I adopted my mommie this past June. When I came home with her I had no fleas. (Well, none that I could see or feel) For the past month, I've been scratching and biting myself till my skin is red and raw. It's kind of sore . When mommy checks my entire body, all she finds are one or two little tiny fleas running around. I've been bathed, sprayed, flea collared, and brushed but nothing seems to help. Does anyone have another idea (preferably a natural one) that mommy could try?
Bridgette, aka Polka Dot Butt!
Are you sure the dog is itching and biting from the fleas at this point? Maybe the skin is irritated in some way.
Are you sure it's fleas? She could be suffering from dermatitis just as we humans sometimes do. Also there is mange which is caused by tiny mites.
Have you treated the house? No matter how much you treat the dog, if there are fleas in the carpets or furniture, they will jump back onto the dog. One natural way of treating them is to use garlic spray.
We found that treating our dog with Revolution made her a "flea killing machine". It helped with getting the fleas out of the house, too. We still had to use flea killing powders but soon as we treated her, the siege was over
Hi Rustic! I have used "Program" (lufenuron) for the last 20 years (approximately). It is not all-natural, but it is not a poison, either. It is a pill you give your dog or cat once a month. If an animal has Program in its bloddstream, once a flea bites the animal, any eggs the flea lays are sterile. It takes a few weeks, but eventually the fleas completely die off because no new eggs can hatch. I am not aware that it causes any problems for the animal. I gave it to my two dearly departed dogs every month for their entire lives, and they lived to be 14 and 15. I do like that it's not a poison that I'm putting on their fur or skin. I don't see how that could be good for the dogs, plus my two kids are constantly hugging our dogs' necks and snuggling with them. Just my opinion, though, I don't know what science has to say about all that.
I just know fleas are terrible year round in Texas because of our warm climate, but we never ever have any. Ever.
Awesome SmartAndFun! I have heard about "Program". Since I have the cat as well.. this may be an answer, Thanks so much!
P.S. Poka Dot say *Woof* to Charlie and Jessi
If you try it I hope you like it! It is a drug, though, I'm almost certain, so it may not pass your "sniff" test. Or PDB's sniff test I should say. Charlie and Jessi send a big Woof! back to PDB!
Vets have an affordable flea pill good for three months. Once given, within the hour they will fall off dead eliminating the problem. If your dog goes outside in a fenced yard, fleas can't live in direct sunlight, so cut back your shrubs or put up a run where the dog can't get into shaded areas. Good luck!
A dog of ours had fleas one time and we "bombed" the house. Not as drastic as it sounds ... You get these canisters from the vet. You put them in each room of your house and set them off, leave the house for a few hours and when you return the magic smoke that has been released takes care of the fleas and all it's babies. A person cannot see them all with the naked eye. It worked!
We've actually bombed the house as well. The thing is, that she isn't invested (yet) when I groom or bathe her, I only find one at a time.. it's so wierd!
You may need to do it again. There may have been some eggs hiding that did not get dusted and killed and then hatched.
Good advice, and this is exactly why I like Staykill, because it sterilises the eggs and kills the fleas. Products that fumigate your home only usually kill the adults, so the companies guarantee more sales when the eggs hatch that were lurking in the carpets and soft furnishings. Our neighbour had a professional company in twice to fumigate her home, and each time fleas were back within days. I told her to buy a can of Staykill for £15 instead, and this solved her problem for a fraction of the price, plus the effects last a year!
The most effective method is a "spot on" that you dab on the skin behind the neck, and get from a veterinarian.
I did that as well. I used the spot on on the dogs I had in Hawaii and it worked like a charm.. but with Polka Dot..not so much. I get nervous doing the spot on, then the spray, then the collar. I'm afraid of overdosing her when chemicals and she might get sick.
sprinkle brewer's yeast on your dog's food. I don't think it will get rid of existing fleas, but it will help to prevent new ones.
