Mutant fleas...

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Siberian
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Mutant fleas...

Postby Siberian » Mon Aug 09, 2010 1:41 pm

I think we have some kind of mutant fleas here. Sheba is on Advantix (has been for years), but this year she keeps biting herself even on the treatment. Poor thing was up all night for the past few days, scratching, and biting and licking. She is covered in bumps (her reaction to flea bites), and I just feel so damn bad for her.

Today all of her bedding and blankets will get washed in hot water, and I will disinfect the room and carpet. My worry is the pillows inside her dog beds. Can fleas live in the stuffing? How can I clean/disinfect those?

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Mya&theSiebenDackels
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Re: Mutant fleas...

Postby Mya&theSiebenDackels » Mon Aug 09, 2010 1:49 pm

We are not the only ones with mutant fleas then! Our dogs are on Frontline Plus, yet they still got fleas from our old backyard.

I felt so sorry for all of them. They were so itchy! I had to bathe them twice with flea and tick shampoo. I am so glad that is all over.

We washed everything they laid on in the washing machine except they have blankets not dog beds so, I am not sure about what to do with those.

I hope Sheba is feeling less itchy soon! I feel your pain....I hate fleas!

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mtlu
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Re: Mutant fleas...

Postby mtlu » Mon Aug 09, 2010 1:53 pm

DIatomaceous earth - it's a powder from a fancy kind of dirt. It's non-toxic and you can sprinkle it on the floor/furniture/etc and then vacuum it up a few days later. I used it when we first moved into the apartment and there was a flea problem from previous tenant's cat. We have the birds too so chemicals were out the question.

I got the bottle at the little pet store in my neighborhood so Pet Food Express should have it too. If you can't find it, let me know and I'll pick it up from my neighborhood store and bring it to you.

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Re: Mutant fleas...

Postby BrindleLvr » Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:10 pm

last time we had a flea infestation we bundled all the dog beds in garbage bags and tied them up tight and left them for over a week. If the fleas are in there, they need to eat and if they cant eat if there trapped in a garbage bag......we washed everything else we could, and vaccuumed EVERYTHING.

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Re: Mutant fleas...

Postby HappyPuppy » Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:41 pm

In addition to DE, you can also sprinkle laundry Borax around on the floor/carpet and under the bedding cover - I haven't tried it yet but our friends have used this method for years. My husband had remembered this wrong and told me to use baking soda recently .....so... I sprinkled baking soda EVERYWHERE only to find it wasn't the right thing ... LOL

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Re: Mutant fleas...

Postby PITtsburgher » Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:42 pm

I would also ask your vet if you can safely apply the Advantix more frequently. I have seen Advantage used every 2 weeks as a demodex treatment (wasn't that effectively unfortunately...) so it may be a possibility. Also make sure no one has gained weight and needs a higher dose, and if there are cats or bunnies in the house that they are being treated with a flea treatment (obviously not Advantix) too.

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Re: Mutant fleas...

Postby BabyReba » Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:04 pm

from what i understand, since i've moved down here, fleas can become immune to various commonly used pesticides like frontine, advantix, etc. i was told to try things like diatomaceous earth and someone suggested to me that we ask our vet about an ingestible pill called comfortis, which apparently has a good track record even in places where fleas have grown used to the usual topicals ... good luck!

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Re: Mutant fleas...

Postby Misskiwi67 » Thu Aug 12, 2010 12:09 pm

There is no evidence of flea resistance... I just attended a lecture on this exact topic a couple months ago...

YES!! Flea larvae will live in the bedding, and in your carpet, and in your couch, on your bed, and along the floorboards, and anywhere else your dog spends any time whatsoever. If your dog touches the area, there will be fleas there.

Your best bet is to use an effective topical product like Advantix, Frontline, Revolution etc. on EVERY animal in the house for 3 consecutive months, and vacuum like you're obsessed every day, focusing on areas where your pets spend the most time, along floor boards, underneath couches and couch cushions, and beneath furniture like tables/desks. Wash all bedding twice a week.

Also, don't forget the yard. Its quite common this time of year for pets to go outside and take a nap beneath a favorite shade tree... where the rabbits and squirrels also spend time in the shade, leaving fleas behind to infest your pet. Your dog then gets bitten and the fleas appear to be resistant, but really your dog is just re-infesting themselves 2-3 times per day.

