Translate This Blog

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Even Yet More Flea Problems

These were posted as comments on a previous topic on the same day, and I thought they were worth addressing.

When I got my dog she didn't have fleas. There are no other animals in the house & I put Frontline Plus on her immediatly. This is her second month of treatment (I put the med. on two days before the month was up) and she is still COVERED! HELP!

Fleas don't suddenly appear out of nowhere. They are animals, and therefore have to come from parents. This could mean that your dog did have fleas, but just too few to notice. If that isn't the case, then your dog picked them up while outside. Stray dogs and cats, as well as wild animals such as squirrels and deer, can all harbor fleas. If one of these animals walks through your yard, flea eggs will drop off. When you let your dog outside to use the bathroom, the newly hatched fleas will jump on her and start feeding. At first it may be only a flea or two. But since a single female flea will lay dozens of eggs per day, this number can grow exponentially. A couple of fleas brought in on one day can become literally hundreds of fleas a month later! Regardless of the cause, you now have to deal with the reality. Go back to the steps I've mentioned previously: treat her every month, don't over-bathe, treat your house, and treat your yard. It may take a few months, but if you are consistent with all of this, you can get it back under control.

Next question....

My parent's dog has an autoimmune disorder from flea bathing & flea treatments. My dog (I live in another city) has fleas & I've been using Frontline Plus regularly but it isnt working. Im afriad/dont know what else to do. I know autoimmune disorders are rare, but it is a huge concern for me. What else can I do?

First, I would have to seriously question whether or not an autoimmune disorder is caused by flea control products. I have never heard of this, have never seen it reported in any of the journals, and can't imagine how this is even possible. An autoimmune problem happens when the body's immune system begins attacking the body. This can result in skin disorders, destruction of blood cells, and so on. Most of the time this happens spontaneously for unknown reasons. There is speculation that some vaccines or medications may be a cause, but there is no good proof for this claim. To create an autoimmune problem, the product would have to somehow over-stimulate or otherwise upset the body's immune system. There are NO flea control products on the market that do this! In fact, most flea control products remain on the skin and are never absorbed into the body in order to even contact parts of the immune system. If a vet has said that the flea treatments are the reason for the disorder, I would get a second opinion. It also depends on exactly what kind of autoimmune disorder, as there are several and they are all different.

There has been no documented proof that Frontline isn't effective. As I've explained before, it's not my first choice in flea control, but I don't think it's useless. You can always try a different product such as K9 Advantix or Vectra. But I would also go back to the steps I've outlined for full flea control (do a search of my blog). As I mentioned before, a study showed that supposed "failure" of the flea products was actually due to the owner not being fully compliant. The more I look into this subject, the more I'm convinced that any failures lie in inappropriate expectations or inappropriate actions on the part of the client.

Fleas are pretty pesky little critters!