Read about dichotomous earth, first.
I've had the best luck with Advantage, Frontline, those types of treatments. Do NOT buy ones that aren't by prescription though. One over the counter spot on treatment made by a company called Zodiac almost killed my cat: Zodiac Spot On. She had seizures, couldn't walk for days, was in the ER for days being washed with Dove soap. It was a nightmare!
Advantage and those spot on treatments don't have the same neurotoxins in them.
You can also use Borax on your carpets to kill the fleas and their eggs.
Aaaaaah - Poor Polka Dot Butt. My Clancey, had a bad case of fleas given to him when I brought a kitten home last yr. Had to bomb the house twice and bathed Clancey in a special shampoo. When that didn't help, I read an article about Boraxo. The vet prescribed "Comfortis" which is stronger then advantage or frontline.
I threw boraxo all over the house. Looked like it snowed. Even powdered the furniture, his bed...everything. Left it for one day, then vacuumed it all up.
Never had a flea again. Boraxo is way better then bombing. Try it. Give my best to adorable Polka Dot Butt.
As an ex-employee of two vets surgeries and with a best friend who is a fully qualified head veterinary nurse, I can only say, use a product from a vet. Garlic sprays and other 'home remedies' do not work, and you will quickly find your house overrun with fleas as well as your pet. The tablets like 'Program' are generally now considered 'dated' and are not nearly as effective as spot on treatments like 'Frontline' or 'Advocate'. Flea collars only kill the fleas which venture up to the neck area of your pet, which is no good when many fleas stay around the base of the tail, under the 'armpits' etc. Flea collars are also potentially dangerous if they don't have a safety catch that releases the collar in the event the dog or cat gets caught by the collar on a tree or similar, (at the very least a strip of elastic should form part of the collar, as this will snap if any severe struggling takes place).
It is also worth getting your pet checked out for allergies or problems such as mange in case this is the cause of her scratching.
Don't forget, fleas carry tapeworm, so it is extra important to treat for fleas correctly if you don't want tapeworm around your home where they could infect you or your visitors (especially children).
(You can buy 'Frontline Spot On' without prescription, and it is totally safe, but you can also go for the stronger option which is 'Frontline Combo', and this is prescription only. 'Frontline Spot On' is easily bought through Amazon).
Thank you so much for that wealth of information mistyhorizon. I have so much to digest. I certainly appreciate everyone's input.
I forgot about the possibility of getting tape worm so it is important that I do this correctly.
Thank you so much!
You are very welcome Rusticliving, I just see so much misinformation out there, and I have seen so many pets with fleas as a result of so called 'home remedies' (like the garlic spray) being used as an alternative product. It really is incredibly frustrating when you have worked in a vets to see people still giving out this kind of bad advice.
PS. If you want to treat your home for fleas try a product called 'Staykill' this lasts for a year and sterilises any eggs too. The problem with getting a property fumigated by a company in general, is that the products they use tend to only kill the live fleas, not the eggs, so to ensure the cycle is broken you need a product like Staykill (about £15 per can online). You might need several cans if you have a large house, but for a flat, one can should be sufficient. It also treats soft furnishings, bedding, skirting boards, curtains etc.
Awesome. I have made a note of that and will look for it. You are the bomb!
Rusticliving - I wrote a Hub on this (not that I'm trying to promote it). But, my dog is really sensitive to chemicals and I've had other animals that are, too. So now, I use food grade diatomaceous earth. This stuff is incredible. You sprinkle it on your pet's body every three days and it kills fleas. You can use it on the carpet and even put in pet food to get rid of worms. I use it in my dog's ear to get rid of ear mites. People can eat diatomaceous earth, too, to detox and improve digestion.
For scratching, my dog has sensitive skin. I add a teaspoon of coconut oil to his food every day. He no longer scratches and licks like he once did. I've been doing this for about two months. His coat is smoother and shinier, too. Dunno if that helps, but I'm a "natural" freak and HATE chemicals.
