Diet, Health and Wellness, Sickness

Bumps, and Rashes, and Fleas, Oh My!

September 10, 2014
We play with Whiskey throughout the day, flipping her over and tumbling all around with her.  The other day I saw some red spots around her arm and leg ‘pits’ and after a quick check, discovered she had picked up fleas from a dog at the park (most likely).  She’s currently on Sentinel, although she was just overdue for her monthly pill so I wasn’t 100% sure if the pill was still active.  Sentinel mainly kills heart and tummy worms but is also a flea preventative: it doesn’t kill adult fleas – it causes the adult fleas to become infertile, so as to avoid infestations.

Immediate treatment
As soon as I found the spots I rubbed her coat with a vinegar/lemon mix.  I also boiled her collar (with some rosemary sprigs) and found a bunch of fleas in the water confirming my fears.  I suppose because I had covered her in vinegar, that the fleas must have jumped on the collar.  Those were the only fleas I ever found.  I set out a flea trap at night (soapy water in a pan with a light) and caught none.  Thankfully, cat also showed no signs of fleas.  I don’t even want to think about attempting a bath with our very overconfident cat.  It was very late when we noticed the bumps so we didn’t get to clean the house until the morning.

boiling her collar 
This is what floated up from the water!  gross!
day 2 photos
her armpits
poor girl!

Day after
The next day, we cleaned all dog and human bedding, vacuumed the house very well, and gave her a bath with her emu oil shampoo (it’s supposed to repel fleas).  Also, after the first day we saw no signs of more bites so I think we caught them early, or the Senntinal was working.  I also vacuumed the house that evening, and everyday for a week.  Crossing fingers, we avoided an infestation.  In two days we already saw improvement in her rashes and bites.

day 3 photos
no more new bites, but old ones are poofy
heeling already
you would have never known from her sweet temperament

Flea pills
I had been going back and forth about giving Whiskey a dewormer/flea preventative monthly as it’s basically like putting chemicals and poison in them.  The problem is we live downtown, and the dog parks are not very clean.  There are homeless dogs around, and we meet around 100 dogs a week. There is old poop every foot in the city.  We are also going to start daycare soon, and many daycares require preventatives so I guess our decision is made.  Sometimes the treatment to kill fleas and worms can be worse than the preventative.  Especially flea infestations!

More bumps!
In hindsight I think it was just bad luck with bad timing, but while her flea bites were healing she got another kind of bumps all over her tummy.  When it rains, it pours I guess!  These were different bumps.  They were evenly spotted over her tummy and upper legs and were not itchy or red.  They were hard and raised and after some research I was pretty confident they were allergy bumps (actually I had seen them on forums before so I wasn’t panicked).  I wasn’t as concerned because we seemed to have dealt with the fleas ok, so I figured I’d delay a trip to the vet until the bumps bothered her, or got worse.  The bumps came and went over the next week and these were our very amateur guesses at what caused it:

-chicken (she normally does not get chicken and I had given her some the night before)
-bedding detergent (I had finished an old jug of non-environmentally friendly detergent I don’t normally use)
-water from the beach

allergy bumps on her tummy

The bumps are now mostly gone after coming and going for a week and a half.  I’ve ruled out bedding detergent, but the fact that they weren’t on her back makes us suspicious that something could have been in the water at the beach she frequents.  She usually wades in to her tummy and doesn’t go fully in.  Food allergies are super tough since symptoms can come several weeks after the dog has eaten the problem food, and symptoms can last several weeks after the dog has digested it.  Also dogs can get allergic to something they seem to have been fine with, but they only show symptoms after their body has tolerated too much.  The detective work needed is frustrating and Whiskey has been eating a huge variety of food.  In general it’s tricky with puppies too since their immune system is still growing, so with luck she won’t keep this allergy (if that’s what it is).  Since the bumps have been going away, I’ll just keep an eye out for them when we give her tummy rubs.

you can see bumps are just on her tummy but are getting fewer

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