Monday, March 10, 2014

Biking with the Dogs, and a Flea Infestation

Several days ago when we took the dogs on a bike ride, we discovered that the Vietnamese restaurant where we ate dinner several nights ago is near the Pinellas County trail. We really liked this restaurant, so one day we decide to go on a lunchtime biking expedition.

We put the dogs in their trailer and ride over to Asian for lunch. We have Bahn mi sandwiches and Pho, while the dogs lie politely underneath our table on the restaurant's shady patio. The dogs have fully adjusted to the trailer and are loving it. Lee has adjusted their harnesses so they don't get tangled and can look out the top without being able to jump out. We get so many smiles and comments as we cycle by.

Later that evening I see a small black bug on Cosmo's back as we cuddle on the couch. Argh, a flea! Suddenly it dawns on me, so that's why Harper has been scratching so much. They've never had fleas before. I feel like the mom whose kids get head lice at school. Considering the timing, we decide they probably were infected at the dog beach. What a shame that something so fun should have such an unfortunate consequence.

First we bathe them in a concoction consisting of 1 cup Dawn, 1 cup vinegar and 2 cups water. We massage this in for 5 minutes; they like that part. A few fleas try to escape from each dog, but we crush them. The dogs come out white and beautiful; that's a great shampoo. The next day after researching our options with our vet, Diane's vet, and a local vet, we buy some  Kanine Advantix II and apply it to the dogs. It's a week earlier than we would normally apply Frontline, but Frontline doesn't work on fleas very well anymore (they're becoming immune) and we don't want to wait. We also buy a flea-killing spray and apply it to the carpets and upholstery in the cottage. I vacuum the car thoroughly as well. Diane advises us to leave our stuff outside overnight when we get back to New Hampshire, as the cold will kill any remaining fleas. Sadly, we can't go play with Diane and the dogs in New Port Richey tomorrow. We can't risk infesting her dogs.

Once upon a time many years ago we had a cat (sweet Kitty the great huntress) that had fleas unbeknownst to us. We left on a trip and Kitty stayed with friends while we were gone. When we returned we had a house full of starving fleas that literally attacked us when we walked into the house. I don't ever want to have an experience like that again!

We think we caught it in time and our fleas are history, but Lee and I still feel itchy. We don't see any more fleas (and believe me we've looked), but Harper continues to scratch. She's such a sensitive little flower.....

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