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Old 05-23-2007, 08:01 AM   #11
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20 mule team borax will work dusted on your carpet to dry them up, but it won't work on eggs.
Some people swear by garlic pills to keep the dog flea free.
Regular shampoo will kill fleas by drowning them, it just won't prevent them from coming back.
Avon Skin so Soft is supposed to be a bug repellant, the oil based kind.
Flea collars are a waste of money period.

And don't forget; eating a flea is the only way a pet can get tapeworm. I do what I can to keep them and their area flea free and if that means using chemicals (I use Frontline+ every 45-60 days and Ultracide in the house and my business), then so be it. I also use deodorant on myself, so am not trying to lead a chemical free lifestyle .
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Old 05-23-2007, 09:04 AM   #12
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My in-laws use brewer's yearst to keep their dog flea-free.
It works. I've never see fleas on the dog or in their home.
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Old 05-23-2007, 09:29 AM   #13
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alrighty, letscook, i'm a vet, and i don't work in private practice at all, so i'm not getting any $ to say this. here's my 2 cents:

1. do NOT bathe your pets in borax. works pretty well as an environmental treatment, but its best use is for poofing into the walls (example: take off the switchplate covers, and tump a little down in there) to control roaches and ants that live in between the walls of the house. don't be dusting your pets, because them eating borax is not a good thing. you could dust your dog's bed with borax and then vacuum it all up later, but hot water & soap is just as effective, so why not toss the bedding in the washing machine and avoid the mess?

2. as others have mentioned, flea collars are pretty much crap. the only time to bother with a collar is if you DON'T already have fleas on the pet, or in the house or yard, AND you can't get a source of something better. they work by releasing insecticide that coats your pet's hair, so they take a couple of days to start working completely, and they'll also be used up quicker than you think they will. better stuff is available, so basically, don't bother.

3. flea spray, likewise, pretty much crap. the only way for this to work is if you spray all the pets in the house on the same day that you spread insecticide over the yard and bomb the house. repeat in 2 weeks, repeat 2 more after that. the point here being that fleas aren't ONLY on the pet, they're in the grass and the carpet and the dog's bed, and this is a life cycle just as complex & ongoing as lions hunting zebras on the serengetti, so if you just kill off some of the zebras, another herd will move in soon enough.

4. bathing the dog is far more effective than flea spray (at least you know you treated the whole dog), but at most, flea shampoo only has a week or so of residual activity. meaning that after that week or so, the shampoo's chemicals don't have any more bug-killing powers. don't forget you MUST treat the environment (house, yard), or the fleas will just jump right back on.

5. which brings us to what you should actually do. frontline, frontline, frontline. some of my colleagues will reccomend revolution instead (covers heartworms as well), but frontline is more powerful and longer-lasting, and it's what i use on my dog, so there you go. total solution = give dog a bath, and wash the bedding the same day. 3 days later (so dog is totally dry, and his skin oils have normalized over the hair coat), put that dab of revolution in between his shoulder blades. it's kind of oily in that spot, and lots of dogs want to go rub their now weird-feeling back in the grass, but don't let 'em. that oily spot will disappear in a couple of days, and then it's been absorbed into the skin, making it work even if you occasionally have to bathe the dog (it doesn't wash off easily at all). the package is labelled that you need to re-apply every month, but i get a good 2 months' worth out of each tube of this stuff. since frontline is so effective, you don't HAVE to treat the house/yard at the same time, though of course, if the fleas are biting YOU too, it'll help you keep your sanity if you do.

the problem with all the natural remedies is that it's totally unregulated. no way to tell if your brewer's yeast is live or dead in the bottle, your citronella oil might be real citronella or just lemony-scented, etc etc, which is probably why people report such varying results.

good luck!!
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Old 05-23-2007, 09:29 AM   #14
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I have friends who swear by brewer's yeast too. They feed it daily, maybe 1 to 2 teaspoons mixed in with the food.
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Old 05-23-2007, 10:02 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireweaver
alrighty, letscook, i'm a vet,

the problem with all the natural remedies is that it's totally unregulated. no way to tell if your brewer's yeast is live or dead in the bottle,
good luck!!