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Re: Mutant fleas...

Postby Misskiwi67 » Thu Aug 12, 2010 12:11 pm

BrindleLvr wrote:last time we had a flea infestation we bundled all the dog beds in garbage bags and tied them up tight and left them for over a week. If the fleas are in there, they need to eat and if they cant eat if there trapped in a garbage bag......we washed everything else we could, and vaccuumed EVERYTHING.


Yes, the fleas need to eat... but the eggs, larvae and pupae don't. These life cycle stages, particularly the pupae, can live for up to 6 months, and are so small that even after a week or a month they are unlikely to use up all the oxygen in a garbage bag... making the garbage bag trick useless.

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Re: Mutant fleas...

Postby chelsea00133 » Thu Aug 12, 2010 5:44 pm

K9 Advantix is NASTY stuff. I will *NEVER* ever, use it again on my dog. One time was enough, his health just isnt worth the risk.

DE (Diatamacous Earth) is GREAT STUFF. The fleas CANNOT become immune to it. It PHYSICALLY kills them (NOT with chemicalls) so there is nothing to become immune too. I have used for a long time, and continue to use it with great results. I put it all over the yard and around the outside of the house, and on the carpets around the dogs bedding.

If you are having a SERIOUS issue with fleas (as in, an infestation) you should consider trying Comfortis. Its a once a month pill, I've been using it for a while with GREAT RESULTS.

*OR*

get some Capstar. Its similar to Comfortis, but it only works for 24 hours (I believe, it might be 48). The purpose of it is that it will kill all the fleas that are ON THE DOG, and give you time to remove the dog from the infestation and rid the house of fleas.
After the dog is out of the house, put down LOTS of DE. Around every border of the room, carpets, couches, dog beds, etc. Get some *GOOD* flea bombs. Not the cheap stuff (it just plain doesnt work, and will be a complete waste of time and money).
And if it were me, I'd put DE aaaaaaaall over the yard too. Its compltely non toxic, so its no problem at all for the dogs to be walking on it.

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Re: Mutant fleas...

Postby BabyReba » Thu Aug 12, 2010 6:13 pm

There is ZERO scientific evidence of flea resistance...


there may not be evidence of this specific issue (in re: dogs and fleas and frontline) because no one is studying it, but there multiple studies dating back to the mid 1980s about insects across the globe developing resistance to pesticides.

here's a study on rapid evolution of pesticide resistance in a worm that infests cattle:

http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0003741

and here's a link to an article that cites a whole slew of papers on insecticide resistance at the end:

http://science.jrank.org/pages/48691/Pesticide-Resistance.html

insects ranging from fruit flies to mosquitoes to beetles have been shown to be capable of evolving immunity to particular commonly used chemicals. it's not at all outside the realm of possibility that fleas could indeed be developing some resistance to particular commonly used chemicals as well.

the companion animal parasite council rolled through here recently on their big bus tour to educate the public about fleas, ticks, worms, pesticide-borne diseases, and i stopped to talk to them. they told me that they have heard from lots of people in the south that many topicals they've used for years are not working as well anymore; it's not scientific evidence, but they weren't dismissing the idea that it could be happening. they're the ones who suggested that we try comfortis, if we find topicals to be ineffective down here.

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Re: Mutant fleas...

Postby Sarah » Thu Aug 12, 2010 8:07 pm

I don't really care what anyone tells me, I know the topicals aren't working like they used to.

When they first came out, they were like magic. Put some on the pet, and the fleas were gone. Treating the environment wasn't even necessary, the products worked so well. I used them about once a year.

Gradually, this has changed. I started finding that I needed to use the topicals 2 or 3 months in a row to get rid of the fleas, and it wouldn't necessarily last a full month. The fleas were slow to die.

