Our own flea circus

March 29, 2012 § 10 Comments

Last year we were in a drought, which killed a number of the trees on our property.  Now that it is spring, we’ve started marking the trees that died, and are preparing to cut them down before they fall into the house.  This picture looks a little foggy; I took it a few minutes after sunrise this morning, when there was still a bit of a haze around the pond.

The drought was followed by a very mild winter.  The combination of no water and no cold means that the insect population has exploded around here.  One can’t go outside without getting attacked by fleas and mosquitos.  This is uncomfortable for us, but havoc for the dogs.

Addie was especially impacted by the fleas.  Although we use flea drops on the dogs’ backs every month, the fleas still came, and they decided that Addie was the perfect flea hotel.  In spite of the flea drops, a flea collar, nightly flea spray, and combings, the poor girl was still very popular with the fleas.  She had her own private flea circus on her legs.

Two evenings ago, Dave decided to go for the big guns.  After an extensive google search, he called our vet and asked for Elanco’s “Comfortis.”  This isn’t a paid advertisement, and we’re actually fairly upset that we’ve had to resort to strong chemicals for our dogs.  However, our previous measures were definitely not working…especially on Addie, who exhibited several hot spots on her legs, and spent her nights biting and chewing.

I’m happy to say that 30 minutes after taking the tablets, our dogs are no longer scratching.  Addie had her first comfortable night in a week, since the fleas exploded on our property.  It was an expensive endeavor…about $200 for a 3-month supply for our 3 big dogs.  However, it was worth it in terms of the comfort of our animals.  We may be green, but we also understand that there are times when we must weigh our green lifestyle against the health of ourselves and our animals.  In our case, Addie’s comfort was the most important.

I think Addie’s grateful, although the flea circus that was forming on her backside might think otherwise.  Our vet’s also happy, because he’s a few dollars richer.  I’m wondering how it works exactly.  Evidently, the fleas that bite our dogs will now become dead fleas.  What exactly does this chemical do to our dogs?

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§ 10 Responses to Our own flea circus

  • viveka says:

    God bless … the dogs, so long as it works and I’m sure it wouldn’t be on the market if it haven’t been tested properly or ask your vet. Had a dog many ears ago, but he never had flea problems. Been checking the web-site and FDA has approved, so I’m sure that your dogs will doing just wonderful and with no fleas.

    • Libby says:

      Thanks. Dave also told me not to stress about it. The dogs are very happy. It’s amazing how we can have no fleas one day, and then the next day, they’ve just exploded.

      • viveka says:

        Worth it’s money .. !!! You know all the chemicals we get into ourselves through pills (medicine) – so a tablet in the dogs per day. No risk. They will be happy puppies now.

  • df says:

    Wow, I had no idea. We’re considering getting a dog (not right away, but longer term), and it’s good to hear of these things. You must be relieved to see your pooches feeling so much better.

    • Libby says:

      We definitely recommend getting a dog…they’re really wonderful to have around. The fleas? Not so much. The good news is that you’re up north, where it gets cold enough for the fleas to die out every year.

      • df says:

        It’s great to hear a hearty recommendation; I think we’ll get there before too long. We are noticing that insect die-offs aren’t happening in the same way with our milder winters, though I can’t say that I know anything at all about fleas!

      • Libby says:

        What kind of dog are you thinking of getting?

      • df says:

        We’ve had a Blue Lacey recommended to us and I quite like the look of them. I grew up with Cocker Spaniels and mixes, so only have experience of smaller dogs. As you can imagine we want a dog suitable to farm life, and I really want a short haired dog (like the Blue Lacey) as I know we’ll be forever removing burrs and suchlike otherwise. Obviously a dog that will be good with kids and one that won’t have a strong instinct to run on the highway, as the front of our house is about 100 feet from just such a road. I’d be grateful of any advice!

      • Libby says:

        Blue Lacey is an excellent choice for a farm dog. They are beautiful have a short coat, and are smart. I suspect any dog can demonstrate a strong desire to run onto the road, given the right set of circumstances. Our dog Doodle has done it several times, but Addie and Otis (the Irish Wolfhounds) have never considered it. We don’t let any of them roam free these days, since our front fences are down due to the City work.

      • df says:

        Thanks for the great advice!

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