Dog and Flea Question — The Bump
February 2015 Moms

Dog and Flea Question

I was just brushing my dog and found a flea on him. He's not due for flea medicine for another two weeks still. I don't want to give him a flea bath and my husband wont be home for a couple of days to do it. Anyone have any safe pregnancy suggestions for flea irradication?

Re: Dog and Flea Question

  • You can bathe him in Dawn dish soap but all this does is kill the fleas not the flea eggs

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  • What flea prevention are you using? Unless it's something you are getting from your vet, it is likely not very effective. Even with an effective treatment you might find one here and there. The fleas have to be on the dog before the repellent kicks in, and in some cases even bite. Right now I would recommend finding something to treat your yard with a garden store (depending on what product you are already using).
    Also, generally what region of the country are you in? This makes a big difference in the flea load your dog will encounter.

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  • MaddScientistMaddScientist
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    edited September 2014
    what flea medication do you give him?

    my personal anecdote: we used to use frontline with my dog. It stopped working for us (we never missed a dose, put it on as directed, etc.) and he got fleas. We switched medications to a pill. That way we dont have to worry about liquid skin application and keeping him dry for 3 days etc. However, I think it kills the fleas differently than the liquid version. we haven't had any issues since switching

    I would get a flea comb and take him outside to try and get rid of as many adults as you can (every day at least once) and then wait for the bath to kill larvae and any others when your H gets home. You can clean your house while pregnant also, to help contain the spread and duration of the fleas. 


    MaryS001
  • Agreed what type of prevention are you using?

    If it is frontline, Advantage (any line), revolution or vectra you can go ahead and reapply safely.


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  • If you are using a topical, you can reapply safely, but I would also recommend either Nexguard or Comfortis as oral options that I feel are more effective.  

    If your dog has a seizure disorder, do not consider the Comfortis.  

    You can also consider a dose of Capstar to kill live fleas quickly.
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  • I live on the California coast, not the warm movie portrayed part, the cold rarely sunny part. Fleas aren't normally a big deal here, we're being hit hard right now. I put a topical stuff the vet gave us, advantage or the like. I just sprinkled the house and yard with diatomaceous earth. He is a standard poodle, so a flea comb would take a week to get through those curls. I'm going to call the vet asap to switch to pills and in the mean time we'll head to the bath with a bottle of dawn. Thanks!
  • I would not bathe him and apply topical meds the same day that ruins efficacy of the topical medications.  Especially with Dawn  which strips oils.  

    Wait 48s hrs in between
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  • Nexgard is a new chewable flea med made by the Frontline people. Dog loves it and no worries about touching pesticides.
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  • There's lots of great new chewable products hitting the market now. We mostly sell nexgard, but have some bravecto too, which lasts for 3 months

  • Ok, I have been hoping for an oral preventative that works for years, I didnt know one existed already.

    I hate using topical on my dog since his fur is so short the topical gets EVERYWHERE and makes him all oily and chemically for a few days post treatment.

    I need to ask my vet about the oral
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  • @bhjones1980  the only oral one I would consider using in this area is nexguard because it covers both fleas and ticks for the entire month.

    The 3 month one mentioned above (bravecto I think) only covers ticks for 2 months.  
    Love is like infinity: You can't have more or less infinity, and you can't compare two things to see if they're "equally infinite." Infinity just is, and that's the way I think love is, too.
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    bhjones1980MaryS001
  • Ok, I have been hoping for an oral preventative that works for years, I didnt know one existed already.

    I hate using topical on my dog since his fur is so short the topical gets EVERYWHERE and makes him all oily and chemically for a few days post treatment.

    I need to ask my vet about the oral
    also, we buy our oral treatment (capstar) not through our vet (at petco) however, as pp said - this one just kills adult fleas and works for like 2 days (even though it is a monthly pill) - we use it monthly with sentinel (heartworm+ flea egg)  like it is intended and it works well. If you use a different heartworm medication it probably isnt the best choice. It is also a lot cheaper ($12 vs $20 /month than Nexguard - which I steered away from because of our problems with frontline (since it is made by the same people)


  • Ok, I have been hoping for an oral preventative that works for years, I didnt know one existed already.

    I hate using topical on my dog since his fur is so short the topical gets EVERYWHERE and makes him all oily and chemically for a few days post treatment.

