My dog won’t stop scratching


I have a young Labrador who never seems to stop scratching himself and is making bald patches in his fur. Why is this? I give him frequent baths.

Please help! Jenny Connelly.


You’d better check it out. Your pup could have fleas!

Most fleas look like brown coloured spots moving. While it is true that their favourite meal is your dog, they don’t live where they eat. If your pup has fleas, then so do you. Fleas live in carpeting, upholstered furniture, curtains, almost anywhere. When they’re hungry they’ll jump to the nearest animal. Sometimes that means you!

There are several new products such as Program, Frontline and Advantage available to help your dog get rid of fleas. Surely you’ve heard folks talking about them. They do a great job when administered according to instructions. These preventatives work by either killing adult fleas or sterilizing the female flea so that she cannot lay her eggs. Program must be ingested, while Frontline and Advantage are topical applications.

The long-standing alternative to these medications is the collar. Companies like Sargents and Hartz Mountian have been making flea collars for years. And they work; at least for the first days. But most flea collars lose their potency over time and faster if you or your dog gets it wet.

Some folks swear that Brewer’s Yeast, garlic, or vitamin B does the trick for their pups flea regimen, however, there is little scientific evidence to support such remedies. Insecticide shampoos are available from your vet, the many pet-product catalogs, or pet stores. There are sprays and powders, ointments and baths, all claiming to be flea preventions. And most of them do work. The problem is that you must continue to treat the animal either daily or weekly in order to stop a re-infestation.

Remember that if you choose one of these remedies it’s not just your dog that needs the bath, the powder, the spray or the garlic. You’ll have to clean, re-clean, and probably fog the living space several times in order to kill the remaining adult fleas and any larvae lying around.

Hope this helps. Regards, Connie.


Dear Connie,

Nice to read your feature each week, I was more than interested in the coverage of the Excalibur collar, which we have brought for our two dogs for the last two years (two four-week-old abandoned terriers we acquired) we have a large garden which they love to race each other around, and I would say there would be every chance there could be sandflies, I thought some time back reading, that there was a plant or shrub that the sandflies could not get along with in a garden, would you know of this plant.

Dennis Coppins


I personally do not know of a particular plant that the Sandfly otherwise known as the mosquito is attracted to. I believe they are attracted to faeces. Any readers know more about this subject please let us know.



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