Help! Flea medications not working!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by scent of cedar, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    We are using Frontline Plus BUT IT ISN'T WORKING. We are in Florida, and the fleas are vicious here. The Frontline Plus has not worked at all this year, really ~ maybe for the first three days or so and then ~ nothing. The poor little guy is miserable. We are certain that we are applying it correctly. We do not bathe him between applications (something we were told would diminish the medication's effectiveness).

    I don't know what to try, next.

    Is anyone else having this kind of thing happen?

    How are you dealing with it?


  2. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I don't know exactly. However, I can tell you that when we have had an infestation in the past, we do everything simultaneously. So, we wash the dog, put on the application, have the house AND YARD sprayed. We do this all within a few hours. Scheduling is key. Try to do everything one morning. You could bring the dog to the vet for a flea bath and spray the house and yard. If they say they can't give him a "flea bath" since you are using the flea product, tell them they are to give him a regular bath and get rid of the fleas. Personally, if he is in bad shape, I would take a chance and give him a flea bath (not a dip).

    Don't forget the garage, patio and houseplants. Pick the dog up in the late afternoon and then apply his medication. Wash his bedding every night for awhile. If you wash the dog yourself, immediately wash or throw away any towels that you use. Re-spray the house relatively soon for a second spray.

    We hired a service and have our home sprayed every month. No fleas, ants or roaches. I have him do the bedroom every two or three months, because I worry that it is not all that safe to have fumes in the home, although he says it is not necessary to do this. (There are no fumes to this spray, but obviously there has to be something in the the atmopshere). My thought is that we sleep in the bedroom for 8 hours, so I want the air in there to be freshest, etc. I rarely allow the dog in my bedroom.

    We have our yard sprayed a few times a year, although I'm extra careful as the weather gets warmer. Since we have been doing this (knock on wood), fleas have not been any issue. I don't like having the regular sprays, but it seems easier this way. We only use a flea guard type product on the dogs in June/July and August since spraying our home monthly and have been (knock on wood) doing fine.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I've never heard of it not working- I would double-check the expiration date, then check with the vet to see if you can apply more. We found that our dogs had put on a little weight so they needed a different pack for the "new" weight range. The vet said even if they were borderline for this weight range, the stronger frontline plus would not hurt them. If the fleas are that "stubborn" there, maybe vet would ok you using a pack for dogs larger than yours.
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Good point Nomad- if fleas have infested the yard or home, maybe it isn't that the frontline plus isn't working.
  5. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    When my smallest Boston was at the top end of one weight range, the Frontline didn't work well on her either. She did much better with the next biggest size. If your yard is infested with fleas, what you could be seeing is new ones that just jumped on the dog on his last trip outside and haven't died yet.

    I have also heard that you shouldn't bathe the dog for several days before you apply the Frontline. Having some of their natural oils on their skin the when you apply it will make it work better.
  6. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Thanks, everyone!

    There are fleas outside, Nomad. We are in a condo and so, spraying more than they are spraying now is not an option. We do have the condo sprayed, but were told it will not work on fleas. Even a professional will not guarantee the job in our situation. I am certain he is picking them up when we walk him. but last year, the Frontline Plus seemed to work. Anything he picked up was killed, and those that were missed were unable to breed.

    Maybe a stronger dose would help him. He is such a little guy though, that I hate to do that.

    Even this dose makes him sick for a few days after application.

    I know that cream rinse rubbed into what remains of his hair will kill those fleas that are on him....

    I just don't know what to do for him.

    Poor little guy!

  7. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Barbara...I don't envy your situation. My guess is he picks up fleas when you walk him. Then he might bring some into the condo. So, all you could do is walk him very briefly. You might even (although this would be weird), find one semi safe spot to walk him and occassionally on your own spray it. I would also think about brushing him and lightly spraying him with flea spray or dusting with a powder after any long walk. I think there has to be sprays that kill fleas within the home. I'm saying this because ever since we have had our service, we haven't had fleas and I don't think it is a coincidence. We have an outside dog that comes in at night and a full time inside dog and since we have been doing this (knock on wood), we haven't had a problem. Plus, we only use the Frontline in the summer. I would call exterminators and see if they have ideas...they might not guarantee it, esp. since they can't do your yard, but they should be able to be of great help.
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Try talking to the vet about it- my mom had two older dogs living at the beach and I do recall that they were switched to a pill form of preventative treatment. I had tthought it was because frontline plus might not be healthy for older dogs, but maybe the pill form is more effective.
  9. Star*

    Star* call 911

    SOS -

    We put Frontline on our dogs all year long. Well, back up - we used to. If I lived in Florida - I would.

    If your dog is indoor/outdoor - then you have them in your house and spraying once will NOT kill the eggs. You need to vacuum the entire house - cushions and all, down in the couch. If he goes under the bed - vacuum there too. You can buy some cheap flea collars and cut them up and put in the couch or under the cushions of chairs and such.

    Wash any bedding that the pet uses.

    Spray the yard. Then repeat in 1 month.

