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Discussion Starter #1
We just found fleas on our poodle! He's been biting and scratching the last couple of days, and when I took a close look last night I found several small black "flakes" on his skin, which a quick Google search confirmed this is exactly what fleas leave behind. So I took another close look this morning and actually spotted two crawling around on him before they jumped away.

We use Advantix II monthly, and it just so happens he is due for his next application this weekend. We were on a lake vacation last month a few days after his last application, and I wonder if all the time he spent in the water reduced the effectiveness, even though it's supposed to be waterproof.

Before we give him his next application of Advantix, I want to do our best to remove any fleas and eggs that are already on him. Should we give him a flea bath first, and if so, what shampoo can you recommend?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Well I wanted to do something ASAP, so my husband gave him a haircut outside (he was due anyway) while I vacuumed all the carpeted areas inside, then we gave him a very thorough bath with just his regular shampoo. Lathered thoroughly, rinsed thoroughly, repeated the whole process a second time and at least 10 fleas fell out on that second rinse. He'll get a fresh application of Advantix in two days since we'll need to wait 48 hours after his bath, and hopefully this is enough. I also have our bedding in the wash since he does sometimes sleep in our bed.
 

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Sorry this has happened!!

I would suggest using an oral flea treatment, such as Bravecto. I used topical treatments on my previous dogs and really disliked them.

Maybe look online for suggestions for treating a flea infestation? I think anything fabric has to be washed in hot water...keep vacuuming to get the eggs. I am not sure what is best for a flea shampoo, but it sounds like one is needed immediately, because regular shampoo won't cut it, unfortunately. If he gets too many baths, he is going to be more miserable with dry skin :(
 

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Was wondering if anyone had any non toxic alternatives. A couple of breeders I know swear by Brewers Yeast. I have been giving it to our terrier since Tuesday and he seems a little better, not biting but still rolling around trying to scratch himself (which may simply be the residual itch). I would like to get rid of the fleas before our Standard puppy comes next month as she will be young for any major treatments.

As for Brevecto please see this https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/09/20/isoxazoline-flea-tick-drugs-may-increase-pets-seizure-risk-fda-says/1374138002/
 

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Yes, Bravecto has a list of side effects just like other flea and tick treatment, and individual dogs might react differently. It's important to find what is right for your dog. I have used Bravecto with 3 dogs, and I have never had an issue. I used a topical treatment in the past, and my dogs had an allergic reaction. My current dogs have never had a flea infestation while on Bravecto. It's important to find something that works, because getting bit and itching all the time is a miserable experience.
 

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I am a big fan of Bravecto. Topical meds didn't work out for me in the deep south where fleas and ticks abound. Never any side effects to the Bravecto and only have to give one chew for 3 months.
 

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I have posted this before, but it never gets old. When I lived on the Gulf Coast (Houston and Pensacola), I kept my house and yard dusted with diatomaceous earth. It kills insects but is absolutely safe for mammals. In fact, there are professional horse trainers/breeders who feed it to their horses to control intestinal parasites. It is also used to kill tapeworms in dogs.

There are two negatives: 1) it kills all insects - so it will kill beneficial insects as well as pests so it should not be broadcast in a garden because it will kill bees and other pollinators; and 2) you must be careful not to breath it in - or apply it in such a way that your dog could breathe it in.

The way it works is that it gets in the joints of an insect's chitin (sp?) exoskeleton and causes the insect to lose fluids. Diatomaceous earth is made of a layer in the earth that is formed by the shells of ancient sea animals.

Google it for more information. I certainly prefer diatomaceous earth to applying a poison to my dog's skin or giving an internal medication.
 

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I use diatomaceous earth however a year ago we got hit with fleas & nothing we did worked. I don't know what strain of fleas this is but three different kinds of topicals did not work. My diatomaceous earth didn't work. I use 20 Mule Team Borax in our carpets, bed, dog bedding (plus I wash our sheets & dog bedding in the stuff added to washing machine). Leave it in carpet 24 hours. Fleas do not like this stuff & in every case I've had before... worked. It did not this time. We bought the stuff you spray on the premises that prevents fleas from reproducing. Next we had to go to Bravecto. Didn't have to give it again until this past June & had to go to the Bravecto. I had been flea combing every dog using a piece of tape to catch & kill each flea we found but we were losing the battle. One treatment & we haven't had to treat again.

These fleas are either resistant to the chemicals in the pour ons or something. Even very high quality fleas shampoos didn't do the trick. We basically went through the list of things to the vet & she said Bravecto is the next step.

