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Hi All,


I just rescued a 4 year old BC and will post an introduction and history about him later this week. Needless to say, he has fleas and I am 100% confident he had them before he came to the rescue facility as I am the one who rescued him from his former home, and took him to a shelter to be evaluated, neutered, and then officially adopted by me. I brought him home today but soon discovered he still had fleas and there were tiny pencil tip sized black spots on his skin as well, and I am told that is the excreatment that the fleas leave behind. Needless to say, I immediately returned him to the shelter/rescue facility and have requested that they take a look at him and treat him before I bring him back home, as I currently have a 2 year old lab/golden mix and a very worried mother living at home :) What kind of treatment is there for fleas and what would you suggest my course of action be? Regardless, I will be vacuuming and cleaning the house big time for the next few weeks :( Normally the area I live in is not very prone to fleas and ticks but this dog came from out in a rural part of Colorado and had been chained up for all 4 years of it's life outside, and never cared for by it's former owner, other than being fed and watered.





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i'm not quite sure why you returned him to the shelter. seems a bit traumatic. fleas are fairly common with dogs and easier to treat in small populations of dogs rather than larger. bomb the house if you feel there are fleas inside. flea bombs are available at the supermarket or walmart. treat the dogs with frontline plus or some other flea repellent. some people don't care for chemical responses and can chime in with other advice, but i'm all for better living thru chemistry.

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I agree with rufftie - no need to have returned him to the shelter. Goodness knows what else he can 'pick up' there. Go get him.


I found a little dog in the woods a few years ago who was in my house for 2 days before his fleas became apparent. Actually, I had not examined him for fleas at first and only noticed the fleas when they were obviously crawling around on him. Of course, he happened to be sitting in my lap on the time (Eyoo!), and he had spent the night sleeping on my sweatshirt. The fleas were easily eliminated with a couple of good flea baths (in my bathtub and make sure to leave the flea shampoo on long enough. I did not the first time so had to give him a second bath) and an application of Frontline. I had two dogs and 3 cats - none picked up the fleas from the rescue dog.


Good Luck,


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Go to your vet and get a dose of Capstar. It starts killing fleas immediately. You can then add a topical--any of the common ones available--for a residual effect because the Capstar will kill fleas for 24 hours, which will take care of the immediate problem.


Taking him back to the shelter was not the ideal solution. I would find it hard to believe that a shelter, which is a revolving door of sorts, doesn't have an endemic flea popultion, so it's unrealistic to think they're going to somehow be able to eradicate the fleas in that environment. Sending him back there probably just consigned him to even more fleas. If you're concerned about bringing fleas into your house, take a Capstar to him at the shelter and then take him home the next day after applying a topical.


Be aware that not all flea products are the same, and people have had varying amounts of success using them. If he was in your house and you're worried, your best choices is probably a flea bomb (which will require you to vacate the premises for a period of time). Buy a flea collar and cut it in pieces and put a piece in the canister of your vacuum to help kill fleas you vacuum up. Empty the canister every time you vacuum. Wash all pet bedding and any other materials the dogs may have slept on. Some people will buy food grade diatomaceous earth and sprinkle it around the edges of the walls and on the pets' bedding, in their crates, etc.


But also realize that every time a dog goes outside it can pick up fleas. So unless you can also treat your yard and the dogs never go places where other dogs congregate, you're going to probably deal with fleas, at least on occasion. If you regularly apply a topical with an insect growth regulator (IGR), then eventually (in theory) the life cycle of the fleas is interrupted and the population in your house trends toward zero. It actually worked that way for me when the first flea med (Program) came out (back in the dark ages). I was able to eradicate fleas from my house, BUT I had only indoor cats at the time, so no one was bringing little hitchhikers in from outdoors. Just remember that IGRs can have a seriously adverse effect on other living creatures in the environment, so use them judiciously if you decide to use them at all.


A bath will remove the flea dirt and will also drown the fleas that are on the dog at the time of the bath.



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  • 2 weeks later...

I wanted to second the Capstar suggestion. I use it whenever I see my dog scratching, and inevitably I'll find a dying flea or two when I check her an hour later. She's white, and short haired, so it's very easy to see and capture the dying fleas after dosing.


I use Program for monthly maintenance, and Capstar whenever needed. I'm sure none of it is great for the dog, but I've found no other way to keep the fleas away. Kit is extremely susceptible to them, and I've had bad luck with Frontline, Advantage, and other topicals.

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