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Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 7938
Experience:  35 years of veterinary practice in small animal medicine
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I have a large standard poodle aged 9, he contracted fleas

Customer Question

I have a large standard poodle aged 9, he contracted fleas from the groomers in West Sussex the week before we moved here to Brixham. Dispite using frontline twice and anti flea shampoo at our new groomers here, I have found fleas on him still. How do I eradicate these, I have sprayed the house and car, washed all his bedding on a boil wash I am running out of ideas - Thank you regard Dianne XXXXXXx

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 4 years ago.
Hello Dianne, I'm Dr. Bob.
I'm sorry to read of the problem you're having with fleas. It would appear that you're doing all the right things, but the fleas just aren't going away. I have a few suggestions that may help you win this war. First, you need to know that neither flea eggs nor pupae are affected by most sprays, and they can lay dormant for months. There is a possibility that not only did Titus contract fleas at the groomer, but the new property may have been seeded with flea eggs and pupae before you moved in as well.
A key to breaking the cycle is to use premise sprays and/or bombs that contain an insect growth regulator (IGR). This material is harmless to all other non-insect life forms and works by causes the hatched eggs to remain in a non-parasitic larval state, preventing them from growing into adult blood sucking parasites. Time is required for products like Frontline to eventually clear an area of adult fleas.
The fleas, after hatching from eggs, look like tiny bits of black thread, tiny caterpillars. They grow and form pupae which then hatch into adult fleas. The egg and pupal forms are not affected by most sprays or powders used on the premises. The products containing IGR prevent their passage from caterpillar to pupae, thus breaking the life cycle.
Another fact that may help you understand the situation is that Frontline is not a repellant. It allows the fleas to be attracted to the dog, then kills them over a twenty four hour period, starting in approximately 4 hours. Washing with an anti-flea shampoo can actually reduce the effectiveness of the Frontline, especially if done within two days of application. The live fleas you're finding are doomed, but it's going to take a while to allow the premise sprays and Frontline to do their work. In the meantime, an excellent product that is perhaps more satisfying to use due to it's more noticeable and long-lasting effects is Frontline spray. You can buy this product online and from some pet stores and veterinarians. It is a bit expensive (around 25 pounds plus shipping), and if you add the products containing IGR to your battle plan, you'll eventually win the war without it. But if you just can't stand to wait, Frontline spray is another weapon available to you. Within 4 to 6 weeks, the war should be won and peace will reign in Titus and our home, but in the meantime, should you have any more questions, please let me know.
Kind regards,
Dr. Bob