I, personally, would not put diatomacious earth on an animal, it is dehydrating and many forms are extremely dangerous when inhaled and potentially when eaten.
Before putting anything on my animal that I wouldn't happily inhale, eat and bathe in mself--I would consult a vet.
Pool grade DE is poisonous to animals and humans alike. Food grade is used by farmers and holistic vets all over the world. I use it on my animals and humans and animals can even consume it for purposes of detox. You can find it at health food stores.
After reading the answers and maybe your dog doesn't have fleas, but indeed allergies, you may try changing foods. My oldest female has allergies and my dogs are now eating a more expensive food. I even had to change the flavor because she was allergic to one flavor.
the dog is miserable and you are miserable cause your dog is miserable and you are trying. I feel for you and your dog.
I also have to bathe my dog with sensitive skin shampoo.
I also rub on skin-so soft, it helps her coat with itching. I use it after bathing her. She hates the bath, but doesn't seem to mind the skin-so soft.
Sometimes this allergy thing is on going, not bad at times, then it hits again.
Would like to hear what you are trying. You got such great answers. I'm always looking for different things, though stick basically to what I've been doing. I have heard allergies get worse with age and it seems that way with my dog.
Well.. I think you may be right wetnosedogs! I have really monitored P.Dots scratching. At first I would find one flea here or there.. but I would get rid of them and she would still scratch. I gave her another bath 2 nights ago and afterwards applied a little skin so soft on her. It seemed to really help. Her scratching is at a minimum. I'm going to keep on watching her and if I feel she maybe allergic to something (like her food) I will change that out!
I was thinking of flea stuff, but as I read through the forum, people started mentioning allergies, so I thought I would relate what I know about that. You can also spray on the skin-so-soft without a bath if your dog starts itching again. Just rub it in her dry coat. I learned this from trial and error. My daughters' dog has allergies and he did much better changing his food. Then I got my dogs and ended up doing that. But my dog is part chow. Chows tend to have dry skin, I read. So I found the skin-so soft to help the best. One mistake for me was trying Apple Cider Vinegar which is supposed to help. But it didn't help my dog. You just have to keep trying stuff. You will notice if you do change her brand of food, that the coat may also have a new sheen to it or a bit of color. It just means the coat is healthier now. Aw, the pains and triumphs of being a dog parent. Glad we on the forum could help a bit. Please keep us posted.
You should try garlic and brewer's yeast in your dog's food. Those are natural and organic and shouldn't harm your pet.
There are also special diets you can buy for 'Sensitive Skin' and Vet surgeries usually sell these. You might want to mention it to them as I know we had quite a few dogs on these diets, usually breeds prone to skin allergies and problems e.g. West Highland Whites (Westies) etc.
I thought about that as well... the skin so soft actually seems to be helping.. I'm really watching her to make sure there is a significant change though. I have an appointment with her dr to just make sure. :-)
I agree with using Frontline. We had a Springer Spaniel that was allergic to fleas and we lived in an area where fleas ran rampant. The poor dog went nuts. Finally we found a vet that suggested using this. It wasn't long and the fleas were gone. What is good about Frontline is that it makes the fleas sterile so they don't reproduce. It is a little pricy, but we have 2 dogs here and didn't even need to use it this past year. It must be they collected all the fleas in the area and wiped them out since they couldn't reproduce.
As far as allergies go, I have heard of people having good luck when they give their dogs Dr. Fox's homemade dog food. He is a vet with a website called twobitdog. I would post a link, but I'm not sure if links are OK with admin. If you google 'Dr. Fox homemade dog food recipe,' you'll find it. It sounds like it might be some trouble to make, but Dr. Fox swears by it and gives his reasons why on the website. On the website he also has a list of recommended commercial dog foods that are healthful in his opinion. Hope PDB is feeling better soon!
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