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Flea Trouble


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The topic of fleas has cropped up a fair bit lately, and will no doubt continue to do so as the weather warms.

We've had Jack on Frontline Plus for large dogs since we brought him home from the Pound in May. He had some fleas on him at that time, so the vet bathed him in flea treatment and we applied Frontline 48 hours later as per instructions.

Jack has had Frontline at least once a month since then, sometimes every two weeks as I have a knack of applying the stuff just before rain! :rolleyes:

Even with regular Frontline use, we're still finding fleas on Jack. Last night, I found *nine* live fleas on him and one dead one, as well as having my feet bitten by two fleas. I also discovered, incidentally, that while fleas are very good at swimming, they don't like oil. I accidentally splashed some olive oil into one glass of water and all the fleas died straight away ... I guess the oil suffocates them?

Anyway, we're not sure what else to do. It's hardly a flea epidemic, but we're wondering where all these fleas are coming from. Because we've been finding dead ones on the rug and on Jack, we're assuming the Frontline is doing its thing, but perhaps not having an effect on the environment. We recently took Jack away with us for a weekend and found not one flea on him during that time. Now that we're home, he's got 'em again.

A few thoughts:

* the neighbours have two outside-only dogs that could be harbouring fleas

* there are *lots* of birds that like to bathe in Jack's water bowl and pick at his marrowbones -- do birds carry fleas?

* the ex-tenant of our house had several cats and didn't treat them for fleas, so there may be a nest somewhere?

We want to nip this in the bud before flea season really hits us. I'm reluctant to get someone in to spray some kind of "flea bomb" around the house and yard, but do you think that's the only way to go?

Interested to hear from anyone who has been in a similar situation. Thanks.

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I'd look into the environment, there may well be flea eggs hiding somewhere - either from the cats or they could just be fence hopping from your neighbours. General control would be flea bomb the house (spend a day out with your dogs) wash all the bedding etc. Perhaps consider a change to Advantage - we've had a lot of people complaining that for whatever reason Fronline isn't packing the same punch that it used to and that Advantage is working better for them.

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I agree with Rappie - definately look at treating the whole environment.

Most "spot" flea treatments like Frontline work better on a "dirty" dog. Some vets are even recommending the use of a flea collar over the drops.

A few flea bombs in the house is a good idea. I would also use "Malawash" to spray the yard and sleeping areas outside. I would probably continue spraying the yard/bedding for a few weeks - just to make sure you have broken the breeding cycle. You can even use this to wash the dog if you want and it is relatively inexpensive.

Edited by Tilly
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You can always ring Frontline for more info

It is more than likely your dog gets reinfected by the cats next door. Try to keep them out of your yard and flea bomb your place inside and out. Repeat after 2 weeks I think (check the package).

To check or the Frontline is working, catch some fleas and put them in a jar. If they are effected by fleas they should die within 24 hours. I've been told they should be effected within 30 min being on the dog.

I know from clients that Advantage is sometimes more effective.

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Hi Mooper

You don't say how long you have had Jack or what sort of condition he was in when you brought him home.

Certainly the environment, inside and out needs to be treated - with repeats to ensure the cycle is disrupted.

Malawash was good last I used it. There are sprays etc for carpets and so on. Just keep him away while they dry. Do not think powders would be a good idea but some places may offer them - just check before buying.

With a rescue, there is usually a component of neglect, meaning that when you got him, he was probably not in "full health" which means his immune system is probably not 100% - and depending on the level of his health, it may take a while for him to build up immunity - so this may have some influence on his re-infestation problem as well. Maybe your vet could have a look and advise if any supplements would be in order - if you are not already doing so. The quality of the food may be a factor in the recovery rate - there are plenty of topics on feeding around here!

good luck :rolleyes:

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I had a similar experience with Frontline. And gave it up in favour of Advantage....which I find I have to apply every 4-5 weeks. Works much better on our 2 Tibbies.

Advantage gets put on a spot between the dog's shoulders. But I followed a tip given for bigger dogs. That is, to apply it in 2 spots...one between shoulders & one at back end between hips.

I shave a piece about the size of a 50 cent coin...so the Advantage goes on the skin, not the hair.

With Tibbies I can comb hair over so these spots don't show.

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Thank you all for your replies.

I've just received an internet order for another 6-pack of Frontline so I guess I'll keep using it for now.

