Four week old puppies COVERED in fleas. Help!
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Thread: Four week old puppies COVERED in fleas. Help!

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    Four week old puppies COVERED in fleas. Help!

    My aunt's lab had eight puppies four weeks ago. All her dogs are horribly neglected (in fact, I took the mother to the vet for a skin infection/flea allergy yesterday and used my own money), so I was looking for natural flea remedies to use on the puppies. They're too young for all the chemicals, but I've read a lot of good things about Apple Cider Vinegar. My question was, is it safe to use ACV on the 4 week old puppies' coats? Diluted, of course. And maybe in a bath? I'm planning on giving them a bath in baby shampoo, combing them with a flea comb and then spraying them with diluted ACV. I'm using the ACV because the puppies (and 3 other older dogs, including the mother) are strictly outside dogs.
    Do you think the ACV on them will be safe?
    Or can you suggest any other cheap, natural remedies?

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    Senior Member agility collie mom's Avatar
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    Re: Four week old puppies COVERED in fleas. Help!

    The original Dawn (blue) dish washing detergent and a flea comb. It is not safe to put chemicals on puppies of less than six weeks of age. Fleas themselves can also be very dangerous to young puppies and can even result in a puppy dying from anemia so you do need to kill these fleas. If the puppy is with it's mother and nursing it is more than likely that the mother dog has a flea infestation so first you need to treat the mother dog. If there are other cats or dogs in the household you need to treat all pets and also your house. The safest way to treat a puppy under 6 weeks of age for fleas is to bathe him using warm water and Dawn dish washing detergent and then to manually pick off remaining fleas. Dawn dish washing 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. Using a flea comb at this time would be very helpful also. Then put him back in the water for a rinse. If he is not fighting and struggling too much try to keep him submerged 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 all over the pup with a flea comb! Good luck!

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    Re: Four week old puppies COVERED in fleas. Help!

    My 2 cents worth...

    Wow you have your hands full. Thank you for stepping up to help these dogs and puppies.

    I would use a shampoo that has safe for puppies on the label. I know ACV is a wonderful product but I’m not sure the right stuff for 4 week old puppies. After bathing and drying the pups I would have a bowl of soapy water close by. I would flea comb them and dunk the flea comb with fleas in the soapy water. This should remove all the fleas for the time being. I would give Capstar to the mom to get rid of the adult fleas now, please ask your vet first. If the other dogs aren’t in contact with the puppies you could use Advantage or whatever flea prevention product you use to get rid of their fleas. I would be very careful what you put on the mom, the puppies will be crawling all over her for her milk and love.

    Remember only about 5% of the fleas are on the dogs the other 95% are in the environment. So you must wash and clean all the bedding and treat the areas where the dogs are kept. Again, you should discuss your de-flea plan with your vet first just to be sure it is safe for the puppies. .

    I hope all goes well and please keep us updated.
    Patt
    Gracie, Blk/Wht Boston Terrier, Joey (Tan/Wht Chihuahua),
    Fritz (Long hair Blk/Tan Dachshund), Trixie (Smooth Blk/Tan Dachshund

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    Re: Four week old puppies COVERED in fleas. Help!

    My .02, would be to call AC and have these dogs removed from her care. Sorry I know you're trying to help them, but this is ridiculous. How are you going to treat all those animals to rid them of fleas? Can you afford to buy Frontline for all of the adults and flea bathe the puppies? BTW, baby shampoo is not Ph balanced for a dogs skin and you can really dry them out.
    **sig too big**

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    Re: Four week old puppies COVERED in fleas. Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Patt View Post
    My 2 cents worth...

    Wow you have your hands full. Thank you for stepping up to help these dogs and puppies.

    I would use a shampoo that has safe for puppies on the label. I know ACV is a wonderful product but I’m not sure the right stuff for 4 week old puppies. After bathing and drying the pups I would have a bowl of soapy water close by. I would flea comb them and dunk the flea comb with fleas in the soapy water. This should remove all the fleas for the time being. I would give Capstar to the mom to get rid of the adult fleas now, please ask your vet first. If the other dogs aren’t in contact with the puppies you could use Advantage or whatever flea prevention product you use to get rid of their fleas. I would be very careful what you put on the mom, the puppies will be crawling all over her for her milk and love.

    Remember only about 5% of the fleas are on the dogs the other 95% are in the environment. So you must wash and clean all the bedding and treat the areas where the dogs are kept. Again, you should discuss your de-flea plan with your vet first just to be sure it is safe for the puppies. .

    I hope all goes well and please keep us updated.
    I can't find a single flea shampoo safe for four week old puppes. It's all 12 weeks and older.

    So, using Dawn and a flea comb will work to remove them, but what about prevention? That's where I read about ACV. It said spraying them with a diluted ACV/water mix will repel the fleas.

    The puppies are living under a shed. They refuse to sleep in a dog house because my grandmother's two male dogs use the backyard where they live. But, her two and one more stay inside, so of course the fleas are inside.