Edited to add: Oh yes, I vacuumed the floors every day for a month to get all the eggs & any little hangers on that might survive our attack to produce more little mutant flea spawn. Dreadful. Wanna see how much dirt's in your house... vacuum every day. Eeeek… oh yes & you can't leave the bag in the vacuum because apparently they can sometimes get out of that so everyday... vacuum & luckily I have a bagless vacuum & a rainbow vac but by the end of the flea wars... I growl when I think of vacuuming
 

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I remember one year when I forgot Sandy’s flea meds on and the house got infested. I tried DE and the flea carpet treatment and it didn’t help. Last resort I sprayed my horses fly spray (black bottle ultra shield) in the carpet . That stuff kills everything. Problem solved though it’s not the healthiest choice :argh:.

I do think borax works well. I put borax everywhere while I was gone during the summer and had no bugs of any short ( we are in Florida so there are lots of bugs). It’s like a bug battlefield here since I have acres with all kinds of creepy crawlies.
 

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For tick/flea shampoo I use:
https://www.amazon.com/Arava-Pet-Dead-Sea-Ingredients/dp/B06X3Q9RS6/ref=sr_1_12?keywords=flea+and+tick+shampoo&qid=1569331104&s=gateway&sr=8-12

If the link does not work this is the name of it on amazon:
Arava Flea & Tick Control Dog & Puppy Shampoo, Pet Parasite Repellence & Prevention, Safe for Babies, Gently Scented Botanical Dead Sea Formula, 100% Natural Ingredients. 13.5 fl oz (2 Variations)

It is great!! I used this on Norman before I got him flea and tick medicine when he was a bit too young for me to feel comfortable with him on medication. It smells fantastic as well! When using this before his oral flea/tick meds, I never once saw a flea on him! But I did find some dead ticks! :)

I pair this with some good conditioner afterwards to get some good shine and hydration back in his coat.

Conditioner:
https://www.amazon.com/Everyday-Isle-Dogs-Coating-Conditioner/dp/B002LAS72K/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=dog+conditioner&qid=1569331400&s=gateway&sr=8-4

I do not use the shampoo too often now that he is on flea and tick oral meds. But I do bring it out a few times a month when Norman has been deep into wooded areas, tall grass, lake water, ponds, etc. I will use this conditioner on him every shower session though. But when I am not using this flea and tick shampoo I use a baby shampoo on him, just to get the dirt/nasty lake water off nicely.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all of the advice. We did have to figure out what to do before some of your posts came in, but I'm sure they will help others and of course I'll keep them in mind if we ever have to deal with this again (hopefully not!).

As I mentioned earlier, the first thing I tried was just giving him a bath with his regular shampoo (and washed bedding, vacuumed carpets, etc). About 20 fleas fell off of him during the bath. The next morning we spotted a couple more fleas crawling across his belly, so we went out and bought some Wondercide soap (all natural) in addition to their spray. I bathed him again using the soap, letting a good lather sit on him for about 10 minutes before rinsing, and saw about 20 more dead fleas rinse off.

Since he was due for his next monthly application of Advantix but we couldn't give it to him yet because of the bath, we then sprayed him with the Wondercide spray. We still caught him occasionally scratching throughout the day, but every time we checked we didn't see any fleas (doesn't mean they weren't there - he has a thick black coat), but the other times we had easily spotted them on his belly.

Now this is where my husband and I differ. I would've liked to use something natural on the carpets, like the Wondercide or DeFlea spray. My husband went straight for the big guns with the chemical stuff for the carpets. I'm not thrilled about the fact that he's spraying chemicals into all our carpeting, but there was no talking him out of it. He got the Precor 2000 Plus premise spray. Hopefully all of this takes care of it, but I would've much preferred to try a more natural treatment first.

Also, didn't wait the full 48 hours after bath time to apply a fresh dose of Advantix. We were a little antsy to get it on so only waited about 30 hours, so hopefully his body oils had enough time to build back up for it to be effective. I'll reconsider an oral preventative as well - it just makes me nervous putting something directly into his blood stream like that, and one that lasts so long, as opposed to the Advantix which you can wash off if there's any sort of reaction. I do wonder if it was all the swimming a few weeks ago that caused the Advantix to not work, despite the fact that the FAQ on their website claims a dog can swim as often as he wants without reducing the effectiveness. If that's the case, we may just apply another dose sooner than 4 weeks next year after our lake trip.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Update

I use diatomaceous earth however a year ago we got hit with fleas & nothing we did worked. I don't know what strain of fleas this is but three different kinds of topicals did not work. My diatomaceous earth didn't work. I use 20 Mule Team Borax in our carpets, bed, dog bedding (plus I wash our sheets & dog bedding in the stuff added to washing machine). Leave it in carpet 24 hours. Fleas do not like this stuff & in every case I've had before... worked. It did not this time. We bought the stuff you spray on the premises that prevents fleas from reproducing. Next we had to go to Bravecto. Didn't have to give it again until this past June & had to go to the Bravecto. I had been flea combing every dog using a piece of tape to catch & kill each flea we found but we were losing the battle. One treatment & we haven't had to treat again.

