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How did I get FLEAS???

Elizabeth ClarkeElizabeth Clarke BerkeleyMember Posts: 1,818 ✭✭
edited 1 July, 2007 in Cat Health
Okay, as some of y'all know, I am an indoor cat, but I got out a couple of weeks ago and was gone all night. When I came home, I had some flea bites on my head. (The bites are really obvious because my fur is very short and dark, and I get a little bald spot at each bite.) Mom thought that was weird, because she'd given me a Revolution treatment less than 3 weeks before, but the bites healed and my little bald patches started to grow hair again. She thought that maybe, with the Revolution, fleas would bite once and then fall off or something??? :? Now I have MORE bites on my head! I have NOT been outside again! Mom has not found any fleas or flea dirt, but I definitely have a fresh crop of bites. They are mostly around my ears. I have a bald spot the size of a dime by my right ear! Mom gave me a dose of Advantage yesterday. She is hoping she will not see any more bites. In the meantime, she is calling me Little Constellation Head because of the little white bald spots on my midnight-black head! :r WHY did the fleas bite me even though I'd had an anti-flea treatment? And what treatment -- Advantage, Revolution, Frontline -- do you prefer?


  • Marta GasperMarta Gasper FairburyMember Posts: 636
    edited 30 June, 2007
    Bald spots after being out could be a result from fighting, or you picked up a fungal infection that has nothing to do with what you're being treated for. Or you are allergic to something else. How do you know it is fleas? It could be but if you're under treatment it is unlikely..could your Meowmy call the vet for advise?
  • edited 30 June, 2007
    I do not like Revolution, in never has or will work for me.:-# Frontline ZAPS to fleas away quickly, we haven't had one single flea in the house since the day mommy brought it home, but when we were on Rev., we had fleas and ticks all over, it was awful. |^|
  • Annalisa Conserti-JonesAnnalisa Conserti-Jones Member Posts: 5,234
    edited 30 June, 2007
    I think I've mentioned this in 3 different threads by now, but here goes... if fleas get in your carpet, they can re-infest your kitty as soon as the treatment wears off. I had never had fleas until 2 months or so ago, and had never even been outdoors, ever. Someone brought fleas inside my house, the vet that mommy took me to said. She said that sometimes humans can bring them home on their shoes, especially at the height of flea season, when the little buggers get bold. We got Revolution to kill the eggs and adults, and another pill that is supposed to make fleas in the pupa stage unable to conceive, and the vet said just vacuum and clean the upholstery, and that should be it. I was fine for three weeks and change, and then I had new fleas on me. Mommy called the vet, and spoke to a tech there. The tech mentioned that sometimes just vacuuming the carpets throughly is not enough, because if the fleas had gotten in our carpet and laid eggs, those eggs would eventually lead to new fleas that would attack me as the flea preventive wore off. She suggested treating the carpet, and re-applying Revolution a few days early (better safe than sorry). The vet got on the phone too, and said she'd prescribe another white pill (yuck!), and suggested flea bombing the place. Mommy had heard that flea bombs don't really kill everything, and they can be dangerous to cats. She also knew that I would really hate being away from home a whole day. So Mom got advice from the lady that runs the rescue group that adopted me out to her about alternatives. She said that the fastest spray to kill everything in the carpet was to use something with PreCor (which prevents the pupas in the carpet from hatching when you vacuum, since heat helps fleas hatch, which in turn gives you time to really vacuum everything out by vacuuming daily thereafter). Some of those sprays take little more than 2-3 hours to work, which mommy thought I could handle better than a day away. Mommy gave me my treatments, prepped the carpet by vacuuming it, crated me up, sprayed the carpet, and then left our apartment with me in tow (we just went out and ran errands and visited friends). Then we came home, mom ran in to open the windows to air the place out, she ran right back to keep me company in the car, and then we both went home for good. I haven't had any fleas since, and I should know if they were around: I'm highly sensitive to flea bites, last time they got me I had redness and swelling at the sites on my belly and ears from scratching myself nearly raw (that made mommy cry because she felt so bad for me).
  • Elizabeth ClarkeElizabeth Clarke BerkeleyMember Posts: 1,818 ✭✭
    edited 30 June, 2007
    Thanks for the advice! Madam, Mom is pretty sure they are flea bites because they look like little red pimples. She is concerned that it might be a fungal infection, you are right. I was treated for ringworm at the shelter before Mom got me, but Mom looked up some pictures on the web and the bald spots/bites (whatever they are) don't look like ringworm. But if I keep developing new spots, Mom is calling the vet on Monday. (A new one has shown up since my first post, so the vet is looking inevitable. Darn!) Thank you so much for all the information, Boris. We don't have carpets -- we have hardwood floors that are really fun to slide on :)) -- but it did occur to Mom that the fleas may have come in with me (or someone else) and set up house somewhere. But, see, that's kind of the source of Mom's confusion -- she thought that Revolution was supposed to PREVENT fleas from biting me to begin with!!! I guess you're right, Natasha, Revolution just may not work on me. And I've had new bites show up since Mom applied the Advantage (which always worked great on my highly flea-allergic sister Spike, who spent lots of time outdoors before she went to the Bridge). So I guess we'll cross our fingers and hope Frontline works for me. Maybe the vet will prescribe me an oral medication, like Boris got. Thanks again for the advice!
  • Annalisa Conserti-JonesAnnalisa Conserti-Jones Member Posts: 5,234
    edited 30 June, 2007
    That's not exactly how it works. The way it works is: the ingredients in Revolution are absorbed through the skin, which makes the skin poisonous to fleas. Flea bite, fleas die. Enough fleas die, and the population dies off. And most of the time, that goes by quick because the population is just whatever fleas jumped on you outside. But if you have a whole buttload of fleas infesting your house, the process could take a couple of months, i.e., 2-3 applications of Revolution. My mom would have given it a couple of months of just using Revolution, were it not for the fact that the flea bites gave me these itchy small red bumps that made me scratch myself up real bad. It was very irritating. Then there was the fact that as soon as the fleas that bit me would die off, they would be replaced by new fleas from the carpet who'd bite me all over again. Long story short, treating the carpet just speeds up the process. What few fleas there were left after the great flea purge of May 2007, Revolution did its job in killing off, and now mommy's gonna use it for a while just to ward off the possibilities that the fleas enter my home again via human shoes. As for not having carpet, someone told me that sometimes fleas eggs can live on upholstery if it's thick enough to provide good cover from open air, so I would just treat stuff like the cat's bed, your mattress, your couch and any curtains. Really anything cuddly and woolly that you frequent. Mommy had to spray her mattress, our curtains, my bed and our couch. She even washed all the stuff in the clothes hamper for good measure.
  • Elizabeth ClarkeElizabeth Clarke BerkeleyMember Posts: 1,818 ✭✭
    edited 1 July, 2007
    Ahhhhhh. Thank you, Boris; that explains things. Does Advantage work the same way? I wasn't sure if it was a bite-and-die thing, or a keep-fleas-from-biting thing.
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