Monday, April 21, 2014

Hoping You Guys Can Help Us Out

     Hey, y'all! Dachshund Mommy here today. I hope everyone had a safe and happy Easter! We visited with some family and lazed around for most of the day. I eagerly waited for today to come, since Miss Nola has a special new collar that should be delivered this afternoon. Ah, the life of an addict! ;) :p
New bling

    I have two questions I've been pondering and researching for the past few weeks, and I'm hoping to get some insight for you, my lovely viewers. One is a fun - albeit incredibly expensive - topic and the other isn't quite as enjoyable. We'll get to the not-so-fun part first.

     Nola has been on Comfortis, which is an oral flea preventative, since late last summer. It's been working incredibly - until now, that is. If you don't know, Nola is allergic to fleas (in addition to several foods), so flea prevention is a year round problem and issue for us. We're also in Florida, so you can imagine the fun in that! That's why I was so excited, and consequently so disappointed, with Comfortis. It worked so flawlessly up until about two months ago that Nola had no scratching, no bumps, and not a single flea. Now I've seen 4 fleas feeding on her and she's almost constantly itching. If she didn't have flea allergies, I probably wouldn't even be able to tell that Comfortis' effectiveness has waned. Alas, it only takes one flea bite to set off a reaction in an allergic dog. :(
I probably won't take her off the Comfortis for several reasons. First, it's working for the most part, i.e. keeping away an infestation or even a mild case of fleas. Two, there's no nasty topical that sits on her sensitive skin and gets all over the house. Third, there's no issue of it washing off.

     I'm looking into using essential oils to help keep away the few fleas the Comfortis isn't getting. From what I've read, it seems to be the safest and most effective way to take care of a problem such as ours.  I'll also be getting some brewer's yeast (no garlic; she's too small to take the minimal risk of giving it) and possibly some diatomaceous earth and seeing if that does anything. I sound like such a hippie, but I've exhausted the conventional/traditional methods so what the hell. Has anyone used things like this with their dog? How did it work? Is there anything you'd suggest doing?

     And now for the better topic: I'm saving for a new camera and lens! I've loved my Nikon D3100, but it has several glitches that I've been struggling with the past 10 months or so, and I've finally decided to bite the bullet and get something new. I'm already set on the lens I'll get (35mm f/1.8 Nikkor), but I'm not sure on the body. I want to stick with Nikon, since I already have one Nikkor lens, I'm familiar with shooting on them and they feel better in my hands. I'm thinking either the D3200, D7000/7100 and D5300. Also looked a bit into the D90. What do you shoot with, and for any other photo enthusiasts, what would you suggest and why?

Dachshund Mommy


  1. Oh gosh, we are so sorry to hear about your flea problem. We would be interested in some essential oils as well, mom hates putting those chemicals on us but has no choice. Good luck and keep us updated!!

  2. Despite having heavy coated corgis, we've never had a flea problem, thank goodness! Ticks....that's a whole other issue! Nothing keeps them at bay.

    And as to cameras....sorry, I'm a Canon gal!

  3. I used diatomaceuos earth when we had chickens. Worked awesome. I have never lived were there are fleas, but I use essential oils on me and the dogs, and it does keep the pests away. I have heard great things about the D7000. I was going to get the D600 only because my lenses would only fit on that body.

  4. We use DE around the yard, and it works great. I use the Red Lake Earth brand, and it is food grade. Some apply it directly to their dogs, and some give it orally. It is a respiratory tract irritant, so I am not comfortable applying it directly to my dogs. As far as giving it orally for worms, it is my understanding that it is ineffective if wet, so it doesn't make sense to me.

  5. I just have a "regular" Canon, not a DSLR, so I'm no good advising you on the camera!

    I've heard good things about diatomaceous earth (and I think Dogster did an article on it last year?) and it seems like there are some essential oils you could use but I don't know which ones. Peppermint? Lemon? Because she's so little, you'd also want to be careful about which ones and how much.

  6. Hi Nola
    That's not good about your fleas we hope you can soon be free off them again. Our human Ros has a D90 camera with two lens one 50 mill lens and one 70 to 300 mill lens thats both macro and telephoto. It's very good at catching us in action and the macro setting is stunning for things like flowers and insects. Milo & Jet

  7. Sorry about the fleas. My parents had a dog that was allergic and I remember how challenging that was in the days before the regular flea meds. I wish you the best in finding a med that works for her.

