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Author Topic: Fleas?  (Read 173 times)

LadyBug

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Fleas?
« on: October 11, 2018, 08:15:26 am »
So I am 90% sure we have fleas, not a huge infestation but enough that the poor dog has been driven batty chewing her own tail.

I've got Eucalyptus oil on my shopping list to try and keep them off of her bed at least and I vacuum twice a day anyways. Anyone have any natural remedies that have proven to work? I'm getting all three animals a good dose of Revolution (the vet-provided flea/tick/mite treatment) in November at their rabies appointments, there just isn't an appointment time until then.

Redfaery

Re: Fleas?
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2018, 08:26:13 am »
So I am 90% sure we have fleas, not a huge infestation but enough that the poor dog has been driven batty chewing her own tail.

I've got Eucalyptus oil on my shopping list to try and keep them off of her bed at least and I vacuum twice a day anyways. Anyone have any natural remedies that have proven to work? I'm getting all three animals a good dose of Revolution (the vet-provided flea/tick/mite treatment) in November at their rabies appointments, there just isn't an appointment time until then.
I'm skeptical of natural remedies, to tell the truth. It's best to just grit your teeth and use the proven stuff. Is there a way you can get the meds from the vet before your visit in November? The office I see sells the stuff with no appointment needed.

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LadyBug

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Re: Fleas?
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2018, 08:33:35 am »
I'm skeptical of natural remedies, to tell the truth. It's best to just grit your teeth and use the proven stuff. Is there a way you can get the meds from the vet before your visit in November? The office I see sells the stuff with no appointment needed.

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I normally go straight for the proven methods myself, but proven methods available to me right now include bathe the animals and while the dog and my cat will tolerate bath time, my boyfriend's recent adoption was a stray for at least a year and has proven to be wary of the water dish. I can only imagine the injury if I try to bath him.

Unfortunately no, the vet likes to make sure its a flea problem before he sells the medication. Which is annoying but necessary I guess. He quotes not wanting to expose the community of fleas to the medication if its not necessary to prevent them from developing an immunity to the treatment.

Redfaery

Re: Fleas?
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2018, 08:35:48 am »


I normally go straight for the proven methods myself

Ugh, poor doggo. :( I'm sorry about that for you and him.

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ehbowen

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Re: Fleas?
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2018, 08:51:32 am »
So I am 90% sure we have fleas, not a huge infestation but enough that the poor dog has been driven batty chewing her own tail.

I've been very favorably impressed with Bravecto for dogs; it knocked my rescue dog's flea infestation back immediately and it's good for 12 weeks per dose. Wish I could find something comparable for cats.
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Pickle

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Re: Fleas?
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2018, 10:50:42 am »
Anyone have any natural remedies that have proven to work?

I'm not sure about proven to work, but when I had this issue and was looking everywhere on the web I was reading about diatomaceous earth - I didn't really use it extensively, though, as you have to not breathe in the powder, or get it in your eyes so it seemed more trouble than it was worth in the end.  But maybe worth thinking about in some situations if you haven't already.

Also, as you may have already read elsewhere, upon vacuuming, it's recommended to empty your vacuum's bin in the outside trash every time, presumably because it's thought that the little pests can make their way out of knotted trash bags & back into your home.

Finally, you vacuum twice a day?!

LadyBug

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Re: Fleas?
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2018, 02:07:17 pm »
I'm not sure about proven to work, but when I had this issue and was looking everywhere on the web I was reading about diatomaceous earth - I didn't really use it extensively, though, as you have to not breathe in the powder, or get it in your eyes so it seemed more trouble than it was worth in the end.  But maybe worth thinking about in some situations if you haven't already.

Also, as you may have already read elsewhere, upon vacuuming, it's recommended to empty your vacuum's bin in the outside trash every time, presumably because it's thought that the little pests can make their way out of knotted trash bags & back into your home.

Finally, you vacuum twice a day?!

Texas and Ursula are both longhair x shorthair breeds (Tex has lots of Border Collie and some Husky in her mix; Ursula's dad was the neighborhood Maine Coon) so they shed like monsters year round. We also have me (who sheds like crazy as well) and then the two guys (boyfriend + Iago) in a bachelor sized apartment. LOTS of hair in a small space drives me a little crazy :P I like to yoga in the morning and controlled breathing is hard enough without cat/dog/LadyBug hair in my mouth/eyes/nose/ears etc. :P So yeah I try to vacuum twice a day but I miss it sometimes.

Good info to have. I'll start bringing the garbage to the chute as soon as I'm done vacuuming :) Maybe that will help.

Aster Breo

Re: Fleas?
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2018, 05:53:55 pm »
So I am 90% sure we have fleas, not a huge infestation but enough that the poor dog has been driven batty chewing her own tail.

I've got Eucalyptus oil on my shopping list to try and keep them off of her bed at least and I vacuum twice a day anyways. Anyone have any natural remedies that have proven to work? I'm getting all three animals a good dose of Revolution (the vet-provided flea/tick/mite treatment) in November at their rabies appointments, there just isn't an appointment time until then.

Anyone have any natural remedies that have proven to work?

I'm also a fan of the flea meds and I also wish there was an oral med for cats.

