Found fleas on my dog
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  1. #1
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    Found fleas on my dog

    I've never actually had a pet that has been found with fleas before, and I just found a few on my 7 year old dog today. What are the steps I follow? I was thinking bathe her (which I just did) then get a flea collar, then take her for a dip at the vet tomorrow? Anything else I need to do? Anything recommended on flea collar brands?

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    Senior Member Shell's Avatar
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    Re: Found fleas on my dog

    I'd give a dose of Capstar which quickly kills adult fleas and then start the dog on a monthly flea prevention medicine (of which there are many options and some work better in different areas of the country). Some of the flea preventatives also cover ticks which may be something needed in your area
    I would NOT suggest combining a bunch of medicines like flea collars + dips etc.

    You'll also want to vacuum well inside your house (change the vacuum bag or empty the canister outside), wash all bedding and wash any washable rugs or mats that the dog lays on.

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    Re: Found fleas on my dog

    Is medicine the best solution? She's got really bad allergies and we avoid giving her too many pills these days because she used to be on so much medication we don't want to ruin her liver. Is there any alternative to the medication that would be safe and effective?

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    Senior Member Shell's Avatar
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    Re: Found fleas on my dog

    A flea collar and a flea dip are both medicine treatments. The flea collars in particular -like the cheap ones from WalMart- are kinda sketchy safety-wise.

    If you want to try to avoid all that, there are natural flea shampoos that are based on essential oils like cedar, peppermint and clove. Sentry Natural Defense is one product line using such ingredients that is nationally available. Some people mix a similar blend on their own. You have to dilute essential oils sufficiently to make them safe.

    Baking soda and salt can be used on carpets and furniture-- spread, let sit for the day, vacuum up. repeat as needed.

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    Re: Found fleas on my dog

    Quote Originally Posted by Shell View Post
    A flea collar and a flea dip are both medicine treatments. The flea collars in particular -like the cheap ones from WalMart- are kinda sketchy safety-wise.

    If you want to try to avoid all that, there are natural flea shampoos that are based on essential oils like cedar, peppermint and clove. Sentry Natural Defense is one product line using such ingredients that is nationally available. Some people mix a similar blend on their own. You have to dilute essential oils sufficiently to make them safe.

    Baking soda and salt can be used on carpets and furniture-- spread, let sit for the day, vacuum up. repeat as needed.
    We found the Capstar and gave her one, any side effects at all we should be on the lookout for? Also couldn't find any monthly medication over the counter? Any brand recommended? Sites I can buy them off of? Or do I need to go to the vet for that? If so tomorrow is the perfect for going to the vet.

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    Senior Member Shell's Avatar
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    Re: Found fleas on my dog

    If you're worried about her liver based on previous health history, then I'd suggest at least a call to the vet to ask for a recommended monthly flea medicine (and dosage, such as using the dose for a smaller dog maybe). There may be some that are considered less toxic in that regards.

    I use K9 Advantix, I buy it at the regular pet store. Advantage is another reputable brand of topical treatment. I've used Revolution in the past but that is a prescription topical because it also covers heartworm (so assuming your dog is on HW prevention already, this would not be an option). Trifexis is an all-in-one pill for heartworm and fleas (also prescription), I've used it on my foster dogs and not had any flea problems.

    I'm not a vet but I haven't heard of any real issues from Capstar.

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    Re: Found fleas on my dog

    The seresto flea collar on one of the other threads has had some good reviews from other users, I have been using frontline/generic frontline with a lot of success but in other areas of the o****ry it has been failing. None of my animals have ever had any side effects with capstar. The big ones I've heard of are Advantage, Frontline, Vectra 3d and trifexis. You should be able to get any, if not all of these at your vet. I find these a lot less harsh then Walmart flea collars and flea dips. Advantage and frontline are sold over counter at any pet store. I would go a step further and clean your carpets/furniture as only a small percentage of fleas are actually on your pet, most of them live in the carpet and that's where the eggs are too. Rent a carpet cleaner for $30 from your grocery store

    don't know why it censored country? haha sorry.
    Last edited by Kyndall54; 07-14-2013 at 07:31 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Senior Member briteday's Avatar
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    Re: Found fleas on my dog

    Most fleas live in your carpet, not on your dog. Every female flea lays thousands of eggs and that's what is in your carpet. The adult forms need to jump on the dog to get a blood meal, then lay more eggs. So you will need to treat the dog and treat your house. The life cycle of the flea is about two weeks, so be sure to continue the daily vacuuming every day for at least one month. When we've had fleas I put a flea collar in the vacuum bag (buy the cheaper ones because you need to dispose of each one when it's been used) and be sure to dispose of the used vac bag in a plastic garbage bag, tied off tight, outside in the garbage away from the house and certainly not in the yard where the dog goes.
    We have found that sprinkling borax (laundry aisle at grocery store) or diatomeceous earth (food grade, from amazon if not found locally) in our carpeting and upholstered furniture got rid of fleas quickly once the dog was on meds. My daughter who lives in TX vacuums daily and then sprinkles borax until the next time she vacuums. Between that and Trifexis she has been flea-free now for a while since an infestation when she first moved there.
    Vacuuming is said to keep down flea populations by 50%. So if you treat the dog during flea season (year 'round if you don't have hard winter freeze) and vacuum religiously you should be able to keep those little buggers at bay.
    And though I buy the flea collars at Walmart to put in the vac bags, I would not put one on the neck of my dog.
    Being smart is learning from your own mistakes. Being wise is learning from others' mistakes.
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    Re: Found fleas on my dog

