Not sure this is the right forum but thought I’d give it a run.
My vet suggested our 10-week old pup may have fleas. While we can’t see them he thought it would be advisable to rule that out by starting him on NeXGard.
I thought the idea of a dog ingesting a pesticide so he could excrete it through his skin to kill fleas and ticks sounded strange.
There have been some complaints of the medication and seizures with dogs. My vet confirmed that it had more to do with if the dog had a history of an underlying condition that may cause seizures but being the nervous dog parent thought I’d ask around to see if its commonly used or not.
My wife is pregnant so if her doc says its not safe for her to be around then its a non-starter but it did made me wonder if there was a safer alternative.
I think it might be worth your while to go to another vet and get another opinion.
Or, call the vet, have him call you back when he has a minute, there must be other options to treat this? If he doesn’t offer alternative treatments and for whatever reason you are not comfortable with his response. I would go to plan B and see another vet.
At 10 weeks the pup is an infant, so I understand your concern. The oral pesticides have not been around that long, surely there are other effective treatments?
Although, the oral pesticide for the dog might be the safest for your pregnant wife as she wouldn’t have direct exposure to the pesticide.
I just read your prior posts. It makes sense now. Flea allergy is definitely a possibility. One bite can create havoc and the symptoms you describe. I can see why the vet thinks it is a priority to rule them out.
You may also want to have the place fumigated, especially if you have carpeting.
We actually did go see another vet since the primary couldn’t get us in when his ear infection seemed to worsen. The 2nd doc said the NexGard is safe for most pets but understands my concerns regarding the small percentage of cases where it did cause issues.
He said they do offer Vectra 3D which is a topical formula that you just apply to their skin, similar to Frontline I’m guessing.
I’m still dragging my feet a bit on giving him the Nexgard or ordering the Vectra, I’d really like to see a dag on flea to confirm its an issue before treating it or treating our yard/home. Any way you cut it its better to not do any of those things for the puppy, me and the pregnant wife unless there is, in fact, a problem.
I do feel slightly better about the Vectra since he doesn’t ingest it and think the older he gets the safer it likely is to use on him. He’s almost 10 weeks now and I keep hearing 12 weeks is the benchmark where you can slightly exhale cause their immune systems are stronger and they have had their 3rd round of vaccinations.
I’ll try to work on finding a way to see if he does, in fact, have fleas, you’d think there would be a definitive way to diagnose it.
If the pup has a flea allergy, they are so sensitive, one bite and all hell breaks loose.
The topical is fine, just keep your wife away from handling him for 48 hours, then you can bathe him in a gentle shampoo, then it is okay to touch the area again.
Just remember to treat the environment too, clear out any clutter, wash all bedding in hot water. Professionally clean carpeting.
Ps: Often you will never see the fleas…..
The symptoms you describe are diagnostic. If he has other environmental allergies, time will tell. In the meantime I would try to trust the veterinarian (health care professional that examined him)
You are going to have to start him on flea/tick and heartworm preventatives soon anyway.
The natural solutions are scams, ineffective and a waste of money.
I hope you are not listening to the homeopathic crowd, dangerous stuff.
LuckyLab there are a couple of easy things you can do. Flea combs are excellent to find fleas. If you comb once a day for a week and do not find a single flea, then the odds are pretty high there are no fleas. If there are fleas, I think you will find them the first time you comb. I keep a small container of water next to me so that I can drop or shake the fleas in the water to keep them from jumping off the comb before I can kill them.
Also, it has been my experience that if you give them a bath, you will see at least 1 or 2 come off in the rinse water. (Rinsing in a bath tub works well for seeing the fleas.) Not necessary to use a flea shampoo, just any gentle shampoo appropriate for puppies will work.
Hope this helps:
Flea Allergy Dermatitis or Flea Bite Hypersensitivity
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith
Studies have shown that there are over 15 different antigens in the saliva of the flea. Each one of these is capable of causing an allergic response in a sensitive dog or cat. Despite recent advances in flea control, flea bite allergies and flea bite dermatitis still continue to be common problems.
Preventing flea bites is critical for pets with flea allergies.
Dogs and cats rarely become desensitized to flea bites once they develop an allergy. Dogs and cats that are not allergic to flea bites rarely develop lesions from the bites, but may bite or scratch at the flea when it bites them. Some studies have shown that up to 40% of dogs in any given area will test positive for flea bite allergies. Other studies show that many dogs with flea allergies also have inhalant allergies (atopy) compounding the problem. There does not appear to be a breed or sex predilection for this allergy.