  8. My friend used Diatomaceous earth in her yard. It helped tremendously
    Lily & Edward

  9. Sorry, we can't help. Luckily we live in an area where fleas just don't live. The one time we did have wet, humid weather, we took comfortis but only for the summer months. We hope you can find something because flea allergies are the pits!

    XXXOOO Bella & Roxy

  10. We're in FL and the fleas are awful. I used comfortis on our Bassett but now with Bruno, our doxie, the vet recommended Trifexis. So far so good. Ive only used diatemateous earth in the garden to control snails and slugs. Do you actually put it on your pet? Seems like that would be a mess. Im curious to hear your feedback on these different methods.

  11. I have heard that those pests can build up a resistance so it is important to change up products you use. But golly - you haven't been using the Comfortis for all that long. I am sorry I don't have any advice for you on what to use. I think it'll probably be a trial and error sort of situation since you are wanting to keep it as natural as possible. Thankfully, we've never had a flea problem. In the past - I have found a tick or two - but the K9 Advantixx II or Frontline Plus I used took care of it.

    You'll have to let us know what works for Nola. Here's to hoping you find a solution for her soon - poor girl with her allergies! :(

  12. Sorry to hear about the flea situation. My Grandpa has a professional Nikon but can't

  13. Are you seeing live fleas and are they very active? It may be that what is annoying her are the fleas that are already "under the influence" and are dying. They may be at the end of the flea-life cycle. Could she actually be scratching as an allergy to something else?

    I use Trifexis on 3 of my dogs, with much success. I do have to use Pill Pockets to get them to take it, but even so Blossom refuses to take it, so for now she is on nothing. I'm hoping that the other dog's protection will cover her since we are primarily inside dogs. You might try treating the yard, I had to do that once because the fleas got really bad. Good luck with the fleas and the camera search!

  14. Darn about the fleas. Fleas can't survive around here (due to the extremely dry air) so I have no experience with controlling them. I hope you figure something out!

    I'm a Canon user so I'm not much help. The only thing I'd say that's general to all DSLR's was that I really saw the difference when I went to a full frame sensor camera rather than a cropped sensor. I don't know what models of Nikon have that... Also, you might play with the numbers on a depth of field calculator app to think about the bokeh that you'll get from different lenses. A slightly longer lens with the same max aperture would give you even more bokeh, if that's something you like.

    I've been fortunate that a pro photographer has taken me under his wing, and has loaned me almost every canon lens made so I've gotten to try out lots and lots of lenses. I like prime lenses in the 85 to 135 mm range for portrait-type photos, with the maximum possible aperture (f 1.2, if possible). However, I tend to shoot in the forest where I really like a very shallow depth of field - and that might not be as important to you.

    Have fun making your choices!

  15. DE has always been a godsend for us. I don't use too much, usually only when I notice a flea or Elli scratching herself a lot. And then it's gone the next day. I always apply it outside because, yes, it's messy, but so, so worth it!

    Food grade DE shouldn't irritate yours or Nola's respiratory tracts so long as you don't use too much. I'm literally talking about using maybe 3 pinches on the back of a 40lb dog, and maybe 3 more pinches for the belly/leg area. I keep it off the head for the most part. Then I rub it all in, patting the excess off as best I can. One application lasts for 3-6 days in Oregon, depending on time spent outside and such. I haven't used anything but DE for the last 1.5 years at least. Fantastic stuff. Even worked for my coworker's boyfriend's daughter's lice!

  16. I hate putting drops on my boys and avoid any type of oral flea/tick preventative because I don't like the idea of Bentley ingesting something that will kill parasites. Our cat had a horrible reaction to some years ago. My husband does the photography and he has been looking at all of the ones you mentioned plus the Canon. What glitches have you run into with the 3100? We are still on the fence but will buy one in a few days.

  17. We are a Nikon family and love our D3100. If we were to switch we would go with the D90, might as well go big and we have used one for a while and really like it. The D3200 is pretty much like the D3100 just the wifi and maybe the remote shooting button. The D90 is nice, fast, easy to handle. Mom has used it for real estate photos mostly through work. As for fleas, no idea there.


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