    Quote Originally Posted by briteday View Post
    Most fleas live in your carpet, not on your dog. Every female flea lays thousands of eggs and that's what is in your carpet. The adult forms need to jump on the dog to get a blood meal, then lay more eggs. So you will need to treat the dog and treat your house. The life cycle of the flea is about two weeks, so be sure to continue the daily vacuuming every day for at least one month. When we've had fleas I put a flea collar in the vacuum bag (buy the cheaper ones because you need to dispose of each one when it's been used) and be sure to dispose of the used vac bag in a plastic garbage bag, tied off tight, outside in the garbage away from the house and certainly not in the yard where the dog goes.
    We have found that sprinkling borax (laundry aisle at grocery store) or diatomeceous earth (food grade, from amazon if not found locally) in our carpeting and upholstered furniture got rid of fleas quickly once the dog was on meds. My daughter who lives in TX vacuums daily and then sprinkles borax until the next time she vacuums. Between that and Trifexis she has been flea-free now for a while since an infestation when she first moved there.
    Vacuuming is said to keep down flea populations by 50%. So if you treat the dog during flea season (year 'round if you don't have hard winter freeze) and vacuum religiously you should be able to keep those little buggers at bay.
    And though I buy the flea collars at Walmart to put in the vac bags, I would not put one on the neck of my dog.
    Well you see that's the thing, my dog stays in the downstairs area of the house and the entire downstairs is ALL tile so um... Do I need to worry about that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shell View Post
    If you're worried about her liver based on previous health history, then I'd suggest at least a call to the vet to ask for a recommended monthly flea medicine (and dosage, such as using the dose for a smaller dog maybe). There may be some that are considered less toxic in that regards.

    I use K9 Advantix, I buy it at the regular pet store. Advantage is another reputable brand of topical treatment. I've used Revolution in the past but that is a prescription topical because it also covers heartworm (so assuming your dog is on HW prevention already, this would not be an option). Trifexis is an all-in-one pill for heartworm and fleas (also prescription), I've used it on my foster dogs and not had any flea problems.

    I'm not a vet but I haven't heard of any real issues from Capstar.
    We are going to the vet tomorrow to hopefully get a prescription for whatever they recommend, we were thinking Sentinel for Dogs? But I'll ask them about Trifexis also to see what they say.

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    Senior Member Shell's Avatar
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    Re: Found fleas on my dog

    Quote Originally Posted by randomalias12 View Post
    Well you see that's the thing, my dog stays in the downstairs area of the house and the entire downstairs is ALL tile so um... Do I need to worry about that?

    The tile itself, not really. But along the baseboards, the fleas can nest in the cracks where tiles meets wood/wall but some baking soda and salt or borax sprinkled in any gaps should take care of it

    We are going to the vet tomorrow to hopefully get a prescription for whatever they recommend, we were thinking Sentinel for Dogs? But I'll ask them about Trifexis also to see what they say.
    the only dog I have used Sentinel on got fleas. My vet said they recommend using a topical for fleas and ticks along with Sentinel because it only prevents the development of the flea eggs- not killing or repelling adult fleas. On the other hand, it may be a good HW medicine for areas where ivermectin (Heartguard) is failing. Trifexis is the same ingredient for HW protection- Milbemycin oxime- as Sentinel plus the addition of spinosad to kill fleas.
    My comments in bold.

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    Re: Found fleas on my dog

    Semtry Natural Defense (Natural Flea and Tick Squeeze) you can find it on petmountain.com we ordered a lot of pet products from them and are happy with the service and the products. The Sentry works well. I am not a fan of flea collars, I have heard lots of bad things from Vets about them. Hope this helps...happy flea free to you and your fur babies ~

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    Senior Member briteday's Avatar
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    Re: Found fleas on my dog

    Quote Originally Posted by randomalias12 View Post
    Well you see that's the thing, my dog stays in the downstairs area of the house and the entire downstairs is ALL tile so um... Do I need to worry about that?



    We are going to the vet tomorrow to hopefully get a prescription for whatever they recommend, we were thinking Sentinel for Dogs? But I'll ask them about Trifexis also to see what they say.
    Even on tile fleas can lay eggs in the cracks and crevices. I would still be diligent about vacuuming. Even with the tile floors there might be fleas in upholstry or rugs. Vacuuming can work wonders for that too. Be sure to wash their bedding on the hottest setting and dry on the hottest setting, at least every two weeks to be sure you are getting the entire life cycle.
    DD is having success with Trifexis when nothing else has worked. But I really think it's about your local area. Vets in a particular area tend to get hooked on one med, then it becomes ineffective, they go to another, rinse and repeat. So I would just take the advice of the local vet. Where we live the vet put our DD's dog on Sentinel before they moved because Revolution and Advantage are not effective here. The dog had fleas within two weeks of moving to TX, on Sentinel for two months previously. She visited the vet in TX and they died laughing when she mentioned Sentinel. Apparently that was LAST year's med in their area that is no longer effective there.
    Being smart is learning from your own mistakes. Being wise is learning from others' mistakes.
    Cally- 14 yo papillon, Moose the puppy, McKenna 8 yo pomeranian grand-dog, and chickens

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