Fleas, now "walking dandruff"... are we just unlucky?

RainbowLaura Forumite Posts: 240
Tenth Anniversary Combo Breaker
edited 15 June 2017 at 7:14PM in Pets & pet care
Feeling very down today.

We had a flea infestation in the autumn which really affected me psychologically. Ever since, I've been extremely hyper-vigilant and have inspected every tiny speck of fluff in case it's a flea.

The house has been treated very thoroughly with Indorex several times within the last few months (excessive I know) and the cats are now on Prinovox, which is essentially Advocate. After the flea issue we are NEVER a day late with it and use it with great care, making sure to get the skin and not the fur.

Within the last week I have seen 3 fleas in the house, all on the floor just after the cats have come in from the garden. I'm not stupid, I know the treatment won't kill them instantly. I've seen a hedgehog in the garden most evenings so I'm guessing that's the source.

For the last few days one of my cats has had little white speckles on his back. Terrified that these were flea eggs, I took him to the vet to have a look. The good news: No sign of fleas or eggs. The bad news... he has walking dandruff (http://www.goddardvetgroup.co.uk/pet-factsheets/Factsheets/Dog/24_283719.shtml)

Now what I completely fail to understand is that the Prinovox should not have allowed this to happen. Also, it's supposed to be unusual for this to occur in areas where there are fleas!!! I've just been advised to keep up with that and it should clear up, otherwise try Stronghold. The vet didn't seem to believe that we are actually using the Prinovox properly, which we honestly are :(

Why are my cats attracting all these parasites? I love them to bits but no longer feel able to touch them without feeling a bit ill. We live in a village but not near the edge, we are surrounded by houses. The cats don't go as far as the fields.

Has anyone else had these problems?

I think I just needed to vent really, and to see if anyone has any other suggestions (although I feel like I've tried everything) :(


  • Jojo_the_Tightfisted
    Jojo_the_Tightfisted Forumite Posts: 27,228
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Local cats.

    Hedgehog fleas don't like cats.

    If you're in a village, wild rabbits are also a possibility as a vector of transmission. Especially as baby ones are such a lovely sized prize for a cat feeling all tough and tigerlike.

    These parasites have evolved to take advantage of their hosts and spread easily - it's perfectly natural for it to happen (and for us to not be hugely pleased about it).

    If there's anyway you could allow yourself to chill out about it, as it's just one of those things that happens with animals, it wouldn't stop it happening, but you wouldn't be quite so upset about it. It's not bad luck, it's normal.

    Depending upon the treatment you're using, seeing a flea dead on the floor shortly after having a quick nibble of the cat is exactly what it's supposed to do - that's how it works; it doesn't render them impervious to fleas, it just kills them as soon as they bite.

    [said in the context of the person who completely lost their **** when checking her own hair after the eldest was discovered with one tiny headlouse and found that the blighters probably came from smallest child, then to me, then to the eldest.]

    Idiot Cat managed to acquire two tiny fleas on one of his forays outside. He got treated and nothing since - considering he's currently trying to put down roots in the raspberries rather than even think about scaling the wall to get out - and only the most kamikaze cat from the neighbourhood would even consider looking into the garden from the top of it, as he has assumed the role of House Guardian, I have no idea how he's managed that. But he did, it's sorted until the next time.
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  • splishsplash
    splishsplash Forumite Posts: 3,055
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    Do you have floorboards or a suspended wooden floor? It could be that you are finding a new wave of eggs hatching in the heat, which the treatment missed so far - under floorboards is an example.

    Bad news is that you may have a few 'waves' of this over the summer... flea eggs can lay dormant for a looong time.

    ETA thanks for the link for walking dandruff - that's me off scratching for the night _pale_
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  • perfect10
    perfect10 Forumite Posts: 455
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    After using other flea products we switched to Stronghold last year and have not seen a flea since!!
    My vet said if you use one product long term then it won't be as effective?
    If you have used the same product alot then it would be worth trying something new? Unfortunately it won't stop them picking fleas up from outside and there will be loads in the hot weather we are having but it will stop them from breeding and living!!
    Indorex is pretty strong stuff and may do you harm if you are using it too much?
    (useful tip - I spray a bit of Indorex on window sills at this time of year, any flies that come into the house die pretty quickly!!
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  • RainbowLaura
    RainbowLaura Forumite Posts: 240
    Tenth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Thanks everyone, your comments are very reassuring - especially regarding the effectiveness of Stronghold. I am going to pick some up today :)

    No floorboards or wooden floors splishsplash. However I suddenly thought about our "cat kennel" in the garden and how we never considered that when we had the infestation last year. It even had a little carpet so goodness knows what was living in there! It is now awaiting the bin men!

    I know I need to put it in perspective really and understand that owning a cat does bring these things with it. I am just a bit squeamish when it comes to bugs, and it's all taken me by surprise because we never had any kind of problem having cats when I was growing up.
  • Katiehound
    Katiehound Forumite Posts: 7,194
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    I'm just wondering if a quick spray over and comb through with garlic juice might help you. I've never tried it as my dogs just don't seem to attract the nasties.
    Any way you might have a look here and see what you think:

    Being polite and pleasant doesn't cost anything!
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