Friday, August 9, 2013

The Saga of the Itchy Annie: Flees

Monday Night
     On Monday, I had to go to my first training of the school year (CPI certified!).  By the time I got home that night, Annie had removed 2 square inches from her backside.  She's always been itchy since we first got her, but she's never removed her own fur.  Upon closer examination, we noticed a bug bite on her back.  I did our monthly treatment of K9 Advantix.  Benadryl and some calamine lotion was all we thought we needed to help Annie out.

    On Tuesday, I went in for my 2nd day of training and once again returned home to find Annie had taken another square inch of fur off her backside.  Now the anxiety set in hard core.  Benadryl had usually done the trick in the past for taking the edge off, but this was a new one on me.  I started the hardcore freak out of thinking of everything that could be wrong with my dog.  Mange, separation anxiety, flee infestation, and allergy testing started rolling in my head and into my search results, knowing we didn't have the money for anything major to treat.  Melvin's Mom calmed me by telling me stories of what she's had to do for Melvin.
Wednesday Morning.

     Wednesday morning, while lying in bed with Annie scratching her, I found another flee.  "Great!" I thought, "The flees are laughing at me!"  I quickly got Annie off of our bed, closed the door, and called the vet.  I only wanted to know if I put Advantix on Annie on Monday night, if it was too soon to do another round of it.  I only got half way through the question when Gina the receptionist/vet teck stopped me and said that they were being overrun by flees this year.  (If you live in Virginia, here's another reason to hate all of the rain.  The flees are having a field day right now!)  She said that there was a prescription for a pill that would kill the flees as soon as they bit Annie or Paul.  And for the same price I pay for their monthly does of Advantix!  Since we had been in for Paul's yearly exam just a few weeks ago, we didn't need an appointment!  The anxiety stopped and I started the search for how to get rid of flees.

     I started the cleaning process.  Dog blankets, linens, our bed stuff, area rugs, and anything else I could wash was tossed into the wash and then the dryer.  All mattresses and box springs have been encased in vinyl.  I vacuumed the couch, recliners, and office chair.  Anything that can't be washed that Annie and Paul adore has been double bagged and is now sitting in the garage for a month just waiting (dog beds too big to be washed, toys, and pillows).    Aunt Karen stopped by to confirm that it was a flee bite, and noticed that Annie had a bit of a rash where she was taking the fur out.  Annie's skin is actulay black and white spotted (think Dalmatian fur as her skin.) so trying to see any abnormalities on her skin can get tricky.
     When we went into the vet, I brought Annie and Paul along.  (Double trouble as they're called) Gina pulled up our charts, took out the meds and patiently waited while I pointed out the fur that Annie had removed and commented on how she had never done that.  I also commented how 3 tabs of Benadryl twice a day wasn't helping either.  Dr Bunting was consulted and Annie got a mini vet visit in the lobby (free!) along with a steroid/antihistamine combo prescription.  She also said to switch from Benadryl to Claritin.  (60lbs dog get's 10 mg once a day).  For the first time ever, we got out of the vet paying less than $100!

     We got home, dug 2 spoons into the peanut butter, broke down the Comfortis (the big pills above), added in a vitamin e supplement,  Annie got her new prescription and within 20 minutes, both were both fast asleep on the couch.  Annie snored blissfully.  It's now Friday, and for the most part, Annie hasn't itched since Wednesday.  She normally does the lizard Anne when she get's her back scratched.  That's not even happening now.  Slowly, the fur is starting to grow back in on her butt.  Life is returning to normal.


  1. YIKES! scary. We always hate the thought of vet visits, because it always ends up with saying "crap! I can't afford this!" even though I would sell an organ to make sure the pooches are given the best care possible. Glad Annie is on the mend and that it wasn't anything too serious!

  2. Wow, glad you finally figured out what was going on! Poor Annie, that picture from Wednesday night looks so painful :(