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Ask the Veterinarian/scratching issues


QUESTION: Hi  I am the one who wrote to you about my 2 dogs itching and said I ruled out corn soy wheat allergy etc and you said you think it's a flea allergy and gave me some products to try.
Over here in the US a popular product from the vet and stores is fipronil/Frontline.
I put it on them yesterdayand they are Still itching.
if you have some insight I'd appreciate it.
Someone suggested dish soap lol and another suggested Skin So Soft by Avon..

ANSWER: Frontline is one of the slowest acting flea products available, so I would suggest using Comfortis monthly or Capstar every second day.
I would avoid using dish soap and any human moisturisers-they are more likely to irritate the skin.
Are you seeing fleas on them? Did you try any of my recommendations? Did anything help?


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ANSWER: Excellent! Problem solved!

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QUESTION: I treated my cat 2 days ago and then I sprayed in the house... I notice the dogs are still itching and I wondered about how long will it take to kill the fleas/for them to quit scratching?  I used fipronil

Do you have a backyard? What did you spray the house with? Frontline takes 24-48 hours to kill each flea and you will get fleas hatching every couple of days if you have had an untreated pet (fleas can lay 50 eggs per day), so it might take a while for the scratching to stop if there are areas of the environment (house, yard, bedding) that haven't been treated for fleas.

The big problem areas are resting areas for all your pets and warm, dark areas like under the house or shady areas under trees.

There is some information here that might help you with the treatment of the environment.

Otherwise you essentially need to wait for the fleas to all hatch from their eggs, jump onto your pets and get killed by the fipronil-this process can take months depending on climate.

Hope that helps a little.  

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Eloise Bright


I am a vet with a special interest in dermatology, particularly allergic dogs and cats, behaviour and acupuncture. I work mainly with dogs and cats. If you are wondering why your pet is still itchy, despite good flea control, or why your dog licks his feet, I may be able to give you some solutions. I'm currently very passionate about behaviour and am doing some further education in this area. So if you have a troubling behaviour with your dog or cat, such as barking, leash reactivity, anxiety or a dog who is a little wild and difficult to control, I may be able to help you with some solutions.


I work in an area of Sydney where we see lots of allergic pets. I think behaviour problems are very common and I help a number of owners find solutions that will restore peace to them and their pets. Currently I enjoy answering questions, providing advice and writing pet care articles for

I graduated as a vet from Sydney Uni in 2006 and have since been completing my Masters in Small Animal Practice and am also updating my skills with a behaviour course through Sydney Uni.

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