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 Post subject: Flea Bags
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:29 am 
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Flat Chesty McNoBoobs
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My cats have fleas! It started out with one of them being noticeably itchy, but no noticeable fleas. I took him to the vet, who didn't see any fleas, and gave the cat a cortisone shot, which sort of helped for a few days. He started itching again, and then after a week or so, I started to notice fleas, so I got some Advantage and applied it to both cats. It's now two weeks post Advantage, and both cats are still covered in fleas.

Has anyone dealt with this before? Any thoughts on what to do? I'll be going back to the vet if I can't find something else to try first, but would be interested to see if anyone else has had this problem and what they did about it.

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 Post subject: Re: Flea Bags
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:26 pm 
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Last year fleas went nuts on my cats. I tried two different popular flea meds (one was Frontline, I forget the other), and they did nothing. Then I found out that fleas are becoming resistant to certain products. My vet gave me Comfortis, and we were completely flea-free in about a day. The only thing I don't love about this one is that it comes in a giant wafer, which is difficult to give to the cats. My first couple doses were crushed up in their food, but it has a very strong odor and they only ate it after I basically starved them of all other foods. After that, I just broke it into smaller pieces and basically forced it down their throats. The plus side is that each of my cats only really needs 1/2 pill for it to be effective, and it lasts for months.

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 Post subject: Re: Flea Bags
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:29 pm 
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If they're on your cats, they're in your house! You need to vacuum your whole house and immediately dispose of the vacuum bag in a tied plastic bag in an outdoor trash can. Get some extra Advantage (or similar) and apply a dab to each corner of every room in your house after you vacuum, and then vacuum again after a day or two (and throw out the bag again) to get any eggs that aren't dead yet. Wash your bedding in hottest hot water, too!

Don't double dose your cats, but ask the vet what else can be done. I hate to say it but you might have to give them flea baths. Sorry!

Is there a monthly maintenance thing you can do with cats? With my dogs they get a monthly pill that protects them against fleas, ticks, and heartworm, do they have something like that for cats? It works great for my rascals, they've never had fleas yet.

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 Post subject: Re: Flea Bags
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:53 pm 
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In regards to cleaning your place, some vet clinics sell a spray foam, kind of like a carpet cleaner, that you spray along your baseboards and whatnot. It definitely helps with the ambient fleas. But yeah, definitely LOTS of cleaning. Vacuum all the things, wash everything washable in hot water.

The advantage should be working still if they were only dosed two weeks ago, so it sounds like you've got a bad batch or resistant fleas.

I prefer Revolution - It seems to be more effective (less resistance issues popping up) and is a solid monthly treatment. http://www.revolution4cats.com/

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 Post subject: Re: Flea Bags
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:55 pm 
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Ugh. We have something going on right now that supposedly is fleas. I haven't seen any signs of fleas (no flea dirt, no actual fleas, no people are getting bit), but my cat and dog both started having gross skin issues and losing hair. I took the cat in a few weeks ago because we noticed it with her first. At the vet they didn't see any evidence of fleas on her but said that's probably what it was and that her skin was infected (poor baby!). They gave me Revolution (flea treatment) for her and antibiotics. I think she's getting better? I dosed the dog with Advantage when the cat got the Revolution, because that's what we had. Neither of them seems itchy anymore, but the dog has skin issues now and goes to the vet on Monday.

I don't know. I feel like I'm crazy because how can I tell if the fleas are dealt with when I couldn't tell there were fleas to begin with? Blah.


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 Post subject: Re: Flea Bags
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 1:09 pm 
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Moving To Sheepshead Bay
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Pinko wrote:
Ugh. We have something going on right now that supposedly is fleas. I haven't seen any signs of fleas (no flea dirt, no actual fleas, no people are getting bit), but my cat and dog both started having gross skin issues and losing hair. I took the cat in a few weeks ago because we noticed it with her first. At the vet they didn't see any evidence of fleas on her but said that's probably what it was and that her skin was infected (poor baby!). They gave me Revolution (flea treatment) for her and antibiotics. I think she's getting better? I dosed the dog with Advantage when the cat got the Revolution, because that's what we had. Neither of them seems itchy anymore, but the dog has skin issues now and goes to the vet on Monday.

