Dogs with fleas after boarding

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QuestionsCategory: Flea InfestationsDogs with fleas after boarding
kb0014 asked 5 months ago

I recently went on vacation 6/29/17-7/8/17 and left my two dogs (a golden doodle and a pug) with my mother. My mother has a small farm and 4 dogs of her own. My dogs receive frontline top spot monthly on the 15th, year round. I picked my dogs up and had them for 12 hours at home and then noticed my doodle chewing (he has had hot spots before), when I looked he was covered in fleas and FAD rash. I immediately put the dogs outside and went to the store. I gave them both baths outside in flea shampoo (leaving it on for 5 minutes), used a generic Hartz proguard flea medication after they were dry and put flea collars on them both. I vaccumed my house, washed the dog bed in hot water, used carpet flea powder and two flea bombs in the two areas my dogs spent the most time in that 12 hours form being home.  We left the house for 2 hours as directed and put the dogs in the basement in a kennel while we were gone. Came home vacuumed again including the basement and I still saw fleas on the dog so for good measure I gave them both capstar. I was going to bathe them in Dawn in three more days and give the capstar again as well as washing the dog bed weekly and vacuuming nightly. Am I missing anything or is there anything else you would recommend? Any reason why my frontline top spot did not protect them? Should I switch meds now, I have a lot, I buy a years worth at a time. I have had the dogs for four years and never had a problem, I think my mothers house and animals must be INFESTED for my poor dog to be covered so quickly. In the meantime I am not letting the dogs in any bedrooms or my carpeted office. I should mention they are not allowed on the beds or furniture. What are the chances of us catching this early and being done sometime soon?

1 Answers
Adam Retzer Staff answered 5 months ago


Sorry to hear about your dogs’ flea problems. It definitely sounds like your mother’s home is infested.

It’s possible that the Frontline was working. I wouldn’t be so quick to discount it as ineffective. The adulticide (fipronil) doesn’t always kill the fleas immediately. It may take up to 24 hours. So it’s feasible that the fleas you saw on the dogs just hadn’t succumbed yet. Also, if the fleas were found on the 8th, and you re-dose on the 15th, efficacy may have been fading a bit. However, the Frontline also has an insect growth regulator (methoprene). The IGR will sterilize any female adults, so they can’t lay eggs even if they survive.

Flea shampoos, and Dawn, are useful to give immediate relief, but they don’t contain ingredients for lasting protection. And bathing treated pets too often can end up removing the other treatments and reducing efficacy.

Did the flea powder or flea bombs contain an insect growth regulator? Either pyriproxyfen (Nylar) or methoprene (Precor). For environmental control, the IGR is the most important ingredient. It will stay active indoors for 7 months, preventing eggs and larvae from developing. Immature fleas make up 95-99% of infestations and live in the environment.

You can dial the vacuuming back to every other day. Flea eggs fall from infested animals into the environment. They hatch in 2-3 days. So vacuuming every other day is enough to remove them before they hatch. Of course, vacuuming every day is good too, if you want to be extra diligent.

It sounds like you’ve been proactive and taken all the correct steps. I think you may have nipped this in the bud. It may be a good idea to purchase a flea comb and a flea trap. They are useful for detection and monitoring populations. In 3-4 weeks, if you don’t find any fleas on your dogs with a flea comb, or in the environment with a flea trap, then you should be in the clear.

Warm regards,

kb0014 replied 5 months ago

Adam, thank you for your response! I did purchase a flea comb and had been combing them and checking nightly since our return from vacation. The first night we found live fleas, about twenty between the two of them and the next night just found one dead flea and none since. Day 7 since being home I bathed again, gave capstar and reapplied frontline. The FAD on my doodle has also subsided. I am vaccuming every other day. I am unsure what the ingredients in the powder and bombs were but they did say kills fleas, larvae and eggs. I purchased Martins Viper and IGR concentrate and plan to mix that this weekend to spray inside and out while we need to be away from the house for the day. I will purchase a flea trap to monitor as you recommended. Hoping this was a one time thing and is now in the past. I made a grooming appointment for them for 8/1 to have my doodle shaved and to allow someone else to double check that’s there are no fleas. What a delight to come home to after vacation! And hard to deal with with a little one crawling around. I appreciate your advice.