Please elaborate on this, if you will.

Have you tried brewer's yeast to control fleas on cats or dogs? Have you found some brands to be more effective than other brands? What does "dead or alive" yeast cells have to do with the effectiveness of brewer's yeast controlling fleas?
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Old 05-23-2007, 10:45 AM   #16
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Thank you all for you suggestions and help
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Old 05-23-2007, 11:54 AM   #17
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The borax mixture is fine for carpets and furniture, but for an animal, especially a cat, use Advantage once a month. That's advantage, not advantix! Advantix works on dogs only. It will kill your kitties. We (that's the Cats Cradle Rescue 'we') buy the Large Dog size Advantage and use it on all our cats. It's the same formula for all sizes of dog and cat tubes, but much cheaper to buy in the large tube. Just one drop for kittens or two drops for full grown cats will last a month. If you use too much, you'll know it because your cat will start to twitch. Just adjust the quantity the next time.

Oh, and don't get your fingers into the Advantage and then touch your mouth. You'll feel like you've just visited the dentist! It is, after all, a nerve agent, and it will put your lips to sleep!
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Old 05-23-2007, 12:30 PM   #18
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Thanks for sharing all this good advice!
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Old 05-23-2007, 12:52 PM   #19
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There is a lot of good advice here. I had a lot of success with Frontline on my cats. I haven't tried it yet on our new dog. I have also known people who had luck with brewer's yeast (you can get it at stores like PetSmart). I have sprinkled borax on my carpet and had some success with that. Which leads to why I am writing. Fleas live in your yard and in your carpet. They jump on your dogs and cats for a meal but they lay their eggs in the carpet. Much of what you do to treat your dogs and cats won't work if you don't treat the carpet (and yard if possible). It takes about 2 weeks for flea eggs to hatch, so one treatment won't do it. You have to treat again a few times to get rid of them all. Also make sure you vacuum your carpet regularly. My dad (who sells and repairs vacuums) says that carpet should be vacuumed daily, but if you are like me that doesn't always happen.

Barbara
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Old 05-23-2007, 10:01 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bethzaring
Please elaborate on this, if you will.

Have you tried brewer's yeast to control fleas on cats or dogs? Have you found some brands to be more effective than other brands? What does "dead or alive" yeast cells have to do with the effectiveness of brewer's yeast controlling fleas?
the "dead or alive" bit was because i was assuming the yeast was producing something in live culture that was beneficial, kind of like yogurt only works for the health benefits if the bacteria in it are alive at the time. i'm saying assumed because i had no idea how b.y. works...and i've spent a chunk of time this afternoon trying to look it up, and failing that, calling my crew on it.

the best info i can come up with (i.e., the most frequently reported anecdotal theory as to what's up with the yeasties) is that "its high content of b vitamins makes your pet's odor less desirable to fleas." being as how that makes NO sense - why not then just toss a multivitamin in there? cheaper and much higher b vitamin levels - i put out the APB to some schoolmates. everyone that got back to me said they have at least one client that swears by the stuff, and just as telling, not a single one of these vets think it does a darn thing. in fact, one of my buds had a hilarious story where some woman brought in her dog for uncontrollable itching, he promptly diagnosed a flea issue due to all the flea dirt on the dog's skin, and she said that there was no way in the world, that the fleas must have jumped on in the waiting room, because she fed her dog b.y. every day. he had a devil of a time explaining that "flea dirt" is really flea poop, meaning that of course that poor dog had fleas for a lot longer than 15 minutes in the waiting room.

"all natural" is such a hot buzzword, but don't get swayed by it as an emotional/moral selling point. remember, arsenic, cyanide, and heroin are also all natural plant products...natural does not = safe. i say this as someone who routinely uses herbs to treat myself and my pets. and of course the health food stores are in it for the $ too, not just the warm fuzzies...otherwise, they'd be selling you that $3 bottle of b-vitamins, and not the $10 bottle of "pet grade brewers yeast".
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