I don't know. I feel like I'm crazy because how can I tell if the fleas are dealt with when I couldn't tell there were fleas to begin with? Blah.


Could have been mites instead of fleas, which would give the symptoms you describe, have the same treatment, but don't affect humans at all, really. Plus they don't leave flea dirt and are invisible to the eye.

Even though they're as much of a problem to the animal, they're a bit easier for you to deal with.

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 Post subject: Re: Flea Bags
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 1:19 pm 
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Been there!

Our three cats had fleas 2 summers ago. We don't know how it happened, they are all indoor cats that have never escaped the house and we don't let any other pets in. But we got fleas!

I had them on the prescription flea killer meds from the vet for about 6 months before discontinuing. We luckily have hardwood floors in our house and no carpets. But the way we really got rid of fleas was a combo of the meds and Diatomaceous earth. You can get it at some pet stores or garden centers. We sprinkled it on all furniture, under the base boards all around the house, anywhere the cats sleep or hang out, basically everywhere! Our house was kind of white and powdery for a while, but it worked!
http://vetmedicine.about.com/od/parasit ... ontrol.htm

We didn't realize we had fleas until my husband noticed flea dirt in the bathroom on the white tile. Other than that there was no trace of them. We weren't getting bit at all and the cats weren't batting an eye at them. The vet said that it's really easy to miss them being in the house and on the cats because cats are really great at cleaning themselves and just eating the fleas. So unless your cat has a allergic reaction to the bites you probably won't notice.

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 Post subject: Re: Flea Bags
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 4:08 pm 
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Flat Chesty McNoBoobs
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Thanks, guys!

We have no carpet in our house (all wood floors, or tile in the bathroom). I'd swept up and washed the bedding and stuff when I gave them the Advantage originally, but I'll look into some kind of repellant for the house. I'm super annoyed because the one time I dealt with fleas in the past, I just gave them Advantage for 2 months, washed the bedding, and that was it. Apparently, the PNW breeds hardier fleas.

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 Post subject: Re: Flea Bags
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 4:28 pm 
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Yeah, I'd ask your vet about pill form flea stuff. The liquid hasn't worked for me at all in the past two-three years.

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 Post subject: Re: Flea Bags
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 5:44 pm 
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i've heard awesome things about the Comfortis from my neighbor. his companion animals had fleas last year that he could not get rid of - the vet gave him Comfortis to try and everyone was flea free in about 2-3 days.


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 Post subject: Re: Flea Bags
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 5:50 pm 
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The fleas become immune to the different pesticides, years ago Frontline would kill them in a day, now fleas are completely unaffected. We have had to switch several times.

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 Post subject: Re: Flea Bags
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2014 6:59 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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LazySmurf wrote:
The fleas become immune to the different pesticides, years ago Frontline would kill them in a day, now fleas are completely unaffected. We have had to switch several times.


Ugh. Yeah. My dad had some Frontline kicking around (still good) so I nicked his for the pup initially, but she got fleas really bad. Apparently, this fall has been the worst for fleas in Seattle in years, according to my vet.

Revolution is the way to go, at least until they're resistant to that. -.-

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 Post subject: Re: Flea Bags
PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 10:28 pm 
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Also in Portland, also infested with fleas. We noticed two months ago because one of my cats was shaking her head like crazy and we were worried.

We are using Revolution but after two doses, there are still some on them. We cleaned everything but we have so much fabric in the house i'm not sure we've done all of it close enough together so they didn't jump onto another pillow in the meantime. The cats are much better, but I sitll see those suckers. We did get a bottle of stuff to spray on the furniture, and we need to do the baseboards as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Flea Bags
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 6:13 am 
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You can also get a flea collar at the pet store, cut it up and put it in your vacuum. That way whatever you suck up gets killed too. My vet told me that.

