How do you know when fleas are gone?
Okay, guys, I feel like I'm going crazy and poor Mumble has naked knees from biting at them.
Several weeks ago he started itching. It just so happened that we visited the vet around the same time. The vet suggested it might be food allergies, which I figured was a possibility. However, the next day we found a flea on him, so I assumed that was the culprit. Frontline treatments were ineffective. About a week later I found another flea. I started giving Capstar every couple days, hoping to break the cycle (while also washing bedding/vacuuming of course. We also have a spray but I'm afraid to use it as it seems like pretty nasty stuff).
Those two fleas have been the ONLY ones I have seen through his whole ordeal. I've also never been able to find any sign of flea dirt on him (one of the reasons the vet didn't think it was fleas). I know fleas can be really tricky, but if they've been on him this long, shouldn't I be seeing at least some signs of their prescence?
Last Thursday I gave him a bath with Sentry flea and tick shampoo (with oatmeal). Not a single dead flea was in the rinse.
Mums is still itching.
It's worth noting, that my roomate has a cat. It didn't occur to me until last week or the week before that she probably wasn't treating the cat. I told her she needs to treat the cat, or me treating Mumble was a moot point. "Yeah, I guess I probably should." Finally she ordered some Capstar (probably because I mentioned it to her, it was the only medication I knew of that could be used for cats, I don't know if she did any research for flea treatments for cats) and also has a flea shampoo for cats. I don't know if the cat has been itchy but odds are if Mumble had fleas she did/does too. It's possible that after I treat Mumble new fleas jump off the cat and onto him.
I'm going to keep bathing him weekly with the flea shampoo. I don't want to bathe him too often, as I figure that could irritate his skin as well.
Anyway, how can I know when fleas are gone, when there was hardly a sign that they were there in the first place?
As an aside, I'm going to assume there might be something else at work here, starting with food allergies, since that's what his vet suggested. Luckily, he's eating Taste of the Wild, which is grain-free so that cuts out a lot of the common allergens. I've decided to try cutting out chicken first, since I understand that's one of the more common allergies. I picked up the TotW lamb formula today, which is chicken free (ugh, I can't imagine having to avoid chicken for the rest of his life, though. It seems like it's in everything). If that doesn't work what other ingredients should I try cutting out?
Now that I think about it, a chicken allergy might make sense. He goes through about a bag of food a month, so Dec/Jan he was eating the lamb forumla, chicken-free, and then Jan/Feb we rotated to the wetland formula, which has chicken, and then Feb/now we rotated to the prarie formula, which also has chicken. *sigh*
I feel so bad, he's been so itchy for so long, but I've been trying to help him.
Mumble! Born 1/14/11
Re: How do you know when fleas are gone?
The thing with fleas is that they dont live on the host. The just use them for food really. Growing up our cats had fleas like clockwork some spring time - revolution + a stinky collar is was we used and it was very effective. I'm not sure you can ever be "sure" they are gone - but if your treating and cleaning then chances are if they are in the home still they won't be on Mumbles - because and please don't quote me on this - But I'm pretty sure that preventative treatments such as Frontline, Revolution etc make the animal an undesirable place to eat from and thus they will eventually die off. BUT if you don't keep up with it and the cat is not maintained then chances are an "infestation" could re occur.
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