    Wash the dog in DAWN dishwashing detergent. Make it a thick paste - use 1/2 a bottle if necessary and let the dog sit in the tub (put towel down on tub bottom) and cover dog with a towel. Get between the toes, under the ears, under the arm pits. EVERYWHERE - the Dawn suffocates them.
    After 5-10 minutes - rinse well VERY VERY WELL with warm or tepid water.
    Wrap the dog in a towel - take outside, and use a flea comb and pick and smash the fleas until there are none left to find.

    While the dog is outside - spray INSIDE the house. If they are bad inside (to know if you have infested with fleas - put a lamp, over a solid white plate filled with water and Dawn. Leave overnight. If you have lots of fleas - this will attract them the lights-and the Dawn prevents them from jumping back out)
    If you are infested - Go to the vets and buy Adams brand Foggers - and use accordingly - DO NOT skimp or skip a room or you have wasted your money - have a garage? Do it too - anywhere in the house.
    You will have to repeat this again in a month to kill the eggs. Pyrethreins do not as a rule kill eggs.

    I would check with your vet about applications and such -

    And yes I have used Frontline - without success for ticks.

    Flea collars ON dogs are just noxious to the dog - so we went to Frontline - I don't care for Advantix - and I'm checking into Bio-spot, but have heard bad reports on it.

    Poor babies - I hate fleas!
  10. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Hi, guys ~ just checking in again to see if there was anything else I could do for him. The Frontline Plus worked GREAT on ticks for us when we were up in Wisconsin~which is probably why I got Lyme's and he didn't.


    Dead woodticks everywhere.

    Except for the one that bit me, that is!

    And like I said, last year the Frontline Plus worked like a charm down here.

    We do bathe him the day before we put the medication on.

    Could that be it, I wonder?

    We have been so careful not to bathe him once it is on.

    Maybe I will call a groomer. We got the Frontline at the vet.

    Now, I'm wondering whether we should trust this vet.

    It just hasn't worked this year.

    Thanks again for taking time to respond, everyone.

    He is a little, tiny thing.

    I'll bet you know where he sleeps, right?

    Uh huh.

    husband thought he had a flea bite this morning when he got up....

    We're going back North on Saturday. It is still way cold up there, so I am thinking we will be able to get a handle on things that way.

    It could be that fleas down here have developed an immunity.

    I am going to see what I can find for natural remedies.

    Surely there must be something.

    I will keep you posted.

  11. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Hi SoC.

    We had the same trouble with Frontline. It didn't work on my little fuzzbutt. I've since been told fleas are building up a resistance to it and found a website (I'm looking for it) that showed areas that have reported resistance. We switched to Advantix and its working so far.

    I'll post the website if I can find it.

    Good luck.
  12. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member


    Thank you!

    Both he and the cat are due again on the 26th. I will ask the vet about that one. Don't they have to have a blood test first or something?

    Believe it or not, I haven't found anything but borax (in the carpeting) to help with flea control.

    I do know that baby shampoo or cream rinse, full strength, will kill the fleas on him. His little skin is getting so dry already from all the scratching that I hate to put anything on him that will sting.

    You just massage the baby shampoo into the animal's coat ~ especially around their tails and near their mouths.

    Fleas go there to drink liquid.

    I don't know what we are going to do about that flea bite on poor husband!

    Just kidding.


  13. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Are you buying it from a reliable source? It's so expensive we buy it online, but a part of me always worries that we may be buying a pig in a poke.
  14. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I'm not aware of any blood test for this one. There used to be one that was oral that may have had a blood test, but I can't recall the name. The Advantage or Advantix are applied like the Frontline. They will decrease in effectiveness if you bathe them, tho, so give baths before you apply it. I hope it helps you! It sure helped my fuzzbutt. She's allergic to fleas and spent most of last summer without any hair!
  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Frontline didnt do a thing last year for my Bailey. This year Im going to try a new one I have seen advertised on TV...cant remember the name though. I wish I could spray my hard but its not remotely feasible because we have 8 acres and he runs
  16. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Advantage (sp?) has a heartworm treatment in it, so you have to do a heartworm test first for dormant heartworms. Also, you really can't stop heartworm treatment, so you are pretty much committed to that medication forever.
  17. happymomof2

    happymomof2 New Member

    Harley is on Frontline and so far so good. The vet did say if we want to bathe him between applications to use a non soap shampoo. I went to pet supermarket yesterday to buy some and they were out :pouting:. It's called "bioguard". Did buy some doggy cologne so that is helping a little. He is a shih tzu and I guess it's because all of the hair but about a week if not a little less after a bath he starts not smelling too great. He likes to ride on my shoulders in the car - so I gotta do something.

    I also heard if you put a small bowl of dawn in different areas of your home - like in a corner so it doesn't get knocked over - that the fleas will jump into it and die. Not sure, haven't tried that yet.

    We also live in Florida.
  18. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I would switch to revolution. It is supposed to be different. Fleas in your area may be immune to frontline.

    There is also an oral medication called capstar. It is good for 24 hours. We use it when bro brings his dog in. I find it very effective when combined with vacuuming (and taking the bag OUTSIDE to the garbage).

    We CAN'T spray because thank you and I are allergic to the spray. Revolution and the capstar are quite good for us. Revolution is more effective in my area than frontline is.