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Dr. Scarlett
Dr. Scarlett, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 4093
Experience:  I am a practicing small animal veterinarian with 16 years experience.
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my dog had a flea problem. I have given him a flea bath, frontline

Resolved Question:

my dog had a flea problem. I have given him a flea bath, frontline plus, and treated all bedding and carpets. he has sores on his skin. scab type sores and a couple of them are now seeping. I have always bought him expensive food. Usually Innova. After giving him his bath the other night he has not been very active, and seems to be ultra sensitive around his neck where these sores have suddenly gotten worse. There are no lumps or anything. Any idea what is going on with him?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Scarlett replied 1 year ago.

Dr. Scarlett :

Hi,

Dr. Scarlett :

Sorry to hear about Kula's sore skin! Since he has fleas, I suspect he has a skin infection due to an allergy to the flea bites.

Customer :

I have never been able to full get rid of his flea problem since moving from Springfield, MO back near Springfield, IL

Customer :

I have tried EVERYTHING

Dr. Scarlett :

If the sores are oozing and red, then he will need some oral antibiotics prescribed by your vet to clear them up. Is Kula still scratching a lot? What did you use to treat the bedding and carpets? When did he get his bath and the Frontline? How often do you apply Frontline? Do you have any other pets?

Customer :

I have a cat, but she doesn't seem to scratch or gnaw at herself other than usual cleaning. He gets frontline every month

Dr. Scarlett :

Are you applying Frontline to the cat, too?

Customer :

I used an aerosol to treat the bedding and carpets, which may not be the best choice

Customer :

yes...frontline to the cat as well

Customer :

I am more concerned about his sudden lack of energy

Customer :

he has always been hyper

Customer :

never been neutered

Customer :

I gave him the flea bath 2 nights ago and he has not been active since then. or wanted to eat

Dr. Scarlett :

Have you given him any other medication, like benadryl?

Customer :

no, nothing like that

Dr. Scarlett :

Skin infections can be painful, which is likely why Kula is lethargic. What was the ingredient in the flea bath?

Customer :

most of his skin irritation has always been around his hind quarters

Customer :

it appears this flea bath irritated the area around his neck

Customer :

I don't have the bottle handy at the moment

Customer :

the one sore on the right side of his face, under his ear was so irritated when I got home from church today that it was oozing so

Customer :

I trimmed the hair away from that area and applied some antibiotic cream

Dr. Scarlett :

I don't like flea baths, actually, because of the harsh ingredients involved. They also aren't very effective--as soon as the dog dries the fleas can hop back on. So since this is a new, irritated area, I wonder if Kula is having some reaction to the shampoo or if there was some not completely rinsed out. Have you seen a "hot spot" before? It is starting to sound like that might be Kula's problem

Customer :

he has had an occasional hot spot

Dr. Scarlett :

A hot spot is a very red, inflammed, oozing area of hair loss/skin infection that comes on quickly. It is pretty common in Golden's and often under the ear, so that may be the problem now.

Customer :

and I had actually wondered if perhaps some of the shampoo didn't get rinsed out completely

Dr. Scarlett :

It can be due to allergies or to a contact irritant. Trimming the fur from the area was a perfect thing to do. Is he trying to scratch at it at all?

Customer :

not at that spot just yet, but he would have a hard time reaching it

Customer :

what is your recommendation?

Dr. Scarlett :

I recommend plopping him back in the tub and rinsing that whole area (maybe not his whole body--I'll leave that up to you!) with warm water. If you have a sprayer on the tub, use that to gently flush/spray the irritated skin to get it nice and clean.

Customer :

what should I apply to the irritated areas?

Dr. Scarlett :

Almost all hot spots require oral antibiotics to clear up and sometimes steroids, if the dog is really painful or scratching at the area. So I would plan on taking him to your regular vet tomorrow.

Customer :

will do and one other question for you

Dr. Scarlett :

Do you have any hydrocortisone sprays or something like Bactine (with lidocaine)? I prefer sprays to ointments as ointments tend to be more greasy and keep the area moist.

Customer :

I do, actually

Dr. Scarlett :

Would you like my recommendations for flea control?

Customer :

let me get up real quick and I will tell you what spray I have

Customer :

I was going to ask about capstar

Dr. Scarlett :

ok!

Dr. Scarlett :

Capstar is very effective, but it only kills adult fleas for 24 hours. I often prescribe it for the first 2 days while I'm starting treatment with a topical flea preventative. There are better oral products available for more long-term kills.

Customer :

I have "vetericyn" hot spot spray and I also have "excel" brand hydrocortisone spray

Dr. Scarlett :

I would use the Vetericyn spray, particularly since it was prescribed for the last hot spot! : )

Customer :

ok...do you find oral or topical the most affective for the fleas?

Customer :

maybe I should just ask you what my entire plan of attack should be for the fleas

Dr. Scarlett :

I think both types of products have their place. I like Frontline Plus, but if it doesn't seem to be working (and you've used it religiously on all the animals in the house every month for at least 3 months), then I would look into some other products. Vectra is another topical (only through vets) that is effective. There are also monthly oral medications (Comfortis), sometimes combined with heartworm preventative (like Trifexis), that are very effective against fleas. Vectra comes in a cat-form, too, but it won't protect against ticks in cats...if that is an issue for you.

Dr. Scarlett :

I would NOT give any flea baths or use flea collars or dips. They just aren't effective. Just go with the topical (or oral) product and then treat the environment.

Dr. Scarlett :

Do you have carpets in your house?

Customer :

only in 2 rooms thank God

Dr. Scarlett :

OK, for the carpets, get some Mule Team Borax. It is a dry laundry detergent you should be able to find almost anywhere. Sprinkle it liberally on the carpets, then work it into the fibers with a stiff-backed broom. Then vacuum. This will help dry up emerging larvae. Be sure to throw the vacuum cleaner bag away or wash the canister thoroughly in hot, soapy water.

Dr. Scarlett :

For the other floors, use really hot water (one of those Shark steam cleaners is good) at least weekly. Wash ALL bedding that the pets lay on in as hot of water as possible, with bleach, if possible. If there are dog beds that can't be washed, get rid of them. Wash bedding at least weekly, vacuum weekly, and keep the animals on a preventative.

Customer :

thank you for all your help

Customer :

the peace of mind alone is worth the fee

Customer :

lol

Dr. Scarlett :

I hope it helps! Fleas are a pain in the rear, for sure!

Customer :

thank you again for everything

Customer :

I happen to be on vacation this week

Customer :

perfect time to do all of the flea game plan

Dr. Scarlett, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 4093
Experience: I am a practicing small animal veterinarian with 16 years experience.
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Dr. Scarlett
Dr. Scarlett
Veterinarian
819 Satisfied Customers
I am a practicing small animal veterinarian with 16 years experience.