Finding flea dirt but no fleas?!

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Finding flea dirt but no fleas?!

This is a discussion on Finding flea dirt but no fleas?! within the General Dog Discussion forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; hi! I just joined this forum but i've always googled and had really good answers from reading posts in this site. And i don't have ...

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Old 10-06-2012, 09:52 PM
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Finding flea dirt but no fleas?!

hi!

I just joined this forum but i've always googled and had really good answers from reading posts in this site. And i don't have a lot of friends or family that really own and know dogs.

This is my first dog, her name is Peanut Butter. I got her 9 months ago from North Shore Animal League, she is now 11 months approximately. I am worried about her for everything cause shes my first dog haha.

I was combing her today and I found flea dirt on her like 3 specks exactly, i dipped the specks in water and it turned reddish brown and so I combed her more and more and I got maybe 2 more specks and nothing else. She scratches constantly, since the day i got her. I was told she has dry skin from the vet and so I thought her scratching would be from just that. I put Advantix on her. I just applied Advantix 2 days ago.

I don't know what to look for... like how do I know what fleas look like on her. She has a thick long black and brown coat but when i check her all over, all i see is white skin under the fur. Are they suppose to be black specks too? Are they visible? Are the flea babies white? How small are they? Where are they usually located on the dogs body?

I was wondering if anyone could tell me, if it is possible that i could find flea dirt on her without having any flea infestation or any flea at all afterwards? Because I really can't find anything other than those 5 specks.

I'm hoping to not have to bring her to the VET because of the cost =/ or do a huge flea clean up in my house. But I will if theres no other way to find out if she has fleas.

Also does anyone know of any good flea/tick bath shampoos? the Brand & name of the shampoo? And any other ways of keeping them off my pup?

THANKS! sry for the long post haha
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:33 AM
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She has fleas. It's normal to see the dirt and not the fleas. Especially with a long haired dog the infestation has to be pretty bad till you actually see a flea.
Treat your dog and especially the surroundings (that's where the eggs and larvae are). Advantix should do the trick. After you spot it on, it distributes in the subcutaneous tissue, that can take a few days. Again clean everything around her (bed, brush etc) to get rid of eggs and larvae, otherwise you'll get re-infestation. Or keep her on a preventative (e.g. Advantix)
And don't worry, fleas are annoying but not the end of the world. Just treat her.
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:00 AM
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One flea can poop a lot...LOL I have seen a lot of flea dirt on my dog and then only find one flea when I bathe her. With an infestation you will see fleas running around the face, stomach and base of the tail. That is where they can get liquid...(from eyes, privates and rectum)
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:08 AM
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If you're using a preventative now, they should clear up. When you see flea dirt it's guaranteed that you have fleas- since it's been a few days since you applied Advantix, you can give her a bath without interfering with the medication. That should clear up all the flea dirt, and if you see it again afterwards you know you have a problem. I forget the name of it, and I'm sure another user can give you much better advice, but I used to live in the Bay Area and fleas are a huge problem there... I used a carpet powder that you sprinkle on and vacuum up afterwards. It kills fleas & their eggs. Fleas can be tough because if you clear up the infestation on the dog, they may have already laid eggs in the house, and once that starts there can be an ongoing problem that is NOT pleasant at all! So it's best to take care of it right away. Keep the dog on a preventative, give her a bath and watch out for that flea dirt, and clear the entire home. I wouldn't worry about a vet right now. But I would definitely consider changing your preventative if you are still finding flea dirt. I used Frontline.
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:57 AM
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Since you are using Advantix most likely all the fleas are now dead and the flea dirt you are seeing is from before you applied the preventive. With that little flea dirt I wouldn't be to worried about an infestation. It sounds like you stopped the problem before it got out of hand. To make sure there are none left in your home try cutting up a flea collar and put it in the vacuum bag/canister, then vacuum your whole house including the furniture, make sure to get all the cracks and crevices. After that wash all dogs bedding and your sheets and blankets if the dog is allowed to sleep on your bed.

His scratchy skin may be caused by a flea allergy, and if that's the case keeping him flea free will solve it. It may also be caused by a food allergy. What type of food are you feeding him, and what is it's protein source, chicken, beef a combo of both or something else? What treats are you feeding him? Do they contain red or blue dye?
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:22 PM
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Thanks

Yeah. I actually couldn't find any fleas at all... after i bathed her and combed her.

She is still scratching but I really can't find any fleas or flea eggs or flea dirt anymore. I ... really don't even know what it looks like, are they super hard and you can't crush them with your fingers?

Are the eggs squishy?!

The fleas are black and they move right, how big are they??

is the carpet cleaner BORAX?

no one has answered me about the specifics of fleas like that yet =/


Thanks for all your help!
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:34 PM
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Fleas are tiny but visible, I'm trying to think of something in reference to size but coming up with zip. When you are looking, you will definitely see one. You can grab it (they're fast and jump, watch out!) and pop it between two fingernails. Gross, but true. I've never seen flea eggs before.

The carpet powder was a one-time thing that I did about 5 years ago. I forget the brand, but here is some by Hartz that I'm sure would work fine. Keep in mind that you will have to keep pup in a safe place so she doesn't sniff/ingest any of the powder. Best that she's out of the house in general. I wouldn't even go for it if you aren't finding fleas- I had an outdoor cat and dog in the heat of a bay area Indian Summer, during a gnarly flea season, and that's the only reason I used it.

Hartz InControl Flea & Tick Carpet Powder at PETCO

Dogs itch. It's normal. Check her skin for redness or sticky grease type stuff. How much have you been bathing/combing her? It could be that you're just irritating her skin now and she needs a lil' break. She could also have had an allergic reaction to the fleas, and in that case her skin might be red and a little swollen in some places, and you might notice her biting and a coating of smelly grease.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:37 PM
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Fleas are tiny, and black. They are kind of the shape of a grain of rice but probably half the size. No you cannot crush them between your fingers, you'd have to do what OliveLove suggested and use your fingernails. Fleas generally hop if they are off the dog, and hop or crawl on the dog.

I've never, no matter how bad the flea problem, seen flea eggs. As far as I can tell they crawl out of hell fully grown and suck the blood out of mammals.....

Is she only scratching? Is she also licking or chewing her paws? Is her poo soft? I ask because, as I wrote before, she could have a food allergy that's causing her itchiness. Itchy skin, paw licking/chewing, soft poo or diarehha, can be signs of a food allergy.
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Old 02-17-2013, 12:10 AM
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Hey there another owner! =D

There are pictures here for flea dirt. It also have methods in knowing one.

What is Flea Dirt and What Does It Mean for Your Pets? | The Bug Squad

Dude the only way to get rid of fleas is to frequently bath it with some branded flea shampoo. Or if you want another cheap way method, get a dawn dish soap instead. I guarantee to you that dawn dish soap is sufficient enough to solving all your flea problems. I've had many dogs in the past and been using both dawn dish soap and and branded flea shampoo. They're both effective but one bottle of flea shampoo won't get the fleas running for their dear lives. You almost need like....2-3 bottles, depending on your situation. Unlike dawn dish soap, you only need one to use regularly. Cheers! =D
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