These fleas are either resistant to the chemicals in the pour ons or something. Even very high quality fleas shampoos didn't do the trick. We basically went through the list of things to the vet & she said Bravecto is the next step.

Edited to add: Oh yes, I vacuumed the floors every day for a month to get all the eggs & any little hangers on that might survive our attack to produce more little mutant flea spawn. Dreadful. Wanna see how much dirt's in your house... vacuum every day. Eeeek… oh yes & you can't leave the bag in the vacuum because apparently they can sometimes get out of that so everyday... vacuum & luckily I have a bagless vacuum & a rainbow vac but by the end of the flea wars... I growl when I think of vacuuming
UPDATE:
I wanted to follow up for anyone who might come across this thread in the future trying to win the battle with fleas. I had a similar experience to dogsavvy. Ever since this whole flea infestation started about 2 1/2 months ago, we did tons of laundry in hot water, we sprayed all our carpets with Precor 2000 which contains an IGR and is supposed to stop newly hatched fleas from being able to reproduce, we vacuumed a few times a week, we applied Advantix every 2 weeks instead of every 4 weeks, we stopped the Advantix and switched to Frontline...nothing worked.
For a while it seemed like the number of fleas was going down, then it started going back up. The last straw was the other day when I checked his belly (where I had continually been seeing a couple fleas every time I looked closely) and this time spotted about a dozen crawling around his inner thigh. I finally gave in and called the vet to get a Bravecto chew, which she had been recommending all along and I had been adamantly refusing, trying everything else I could first, because I was too scared to give an oral preventative (I've read the horror stories online...I've seen the FB page). I reluctantly gave the chew yesterday morning before work, checked his belly several hours later when I came home, and not a single flea in site! Checked again this morning and still all clear. I'm hoping we finally won the battle, and hoping the Bravecto is well tolerated.
 

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Thanks for updating! I’ve been through it before in the past too. Simparica is the only thing that Keeps us clear in hot and humid Florida. I hated the idea of an oral flea med, but gave in too. I’m glad you found a solution. It is a lot of work dealing with an infestation.


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Glad Bravecto seems to be working!! Like Poodlelove01, I use Simperica as well! Helps for Alabama weather. I love it and have never seen live tick or flea on Norman who plays in the woods, leaves, bushes, etc.
I can completely understand your concern for an oral med, I was the same way. But after he had a bad experience with a collar for fleas (neurological reactions) I switch to Simperica. No issues AT ALL!
I would not use any topical or collars just because I think they are too risky compared to oral meds, just from the research and experiences I have read about.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for updating! I’ve been through it before in the past too. Simparica is the only thing that Keeps us clear in hot and humid Florida. I hated the idea of an oral flea med, but gave in too. I’m glad you found a solution. It is a lot of work dealing with an infestation.


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Glad Bravecto seems to be working!! Like Poodlelove01, I use Simperica as well! Helps for Alabama weather. I love it and have never seen live tick or flea on Norman who plays in the woods, leaves, bushes, etc.
I can completely understand your concern for an oral med, I was the same way. But after he had a bad experience with a collar for fleas (neurological reactions) I switch to Simperica. No issues AT ALL!
I would not use any topical or collars just because I think they are too risky compared to oral meds, just from the research and experiences I have read about.
Seems like maybe it's these southern fleas that are too resistant to the topicals! I'm in North Carolina, although I still have no idea if he picked up the fleas here or while were visiting my family in Upstate NY. We first start noticing them a couple weeks after we got home from that trip, where he had spent a ton of time outside all week long. I wouldn't be surprised if he was picking them up in our yard here in NC though. We're near the woods so have a lot of wildlife nearby.
 

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Just another vote for Bravecto. Neither of our dogs has had a problem with it. Our main concern here is ticks, and Bravecto works well against those as well as against fleas.
 
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I have posted this before, but it never gets old. When I lived on the Gulf Coast (Houston and Pensacola), I kept my house and yard dusted with diatomaceous earth. It kills insects but is absolutely safe for mammals. In fact, there are professional horse trainers/breeders who feed it to their horses to control intestinal parasites. It is also used to kill tapeworms in dogs.

There are two negatives: 1) it kills all insects - so it will kill beneficial insects as well as pests so it should not be broadcast in a garden because it will kill bees and other pollinators; and 2) you must be careful not to breath it in - or apply it in such a way that your dog could breathe it in.

The way it works is that it gets in the joints of an insect's chitin (sp?) exoskeleton and causes the insect to lose fluids. Diatomaceous earth is made of a layer in the earth that is formed by the shells of ancient sea animals.

Google it for more information. I certainly prefer diatomaceous earth to applying a poison to my dog's skin or giving an internal medication.
Johanna, I concur! I don’t like giving Gracie or her little sister, Molly, any of the flea treatments that are on the market. I have chosen to treat with diatomaceous earth (make sure it’s food grade), and frequent inspections.
 
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