Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tie a yellow ribbon 'round your Borzoi's neck...

I hate flea control products.  I hate them, but I use them and I need them.

But I use them sparingly.  My dog had started itching lately, and I chalked it up to seasonal allergies (which they do get), and did look for fleas (and found none).  But yesterday I gave my Borzoi a thorough bath and to my total shock, I was suddenly seeing drenched and dying fleas show up in her white fur.  Not a ton of them, but enough to know that I had missed it, and she was having a flea bite allergy.

Many dogs, when bitten by a flea, will erupt in intense itching that is an indirect allergy to the flea bite.  So we have to eliminate the fleas and also treat the allergy in order to keep it from escalating (because the dog is chewing the area) to a full blown infected "hot spot" (open sore). 

Step one, kill those icky fleas.  After her bath, I carefully applied Frontline, which kills fleas and ticks.  But it's also toxic stuff, which is why I don't dose her with it monthly.  I use it sparingly.  Too sparingly, apparently, which is why she got fleas.  Where she got them from, I have no idea.

I'm also vacuuming the house every day to ensure we get any fleas that may have gotten into the carpet.  No problem there.

But the Frontline is toxic, as I mentioned.  So to remind our household not to touch Bella anywhere on her back (because I apply the liquid between her shoulder blades AND on her spine by her hips) I tie a bright yellow ribbon around her neck and leave it on as a visiual "no touch" reminder for 3-4 days.  It would be awful to get any of that stuff on your finger, and then accidentally touch your eye or your lip.

I treat the allergy by giving my dog Benedryl, 1mg per pound of body weight, up to 3 times a day, for a few days.  

Now I'm off to bathe and "Frontline" the other two dogs too.  Pass the yellow ribbon, please.

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