Mita, I have been applying Frontline in the single spot between the shoulder blades, on my vet's recommendation, but had decided future vials will be applied in two or three spots down the spine. Then I think I will switch to Advantage. Your description of shaving Tibbies has me picturing the head of an old man with a comb-over on a Tibbie's body! :confused:

Noisymina, Jack came from the Canberra Pound; we brought him home in May after he'd been there for four days. He was handed in for re-homing as a result of a broken marriage and subsequent change of circumstances. There's no doubt he was a much-loved dog, so I think he just picked up the fleas while he was at the Pound. He didn't have any more fleas then than he has now! And he's been on a diet of raw food (I won't call it BARF as I haven't read the requisite books to know for sure) since I discovered DOL.

I was thinking of taking Jack on a Saturday outing so it sounds like the perfect time to flea-bomb the house.

I hadn't heard of Malawash so thanks very much to everyone who mentioned it ... I'll be getting some of that quick smart! As many of you mentioned, I need to break the breeding cycle *now*.

And thanks for the tip about popping the fleas in a jar, Dali-love. I love a good experiment. :rolleyes:


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Bringing in a rescue from time to time, we had a flea problem and I was determined to eradicate it and I did.

Firstly, I bathed all the dogs in a flea solution (nucidol). I even went as far as to do the goat and the cows much to the neighbours chagrin. Then we quarantined them.

THEN, after making sure the house was devoid of living creatures (kids, dogs, cats etc......) I turned off all electrical appliances and gas, computers, fridges, freezers etc....and let a flea bomb off in every room of the house (toilet and bathroom included).

THEN, I got out there like Arnold Schwarznegger with a big pressure wash (gurney) with nucidol in it and I sprayed every tree, bush, shrub, blade of grass.

THEN, I washed EVERYTHING using sanpic disenfectant (all their bedding etc....)

When the dogs were dry, the got Frontlined.

The cats got advantaged.


Now rather than treat the whole lot again when a rescue or newbie comes in, it's like welcome to my haven, here is your worm and flea treatment. I find it easier to treat the newbie than all of the others.

It's a process of illimination, you just can't do one and not the other. IF you live in a highset house where dogs can get under it, throw lime under there and close off underneath the house by boarding it up.

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Thanks, Elise. It looks like I've got a busy weekend ahead!

I spotted the neighbour's old blue heeler scratching itself incessantly this morning ... I believe he may be the culprit (the bluey, not the neighbour, although he's indirectly responsible!)

So I think I'll approach my neighbour with a vial of Frontline in hand and let him know that I've found some fleas on Jack and that he might like to use the Frontline to treat his dog. Is that subtle enough to not make him feel bad?! He's a good bloke, but as his dog is always outdoors, I suspect the fleas have gone largely unnoticed. I just have to make sure the dog's weight is within the 20-40kg range of my Frontline vials.

One more question: any advice on which flea bomb to use? Just a supermarket job or something more professional.

Thanks again! :p

Edited to add: Sorry, guys. I always try to search past DOL threads before starting a new one. For some reason I didn't do that this time :) I see now that many of you have replied to others on this very topic as recently as Feb '04. Those who have been reading DOL for some time probably get sick of these seasonal queries, so thanks for putting up with the same old questions! :)

Edited by Mooper
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Y'know that is a very good idea about approaching your neighbours. Where I used to live, I got on with the neighbours just fine. As we had 6ft chain wire mesh fencing, their dogs could see mine and vice versa. My dogs would take their bones over to the fence line as if to say na na na na we gotta bone and so I approached the neighbours and asked was it okay if I gave their dogs bones when I gave mine bones so they knew no one was baiting their dogs if they saw a bone in the yard. They said this was fine and it helped me because my dogs were such tormenting sh*ts to the neighbours dogs and I didnt' want to be like "give this kid an icecream but no that one".

If I had the hydrobath going, I'd go get their dogs and do them too, it was no hassle to do an extra two and I knew then that they had been treated.

Also used to trim their doggy's nails up for them to save them going to the vet when they weren't comfortable in doing it.

I "think" it's all about the approach.

Good Luck

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Like others have said - I would be looking at the environment. Because you are finding dead fleas, the frontline must be working to a certain extent like you said.

I have two dogs I groom every year and they are due back in tomorrow (covered in fleas). The owner uses frontline and even sprayed under the house where she believes they are breeding - but still fleas every where. We are in a rural area, where breeding is accelerated, so it can be a loosing battle.

But a few nature remedies to consider. Add garlic to your dogs food (fleas apparently don't like it) and also if you dog likes swimming, salt water is great for keeping fleas at bay.

