Last week I was asked to care for two middle aged dogs one of which has many skin problems (allergies and some type of eczema). The other dog scratches and itches but it’s skin is much healthier and so doesn’t seem to be in as much distress. The owner mentioned she though the dogs might of had fleas so they were treated by their vet with some type of medication and a flea bath, which irritated the skin even more.
Today, I had time to look the dogs over well, I see what I believe is the dark tar like feces of flea dirt on the first dogs skin, thin white flakes or small sticks of something in the dogs black fur. Are these signs of fleas? They go outside and play/lay in the yard which is dry dusty dirt, grass and undergrowth. My impression is the dogs are allowed onto furniture and there are a considerable amount of textiles “here and there” through out the house. Their coats are not clean.
The owner said she had her home “bombed” and the dark tar like substance is from the eczema. She states there are no more fleas. When I addressed the subject it caused hurt feelings and offended her. She feels she is pretty knowledgeable, that I am less so. Her view point is you don’t “get rid of fleas” more over you work to keep ahead of them if I am understanding her correctly. She feels that I can adopt practices which should/can/may/will (?) keep them from traveling on me.
My experience is it is a battle, but with diligence, lots and lots of work and attention you can get rid of them. I am not comfortable with all of this. I just can’t believe the black dirt, dead flea and those small white sticks (?) are normal after flea treatments and the bath. I suspect the flea life cycle is what I’m seeing, new eggs/lave and dirt from live fleas that are living off dog.
My question is what do you think, am I just wrong? The dogs are sweet, wonderful and exceptionally well trained. I can not have fleas coming home on me, then make their way to the homes I go to that have dogs. I walk/care for dogs, becoming the flea transit it is not an option.
Thank you Ann