Dangers Of Flea Medication To Puppies
While youre at the pet store, a bottle of flea medication or a flea collar doesnt seem harmful to you, but you have to think of things on a microscopic scale when it comes to newborn puppies.
Flea medication contains ingredients that are harmful to their bodies in more than one way.
Even after birth, puppies are still developing their internal organs, so they cant process the ingredients as well as adult dogs.
The main ingredients you want to avoid are permethrins, which challenge a puppys metabolism.
Newborn puppies dont have a strong metabolism to break down the permethrins, which leads to symptoms such as:
Permethrins are the most active ingredient in most flea medications, so any medication or product thats permethrin-free is most likely not going to be effective.
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By Step Guide To Get Rid Of Fleas On Newborn Puppies
Newborn puppies are the favorite host of fleas. They are warm, their skin quickly produces moisture, and their blood is an ideal meal for these parasites. Unfortunately, there is no particular flea product that can be safely used for newborn puppies. It is because the internal organs of young puppies are more delicate compared to older dogs. Therefore, they are more prone to experience adverse reactions caused by most anti-flea treatment for puppies.
Getting rid of newborn puppy fleas is quite tricky because these insects are tough to get rid of as theyre persistent, the same as cockroaches. As soon as you think youve eliminated them, the more they start popping out. The key to effectively eliminate fleas requires treatment that involves all of their life cycles on both the parasite and their environment.
The first thing to do is to look for fleas in your pets fur. You will eventually see these tiny crawling insects looking like brown or black spots and would run between their coats. Usually, these small insects can be found on the belly, underarms, puppys neck, and genitals. So its important to scrutinize these areas. Also, check if flea feces are accumulating in those areas. You can find it when you moisten the puppys coat, and you will see tiny, immobile spots that turn reddish if it comes in contact with the water.
Below is a step-by-step method to eliminate the insects on your newborn puppies.
The Flea In A Nutshell
Fleas are wingless, bloodsucking parasites with flattened bodies and three pairs of powerful joined legs capable of making high jumps. An adult flea is brown, about one-tenth of an inch long and can be seen with the naked eye. Fleas can move quickly through hair and are difficult to catch.
Although there is a specific dog flea, Ctenocephalides canis, it is quite rare. Usually dogs become infested with the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis. The human flea, Pulex irritans, can also be found on dogs.
Ideally, fleas complete their life cycles in just over two weeks. However, when food is scarce, the cycle can be significantly prolonged . This is the reason why flea problems may return to an infested house even when it has been uninhabited by pets for well over a year.
Adult fleas feed every few days via bites through the dogs skin. These blood meals are necessary for before sexual activity can take place. A fertilized female lays up to 50 eggs a day. Most of them are dislodged by scratching and drop to the floor or ground.
It should be noted that for every flea on your dog, there are likely to be 100 more in the environment at different stages in their life cycle.
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Rid The Mother Of Fleas
Just as it was important to be aware of the issues with flea treatments for a newborn puppy, its just the same for the puppy mother, especially if she is still providing milk to the litter.
Thats because some chemicals in the treatments can be passed to the pups while they are feeding, leading to dangerous side effects.
Two chemicals found in flea treatments have been found to be dangerous to pregnant and lactating dogs, and they are Fipronil and Spinosad.
Fipronil has not been proven to be safe for puppies, so that means that it shouldnt be used on mothers either when theyre pregnant or still feeding the pups.
Spinosad, meanwhile, has been shown to be present in the mothers milk when given as an oral treatment. Its not known if it causes side effects in puppies and so it should be avoided when choosing a remedy for the mother.
Do also be careful of products that are described as natural or drug-free this doesnt mean that they are safe for either a lactating mother dog or a newborn puppy. There are, however, a range of products that contain Selamectin, which is applied to the skin, and these are safe to give to Mum and have no side effects for the puppies even if shes still feeding them.
Do make sure to read the manufacturers instructions before using any flea treatments and ensure that the mothers skin and coat are completely dry before the puppies are reunited with her.
