Flea season hit us this year with avengeon! Battling fleas can be a true double-edged sword. We do our part by treating our yard and applying treatments but the chemicals in those topical treatments don’t always do the job. (I have my own personal thoughts on those treatments and have been on the search for a more natural alternative. Now that I have something to work with, I will be sure to share the results of my little tests soon!)
The sword’s double sides makes itself apparent when it comes to socializing your Chihuahua. Socialization is a must for a happy and healthy Chi. Taking them to places outside the four corners of your treated and maintained property leaves them susceptible to things that are truly out of your control. Dog parks, pet stores, or in our case, obedience classes, open the door to even the smallest of pests and contractible parasites and viruses. This is why it is not wise to take puppies to public places until they have received all of their vaccines. Since Chihuahuas are tiny dogs that walk close to the ground, they are the first to bring home the pests.
About two weeks ago, Ace and Colada started the scratching. Upon examination, they each had about four fleas on their back ends. Obviously the topicals were no barrier so flea baths and sprays were the next step to keep the fleas from spreading to the other dogs. Problem is, once you see the adults, you already have a problem because there are a gazillion eggs and larva before them!
We were able to keep the fleas from infesting the other dogs but the puppies were not so lucky. They are too young for any topicals or shampoos and too small for the incredible CapStar. So until they reach the 2lb mark, they have been getting baths to remove any potential fleas that might land on them. We have found a few here and there but luckily the problem has been fairly easy to manage. That was, until today…
Off to Doc’s we went for the puppies’ vaccines. We brought Ace and Colada along with too so they could get updated fecals for their training records. To my unpleasant surprise, Colada’s results came back positive for coccidia – contracted from the FLEAS!!!
She is just shy of 6 months of age and hasn’t built up the immunity to the bacteria. Since it is easily spread, we have started treatments on ALL dogs and will be keeping the entire litter here for a bit longer to make sure we can keep the problem from possibly following them to their new homes. The stress of transitioning to their new homes can also bring on coccidia so the treatment will help them next week too! It’s a win-win based on the circumstances but a bummer for our new puppy families. We will continue to work on their socialization while they are here and see about working on some leash training too!