Right now, I'm dealing with an infestation. It's breaking my heart. Tess is losing hair, Pirate is all scabby under his armpits and on his front legs. When I realized the problem was fleas, I immediately applied some Frontline I had in the house. It seemed to help a little, but then they were scratching like crazy again. 2 weeks after the application, I gave them a bath, thinking to sooth the itchy skin, and got many fleas off of Pirate, a couple off of Tess (I didn't bathe Tully, she's not scratching, but I've been applying the Frontline to her too). I tried to hold out, but a few days later, I applied a 2nd dose of Frontline. That was a few days ago. They are still itching a ton, and I know they aren't getting reinfested that fast. If there were that many fleas in my house, I would see them!

I just got some new products. I gave the itchy 2 each a Capstar tablet in the hopes of relieving their immediate discomfort, and I'm washing all bedding (again). I have some foggers for the house & yard, I'll set those off tomorrow when I leave for the weekend. I can redose them with the Capstar if they're still itching when we get back. If we still have flea problems, I'm looking into the Comfortis, the Frontline just isn't doing the trick.

Vacuuming isn't really an option, the vacuum cleaner I have is pretty ineffective, and I don't have that much carpet in my house, anyway. It used to not matter. Now, all those tricks we used to need before the topicals have become necessary again, and I still don't find them all that effective.

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Re: Mutant fleas...

Postby chelsea00133 » Thu Aug 12, 2010 8:18 pm

Sarah wrote:I just got some new products. I gave the itchy 2 each a Capstar tablet in the hopes of relieving their immediate discomfort, and I'm washing all bedding (again). I have some foggers for the house & yard, I'll set those off tomorrow when I leave for the weekend. I can redose them with the Capstar if they're still itching when we get back. If we still have flea problems, I'm looking into the Comfortis, the Frontline just isn't doing the trick.


Sarah, have you tried using Diatomacous Earth? It works VERY well for killing insects. Altho it probably cant stop a huge infestation inside the house (even if you COVER the floors, there are still ways they can escape it) but it IS a great way to help control them. Put it ALL over your yard, and around the dogs bedding.

I deffinitely reccomend Comfortis. We had a HUGE infestation (I was pulling 20-30 fleas off on the comb with every pass in their fur) Within 2 hours of giving the Comfortis pill, I was pulling off DEAD fleas.
I'm not normally a fan of systemic stuff, but Comfortis WORKS, and neither dog had any reactions to the medication.
WELL worth the price, IMO.

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mtlu
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Re: Mutant fleas...

Postby mtlu » Thu Aug 12, 2010 8:25 pm

chelsea00133 wrote:K9 Advantix is NASTY stuff. I will *NEVER* ever, use it again on my dog. One time was enough, his health just isnt worth the risk.

DE (Diatamacous Earth) is GREAT STUFF. The fleas CANNOT become immune to it. It PHYSICALLY kills them (NOT with chemicalls) so there is nothing to become immune too. I have used for a long time, and continue to use it with great results. I put it all over the yard and around the outside of the house, and on the carpets around the dogs bedding.

Yup, DE basically cuts up fleas, eggs, larvae and pupae due to the surface of the dust crystals and they dry out and die that way.

Last year I found Frontline to be ineffective which is bizarre because SF is not a hotbed for fleas and this year, Advantix burned Molly's skin where I applied it back in May. I'm not too happy with those experiences. I tried a neem/citronella/eucalyptus oil spray when we were on our trip and it worked fine while we were in WA and OR but Molly still got chewed up when we were in Yosemite. Hmm, I think the bugs in CA have mutated... lol

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Maven
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Re: Mutant fleas...

Postby Maven » Thu Aug 12, 2010 8:40 pm

I wash the dog bed pillows also. Beds neve last long in this house so I wash them a time or two and replace them.
We are really lucky and don't have carpet in this house.
I haven't experienced a flea issue this year or ever. Kale reacted badly to fleas and ticks.
Maven was burnt once by Advantix, but has not had a reaction since. I swore off of it at the time, but frankly the ticks were too much.
I have tried the natural stuff and it just doesn't work the same. I realoze this is SF, and natural is best, but I would maybe just rotate your flea meds. If Advantix isn't working for you, then go another route. Since Sheba has been on one med for a long time, it would make sense that it might not be as effective as it was initially. IDK.
Give her a flea bath. I realize the advantix is supposed to negate the need for a bath, but clearly you need to think outside the box on this one.
The poor little "Lioness!"


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