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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 33266
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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I think my dog might have fleas. He has lumps and is scratching

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I think my dog might have fleas.
He has lumps and is scratching a lot..
Also there is dirt on in his hair.
Need to know what to treat with and if house needs treated also?
Thank you
You may be correct. The flea feces looks like pepper and flea eggs look like salt. If you collect the "dirt" and wet it down it will turn into blood which confirms flea feces. Bathing him in a non-insecticidal shampoo should remove the feces and eggs. Fleas are a bit tougher to remove mechanically but you can do so after visualizing them when he's wet and then either flea combing them off him or manually picking them off. Once he's dry, wait 2 days to apply an over the counter flea spot-on such as Advantage (imidocloprid) or a fipronil-containing product such as Frontline. If you prefer, his vet carries newer prescription products such as Bravecto and Nexgard which are given as tasty oral chews instead of applied topically. There are also newer prescription topicals available through his vet to which fleas are less likely to have become resistant.It's very important to treat your premises as well and when doing so it's important that the treatment contains an insect growth regulator (IGR) such as methoprene or pyriproxyfen. The IGRs don't allow flea eggs or larvae to develop into adult fleas and so break up the life cycle of the flea. IGRs have revolutionized how we address flea infestation. Siphotrol Area Treatment Spray is a good example of such an over the counter product. I prefer the sprays over foggers which aren't as efficient in covering the area you wish to treat.His bumps and pruritis suggest a flea saliva allergy. His vet can break up this allergy by prescribing a corticosteroid such as prednisone which usually wroks wonders for these allergic dogs. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
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Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.
I can't set a follow up in this venue and so would appreciate your returning to our conversation with an update at your convenience.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No problem. I will visit the vet and keep you updated.
Sounds good. I'll watch for your next post.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Treated my dog with Advantage spot on and sprayed the house.
The dog has no more lumps on his coat and no fleas.
I have vaccumed the house twice weekly and washed dogs bedding once weekly at 60oc then tumble dry it.
Have seen occasional flea near dogs bed but not many.
Thank you for the good update, Nicola. Don't hesitate to spray your house again if you're still seeing the occasional flea.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Okay I will.
Thank you so much.
You're quite welcome.