That said, when we had a flea infestation last year, the meds combined with extremely diligent combing is what worked for us. I got a good, stainless steel flea comb (this one, extra fine: Four Paws Magic Coat Flea Comb Extra Fine Coat Dog Flea Removal Comb https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002ASFZU/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_1u8VBb8DZ6NDG), and I combed all the animals at least daily -- usually multiple times a day. And the fleas I combed off them got flushed down the toilet.

It's a pain to do so much combing, but most of my animals liked it. A couple even seemed to understand the point of it and would show me where to comb to get a flea off.

And it had the added benefit of keeping knots out of the fur of the long-hair animals.

Good luck!

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Noctua

Re: Fleas?
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2018, 09:45:02 pm »
I normally go straight for the proven methods myself, but proven methods available to me right now include bathe the animals and while the dog and my cat will tolerate bath time, my boyfriend's recent adoption was a stray for at least a year and has proven to be wary of the water dish. I can only imagine the injury if I try to bath him.

Unfortunately no, the vet likes to make sure its a flea problem before he sells the medication. Which is annoying but necessary I guess. He quotes not wanting to expose the community of fleas to the medication if its not necessary to prevent them from developing an immunity to the treatment.

Bathing is definitely a start, but flea eggs can often escape being washed off in the bath so you need to be sure to keep giving baths every 3-5 days as new fleas hatch. Combing is also good, as Aster mentioned.

 Also re: vacuuming, although it helps vs. adult fleas the flea pupa have a sticky cocoon that oftentimes vacuums just can't pick up. Luckily there's a treatment you can use on carpets, upholstery, etc. that you can't wash- it's called Zodiac and it's a permethrin spray (permethrin is an organic insecticide derived from chrysanthemums). You just spray it on and leave it to air-dry for about an hour or so; you just have to make sure that you or the animals don't touch it while it's wet, it's safe once dry. Supposedly it lasts for about 6 months or so; we do it as a prophylactic treatment every time before we take in a new foster litter from the SPCA.

I've fostered more times than I can count now, and of all those kitten litters we've taken in I'd hazard a guess that at least 75% had fleas or some other parasites. I've gotten to be quite experienced at flea treatments, especially since the kittens are usually too small for the topical insecticides like Revolution or Advantage. Even flea baths are too dangerous for them- we bathe them with plain old blue Dawn dish soap. Just regular bathing, washing of bedding, and Zodiac spray has been enough to keep fleas under control if not completely eradicated. Of course these guys are always small and therefore easy to bathe and comb.

I will tell you that the easiest way to tell if the problem is fleas is to look for the flea dirt on your pets. Flea dirt (actually flea poop) will look like small black flecks of dirt on your animal's skin, at the base of the fur. The key identifier is that if you take some of this dirt and wet it, it will melt into a reddish-brown goop- that's because flea dirt is digested blood. So if you see dirty flecks that turn reddish brown when wet, you've definitely got fleas. If you're real lucky (or unlucky, depending on your perspective) you might even see one of the fleas themselves while looking.

Dynes Hysbys

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Re: Fleas?
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2018, 09:27:29 am »
So I am 90% sure we have fleas, not a huge infestation but enough that the poor dog has been driven batty chewing her own tail.

I've got Eucalyptus oil on my shopping list to try and keep them off of her bed at least and I vacuum twice a day anyways. Anyone have any natural remedies that have proven to work? I'm getting all three animals a good dose of Revolution (the vet-provided flea/tick/mite treatment) in November at their rabies appointments, there just isn't an appointment time until then.

Be careful using essential oils on dogs ( and even more so on cats)

Google Bravecto before risking giving it to your dog

I've had to resort to natural repellents for my dog since we almost lost him to liver and kidney problems a few days after his first ever dose of a 3 monthly oral preventative.

I've been using a herbal mix of mint, seaweed, fenugreek, neem leaves and lemon balm in his food backed up by a drop or two of neem oil and rose geranium essential oil on his harness when he goes out. We have had no trace at all of fleas and ticks and there have been a load of ticks around this summer

Pickle

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Re: Fleas?
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2018, 10:27:03 am »
And the fleas I combed off them got flushed down the toilet.

I recall reading that fleas dropped into water can use the surface tension to jump out, and in fact I've seen it first hand - the solution is to mix a little dishsoap with the water, which prevents the fleas from escaping.  You can then have a combing session and dispose of the results at the end (down the toilet being a good way of doing that).

Be careful using essential oils on dogs ( and even more so on cats)

Seconded about essential oils - though I did purchase some rose geranium to apply to one of the cat's (nylon) collars as a repellant, having read about that.

I've been using a herbal mix of mint, seaweed, fenugreek, neem leaves and lemon balm in his food

This also reminds me, that brewers yeast added to food is also supposed to repel fleas, and (I don't know about dogs) it's meant to be quite appetising to a lot of cats (though not all, as one of mine will attest - but then she's the fussiest of fussy little madams).

ehbowen

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Re: Fleas?
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2018, 12:16:04 pm »
Google Bravecto before risking giving it to your dog

I've had to resort to natural repellents for my dog since we almost lost him to liver and kidney problems a few days after his first ever dose of a 3 monthly oral preventative.

Ouch. Well, the vet at the shelter downtown recommended it, and I gave it exactly as per directions (with a meal), and Rascal doesn't seem to have shown any ill effects; she's been on it for over a year now. I suppose I'll keep giving it to her, but thanks for the heads-up.
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Where's the KABOOM? There was supposed to have been an Earth-shattering KABOOM!

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