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Dangers of Flea Medication~

Overview

Flea and tick medications are common treatments for pets. They are often sold over the counter and applied to millions of pets ever year; however, flea medication carries a myriad of risks to both pets and owners. The medications are filled with toxic chemicals (they kills fleas and ticks, after all). If they are not applied to extreme caution, serious complications and possibly death may occur.

Concentration

Flea medication is highly concentrated; when rubbing the medication onto an animal, high concentrations can be left on one spot on the dog or cat. The high level in one are then seeps into the skin and into the pet’s circulatory system. The toxins that are used to kill fleas are also harmful to the animal . Uneven application can cause nerve problems and can make both dogs and cats extremely ill with lasting effects.

Ingestion

Many flea medications come in shampoo form. The theory is that the flea medication will be applied and then rinsed from the animal. It is imperative to rinse the pet thoroughly, as dogs and cats tend to lick themselves and any medication residue could be ingested. The toxins in flea medication, even if just residue, can lead to nerve damage, brain damage and may be fatal for pets.

Human Contact

Any people using a flea medication on their pets also must be extremely careful when handling the products. Hands must be washed thoroughly afterward and skin contact should be limited. The toxic chemicals used to kill fleas can seep into the skin and cause unpleasant reactions in some people. .

Puppies and Kittens

Flea medication should not be used on kittens and puppies. The young animals are not big enough or strong enough to defend against the chemicals and may end up with brain damage, kidney damage and nerve damage if the product is not applied correctly.

Puppy Flea Removal~ Dawn dishwashing soap is very effective and it kills fleas quickly. Many breeders bathe their dogs in Dawn.Fill your sink or tub with warm water. (Test the temperature as if you were giving a baby a bath). Using the kitchen sink is often easiest as you don’t have to bend down and you are more in control. Immerse the puppy up to his neck and insure that he is saturated. Wet his face and head with a face washer. Then lift him out and place him on a towel. Gently massage in the detergent.  Massage the soap all over his body and around his neck, ears, face, head and under his chin, being very careful not to get soap in his eyes. The fleas are not silly and will head for the high dry ground of the head area.

Then put him back in the water for a rinse. If he is not fighting and struggling too much try to keep his body submerged (with his head above the water of course) for a few minutes. If he is distressed get the job over and done as quickly as possible. Having two people perform the operation is often easier. One to hold the puppy and one to massage and wash the the puppy. When finished wrap him up in a dry towel and dry him off. Try to do this in a warm atmosphere and don’t let him get cold.

After the Bath – Go over the puppy with a flea comb

Flea CombFlea combs are very inexpensive and usually quite effective in catching fleas that still remain on the puppy after his bath. While the puppy is still damp comb over his body with a flea comb or pick off the remaining live  fleas with you finger and thumb nails while they are struggling to get through the damp hair. Have a cup of boiling water ready to drop the fleas into as you catch them. Boiling water is best as I’ve seen fleas jump out of cold water. Combing may be easier on a shorthair puppy than a longhair one. I have been told that putting some Vaseline on the flea comb near the base of the comb’s teeth stop the fleas from escaping the comb.  Another idea is to have some sticky tape placed sticky side up and put the captured fleas on this.

References:

*Dog Chat

*Daily Puppy

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