    I need to ask my vet about the oral
    also, we buy our oral treatment (capstar) not through our vet (at petco) however, as pp said - this one just kills adult fleas and works for like 2 days (even though it is a monthly pill) - we use it monthly with sentinel (heartworm+ flea egg)  like it is intended and it works well. If you use a different heartworm medication it probably isnt the best choice. It is also a lot cheaper ($12 vs $20 /month than Nexguard - which I steered away from because of our problems with frontline (since it is made by the same people)
    Sentinel is a pretty crappy flea preventative.  It works if you have an extremely low chance of coming in contact with fleas but if there is any flea population where your pets go you are pretty much doomed to have an on going issue.  Its just the nature of the way it works as it just sterilizes adults it doesn't kill them.  So the random flea you pick up yep it stops them from reproducing in your home but it will bite until it is dead.  

    Also it doesn't do ticks which is a HUGE issue in this area so I wouldn't recommend it here.  

    Nexguard does ticks, that is one of the primary reasons it is more expensive that and it is new.  
    Love is like infinity: You can't have more or less infinity, and you can't compare two things to see if they're "equally infinite." Infinity just is, and that's the way I think love is, too.
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  • My dogs were on K9 Advantix and it always worked, until... it stopped working!  I hadn't known they can become immune to them after years of use.  Unluckily for us, we found out the hard way -- when our house became infested with ticks!  Eeeek!!!!

    An emergency call was put to our pest control company, but my vet also gave me a collar that could be used at the same time as the topical (since it was too early to reapply anything else).  This worked wonders, as it killed everything on contact.  You just have to make sure the collar is tight enough so that it's touching their skin and not just resting on top of their fur.

    Since flea and tick medicine kind of goes hand in hand, then I imagine asking your vet for a prescription collar would work in your situation as well.  It's a lot easier if you can catch them before the problem gets out of hand.
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  • Ok, I have been hoping for an oral preventative that works for years, I didnt know one existed already.

    I hate using topical on my dog since his fur is so short the topical gets EVERYWHERE and makes him all oily and chemically for a few days post treatment.

    I need to ask my vet about the oral
    also, we buy our oral treatment (capstar) not through our vet (at petco) however, as pp said - this one just kills adult fleas and works for like 2 days (even though it is a monthly pill) - we use it monthly with sentinel (heartworm+ flea egg)  like it is intended and it works well. If you use a different heartworm medication it probably isnt the best choice. It is also a lot cheaper ($12 vs $20 /month than Nexguard - which I steered away from because of our problems with frontline (since it is made by the same people)
    My vet had a deal where if you buy Nexguard and Heartgard from them, you'd get a $50 rebate. Wasn't a bad deal
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  • Since we are on this topic, my dog takes Nexguard and Heartguard but threw them both up last night. It was in his system for a few hours, but I could see the full chewable in his vomit. (tmi, sorry)

    I guess I need to give him another dose since clearly it didn't dissolve in his system, but does anyone know if it is fine to break these into pieces before giving to the dog?? I would assume so, but the vet tech wanted to talk to the doctor and they are taking FOREVER to call me back.
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  • @triplej9‌ yes it is ok to break them up as long as you give it at one time so not over a few days. Also make sure to give them with a meal and I would also suggest giving them at different meals.
    Love is like infinity: You can't have more or less infinity, and you can't compare two things to see if they're "equally infinite." Infinity just is, and that's the way I think love is, too.
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    triplej9
  • I honestly don't know much about flea products now since I don't deal with that on emergency (that's what your reg vet is for) and also we don't have too much of it in CO given our climate. I do know that topical brands and oral meds can be given more often then once a month; off label usage for things like walking dandruff and other ectoparasites. Flea collars and combs and are a waste of time and money. The reason being, topicals and orals from your vet, inhibit eggs from being viable. About 90% of the flea life cycle is in your house/carpets so the fleas you do see are the tip of the iceberg. Also PLEASE do not use OTC stuff like harts from the petstore. I have treated MANY tremoring/seizuring animals from those products when I was still working on the east coast. Awful products.
    Also, if you have purchased product from your vet (ie documented from a reputable source, not 1800 pet meds or the feed store) many of the name brand companies will give you either free product/have some type of warranty if your dog gets fleas.
    aggiebugsweetdreamz6700
  • The seresto collars from a vet are fantastic too. Last 8 months and actually repel ticks! Best bang for your buck imho.
    Bravecto only is 2 months for one tick species, not all, so if lone star ticks aren't in your area yet, it should be fine, and honestly, the research puts that at 80 something % effective still at 3 months for that species, so they were just a bit shy of making that label claim. That was an interesting lunch and learn!

    aggiebug
  • We switched to comfortis during my first pregnancy because I just didn't like dealing with the topical. We like it. It doesn't include heartworm prevention so we give heartgaurd too (not at the same time, but I'm not sure it matters). It claims to start working in 30 min.

