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fleas from puppy

Species: Dog
Breed: 1/2 Australian Shep
Age: 2-5 years
We just got a new Puppy. We have had him for a month.
Since about 2 weeks after we got him, Brutal has been itching and has started pulling his own fur out on his back knee. I have found only a few fleas on him and the puppy and have been treating them both with Flea Spray, Flea Baths and Collar. What can I do to make him quit itching and work on getting his fur to grow back?
Thank you,

Related Article: Your Pet Has Fleas!

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi Kasey and thanks for your question. I don't think I have ever met a dog named Brutal. :)

It sounds like you may need to get a prescription strength flea product. Many animals are allergic to fleas and even having one flea will make them extremely itchy. You did not mention where they were itchy, but with fleas it can be anywhere on the body, or very commonly on the back of the neck and above the base of the tail.

I get really frustrated with over the counter flea sprays, baths and collars because they just don't work well! I once had a student working with me and for a science fair project she collected fleas from animals and kept them in a jar with a flea collar. The darned things lived on the flea collar and did not die.

Unfortunately though the good flea products are prescription and will cost more than the ones you have used. I usually recommend any of Advantage, Revolution, Frontline or Comfortis.

It is also really important that you treat all cats and dogs in the house and that you keep treating them for 2-3 months.

You don't need to buy products to treat your house. The product you treat the dogs with will kill any adult fleas. Then, as eggs hatch in your house they will seek out a cat or dog because they can't reproduce without getting a meal from them. Then, they will die because you are treating the dogs.

It really is quite unlikely that something other than the fleas is causing the itchiness, especially if it started after you brought the pup in and you are actually seeing fleas. They say that for every flea you see there are a hundred unseen ones!

The hair will grow back once we get rid of the fleas. There is nothing that will make it grow back faster.

I hope they are feeling better soon!

Dr. Marie.

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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Thank you for your quick response. His belly seems to be the most affected place at this time. the bald spot is on his back knee. I just want to make sure that the problem he is having is with fleas or an infection and not a mental problem with the puppy. Thanks again. Kasey

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

From what you have described it seems quite unlikely that this is just psychological. If he seems itchy on his belly though, a skin infection is possible. If there is a skin infection you should see crusty lesions. Ifyou think this is the case then you will need to see your vet for antibiotics.

Hope that helps!

Dr. Marie

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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.