My poor dog has FAD. Flea Allergy Dermatitis. Basically it means when a flea bites her she breaks out and it itches and hurts. She’ll chew herself raw and just turns into being a very miserable little Dachshund.
Although Cocoa has flea medication they still have to bite her to die. When they bite they release a type of poison into their skin and she reacts badly to it. I never noticed any fleas in the house, but I was not about to take that chance. I knew I needed to clean the house and help soothe her skin.
My first find was this website The Flea Wars it is a wonderfully informative website. You know the 20 Mule Team Borax I have in my Laundry Detergent and Dish Soap, well guess what you can use it to dust your carpets for fleas! AND IT WORKS! Put away that $15 bottle of Zodiac and pick up a $3.50 box of Borax!
We dusted, washed, vacuumed, and cleaned our house-top to bottom. I have one small dog and three cats and they don’t deserve to live in misery.
So lets Sooth That Skin!
- Treat your animals, yard, and home for fleas & ticks.
- Bathe your cats and dogs.
- Treat “hot spots”.
- Give them a hair cut.
- Stop them from chewing on their selves.
I’ve already covered treating the house and by proxy the yard too if you read that website. I don’t really have a yard.
What to bathe them with?
- Dawn Dish Soap
- Coconut Oil
- Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
- Oatmeal Shampoo and Conditioner
- Lavender Baths
- Epsom Salts
- Flea fighting shampoo and conditioner
The Winner Is? An Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse.
Sure it smells bad, but it is one of the most helpful household items to have in your stash.
What it does:
- Restores PH Balance in your skin and hair
- Fights Itching
- Acts as a slight numbing agent.
- Fights bacteria
How I use it:
- I draw her a nice warm bath
- Add one cup of apple cider vinegar
- 20 drops of lavender essential oil
- Rub and message her skin and coat.
- Wash her coat with a sulfate free shampoo. (I actually use my own Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Shampoo)
- Rinse her off and drain the tub.
- Use a subtle soft conditioner
- Rinse her off with cool water.
Q: What is wrong with using the other methods of cleansing? A: There are multiple answers to this question. Dawn, Coconut Oil, Flea fighting shampoo/conditioners are designed to kill fleas. Cocoa didn’t have fleas on her. If she did I would have chosen the Coconut Oil. Dawn will kill fleas, but it is filled with sulfates and harsh chemicals, with her skin already bothering her I didn’t want to add to it. Flea Fighting shampoo/conditioners, sorry to be the cheap skate but Coconut Oil does the job, why spend $25 on that stuff with again lots of crazy chemicals.
So Coconut Oil (Later you’ll realize I have a love affair with the stuff.) It will suffocate fleas, it’s anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, it does a lot of stuff. It does the job on fleas too, but it’ll soothe skin.
Q: Why didn’t you use the other items like the salt and lavender? A: I did use lavender with the Apple Cider Vinegar; it’s a soother all the way around. I just didn’t do the salts, but it is well-known that it works as a soother too.
Treating Hot Spots
What Do I Use? I use my very own concoction I mixed.
What you need:-1 Spray Bottle -1 cup of boiling hot water -1 tablespoon aloe gel or real aloe -1 teaspoon of baking soda -1 tablespoon of cortisone cream -5 drops of lavender essential oil
What to do: Bring one cup of water to a slight boil. Remove from heat and while still hot add the other ingredients and stir until all is complete dissolved. Once mixture is cool pour it into the spray bottle and lightly spray it onto your pet’s hot spots and rub it in to their skin.
Haircuts and Cones
Cocoa is a Wire Haired Dachshund and her hair was becoming a hindrance to getting to her hot spots so I trimmed it. Sometimes with longer haired animals it just helps really get to their problem areas. Hair grows back!
Even though she was still feeling better she would still try to lick at the spots. So to help the healing process I had to buy a cone to go around her head. Poor little thing she looks ridiculous, but at least she can heal and it was pink.
Her skin is now cleared up and I have not seen anymore problems. My kitties are doing just fine with no fleas either. I keep a nice look out and dust my floors from time to time. The bugs have been bad the last couple of years. I love my little fur kids and I gotta make sure they are healthy.
Q: How did you come up with that mixture? A: Knowledge is power! I wanted to make sure the spray was something that could be complete water-soluble and still have properties to help healing. I’d like to find a replacement for the cortisone cream so I’m still tweaking this formula. I am completely open to help on this!
Q: How often do you bathe Cocoa while she had this skin problems? A: I bathed her about once every four days. Now I just bathe her once every two weeks. During the summer months it will turn into once a week cause she gets smelly quickly.
Q: Have you tried this on your cats. A: NO; you have to be careful with cats because they react VERY badly to some oils and items. I didn’t want to take that risk.
Q: Cocoa is a small dog; what are your measurements for larger dogs? A: Just double it. Two cups of water and double everything BUT the essential oils. Only add an additional 2 drops per cup of water used. For the Bath measurements, if you have a REALLY large dog and you’re using a big tub of water to bathe them then double the Apple Cider Vinegar.
There are MANY things you can do for your animals to help prevent being miserable from the insects. I suggest that you always investigate before you try something on your pets. Cat’s are more sensitive to certain oils and products than dogs. Dogs can be sensitive to things that we are not. Just remember to also do your homework and make sure you have a good veterinarian. Doctor’s do not always approve home remedies because it’s not apart of their medical training, but it always very wise to include your vet on things you’re doing to help your pets. Just like keeping your doctor in “the know” when you’re doing a nontraditional medical treatment for something. IE Acupuncture.
I appreciate ANY advice on this. Tip and tricks and good pet healthy. I love my little fur babies.