). Comfortis (or Trifexis) monthly to keep them away. They are really the best products.

                                Treat all other animals (i.e. house and barn cats) they come in contact with.

                                Of course, you need to keep up with the vacuuming and wash anything that the dogs/house cat has been on.

                                Because of their lifecycle, fleas can take a few months to get under control after you have an infestation. You need to be diligent with good flea product for at least 3 months. It sucks, I know.

                                Luckily, fleas prefer to live ON animals, so if you aren't seeing any in the carpet, you may have averted crisis. If your dogs are very itchy and you don't see flea dirt, I would first think about a flea allergy (all it takes is one). If you treat consistently and in a couple months have no change, you may need to think about environmental or food allergies, although it seems unlikely they both would suddenly come down with the same allergy. I would also think about if I've had any recent change in products/objects (laundry detergent, products used on the floor, new carpeting or furniture, etc) that may be causing a contact dermatitis.

                                Also-- are the dogs biting over the tail head/hindquarter region? That is classic flea. If they are itching elsewhere, I might consider another cause.
                                I have actually heard different...
                                regardless, you got fleas, the carpets house them as well.
                                Originally posted by BigMama1
                                Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                                GNU Terry Prachett

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  (update)

                                  Well, vet visit yesterday with major clip job, antibiotics, cortisone shot. Hot spots already look much better.....vet didn't see any fleas on him, so we think it is a flea allergy; one flea bite will drive him crazy. Vet also said it is basically impossible to maintain a flea-free environment all the time, so I will continue to "advantix/frontline" everyone, and be vigilant about the start of a hot spot. Thanks for all replies!

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