Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Comfortis: Effective Method of Flea Control

If you are like me, you are constantly battling fleas.  My dogs spend a fair amount of time outside with me and are constantly getting reinfested with fleas.  This starts an endless cycle which nothing has seemed to control or eliminate.  One of my dogs has developed an allergy to flea bites and so even one flea causes days of scratching and chewing.  She spends half the time looking like something with which the moths have had a field day.

I was complaining to my veterinarian about the ineffectiveness of the sprays and spot ons that I had tried.  I have run the gamut trying Frontline, Advantix, Seargants Gold, etc.  All of them have some effect but it doesn't seem to last until time for the next application.  He suggested that I try Comfortis

Comfortis is a pill that is given once a month and kills the fleas before they can lay eggs.  It continues to kill fleas for the full 30 days.  It is suggested that you treat the environment as well but since my dogs have access to about 19 acres, it's impossible to spray it all. 

I tried Comfortis for a month.  It is expensive but VERY effective.  My allergic dog barely scratched at all for 30 days.  Her skin healed up and her coat grew back soft and healthy.  My other dogs showed no signs of fleas for over 30 days. Comfortis begins killing fleas within 30 minutes. 

The only problem that I have heard reported is that you should not give it with high doses of Ivermectin.  To be extra cautious I would give it at a separate time than monthly heartworm medication although in theory that is not a high enough dose of ivermectin to cause problems.

My dog with flea allergies typically suffers the worst in August and September.  I think I will probably use Frontline the rest of the year and then give everyone a dose of Comfortis for those two months.  I would love to see the cost come down to something reasonable as right now it costs me approximately $16 per dog per month.  That is VERY reasonable if you only have one dog but with 4 dogs it is cost prohibitive to keep them on it all year long.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Parvo Home Treatment

This is a sad day here. I have been breeding dogs for 30 years and in 30 years, I have never had a puppy with Parvo. Until Now! I admit that I was totally unprepared both emotionally and with emergency first aid. I vaccinate my puppies and they are kept isolated from other dogs. Prevention is the key to Parvo and I am extremely careful.

Somehow, and I am not laying blame, my recent litter of puppies did not have enough immunity. At some point, they were exposed to Parvo during the time between my father's death and his memorial service. Ten days later, the first puppy was a little sick. Sadly, this happened over a holiday weekend and the vet who I could find to see him, did not believe this to be Parvo. Four hours after his visit to the vet, the puppy passed away. The next day, another puppy was sick.

Not believing this to be Parvo, I treated the puppy with the same medications that the vet had given me. By the time I could get this puppy to a vet, it too had passed away. By now, I had another sick puppy and I had been able to get in touch with a vet who came highly recommended. I rushed the puppy to the vet and sure enough, it had Parvo.

Needless to say, I was and am devastated. No one who hasn't experienced it can imagine nursing a tiny puppy through this. Spending hours spoon feeding fluids and medications so that it wouldn't get dehydrated only to have it die slowly in your arms. Parvo is a terrible virus. Ninety percent of untreated puppies die. Pups that get to the vet in time still only have a fifty percent chance of surviving.

What My Vet Did

There is no cure for Parvo. The vets can't cure it, no one can. What they can do is use the latest treatment options to support the puppy while it fights the disease. This used to mean simply giving the dog fluids to keep it hydrated as dehydration is the usually the actual cause of death.

I was surprised when my vet said she had a "Parvo Pack". She didn't mention what it was but she did bring the bottles into the examining room to begin immediate treatment. The bottle was Parvaid. She told me that if the treatment was started early enough then there was a good chance that the puppy would survive. She also started IV fluids and dextrose to bring the puppy's blood sugar level up.

When I got home, I looked up Parvaid and found the Parvobusters website. I immediately placed an order for the Gold Kit. My theory is simple. Nothing ever happens here when I can reach a vet and the hours that I wait for the office to open, are hours that the pup can be receiving treatment. These few hours may mean the difference between life and death.

There are other websites where you can buy Parvaid by itself but it is not nearly as effective as the Gold Kit. This pack, also known as the Parvo Treatment Value Pack, contains Doggie Pain Relief (aka Pet's Pain Formula), Life Cell Immune Support, Parvaid and Vibactra Plus), and offers the maximum protection for both sick dogs and dogs that have been exposed to the virus.

They advertise that they have a 90% survival rate for puppies that receive treatment as soon as they first show symptoms or even after they have been exposed and before they show symptoms. They also offer a free downloadable ebook: Parvo Treatment 101 . The book has a recipe for Parvo Emergency Tea which will help keep your puppy hydrated until you can get it to the vet or receive your order of Parvaid.

They have several other recipes which will help to support your puppy before and during the infection. The book contains a recommended vaccination schedule as well disenfection methods that will kill Parvo. Even boiling water will not completely kill the Parvo virus so the book is a worthwhile read and resource.

Warning to Breeders

I did everything right. My puppies were vaccinated at 6 weeks, exposure to outside dogs and strangers was limited, environment was kept scrupulously clean and my puppies still got Parvo. I don't know if it was a bad vaccination, if someone came in and brought the virus to my pups or if it was just a freak thing but it happened. And worse, when it happened, I was totally unprepared. No matter how careful you are, the worst can happen.

After talking to my vet and hearing the success that she has had with Parvaid kit, I will keep a kit on hand for any future problem. The cost is nominal if it saves one single puppy and it has a 4 year shelf life. It has no known side effects and won't hurt a thing if you give it to a healthy puppy.