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Does Hartz flea treatment work?

Species: Dog
Breed: black lab and lab/ba
Age: 5-8 years
My dogs have gotten fleas and I've been putting Hartz flea treatment on them but it doesn't seem to be working. The dogs still have fleas, although not as many as they previously did, but now they also have horrid rashes all over them and they won't stop scratching and chewing. The poor guys are missing fur everywhere, have sores and scabs everywhere and keep chewing themselves until they bleed!! I don't know what to do for them and I feel horrible. All they do is cry and whine now. What can I do to help them and to alleviate the itching???

Related Article: Your Pet Has Fleas!

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Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I can't tell you how frustrated I am over pet store flea products like Hartz, Zodiac and Biospot. They do not work! I don't understand why they are able to sell these products.

This year has been one of the worst years ever for fleas. I think this is because we are creating a population of fleas that is hard to kill. So, when you use a product like Hartz, you will kill some fleas, but the fleas that remain are the strong ones that withstood treatment. So, we end up with resistant fleas.

Unfortunately the products that do work to kill fleas are more expensive. The ones I recommend are Frontline, Advantage, and Revolution.

In many cases, after treating with one of the above products the skin problems will go away as well. However, sometimes dogs will have skin infections as a result of fleas. If this is the case then you will need to have medication prescribed by the vet in order to clear things up. There is no over the counter cream or medication that will be helpful.

I'm sorry for your frustrating experience. I wish I could give you more helpful advice, but it does sound like a vet visit will be necessary!



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.