Mar 25, 2014

Yet another trip to the Vet and some distressing news

First off I want to let you know that Carmeh’s toe is back to normal.

This recent trip to the vet goes back to early February when we took Caeli to the vet where we were told she had parasites.  There were 2 visits to the vet in February for this problem.  About ten days ago we again saw blood and what looked like little worms on the bed sheets. We gathered a few samples and this time we went to a different vet,  Dr. Marco Antonio Cardenas, used by many gringos here in Mazatlan.   We still like our first vet, Dr. Rafael but felt we needed a second opinion.

Veterinaria Del Pacifico is at #1034 Rio Baluarte; 669 982 6727

Within a few minutes Dr. Marco diagnosed fleas!  Our girls had fleas!  How could they?  They are on all the usual preventative medications.  Sure enough he showed us that the black worm like bits we found in the bed were actually flea excrement, a simple test done with a paper towel and warm water.  Then he showed us a flea on Caeli near her rectum.  We were in shock.  Dr. Rafael never did examine Caeli and just looked under the microscope at the black worm like bits and announced that she had worms.  We were shocked at that time also, as the girls are on the usual worm preventative medications given monthly.  However as the black worm like bits kept appearing, now almost 6 weeks later, we knew there as something wrong and hence the visit to Dr. Marco.

Dr. Marco explained that fleas are very prevalent in this climate.  They are carried on dogs which roam all over the beach, on cats of which we have many feral cats here in the RV Park and on rats.  Well we have had mice in the past and one rat but nothing this season.  He gives his own dog a flea bath weekly to keep his dog flea free even thought it is on Frontline Plus.  Fleas are a part of life here and he is surprised that we have been problem free.  Perhaps we have this issue because we have had a warmer than usual winter.  Regardless we have a problem, a huge problem.  He was very surprised that neither myself nor Colin have been bitten by fleas especially as the girls sleep with us and share the sofa with us.

What to do?  Flea baths for the girls, medication and please rip out your RV carpets and fumigate your home!  Right!

Carmeh is the first to get bathed and we had to muzzle her as she hates strangers handling her. Normally we are not allowed to be behind the scenes but they did make an exception for for us. I know she thought that she was being tortured.

Caeli was next. They only found one flea on each girl.

They were then towel dried.

Then they had to sit in the sun to dry. Carmeh was begging me to let her out. Once dry, they were supposed to be combed but their hair is so dense that the tech gave up.

A part of the bath was an anal gland squeeze and an ear cleaning. Here Dr. Marco is looking at what was found in Caeli's ear.

In just the one ear she has a very large yeast infection, called Malassezia Dematitis. Dr. Marco was surprised at how severe the infection was and that she had not been complaining. So she is now being treated 4 times per days with 2 types of medication placed in her ear canals by me for the next two weeks.

Dr. Marco indicated that this ear infection could have been caused by fleas.  He is very thorough and also is putting the girls on 2 doses of Droncit over the next three weeks.  This medication is a cleanse for tapeworms which can be caused by fleas.  Doncit is not available in Mexico and he relies on clients to bring it here for him through their vets.  We use K9 Advantix 11 for flea protection but he prefers Frontline Plus which we are to use for the next six months and then we can switch back to the K9 Advantix.

Dr. Marco spent 90 minutes with us. The girls each got a flea bath. In addition we purchased one dose each of Frontline ( I am buying the rest online for less money ), the two ear medications for Caeli and the 4 doses of Droncit. Total cost 1670 pesos ($145.00CAD/$127.00USD)! We are so happy we found and met Dr. Marco. However his parting comment to us was " this is like giving you an aspirin for a brain tumour" !!!!!!!!!!

We were shell shocked as in stunned disbelief.  As Dr. Marco explained to us, flea larvae can live forever even through an atomic blast.  Wonderful 🙁  Our house on wheels may just be infested with these larvae  😥  There is no way we can just rip out and throw away the carpets in the RV as he suggested.  Plus we also have cloth seats and valances, etc.  We could not get the RV fumigated on the Isla plus we are living in it. What to do?

The panga back to the Isla was so full that we could not even sit together and work out a strategy.

The girls were exhausted, all three of them.

Once home we spent the next few hours cleaning.  First a deep vacuum of everything in the RV.  Then I sprayed CedarCide, a natural organic  bug control product that I use on me to keep the mosquitoes and noseeums off of me,  all over the bed mattress, the valances, the carpet, the dog beds and blankets that cover the sofa, the chairs the dogs use, just every surface I could see.  I don’t know if it will kill the larvae but it does kill live fleas on contact.  We saw nothing jumping around.  I then put on white socks and walked all over checking for flea excrement and found nothing.  Then we went outside and vacuumed and sprayed some more and shook everything out plus put some things in sealed bags to deal with when we got back to Canada.  A few hours later we re vacuumed the inside of the RV.  So for the past seven days we have been vacuuming and shaking things and just checking things as best we can.  We have very little CedarCide  left and are keeping it for an emergency.  But frankly what could be a worse emergency?

