Fleas came back! :( Help/advice?! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-05-2016, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Fleas came back! :( Help/advice?!

I'm on day #2 of waiting for an answer from my vet's office (time to find a new vet, maybe?). In the meantime, I thought I could ask here.

Two weeks ago, we brought our Duke in for his rabies vaccine and a check-up. Coincedentally, days before the appointment, Duke started itching quite a bit. Lo and behold, fleas. Doc gave us two doses of Effitix to apply at home, one immediately and another a month later. We were told the Effitix would take about 24 hours to kill the fleas on the dog. We applied the first dose right away. To our advantage, I am a crazy vacuum lady and vacuum almost every day, so I don't think the fleas have had the chance to really settle around the house. I did make sure to do thorough cleanings (baseboards, under furniture, around Duke's crate, etc.). Duke seemed to be doing better within a few days. He seemed to be itching less and less... until...

A few nights ago my husband and I noticed Duke was scratching again. A lot. Surprise, surprise, seeing more fleas. I found a few on the carpet where he likes to lay. I called the vet immediately and asked them what else we could do, or if there was a different route they'd like us to take. This was yesterday morning, and I still have yet to get an answer (three phone calls yesterday, one this morning).

One, the poor dog is miserable and two, I have 2 kids, one of whom is 11-months old and crawling all over the place. I don't have time to sit and wait for the vet to decide what to do next (I was told they wanted to try something stronger, but as to what specifically, they "weren't sure yet").

I'm wondering if there's anything I should pick up at a pet supply store? Can we give the next dose of Effitix, even though it's only been two weeks? (I also asked the vet's office of we could give the next dose, but "they didn't know", again, "had to speak with the doc" who is apparently M.I.A. or too "busy")

Just really frustrated for my dog and also the kids and home. Doing my best to keep everything clean, washing Duke's bedding, etc. For now, Duke is in his crate unless he's eating or playing outside.

I'm wondering if the first round of fleas were killed off from the initial dose, and later, the eggs hatched and that's what we're dealing with now? Again, another question I asked the vet's office, but the gal wasn't sure. Basically, the office staff at my vet's office is worthless...
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-05-2016, 03:42 PM
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I would pick up a Scalibor or Seresto flea collar, capstar and some DE. Treat tgd house with the DE(food grade)---this is not a poison so it won't hurt the kids. I would not have anyone in the house when sprinkling it because it is dusty.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-05-2016, 06:44 PM
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I had to look up Effectix to see what was in it -- it turns out it's just Virbac's version of fipronil (same stuff that's in Frontline, Pet Armor, etc.)

Fipronil is an older generation of flea treatment. Many consumers have been reporting it doesn't work any more. We've seen it completely fail in my area, so our rescue stopped using all Fipronil products. When I asked shelter vets why they stopped using it too, their experience was the same -- one vet told me she believes the local flea population is resistant to to it. Some manufacturers of fipronil dispute resistance being a real phenomenon, but you know what you experienced.

I would get one of the newer generation of RX anti-flea products from the vet, if you have an active flea infestation: NexGuard, Activyl, Vectra 3D, and even Comfortis all seem to work very well. Bravecto is another one, but it seems to cause GI issues in some dogs. Comfortis also sometimes has side effects (in how it interacts with some HW meds). I've personally used NexGuard and been impressed. One shelter I know use Activyl, and the dogs I pull for rescue from them never have fleas. A friend uses Vectra with good results.

You need a presecription for any of these newer generation of pills or topicals, and they all are fairly pricey -- around $20/month. You should be able to buy them from the vet (or from 800petmeds or Dr. Fosters & Smith if your vet will fax them the prescription).

FWIW, I'm still having very good luck with Advantage II (an OTC product), and Advantage Multi (RX only), but not everyone is -- it's newer than Fipronil but has been out long enough for resistance to be possible in some areas.

You also need to treat your yard ASAP. You can get spray at Home Depot or Lowes that attaches to the garden hose, or use a natural alternative. If you go the natural route, Wondercide's yard spray is excellent (www.wondercide.com) but you have to re-spray weekly for at least a month (it's cedar oil and smells great -- it also drives away mosquitoes on the days you spray). Whatever you use, it's imperative to knock down the flea population outside so that the dog doesn't keep bringing them in.

My dad had good luck with the Seresto collar, but he had no flea infestation -- it just kept them away. I haven't talked with anyone in my circle who used it to treat an active infestation, as opposed to preventing one from happening, so I don't have good info on effectiveness.

One other thought: if there are young kids in the picture here, I think I'd ask the vet for a pill or chew (NexGuard, Bravecto, Comfortis...), not a topical or collar. That way you don't have to worry about kids snuggling on the dog after you put the topical med on or rubbing on a flea collar.

Last edited by Magwart; 10-05-2016 at 06:49 PM.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-06-2016, 12:25 AM
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I use nexgard and/or seresto collars for fleas/and other nasty bugs.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-06-2016, 08:34 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your advice!

After bugging te vet's office yesterday (it only took 5 phone calls!) we were finally given a new topical. They went with the Activyl Plus. One of the gals did mention they were having some patients complain about the Effitix, so maybe they'll just stop using that all together.

We applied the Activyl (topical) last night, and during this morning's "inspection", I did find some dead fleas on his bedding, which is a good sign. Threw his bedding in the laundry for yet another hot wash.

Ya know, I didn't even THINK about the yard! I will definitely let my husband know about the Wondercide (he's on lawn duty), thank you for that! My husband actually wondered about a collar, so we may purchase one of those, too. Thanks!

As soon as I put our 11-month old down for his morning nap, I'm going to start on another deep cleaning, and HOPE that keeps the fleas away. I also heard about using Borax on the carpet, which I sometimes use in the laundry (and JUST ran out of). I think I'll pick up a box today and, after relocating Duke's crate to the kitchen for the night, sprinkle that on the carpeted areas and vacuum it up in the morning.

Again, thank you for all your help! We're sort of clueless when it comes to this stuff. Duke is our second GSD, and this is this first time we've dealt with fleas!
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-06-2016, 10:58 AM
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I also like and use Advantage II. But it can take a week or so before you'll be completely free of fleas even with doing everything. And your dog might still bring in an occasional one that will die once it bites the dog. Then they'll itch. Fleas are a pain! I'd continue using the flea control until well past flea season.
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