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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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fleas and tick question

I have always been told by the vet to use flea prevention even if I never see a flea, or if my dogs dont go out. When we are on the road, my dogs potty indoors and dont go outside. At home, they dont go out a lot. They potty indoors too. We have never seen a flea or a tick around our place. Just wondering if the prevention is necessary in this case. I have used it, but I got lax using it, because of being indoors and never having an issue. Also, what about heart worm prevention in this case. I want to keep my pups as safe as possible, but, dont want to medicate if not needed. Also, can someone tell me the safest schedule for getting shots. Sorry for all the questions.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 10:58 AM
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I treat for heartworms, every month without fail because the temps here are rarely below 40 degrees for long enough to kill larva. As far as flea meds, Tillie plays with our cats and they get fleas sometimes, so we actually treat the cats and not Tillie... typically. I bath her once a week and a few times I have seen ONE flea dead in the bath water. But I try really hard not to put the topical meds on. We live in Northern Ca. and don't have a big tick problem, in fact we have never seen one on any of our animals. BUT if we did live where were there were ticks we would have to treat more frequently.

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Last edited by TilliesMom; 04-11-2012 at 11:01 AM. Reason: added something
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
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That was my thoughts about it too. I am going to use the heart worm stuff, but, I dont think I will use the flea stuff unless I actually see one. I know have cats or any other kind of critters, lol. I worry about applying that stuff, unless I find it is absolutely necessary. Of course the vets all say use it no matter what.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 12:28 PM
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I do pretty much the same. Since Kodi is mostly white, and our cat is completely white, fleas and flea dirt are VERY obvious. I have NEVER seen a flea on Kodi, and only once in the last 6 or 7 years have I seen a flea on the cat. (this winter, actually, probably because it stayed so warm) When I saw the flea, I treated both of them. The bigger problem here is ticks, and since the topical we use for ticks also kills fleas they DO end up protected for the warm months of the year. However, I stretch out the doses as far as I can. The topicals work for 6 weeks, not the 4 listed on the package. (if they are going to work at all... there is a lot of resistance in some areas) So I don't dose closer than every 6 weeks, and then, only through the warmest weather, When it starts to cool down, I dose only if I see a flea or tick.

Heartworm is different, and where you live depends on how much of the year you need to keep them on the meds. Here in N.E., it is cold enough to keep the parasite from developing from Nov. through April, and some years even May. So Kodi gets is last dose of Heartworm meds in Nov., and then (after a check to make sure he's Heartworm clear) starts up again either April 1st or May 1st. But you'll have to check with your vet for recommendations for your area.

What is for sure is that Heartworm meds, also, only really need to be dosed every 6 weeks. They tell you to do it once a moth so that people have some leeway in case they forget. But if you can be REALLY religious about marking your calendar, and giving the next dose at NO MORE than 6 weeks out, you can cut down the amount of that chemical in their bodies as well.

Also, I never put flea/tick meds on Kodi and give his heartworm pill the same day. (I usually do them a week apart) If he's going to have a reaction to something, I want it to be very clear which product caused the problem.


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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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Good information about the timeline. I didnt know that. Thanks I live in Georgia, so, I assume heartworm needs to be given year round?
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 12:39 PM
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Good information about the timeline. I didnt know that. Thanks I live in Georgia, so, I assume heartworm needs to be given year round?
I don't know for sure, but that would be my guess. You DON'T want to play around with Heartworm. It can be treated, but the treatment is VERY toxic, and can cause severe side effects, some of which can be permanent. Prevention is much less dangerous, in this case, than the cure!


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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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I agree Karen, and even inside, you never know, just takes one bite to get it. Thanks for the info. Hope it helps other newbies too.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 02:02 PM
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I'm sure our climates are different. bay area weather here in CA is b/t 40 and 80 most days of the yr. maybe 10 days of the yr in the summer are over 90.

anyway, I use frontline plus, which treats up to 3 months. I administer in the spring and summer months, maybe 3-4 apps a yr. both my little guy and my big girl has sensitive skin, so that's one reason why I don't do it all yr. I've never had fleas on any of my dogs and they pretty much roam around.

I've only seen 1 tick and that was on my puppies butt. no joke. he was 20 wks old, or something and I thought it was a speck of poop. as I tried to pull the speck off, the more pull I used the harder it was to pull it off. I thought to myself, what an odd thing for a piece of poop, right? so I just applied a constant pull, and the speck of poop released. (I was using tissue), still didn't think anything about it, till I looked in the tissue and it had legs and it was moving.

I think if your dog's white you are lucky in the are of flea prevention! my cat had a white belly, we'd check her all the time we'd flip her over and just watch to see if anything would walk across her tummy.

ok, I digress.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by sprorchid View Post
I think if your dog's white you are lucky in the are of flea prevention! my cat had a white belly, we'd check her all the time we'd flip her over and just watch to see if anything would walk across her tummy.
Yup that's the method we use too!


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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I guess I am half and half, then. One white, and one black, lol
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