I’ll Scratch Your Back…

pugs, dogs, flea prevention, chemical-free, holistic, all natural

Y’all. It has been crazy around here since before Thanksgiving. I bet you thought I had quit this blog.


We traveled for Thanksgiving, and then I caught the flu and have been down for the count for DAYS.

(Yes, I got the vaccine. Shut up and mind your own bees wax. The shot doesn’t work this year.)

Anyhoo, during my convalescence sur la sofa chez moi, I finally realized why my dogs have been …


I thought it was perhaps an allergy to cottage cheese, or something else I was feeding. But I’ve not introduced anything new for a long while. They eat on a rotation of things I know they love.

Still, the scratching was bugging us.

thump, thump, thump, thump, thump (that’s the sound of a scratching foot hitting the floor, FYI).

I gave them a lovely herbal bath with rosemary, lavender, and chamomile, to no avail.

scratch a little here, scratch a little there

Turns out they’ve got        !!! FLEAS !!!


I had been using the Earth Animal Flea & Tick Program for a couple of months. I had sung its praises on this blog. However, neither Truman nor Pearl could tolerate the full recommended dose–by “tolerate”, I mean that they puke it up on my bed at 2am when I dump a full teaspoon in their food–so I dialed it back to about half in hopes of building up their tolerance for it over time.

That approach has apparently resulted in a mild infestation.

Sweet! So stoked.

My immediate response was to flea bomb the house. But I decided instead to use flea spray on the rugs, sofa & dog beds, and then wash everything on my bed. (All while recovering from the flu. It’s been fun, yo.)

Then, I drove to the vet for Capstar. Capstar is a one dose treatment for a current flea infestation that will kill any adult fleas on your dog. It’s what the kennel will give your dog if she shows up at daycare with fleas.

It’ll kill fleas, alright. It can also make your dog lethargic, vomit, and refuse to eat. (See http://www.drugs.com/pro/capstar.html).

After taking the Capstar yesterday afternoon, we’ve had all of the above. Truman refused most of his dinner. Pearl ate hers, but puked it up on my feet at 5am. They’ve both been lethargic, and both refused to eat dinner tonight.

Fun times! We love poison! …not

My vet’s office suggested I follow up with Bravecto, a quarterly, oral flea and tick treatment that is new to the market. At $53 per dose, it supposedly lasts 90 days. The pill is the size of a quarter. I can smell the pesticide through the packaging.

I’m not going to give it to them. I can’t stand the thought. Plus, time release things like that, in my prior experience, do not work over time.

So, we are on a new quest to find something that will repel fleas, ticks & mosquitos that is not a chemical pesticide, that has a lasting effect, and that is not the herbal internal supplement that makes them puke or alternately doesn’t repel fleas.

Tall order.

Challenge accepted!

I’ll let you know what we discover.

In the meantime, thank God we’re in the off-season.

pugs & kisses,

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