Ask the Veterinarian/DE


Hi The ospca came to my home and had told me that using DE was not good enough for treating my dogs for flea's, I found it DID work, but it also dried their skin out. I use it for deworming and also externally for fleas. Do you have any information to clarify if it does indeed dry the dogs skin out & what to use to bring their skin back to normal.

Thank you very much!

I know that is does kill fleas, but you experienced first hand that it dries out their skin.

It is too harsh to use directly on pets. It works fine for bedding or the rugs but you really need an IGR, or insect growth regulator. That will break the flea cycle and kill the larval forms as well as prevent the eggs from hatching. The only thing an IGR cannot do, and neither will the DE, is kill the cocooned adults. Once those hatch, which is about every two weeks, you need to kill them with an adulticide like Ovitrol Plus spray. It kills the adults safely on the dogs but it also has an IGR in it.

I use Sentinel for heartworm and flea prevention on my cats. I used it for over 15 yrs on my dogs but they have now died of old age. I haven't had fleas on my property since I started using Sentinel for the pets. And even with deer, squirrels and opossums on my property I still don't have fleas on my cats.

Get yourself some Ovitrol or something like it with an IGR in it. Leave the DE for the pool or to sprinkle on the ground.  

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT


PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!


I have over 35 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love.

Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.

Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 550 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

Awards and Honors
Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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