Why You Cant Use Flea Treatment On Young Puppies
While there are many flea treatments available for an adult dog and the home, most flea treatments are unsuitable for young puppies. That means that a different approach is going to be needed to sort out the situation.
One of the main reasons for not using flea products on newborn pups is because of the delicacy of their internal organs. This then means that they are much more prone to experience a side effect compared to adult dogs.
Dependent on the type of treatment used, puppies can experience breathing problems, vomiting and become oversensitive to stimulation such as light and noise. Some also become very lethargic with low energy levels.
Generally, youll find that flea products have warnings to advise against their use with newborn puppies, or they will state that they have not been tested on youngsters and so are not recommended for them.
One of the most significant risks comes from products that contain permethrins. With a puppys metabolism being too underdeveloped to break down the chemical, they then build up in their system.
This means that they can then cause severe and life-threatening symptoms, including neurological damage, paralysis, and seizures.
The problem then is that products without permethrin are unlikely to get rid of the flea problem.
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How To Get Rid Of Fleas Off A New Born Puppy
Fleas and dogs seem to go hand in hand. At some point in your dog’s life, it is bound to become infested with fleas. When this happens, you can get some medication from your vet that will kill the fleas and keep the fleas away. Unfortunately, this method is not allowed on newborn puppies and can be quite dangerous for them. If your newborn puppy has fleas, create a safe homemade flea remedy.
Puppy Care: Prevention And Treatment To Remove Fleas From Your Pup
Unfortunately, newborn puppies are the ideal breeding ground for fleas. Theyre furry, produce moisture, and live in close proximity to other potential hosts. As well as being a health risk, fleas on puppies is a really unpleasant experience. So it’s important to be aware of the best flea treatment for puppies
Ctenocephalides Canis, otherwise known as the common dog flea, will make a puppies skin itchy and irritable, and in the worst cases they can lead to anemia, long-term allergies, and may even transmit tapeworms. Fleas can lay between 20-40 eggs in 24 hours, and it only takes ten females to produce thousands more. Theyre also pretty tough newly produced fleas can survive up to 14 days without feeding, while older fleas can last for up to six months. Getting rid of them is a real challenge. But as we’ll see, the best flea treatment for puppies requires a three-pronged approach: You need to treat the puppy. You need to treat the mother. And you need to treat and manage the environment.
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Flea Treatment For Puppies
If your puppy has fleas then theres a very high chance that any other animals in the house are also infected. If your puppy is still part of a litter, then it’s almost certain that the other puppies and their mother will have them too. For the puppies, just follow the advice from stage 1. For older dogs and mum you can use anti-flea medications and prescriptions, but it’s still important to be mindful of which ones you chose. If mum is still milking then some of the chemicals can be transmitted to the litter, so make sure you use products that are suitable for lactating. These include Revolution and Stronghold they use a chemical called selamectin, which was approved by studies carried out at the Institute for Comparative Tropical Medicine and Parasitology.
Be careful of using any natural or herbal remedies. Speaking to the Natural Resource Defense Council, Dr. Karyn Bischoff, a toxicologist at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, states that They may not work – and some arent safe. A few have already been linked to allergies and health problems, and many others have not been researched properly. Stick with more reputable, branded products, and consult your local vet if you’re ever unsure.
How To Get Rid Of Fleas In Your Yard
If your puppy spends time outdoors, you will need to treat your yard for fleas, too.
Concentrate on dark, shaded areas, and as best as possible, remove dead plants and other debris where fleas can breed.
Spray a product containing an insect growth regulator and repeat every 2-3 weeks with 3-5 applications. Active ingredients to look for are methoprene and pyriproxyfen. Use these products as directed on patios, along foundations, and under porches.
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Change Your Puppy’s Bedding
Once you get rid of the fleas from newborn puppies, it is essential to get rid of the insects in their environment to avoid re-infection. You need to clean their beddings or carpets with soap and water and replace them with clean ones. Change all of your puppys linen, towels, blankets, and pillows, to prevent these parasites from re-infesting your pup again when you place it back into its soft nest. Make sure to wash all of the beddings in hot soapy water.