Flea bite allergy is characterized by being a seasonal allergy that is worse during peak flea times in the summer and fall. Even in temperate areas or in cases with home infestations, the symptoms of flea bite allergies appear to worsen in the summer and fall. Dogs that have flea allergies will bite at the base of their tail and scratch frequently. Even a few fleas can cause hours and days of intense itching. Many dogs have a characteristic loss or thinning of hair above the base of the tail. In addition, fleas or flea dirt (feces) can be found on the dog the majority of the time. The feces, or flea dirt will dissolve into a red color when moistened; this is because it is primarily digested blood. However, if the dog is bathed or treated regularly, very little evidence of fleas may be found. Severely affected dogs may itch over their entire bodies, have generalized hair loss, and red inflamed skin. Hot spots are often a result of flea bite allergies.
Flea bite allergy is characterized by being a seasonal allergy that is worse during peak flea times in the summer and fall.
Diagnosis can be made by visual signs in combination with the presence of fleas or through intradermal skin testing. Intradermal skin testing is a very effective diagnostic tool for this particular allergy, although some false negative results can occur. Since many affected dogs also suffer from other allergies, many times the flea bite antigen is incorporated into a broader intradermal skin testing program.
Treatment primarily involves preventing the flea from coming into contact with the dog.
Flea Treatment of Dogs: A number of both topical and oral preparations are available to use as flea control. It is best use an adulticide, which kills the adult fleas, plus an insect growth regulator (IGR) as well. IGRs help to kill immature forms of the flea, preventing them from developing into biting adults. Talk to your veterinarian about what flea product(s) will work for you. In choosing the product(s) your veterinarian will consider the severity of the flea allergy dermatitis, the severity of the flea infestation, how much your dog goes outside, whether there are multiple dogs in the household, how easy it is for you to treat your dog, etc.
Treatment of Environment: Environmental treatment for fleas involves treating the house, outside areas the dog may frequent, and especially sleeping areas of the dog with a product that kills the adults (adulticide) and with an insect growth regulator as well. Another alternative is to use sodium polyborate powder (eg., Fleabusters). Vacuuming, and proper disposal of the cleaner bag are also very beneficial. Other pets in the home should also be treated as they could continue to bring fleas into the environment. While injudicious use of pesticides and growth regulators is never recommended, an effective flea prevention program is much safer and easier than dealing with a full blown flea infestation.
Hyposensitization: Hyposensitization of dogs with a series of injections does not appear to be very effective.
At the clinic I am doing my externship at we use ShieldTec Flea and Tick spray on any puppies or kittens that come in with fleas that are too young for prevention. ShieldTec is not a vet only product.
It’s still a pesticide. What about the pregnant wife? Plus it’s only good for 7 days, has to be continually reapplied.
Fipronil, the same ingredient as Frontline.
This is not veterinary advice; consult your veterinarian.
The new vet we are seeing who we like offers both an oral and Vector as options. Looking briefly online Vectra seems to have much less serious side effects associated with it and it sounds like something we could use once a month in the summer and discontinue easily in the winter (its too cold in Colorado for fleas in winter).
My vet supports either decision and even no action if that’s my choice. I will get a flea comb and try that out, we did bathe him with an oatmeal shampoo and never saw anything but as you guys pointed out we may never see them (that’s consistent with our vet too).
We are watching him very closely and the itching does seem to be mildly improving, I’m hoping it gets to a point where there is no way its fleas and we can move on. I know half a dozen breeders I’ve spoken to in CO have said they’ve never given their dog flea/tick meds so its indication this would be out of the norm.
We’ll run Vectra by her doctor and in the meantime watch him closely. Assuming we see no more improvement in the next week and her doctor is ok with its application in our home we will administer the Vectra. At that point, he’ll be closer to 11 weeks old and 3 weeks past their 8-week recommendation.
Well, as you said that your wife is pregnant, so it is better that you should go for natural remedies. There are many things that really do work naturally like using of health food store, neem oil, add some garlic to their food which will help to kill the fleas.
Another method is Borax, if you have carpet in your home, you can sprinkle them and after 24 hours you can become up.
But, if these methods does not work, then you can go for pest control services, as they will have an extensive experience in flea control.
- This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by William T.
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