Dear Rex,
Ask Rex: So itchy. Fleas! 041013 OUTDOORS 1 Capital City Weekly Dear Rex,
Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Story last updated at 4/10/2013 - 6:21 pm

Ask Rex: So itchy. Fleas!

Dear Rex,

I am a gorgeous feline who is meticulous in my personal grooming. My humans also have a ...dog. I will call him "Buddy." I call him that because that is what his name is. I tolerate him, but he is a dog. And you should know how they are since you are one. Lately I have been itching something fierce. Horrible. Of course I scratch, but the itch just moves. Then I noticed a flea jumping off of Buddy. The little creep brought fleas into the house and now I have them. I am furious. I had to have a flea bath and was sick, sick, sick. And, I still have fleas. My question is: what kind of trouble will I get into if I bite Buddy?


Dear Penny,

First, you cannot bite Buddy. Besides the fact it isn't very nice - he may just bite you back. As for the fleas, you are going to have to get your humans involved and the sooner the better. Fleas are little prehistoric critters that can survive in hostile environments that would make most of us curl up and die. You have to be diligent in your resolve to rid your home of fleas and their eggs. The first thing to know is that over-the-counter flea dips are incredibly toxic. That is why you got so sick. They are not 100 percent effective and they can do serious damage to animals. Veterinarians have flea treatments that will not make you or Buddy sick, but they do kill the fleas you have on you. Some of the best products are Frontline, Advantage and Revolution. Ask your vet about them and see which one works best for you. Your humans should brush you with a special flea comb that will remove the eggs. Keep in mind that fleas and their eggs can (and do) live in your home and this is something your humans need to take care of. All surfaces in your home should be thoroughly vacuumed. This includes mattresses and furniture. All clothing, rugs, towels, sheets, etc., should be washed. I know this is a lot to do and will require a lot of work on your humans part. There is a product called Fleabusters you can uses instead of room foggers (which are very toxic). You may even have to rid your yard of fleas. Some folks put cedar chips around their home. Again, remember that many products are toxic and you will have to be very careful where and how you use them. But if you want to get rid of fleas you have to be diligent. After the fleas are gone it is a good idea to be proactive and do what needs to be done (grooming, cleaning and flea treatments) so you don't get them again.

Good luck


Rex is a Border Collie who is employed by the Gastineau Humane Society. He works part time as an advice columnist and pet detective.

To reach Rex with pet questions send them c/o Gastineau Humane Society: 7705 Glacier Highway, Juneau, or call 789-0260.