Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Flee, Fleas...please!

Flea outbreak!
Several weeks ago, golden retriever Indy arrived for his stay at my house, and within a day he was covered with fleas. I can’t think of anything much worse than fleas infesting every dog (and cat). With seven visiting dogs, my four dogs and three cats, it could take months to get rid of these pests! I hadn’t seen a single flea in over a year here. My vet tells me it has been a really bad year for fleas in Southern California.

Indy had been treated with Frontline, but it just wasn’t working anymore. Another owner, of Oliver the terrier, reported the same problem. It appears that some dogs (or their fleas, actually) are building up a resistance to the miracle flea treatments that appeared on the market less than 20 years ago.

I remember the days. I had to wash down my countertops every night because the cats had been up there during the day, and there were disgusting flea eggs and dirt all over. I had to bathe and dip the dogs and cats every week, powder them, spray them, and put flea collars on them. Nothing really worked.

Then Fleabusters was invented. A fantastic product that was brushed into your carpet, it dried out the larvae and eggs while killing live fleas. Shortly after that, Advantage and Frontline were developed. Then monthly pills like Program and Sentinel, became available.

Our pets were finally free of these awful pests. I hope it lasts, and scientists will continue to develop new formulas.

My fellow pet writers recommended Capstar, an oral medication that starts killing fleas within an hour. I had never heard of it. I dosed everyone, vacuumed, washed dog beds and cleaned. I haven’t seen evidence of fleas in three weeks now.

The good news is you can give Capstar to animals that have been treated with Frontline or Advantage, and as often as every day. It is available over-the-counter at pet supply retail stores.

Please don’t take my word for it. I am not a veterinarian. Talk to your vet, as I did, and make sure Capstar is safe for your animals.

I informed each owner, so they could keep an eye on their dogs and stop any outbreaks as soon as they occur. I will be keeping this product on hand in case future flea-infested pets arrive to stay at my house.
Sammy, before
Sammy, after
Capstar for cats
Good news, Capstar works on cats too. Christine Davis, of Lighthearted Press, tells about Sammy, a feral cat she adopted. Sammy was covered with sores, and had lost big patches of fur because of fleas. She started him on regular doses of Capstar, and his fur is starting to grow in and he is feeling much better.

This is what she said:
From the moment I started him on the Capstar (12 days ago) he never had another bloody sore. The existing patches have all closed up, and what you see in this picture is the last few places where fur is starting to grow back.

I can see where this product will be a big help to rescues and shelters, stopping infestations before they get started.

Not a paid announcement 
I’m really not trying to do a commercial here! But I do like to pass along info about products that make pet owners’, pet sitters’, dog daycare owners’, and rescuers’ lives easier! 

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© 2011 Terry Albert. All Rights Reserved.

1 comment:

Lynda said...

Hello, In regards to the fleas' becoming resistant to Advantage, Frontline and the like. I am a HUGE believer in NOT putting it on my pets EVERY MONTH as my vet. has recommended for years! THIS PRACTICE IS RIDICULOUS and needs to stop. In my opinion, this over-use is catching up with us and it is a shame. I only treat my pets once or twice a year. Prior to boarding etc. Please pet mom's and dad's consider this!