When a monthly flea treatment doesn't work
  • WhoBitMeWhoBitMe
    Posts: 1924
    Okay, so just to give a bit of a back story. For years I used Advantage with Amy (and Meitou when he was tiny) but because of Amy's plethora of health issues that lasted forever (that started around the same time I brought Meitou home) the vet determined Amy was allergic to fleas and that the Advantage wasn't working at all. For a while I used Comfortis until my vet stopped carrying it. They started carrying Nexgard instead. Something about it being better than Comfortis? I don't remember. So I've been using Nexgard on Meitou and Amy for several months, since sometime last year, and everything seemed mostly fine. Although it seemed the treatment didn't last a full month.

    Well, at the beginning of April I gave both dogs their Nexgard and...it hasn't done anything. They are itching a lot. Amy is starting to show the same issues she had when she was on Advantage. Meitou has been licking and chewing his feet a lot and I'm starting to see issues from that (actually, he damaged a paw pad and is limping again. Gah).

    My plan is to talk with my vet to see what to try next. I prefer the oral preventatives, but I think the only other brand my vet carries is Trifexis and I recall hearing scary things about it in older forum posts. Any recommendations for what I should try?

    But my real question is...what can I do in the meantime to help alleviate the itchiness? I figure it wouldn't be a good idea to give another dose of some other flea medicine. It doesn't seem safe. But I don't want to just leave things as they are unless I absolutely have to.

    *edited to add that I'm not positive Meitou's paw pad issue is necessarily caused by this issue. But I wouldn't be surprised because he has been licking and chewing his feet a bit recently.
    1 Human + 1 Hokkaido
    RIP Amy (Border Collie)

    “Anyone can love a thing because. That's as easy as putting a penny in your pocket.
    But to love something despite. To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and pure and perfect.”
    --Patrick Rothfuss, A Wise Man's Fear

    "Life before death. Strength before weakness. Journey before destination."
    --Brandon Sanderson, the First Ideal from The Stormlight Archive.
    Post edited by WhoBitMe at 2015-04-23 01:23:29
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 508
    Do you actually see fleas? It is spring now, the time of wonderful seasonal allergies.

    Give the vet a call, they should want to know what's going on and can give proper advice.
    Also, you can always have your vet write a prescription for the product you want (like Comfortis) and have it filled elsewhere if they don't carry it.

    I've generally heard that you can give Capstar concurrently to knock out a current flea infestation. It only works for 24-48 hours though, so you've got to tackle the source of the problem (and the house too).

    Other chewable alternatives are Sentinel and Bravecto. Though Sentinel uses the same heartworm component as Trifexis.

    As for relief of the itchies... I've yet to find a solution that really works, outside of steroids. Antihistamines may help a little. Keep any hotspots clean, a full bath is probably a good idea, and if necessary prevent access to any wounds. For environmental allergies, wipe down the dog's paws and face after walks. More discussion here -
    http://www.nihonken.org/forum/index.php?p=/discussion/9191/seasonal-allergies/p1

    For true flea allergies, it helps to use a product that also repels fleas. I don't know of any oral products that accomplish this, just the topicals, and maybe the Seresto collar. I personally use a homemade repellent spray on Kouda before excursions made of diluted essential oils. In my unscientific usage, it has worked well. (Lemon eucalyptus, lemongrass, geranium, and peppermint)
  • WrylyBrindleWrylyBrindle
    Posts: 3221
    I've been using a geranium/cinnamon collar on my crew. But our pest load is rather light in this cold mountain climate. I have heard that there are garlic powders for dogs to eat on their food that can make them untasty to fleas, but I have not used them.
  • TrzcinaTrzcina
    Posts: 331
    I'm not sure what to suggest, beyond that we've been facing this with the cat. Last summer we discovered fleas... and she had been on a preventative. Switched types at the vet's suggestion, thought it had worked, but now that it's spring she's itching again and having the same symptoms. Still haven't found any fleas or flea dirt though, so I'm not ruling out seasonal allergies just yet.
  • *JackBurton**JackBurton*
    Posts: 1369
    Do you have carpets? Also what does the paw smell like?

    I thought Kaede was having an issues with fleas it turned out that she was having issues with mites. I pulled all the carpet out of our house. It's been over a year and her paws have yet to turn red nor has she tried to remove the hair off her belly.
    www.akita-inu.com
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  • aykayk
    Posts: 1979
    Paws are a weird place for flea allergies. Usually I see them on the back, near the base of the tail.
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 508
    Met with Kouda's dermatologist yesterday, she recommended the Seresto collar for dogs with FAD.
  • WhoBitMeWhoBitMe
    Posts: 1924
    Thank you for all the responses. I'll be sure to look into some of the options and bring them up with our vet. In the meantime I picked up some stuff to help ease itchiness.

    @ayk Yeah, Amy's issues tend to be on her back and her back legs. I don't know that Meitou's foot problem is necessarily because of fleas or anything. It could have just been something that happened around the same time.

    @*JackBurton* Yes to carpets. When I smelled his foot it smelled a little like normal dog feet and a little bit like grass. Getting new flooring would be nice, but I don't really have the money to replace two stories of carpet in almost every room...

    I sometimes wonder about the Spring allergy thing. Neither Amy nor Meitou had these issues last Spring (I forget which oral flea medicine they were on). Are allergies something that can just develop at any time? I'm wondering since Meitou hasn't had these issues the previous two years. I haven't actually seen any fleas, but someone else living in the house said she had a flea bite on her ankle.
    1 Human + 1 Hokkaido
    RIP Amy (Border Collie)

    “Anyone can love a thing because. That's as easy as putting a penny in your pocket.
    But to love something despite. To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and pure and perfect.”
    --Patrick Rothfuss, A Wise Man's Fear

    "Life before death. Strength before weakness. Journey before destination."
    --Brandon Sanderson, the First Ideal from The Stormlight Archive.
  • T_DogT_Dog
    Posts: 331
    I know this is an old thread. But have you heard of revolution? It does fleas and mites and many other bugs.
  • WhoBitMeWhoBitMe
    Posts: 1924
    !T_Dog Actually, I just tried Revolution for a couple months this summer but was not impressed with it. So we are back to Nexgard for now and it seems to be working fine. I have my suspicions on what was causing the extra itching. :)
    1 Human + 1 Hokkaido
    RIP Amy (Border Collie)

    “Anyone can love a thing because. That's as easy as putting a penny in your pocket.
    But to love something despite. To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and pure and perfect.”
    --Patrick Rothfuss, A Wise Man's Fear

    "Life before death. Strength before weakness. Journey before destination."
    --Brandon Sanderson, the First Ideal from The Stormlight Archive.
  • jacobi8jacobi8
    Posts: 12
    The activyl is a good anti flea also. It is a prescription product though.

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