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Question
Posted by: tammy | 2011/03/24

sand fleas

Hi there

We are in the process of doing renovations and building a swimming pool - as a result, we are having big problems with sand fleas. We have been doing renovations since last year November, and probably won''t be done for at least another 2-3 months. We have 2 dogs - a 8yr fox terrier and 11mth rottweiler... both dogs have been scratching themselves solidly since November - we Frontline them twice a month, spray beds and change linens weekly... but nothing stops the scratching.. their hair has fallen out / been eaten / scratched out and they often bleeding from scratching themselves.

The reality is that there is sand in our garden and these are outside dogs (we are busy closing off the sandy area with chicken wire, to prevent them going there) - is there anything that we can spray or put on them that will sooth the itch, if not stop it?

Kind regards

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Hi Tammy
Unfortunately it sounds like your dogs have a flea bite allergy, this means that even if they no longer have fleas, they will continue to scratch. The fleas secrete a toxin in there saliva that can cause an allergic reaction (similar to a bee sting allergy!) Therefore the allergy must be treated before the scratching will stop! I advise that you take them to a vet for a check-up. In mild cases of flea allergies, anti-histamine treatment can help but in more severe cases (like your dogs’ problem) the vet might need to give cortisone treatment and even a course of antibiotics if there is a secondary skin infection.
Protecting your dogs against fleas is still very important, otherwise the problem with re-occur. Most importantly, your dogs must be treated once a month with a good flea product. I prefer the spot-on products (like Frontline) as it is easy to administer. Remember to change the product you are using every couple of months otherwise resistance can build-up over time. Also remember to wait 3 days before or after bathing your dogs, before applying the treatment. All pets (dogs and cats) must also be treated at the same time. Controlling the fleas in the environment is NOT easy. Regular washing of their bedding is definitely recommended and there are products that you can treat the soil with but unfortunately this only keeps the fleas at bay for a while. Luckily if you do treat the dogs monthly with a good flea product, it will in most cases protect them against any flea infestation. Good luck with the renovations!

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1
Our users say:
Posted by: CyberVet | 2011/03/24

Hi Tammy
Unfortunately it sounds like your dogs have a flea bite allergy, this means that even if they no longer have fleas, they will continue to scratch. The fleas secrete a toxin in there saliva that can cause an allergic reaction (similar to a bee sting allergy!) Therefore the allergy must be treated before the scratching will stop! I advise that you take them to a vet for a check-up. In mild cases of flea allergies, anti-histamine treatment can help but in more severe cases (like your dogs’ problem) the vet might need to give cortisone treatment and even a course of antibiotics if there is a secondary skin infection.
Protecting your dogs against fleas is still very important, otherwise the problem with re-occur. Most importantly, your dogs must be treated once a month with a good flea product. I prefer the spot-on products (like Frontline) as it is easy to administer. Remember to change the product you are using every couple of months otherwise resistance can build-up over time. Also remember to wait 3 days before or after bathing your dogs, before applying the treatment. All pets (dogs and cats) must also be treated at the same time. Controlling the fleas in the environment is NOT easy. Regular washing of their bedding is definitely recommended and there are products that you can treat the soil with but unfortunately this only keeps the fleas at bay for a while. Luckily if you do treat the dogs monthly with a good flea product, it will in most cases protect them against any flea infestation. Good luck with the renovations!

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