My Dog Has Fleas!

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Ukulele players know that ‘my dog has fleas‘ is a mnemonic device for tuning their instrument, but it recently took on a double meaning for Rain and me.

Rain has always scratched her fur in the wee morning hours. When I wake up and make my bed, I usually have to pick off at least a few chunks of undercoat that she has scratched out overnight. When I am more diligent about brushing her the scratching is a bit better, but it’s a fairly normal thing for her to do.

A couple of weeks ago I was lying on my bed and I saw a flea hanging out on my chest. I was able to grab it for confirmation before it met an untimely death. This was just a few days after I had applied Rain’s monthly flea treatment.

Then in the days following, it seemed that Rain was scratching more. She was in need of a bath though—maybe it was dirt—so on Sunday morning I shuttled her to the tub.

Another flea was crawling on the surface of her face as I turned the water on. It too met an untimely death by my hand.

Once Rain was clean I removed the hair collection from the drain trap and held it up to the light. There must have been five or six fleas suspended in the hair! Given Rain’s thick undercoat, there must be many more that didn’t float off her body. (As I understand it, baths do not necessarily kill fleas.)

In other words, my dog has fleas! YUCK!

We had been using a flea treatment product that had worked flawlessly for our dogs for nearly two decades. In recent months, our vet told us the clinic didn’t sell it anymore because they were having problems with its effectiveness.

Probably time to try something new, right? So I called the vet and yesterday they set us up with a new brand of flea treatment. Rain was scratching even more this morning than before, but I’m hoping the fleas are now in the throes of death.

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