We honestly don’t think that we have a nest of flea larvae in our home.  It could be anywhere and we believe it is somewhere outside and possibly not even in our yard.  Remember, only one live flea was found on each of the girls and neither myself nor Colin have received any flea bites.  We did find one dead adult flea in the bed this morning.  We will get the RV fumigated when we get back home in Canada.  Meanwhile we just keep cleaning, shaking things out and vacuuming over and over.  The last thing we want is and infestation.

Now you know why I missed 3 days of blog posts last week.  We were beyond stressed plus simply exhausted.

Carmeh was so worn out when we got back from seeing Dr. Marco, poor thing.

Caeli wasn't even interested in her food, she was exhausted.



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15 responses so far

15 Responses to “Yet another trip to the Vet and some distressing news”

  1. Nancy says:

    I’d been wondering how things had gone with Dr Marco, thanks for the update. What a pain!

    • contessa says:

      Nancy, I can’t tank you enough for the recommendation to Dr. Marco.

      Chris….I just don’t think I can deal with a full out outbreak.

  2. chris says:

    Been there done that! It happens in the heat and humidity. Ours are ready for another treatment.

  3. AL:)) says:

    Poor little guys they looked so stressed. Good thing they caught that ear infection. Any kind of problems with our beloved pets is always so stressful for all concerned. And fleas can be such a nasty bit of annoying business. We’ve been very fortunate over the years regarding fleas. No grass here & we have very little grass at our Bayfield digs for fleas to hang out in. Hope the guys are on the mend & the flea & worm problem is under control. Just keep that vacuum going & sock it to them miserable fleas….. AL:))

    • contessa says:

      Al….the girls were terrified and we felt so badly about it all. We never had worms, it was a mis diagnosis, we should have been treating for fleas all along.

      Colleen…yes we are going to keep at it for a full year. Sadly we can’t get anything washed in hot water here on the Isla.

      Jean….we think it is coming from the sand also.

      Croft…thanks for the info. I think we are going to go with a pro once we get home.

      Dolores…really freezing every month!! Maybe we should stop and visit on our way home 🙂

      Barbara…well I found a second dead flea in the bed this morning so that makes 2 dead found here in the RV and a total of 2 found at the vets. Perhaps if we keep up with our regime it won’t get much more out of hand. We found those dog carriers at a pet store in Kelowna, a place called Total Pets. Once we get back and have time I can check it they still carry them.

      George….thanks, we need all the luck we can get.

  4. longdog2 says:

    Oh, goodness. I am so sorry to hear this. How distressing. I’m sure you already know to wash the bedding, beds, blankets, etc., in hot water. Fleas hatch on a cycle so you will need to keep doing this for a while. It seems like he would have found a few more fleas. They are usually pretty easy to see on dachsies since they don’t have a subcoat.

  5. Jean says:

    Contessa, You may be right about it being an outside nest, our big dog Jake is allergic to fleas, and had a terrible outbreak of flea bites one year (the one and only time our dogs have had fleas), it turned out that it was sand fleas that were biting him. Once I stopped taking him to the beach no more fleas.

  6. Croft says:

    You can buy insecticide foggers at Home Depot in the USA and do a DIY job when you get home. I got rid of an ant infestation this way.

  7. Dolores tanner says:

    OMG!!! Poor babies….. Luci got fleas once when we went to the Willamette Valley and I forgot to dose her beforehand with the Frontline… what horrors….. can’t stand bugs. We don’t normally have them her in Central Oregon as it is too cold, normally have a freezing every month of the year, believe it or not.. haha 🙂 TRUE…. But sounds like you got with a good, thorough vet.. hopefully they will be on the road to recovery very soon. I would think, like you do, since you found so few that the problem is outside somewhere and not infested in the RV…. Take Care, glad the foot is better tho…

  8. Barbara says:

    Oh bless your hearts! All of you! I had an infestation years ago. Setting off a flea bomb in the house (and leaving of course while it worked) did the trick thank goodness. We’d found many more than one. Not fun. I’m sorry you have to deal with this.

    Might I ask where you got the carriers for the girls? I’d love one like it or similar – they look the perfect size and they seem so nicely padded. Thanks in advance if you share that info.

    Here’s hoping the last of your stay isn’t consumed by flea business….


  9. Years ago I had many different pets (most of my life). And a few times had to have the house fumigated for fleas. Good luck.

  10. Janet says:

    Just read your post, am also concerned as my doxie has just has ear issues. Agree with the sand flea diagnosis.
    Tomorrow another flea bath for my Millie. Like you, have seen no signs of fleas, and living in this small un carpeted camper, que pasa?

    • contessa says:

      If the infestations is coming from the sand, hopefully it will be washed away by next season. We have never ever had a problem in years past and we all love the beach.

  11. Chris says:

    When you come back north, check Costco. Frontline Plus is now often sold there.

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