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 Post subject: Re: Flea Bags
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 8:33 am 
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We are just back from the vet, Nacho has been extra itchy lately, but this morning he seemed to be having trouble breathing so I rushed him to the emergency clinic. I haven't seen fleas but know he has them (he has shepherd fur), and his face was all swollen and he just wasn't himself.

So it seems he is allergic to the fleas, and maybe his food, or else he has lupus (Dr House was flashing inside my head at that moment and I had to bite my tongue to not say IT ISN'T LUPUS). Since a few months ago we have been (what we thought was) super diligent but it turns out the frontline is useless and we were giving the wrong pill and shampoo (thanks, local agway type store). Also, he may be allergic to chicken, one of the ubiquitous ingredients in the kibble here.

Now we are loaded with prednisone and antibiotics, and i got comfortis and some crazy insane shampoo, and am trying to figure out what to do about bedding and the house. I will keep him inside (we have lots of street dogs here and I want Nacho to have as little contact as possible with them), I am going to replace all his blankets with fleece blankets (his are knit, and I am sure there are critters in the crevices, although this may just be paranoia). We have no rugs in the house, and I am a bit leery of bombing the house since we have a bird.

His indoor bed, however, is a fake leather beanbag chair. Do I need to throw it out?

I do have a little borax that I brought in with me on the last trip, and I think I can use that to sprinkle around if I need it. Beyond that, I am not sure what to do, particularly about the bedding. We don't have hot water washing machines, so I suppose I could boil his blankets on the stove but that is not exactly something I want to be doing. I understand bleach doesn't help.

Any suggestions, I would love to hear.

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 Post subject: Re: Flea Bags
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 8:56 am 
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Seagull of the PPK
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PS, it looks like prednisone will have him drinking more and peeing more. in the hour since he has been medicated, the change is remarkable- he is no longer absolutely shredding himself (last night i had to get out the cone of shame because it was so bad).

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 Post subject: Re: Flea Bags
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 4:10 pm 
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Little My wrote:
We are using Revolution but after two doses, there are still some on them. We cleaned everything but we have so much fabric in the house i'm not sure we've done all of it close enough together so they didn't jump onto another pillow in the meantime. The cats are much better, but I sitll see those suckers. We did get a bottle of stuff to spray on the furniture, and we need to do the baseboards as well.


This happened to Ichabod. We spent months using Revolution, only to switch back and POOF they're gone. -.-

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 Post subject: Re: Flea Bags
PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:39 am 
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Seagull of the PPK
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we just went for our followup and Nacho is like a different dog- no scritching and no scratching. BUT in 10 days of prednisone he lost 5kg (he is now 19kg, which is really bad for him). He is normally heading towards fat, and he hasn't been out walking because his feet were in bad shape. The vet says the prednisone may cause it (he has been done with it for 5 days) and gave us some vitamins, and then we go back in a month. He is acting normal, had no gastric problems, but is just really, really skinny. Antibiotics are almost done, I hope he gets back to his Fat Boy self.

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 Post subject: Re: Flea Bags
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:14 pm 
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Mars wrote:
Yeah, I'd ask your vet about pill form flea stuff. The liquid hasn't worked for me at all in the past two-three years.
I use that with cats. I did have a half-digested blood and projectile vomit problem which was among the most disgusting smells I can imagine, but that has only happened once and the doctor told me it probably was the result of something else really. But honestly, they work very well.

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 Post subject: Re: Flea Bags
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2015 5:00 am 
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In the past I've used this non-insecticidal stuff that coats fleas in all their life cycle stages and then you just have to wash/hoover like you've never washed/hoovered before (for days, preferably)..... http://www.petsathome.com/shop/en/pets/skoosh-500ml

I also go for frequent flea baths and sitting on the couch of an evening with a flea comb and a cup of hot, soapy water....

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