    If you do an oral like comfortis, I would just bathe the pup in dawn, give the meds, and vacuum like crazy!

    Unfortunately I let my dogs flea meds lapse when we ran out and I found one tonight, so I'll be doing this tomorrow. .
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  • Hi all
    I know this is an old post but it seems I am in a similar situation and have a flea infestation at home thanks to my kitty. I have given her comfortis today which will hopefully kill everything on her. In terms of getting rid of the fleas in the 'environment' ie my home, I am reluctant to use pesticides this due to it being potentially toxic to the LO.
    Has anyone been in a similar situation and used the flea bombs / sprays while pregnant with no issue...?
    Or would you advise against using these pesticides?
    If so do u have any alternative suggestions?
    Is living with fleas safer than being exposed to pesticides during pregnancy?
    Thanks!
  • @CutieBug1‌ the best way to get rid of them in your environment is to vacuum a few times a week. Vacuum the floors unser the edges of the furniture, the furniture itself, wash sheets if they sleep on your bed, and their beds. Then throw out the bag or empty the canister and clean it with bleach after every vacuum.

    It takes time to break the cycle in your environment but this is more effective than pesticides honestly.
    Love is like infinity: You can't have more or less infinity, and you can't compare two things to see if they're "equally infinite." Infinity just is, and that's the way I think love is, too.
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    tee18MaryS001
  • Thanks for the advice @aggiebug‌ will take it on board. I'm a bit paranoid about pesticides so I'm glad to hear this answer! I usually only vacuum once a fortnight so will definitely up this!! We have 70s shagpile carpet it's horrid! I'm itchy!
  • It can take 3 months to entirely break the cycle. I would try to vacuum twice a week for a few weeks then once a week until they are gone. Good luck fleas suck.
    Love is like infinity: You can't have more or less infinity, and you can't compare two things to see if they're "equally infinite." Infinity just is, and that's the way I think love is, too.
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    CutieBug1
  • I'm sure I'm repeating a lot of what PP have said. I live in So Cal and my pets were getting fleas all the time even tho I had them on frontline and treated the apt. I found out it was bc they had really dry skin and the topical treatments weren't being absorbed. I had to add stuff to their diet (vitamins and whatnot) to help their skin. Then I put them both in comfortis (a pill). Lastly I make sure to vacuum basically every other day. Make sure you empty your vacuum right away, and far away from your home. Fleas are persistant. Wash any materials you can (bedding, pillows, dog toys, etc). Knock on wood, I haven't seen fleas in 2 months and haven't had to use any pesticides! Good luck. Fleas are a real pain.
    CutieBug1
  • Thanks @loriann091‌ and @aggiebug‌ !!! Fleas are the worst!!! Apparently it's been a bad winter for them and the local vet has been inundated with requests for comfortis! So glad to hear pesticides are not necessary!!
  • Everyone please be aware that Comfortis has been known to have a few side effects.  The most common is vomiting, but of course there are worse (like with any meds).  If your dog(s) vomit when given Comfortis within one hour, they recommend you redose.  After an hour, do not redose.

    Three of my four dogs do not tolerate it.

    EVERYONE, even in areas where fleas didn't USED to be a problem: It is best (and cheapest) if you prevent fleas in the first place rather than have to treat them.  There are so many options now.  Just do it.  
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  • I am a vet tech, what I always say is fleas develop a tolerance and medications need to be switched. Capstar will kill the fleas within minutes, then use new product you get from the vet. The Dr's I work with recommend trifexis, it's a pill that covers fleas, heartworm, and intestinal parasites. It doesn't cover ticks though. I use it on my dog. Flea product is not a force field so you must treat the environment. Treating the yard is good. Eggs hatch every two weeks. So it will need to be repeated. Hopefully bombing your house won't be necessary. Good luck!
    MaryS001
  • Thanks all! Yes was using another brand before which was a liquid you put on her neck and never had a flea problem until now! I'm itchy just thinking about it!
  • melanie2244melanie2244
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    edited December 8
    Great topic! Thanks for sharing your experience! Almost every dog owner faces a problem of fleas. Last time my dog had them, I noticed fleas on my cat. I tried several products, but nothing worked, especially on the cat, though she doesn't go out of the house. So, I took her to a vet clinic and I was suggested to try Vectra for dogs and cats. I found it on Pet Express at the reasonable price. I should say, it helped after the first usage. And it is great that I can buy only one product for both pets. Now I use it only for prevention.
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