I use frontline, but also during the summer months when fleas are really bad, I wash them in a flea wash rather then my regular shampoo and I also wash the kids bedding weekly rather then monthly.



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. Your description of shaving Tibbies has me picturing the head of an old man with a comb-over on a Tibbie's body! :(

That is SO what it's like :D But the old man would be green with envy because of the lovely shawl of blonde hair I can use as the comb-over.

Seriously, tho'...the vet told me that Advantage does seem to work better for fleas...but that Frontline is better for ticks. (I don't know if others have been told the same opinion).

Bit of a dilemma! So I use the Advantage spot (s) every 4-5 weeks as I said. But I also between times, spray on some Frontline. This worries me somewhat because I don't like to over-chemicalize pets or people.

But there have been awful tragedies here in SE Qld, with people losing loved pets because of ticks & even in spite of getting the pet to the vet as soon as they could.

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Found for some reason, when I got infected with fleas here (do not normally have a problem but did so about 6 months ago) that frontline was useless on my medium-long coated borders.

Changed to Advantage, along with regular baths in Maldacin (need to suit up.. poison), and saw some relief. Do not know whether it was the maldacin or the advantage, but had used Frontline and maldacin without any where near the same results.

Trouble with fleas, you have to treat not only the dog, but the house, yard and anywhere the dog roams...as fleas can hitch a ride anywhere. And by only killing them in one spot and not the other causes re-infection.

With the maldacin, it says on the tin to put the waste water/chemical into a pump hand sprayer and spray the bedding and other areas to also control the infestation in those areas.

I also regularly flea bomb the kennels. And have hammock style beds with shadecloth as covering to limit the risk of infections in the bedding. Ie make it a sterile as possible for fleas.

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Okay, I'm ready. Saturday is All-Out-War-On-Fleas Day.

I've got a flea bomb for every room of the house, plus one for the car and kennel.

I've got Malaban Wash (which I assume is Malawash?) for the fenceline and yard.

I've got Fido's Fre-Itch Shampoo for Jack to have a bath tonight, to be followed up with Frontline 48 hours later.

Jack gets garlic in his food already, so we're covered there. I put some tea-tree oil on a wet washer last night and rubbed that on his feet. Several fleas started to appear then. I felt like I was playing a game of "Hungry, Hungry Hippo" as I pounced on the things.

And Jack's already on a "flea-free" steel-frame bed with the shadecloth-like material. He has a cushion in the lounge room, and I washed the cover in NapiSan last night. Will continue to do so weekly for the next 3 or 4 weeks ... however long it takes to take those fleas down!

Dali-love, the Frontline is working. Lots of dead fleas in a jar last night. :cry:

So it must be the environment. I'm working on it.

Thanks again, everyone, for your helpful suggestions.

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just thought i'd give you my 10 cents worth!

we have 4 cats living in our street and since moving here we have had a flea problem. i read on the internet that most of the fleas on dogs are cat fleas. our westie really suffers in summer when the fleas multiply.

we sprinkle lime around the yard...kills fleas straight away...i dont know what a vet would say but our dog never tries to lick it and the hardware guy said he does it with his dog.

also, i really dont think frontline plus works that well...i have just changed to advantage. i know a dog trainer who says frontline only works for a few weeks.

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I have an independent article (in the car lol) about the most important flea products on the market (except for advocat as that is too new). It is scientificly (sp?) proven that Frontline works the best but unfortunally that is not always true (practicly speaking). But if you ring the Frontline Hotline on 1800 808691 they are always there (24/7) to help and give advice! If you get their answering machine just leave a message and they will call back (they did twice when I rang). I've heard that if the problem does not disapear they even come out to you (where possible) to check where the problem might be.... :laugh:

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Frontline and many other products are not proving very effective for a lot of folk I have had contact with.

Like anything, fleas build up resistance to products.

Virbac Protecta Dog Double Impact Spray has been working for folks that have had Frontline failure near me.

Seems the Fleas are very bad just now in lots of places.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have read this thread with interest. My dogs both have fleas despite the Frontline Plus and I will certainly wash all the bedding and flea bomb the house and ensure the cats are de-flead as well. Plus I will move to Advantage. But what do you guys think about Revolution - now that it is available for dogs???


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Guest foxyloxy

Revolution has had some severe reactions in dogs in USA. apparently not safe to use with breeds that cannot have Ivermection such as Scotch Collies etc

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One thing I would urge everybody to do who has problems with the Frontline. Please call them so they can fix the problem. They are very helpfull and it is a toll free number. (1800-808691, 24/7). Please help them to get the statistics right!

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