Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fall Flea Market

It's fall.  We lose the leaves, warm weather and daylight, but we gain fleas!  Apparently September can be the worst month for fleas because the weather conditions are just right.  I found an interesting article on the subject here:

I discovered some fleas on Cassius last week which was surprising/shocking given he's never had them before. We'd discontinued using topical parasiticides for at least a year, and were relying on an oral medication (Interceptor) to take over.  It did a pretty good job up until this month. Looks like we'll be adding a new med to Cassius's drawer.  Our veterinarian prescribed a drug called Comfortis, and says he has great results at home with his pets.  It's worth a try.  Apparently it kills fleas within 30 minutes, before they can lay eggs.  Because I had Frontline at home I used that on Cassius when we first spotted the fleas, but we'll be switching over to Comfortis in 3 weeks.

Cassius's belly button is probably his itchiest spot (pictured 2nd from top).  Our vet told me the umbilical fold area (3rd photo) is a hotbed for fleas on male dogs.  A flea market, if you will.  Poor Cassius is getting tired of me flipping him on his back so I can perform my obsessive hunt for fleas.  I'm more than a little unnerved by the thought of mobile parasites living on my little guy.  I haven't found any fleas on him since we dosed him with Frontline on Saturday, so they should all be dead.  We're just dealing with the aftermath now (bites, skin irritation and hair loss from scratching,  etc.).

So the poor guy's scaly skin problem didn't alarm our vet. He said the skin looks fine and it could be a result of the flea infestation.  I'm keeping a cone on him to limit the itching and have him on a small dose of prednisone to help alleviate the itching. 

We visited the dentist yesterday too, but more on that tomorrow.


Whitey said...

I live in the Inland Northwest. We have a terrible Spring flea problem here. The only thing I've ever found that helps is "Frontline". It's a topical liquid. You just squirt a small dose on the back of the neck once a month and you're good to go!

By the way. Did you happen to see The America's Dog contest last night? The grand winner was a boxer named Presley! I guess the show has been on for several weeks, but my son and I only caught last night's show. It looks like a reality show, kind of like The Biggest Loser, or shows like that. Anyway, way to go boxers!!

Stoney said...

Frontline definitely works, and I wish I could remember why we opted to just use the Interceptor. Turns out to be a bad decision. We'll give the new oral med a try and see how it works!

I didn't see the show. I wonder if can download the episode somewhere. Will go in search of it now as it sounds like a goodie.

Thanks for contributing!

Whitey said...

Correction: It was the All American Dog show. Hope that helps your search.

Liz said...

Hi. I realize I'm a bit late on this post. I just found your blog by searching for Comfortis and Boxers. I wanted to make you aware of something we've been going through lately here with Miller, pic on my Blog! :)

For the past SEVERAL months we've been noticing a strange illness once per month with Miller. I just finally nailed it to the wall tonight. It's a mix of the Comfortis with the Heartgard. There is research out that suggests this is only a problem with high label doses of Ivermectin, however there is also a lot I've found with Comfortis and elevated ALTs (Liver Enzymes). We will be taking him off effective immediately (next month). The symptoms are very scary. While it took me several months, and am now hanging my head in shame for being a bad mommmy, I wanted to make you aware in case you've been seeing anything abnormal and not knowing why. Or- just to have something for you to watch for! Your baby is GORGEOUS!! I will be adding you to my blog roll!!!! :) :) :)

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