Frank Talk about Fleas

Y’all, dog owners, do you ever have months when the Frontline just seems to peter out before the end of the month?

We do, on very rare occasions.  And now, Mrs. Wigglebottom is unhappy.  It’s only been eleven days since we put it on her.  I hate to redose her so soon.

Any good home remedies?

I’m about to go in and try dishwashing detergent on her and see how that goes.

 But I’m open.

15 thoughts on “Frank Talk about Fleas

  1. Dawn dishwashing detergent works especially well, I have had to use that on puppies that were too young to have frontline on them before and it worked well.

  2. Here’s what I did. I took some Dawn in a bowl and threw in a shit ton of salt and made a paste, which I then rubbed all over her. For her, it was like a huge fifteen minute rub-down adn she seemed to love it.

    Then I rinsed it all off. Then I noticed that she’s still limping, which means we have to get her to the fucking vet, but who knows where the hell that money’s coming from?

    I would just like to, for maybe five seconds, stop bleeding money.

    On the other hand, she’s so damn cute I cannot understand why she’s not on Cute Overload every dang day.

  3. You’re going to love this, judging by a couple of past posts: rosemary oil + cedar oil (essential oils, not just perfumed fake crap) in a spray bottle of water. I can’t remember how much I used to use — maybe 10 drops each? Spray it lightly over the fur. You can add a some lavender oil too, if you like. The smell repels fleas and the dog smells great. It works to spray it on their beds, too.

  4. Are you kidding?! My dog can smell like rosemary? Someone, please, tell me where I can get essential oils here in Nashville.

    Mack, there’s a sure-fire trick for keeping kids away. It’s called a condom.

    Ha, I tickle me.

  5. Just remember to keep the essential oils away from the cats! Cats are not dogs, and that goes double for essential oils. Essential oils can poison your cats. If you have a litter box inside, feel free to add baking soda to neutralize the smell, but for heaven’s sake, don’t add any essential oils, either to the litter or the cats themselves!

  6. Garlic helps repel fleas (given orally, that is). Of course, a couple of garlic cloves mashed into their food also produces fairly stinky farts, so consider yourself forewarned.

    The other thing to keep in mind is that fleas reside primarily in the dog’s bedding, not on the dog. So washing bedding frequently will help keep Mrs. W. from re-infecting herself every time she takes a nap. Finally, if you have carpets, you can sprinkle diatomaceous earth (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diatomaceous_earth) on your carpets. The sharp crystals are too small to hurt pets or people, but puncture flea exoskeletons quite nicely. Every time you walk across the carpet, you’ll be grinding in the diatomaceous earth and, hopefully, killing fleas and their eggs and larvae.

  7. Rosemary is a major anti-flea herb. Dead on, what more cowbell said. Mint oil will repell ants. Just spray some on their trails and around doors and windows and they will not cross it.

    You could add some of the rosemary essential oil to your Dawn+salt spa rubdown too.

  8. I was going to recommend brewer’s yeast, but some people have reservations about the large amount you’d need to get Mrs. Wigglebottom to eat for it to be effective. (It works quite well on cats, though, and doesn’t seem to have any side effects; I think it’s a mass/size thing) This page has most of the herbal solutions I’ve heard about. They’re basically all about making your dog stop smelling like a dog – hence the aromatic herbs, garlic, and soap. If you make her smell like just about anything else, the fleas will go find something doggier to mess with.

  9. (delurking to share)
    Aunt B,
    my kitten mojo has ear mites & about 3 weeks ago, the hubby found a flea on him. i was already upset about the mites & his low cost vet visit isn’t for another month. so i got busy looking on the internetz & saw that folx recommended either rosemary or garlic. for good measure, i put a small sprig of rosemary & some chopped garlic in a small tincture bottle, added olive oil, let the mixture sit for a day. when i give him a bath i rub some of the oil mixture on him b4 blow drying him, & for the past 2 weeks i’ve been putting a dropper of the oil in each ear every day. haven’t seen any fleas since, & the ear mites are nearly gone. i’m going to stick w/ rosemary and/or garlic (if garlic only works internally, it’s prolly the rosemary that’s working) even when he’s old enough for frontline.

    there’s some great ideas here, especially the stuff for the carpet.

  10. I’m pretty sure the point to the garlic (and yeast, and other internally taken stuff) is to get enough of it into the pet that they start secreting it (or whaterver it makes) from their skin. Which is also why it’s been linked (however tenuously) to all those bad things; the amount of stuff you need to feed an animal to get it to come out in any noticeable/effective quantity can be overwhelming to the animal’s system (particularly if the animal is, well, carnivorous). For small animals, it seems like you can balance it decently well; for larger ones, you risk unpleasant side effects because you need to increase the dose so much.

    Since most of these things can be applied directly to the animal’s skin, and generally aren’t toxic in small quantities, spraying it directly on is a much better idea… albeit one that requires a pet that will tolerate being spritzed or rubbed down frequently. The big problems are coverage (especially the soft sensitive parts that bugs are so fond of…and which are generally less than happy to have things squirted at them) and intensit; on hot days (or days when the dog gets muddy, or when it rains, or.. you get the idea) you need to re-apply much more often in order to keep the animal protected.

    And it doesn’t kill the bugs, it just deters them… which is better overall, but means that if something does jump on poor Mrs. Wigglebottom, you’ll have to do something else about it.

  11. The garlic-as-toxin thing is news to me… it’s commonly recommended, and does not require huge doses to work. Upon Googling the issue, Richard Pitcairn, a holistic vet with a focus on animal nutrition, seems to think that the studies cited that indicate that garlic can be harmful are based on crazy-big doses of garlic (25%-50% of the dog’s diet), and not indicative of how a clove or two impacts a dog. You can overdose on lots of things that are safe in smaller portions.

    It’s an immune system booster, as well as an insect repellent, so it works on two levels; it builds up the immune system while repelling creepy-crawlies. In general, you’ll find the heaviest parasite infestations in animals with weakened immune systems; not to say that healthy animals can’t pick up the odd bug, but there does seem to be a natural limiting factor that keeps fleas and other parasites from taking over. People with multiple pets often find that, even when the whole household comes down with something, the weakest animal (oldest, youngest, ill, pregnant or nursing) is the one most plagued.

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