The Problems With Fleas
A tapeworm egg sac on dog feces
First of all, fleas cause skin irritation which eventually leads to itchiness. Once irritated, the skin, as a barrier, becomes damaged and more prone to developing secondary bacterial and fungal skin infections. What is more, some individuals are allergic to flea saliva. When an allergic puppy becomes infested with fleas, it develops a condition known as flea allergy dermatitis.
Additionally, fleas transmit tapeworms. Simply put, when puppies lick themselves they ingest fleas and if the fleas are infected with tapeworms, the puppies will also become infected. Once ingested, the tapeworms attach to the intestinal lining.
Due to their fast reproductive rate, one flea can easily turn into hundreds of fleas. If hundreds of fleas host on one small puppy it is likely that the pup will become anemic. Anemia in puppies is a life threatening condition.
Last but not least, Bartonella bacteria infections in dogs are linked with fleas.
From the above stated, it is safe to assume that fleas can be not just dangerous but also life-threatening for newborn puppies.
How to Remove Fleas From Newborn Puppies?
Sadly, when it comes to young puppies, getting rid of fleas can be tricky. This is because young puppies cannot handle the powerful insecticides in the anti-flea products. Namely, anti-flea medications can cause adverse side-effects if used in youngsters. Therefore, getting rid of fleas from puppies includes three important steps:
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How To Get Rid Of Fleas On Puppies
Most traditional flea treatments for dogs are too strong for newborn puppies to use.
Theyre designed for adult dogs or puppies over eight weeks old, so they have a higher dosage of medication to banish fleas.
Newborn puppies dont have fully developed organs, so its much more difficult for them to process chemicals and toxins at the higher dosages.
Try some of these easy ways to get rid of fleas on newborn puppies to make them more comfortable. Then you can use the treatments to prevent fleas in the long run.
What Should I Give My 8 Week Old Puppy For Fleas
Eight Weeks and Older. Once a puppy reaches the age of 8 weeks, he can receive many commercial flea preventives, including over-the-counter and prescription medications. Frontline, containing -methoprene and fipronil and available in topical or spray form, can be used on puppies of this age. It also controls ticks.
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Preventing Infestation Of Fleas
The environment in which the puppies live could be rich in flea eggs, larvae and pupae just waiting to reach maturity, and you cant see them. If your puppy has been infested with fleas before, or if you have discovered that other dogs in your community are ridden with fleas, you have to do something to prevent your puppy from being infested too.
First of all, start by keeping your home clean and dry. This also applies to places where your pet spends much time, like your car, garage, basement or pet carrier. Always vacuum your doggy areas thoroughly, especially below the drapes, under furniture edges and your pets sleeping area. Vacuuming can remove up to 50% of flea eggs.
Use an anti-flea spray or insecticides on your home or directly in your dogs coat. Terra Pet Naturals 100% Pet Naturals of Vermont FLEA + TICK Repellent Spray can help prevent and control fleas, ticks and other pests that can dwell in your dogs fur. This product is purely made of natural materials such as essential oils blended with apple cider vinegar. It works effectively in repelling pests, and its gentle for puppies and dogs with sensitive skin.
How To Get Rid Of Fleas On A Puppy Too Young For Normal Medication
This article was co-authored by Ray Spragley, DVM. Dr. Ray Spragley is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and the Owner/Founder of Zen Dog Veterinary Care PLLC in New York. With experience in multiple institutions and private practices, Dr. Spragleys specializations and interests include non-surgical management of cranial cruciate ligament tears, Intervertebral Disk Disease, and pain management in osteoarthritis. Dr. Spragley holds a BS in Biology from SUNY Albany and has a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. He is also a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist through the Canine Rehab Institute as well as a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist through Chi University.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 18 testimonials and 100% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 514,152 times.
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