    I took the mother to the vet and they said she had a skin infection and a flea allergy. So they gave her a steroid shot, two weeks worth of antibiotics and some COMFORT tablet that made every flea on her drop in half an hour. My vet said that would keep her flea free for one month. So, she's basically taken care of flea wise. The puppies are my concern now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dieselsmama View Post
    My .02, would be to call AC and have these dogs removed from her care. Sorry I know you're trying to help them, but this is ridiculous. How are you going to treat all those animals to rid them of fleas? Can you afford to buy Frontline for all of the adults and flea bathe the puppies? BTW, baby shampoo is not Ph balanced for a dogs skin and you can really dry them out.
    The AC here keeps them for 48 hours. If they aren't adopted, they're killed. But once the puppies are a few weeks older and people start going to my aunt's house to look at the puppies, I'm making an anonymous call to the AC to see what they can do (That way my aunt can't single me out). I don't want them to get put down. I want them to get the right treatement and find good homes. Any suggestions? Do you think AC will try to get them in a rescue or something? I also hate to seperate them. It's three generations of females.

    But, no, I can't afford the chemical flea stuff. That's why I was asking for natural remedies.
    Last edited by Border356; 08-10-2008 at 11:04 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Re: Four week old puppies COVERED in fleas. Help!

    Sorry no puppy shampoo available, I'm sure the vet sells some. Dawn will do fine, just be sure to really rinse it off of them. I searched to see if anything turned up for puppies and ACV.... nothing. I guess if you dilute the ACV enough maybe it will be okay. Watch them to make sure no behavior change. The mom is just going to lick it off anyways. No matter what you put on any of the dogs it will kill the adult fleas, but will do nothing for the environment so you will be going around in circles with the fleas with no end in sight.

    What about the male dogs that visit or live there, is there a possibility they will kill the puppies? Sometimes in nature they do. So be careful.

    How about getting every dog spayed and neutered, that way they could still live there. You would have to call your AC to see if they work with rescues, some don't. So you might have to place whatever dogs in rescue yourself.

    Please keep us updated.
    Patt
    Gracie, Blk/Wht Boston Terrier, Joey (Tan/Wht Chihuahua),
    Fritz (Long hair Blk/Tan Dachshund), Trixie (Smooth Blk/Tan Dachshund

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    Re: Four week old puppies COVERED in fleas. Help!

    Dawn is the best for any animail under 6 weeks that's all I have ever used with my dogs when they first come home!

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    Re: Four week old puppies COVERED in fleas. Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Patt View Post
    Sorry no puppy shampoo available, I'm sure the vet sells some. Dawn will do fine, just be sure to really rinse it off of them. I searched to see if anything turned up for puppies and ACV.... nothing. I guess if you dilute the ACV enough maybe it will be okay. Watch them to make sure no behavior change. The mom is just going to lick it off anyways. No matter what you put on any of the dogs it will kill the adult fleas, but will do nothing for the environment so you will be going around in circles with the fleas with no end in sight.

    What about the male dogs that visit or live there, is there a possibility they will kill the puppies? Sometimes in nature they do. So be careful.

    How about getting every dog spayed and neutered, that way they could still live there. You would have to call your AC to see if they work with rescues, some don't. So you might have to place whatever dogs in rescue yourself.

    Please keep us updated.
    Oh, I didn't think about the mother licking it right off of them. I think my grandmother spread some red cedar shavings under the shed. She was told it was a flea repellant. So, I guess a bath in Dawn is my only choice. I might pick up a flea comb on my way there. Tomorrow is the only day I can do this.


    There's only one male dog that hops the fence to visit them. He's the dog of a friend who visits my aunt's house. He's fine around the puppies, though. And he doesn't come around much. Although I think he got another of the females pregnant. She's looking thick around the middle.

    I was thinking of getting them spayed, but I can't afford it. And I already took five cats out of that house because my uncle was going to kill them, so I'm on really thin ice with them when it comes to their animals. I don't know how to approach the subject without them getting quite offended. But, really, they have no busiess having those three outside females, plus all the puppies. All they do is feed and water them, and that's it. No attention, no vet care, nothing.

    I feel so stuck.

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    Member minischnauzer's Avatar
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    Re: Four week old puppies COVERED in fleas. Help!

    Because you have a puppy, you really should be careful with using any toxins on him directly or internally - is body is still developing. You really need to support his immune system through this so that he can resist the infestation and get better "on his own." [If you see a warning about having to wear gloves and/or avoiding contact with your own skin on a bottle, how can it be healthy or safe for a dog, who is smaller than you are?]

    Dr. Pitcairn (good book - Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats) recommends:

    1. steam clean carpets
    2. thoroughly vacuum/clean floors once a week (throw bag away immediately; adult fleas can get out of vacuum bags)
    3. launder pet's bedding in hot water w/ soap at least once a week
    4. bathe w/ non-toxic shampoos containing d-limonene
    5. use a flea comb to trap/kill fleas on the dog
    6. mow/water lawn regularly (fleas live in cool, moist areas; short grass would allow sun to penetrate and warm the ground, killing larvae)
    7. although sort of "backwards," having ants in your backyard will kill the fleas
    8. "sterilize" bare-earth sleeping spots by raking up all the dead leaves and covering it up with heavy black plastic (this is if you don't have grass)
    9. apply agricultural lime on grassy/moist areas (rake up leaves first) to dry up fleas
    10. herbal flea powders are non-toxic and can discourage fleas from getting on your pup [apply sparingly, by brushing backward along the hair and sprinkling it on neck, back, and belly - for severe infestations, do several times per week; then put pup outside so the fleas can get off] powders containig pyrethrins discourage fleas very well but don't kill them
    11. an herbal flea collar is an option, so long as it's not toxic
    12. a lemon skin tonic applied daily in severe cases is MAGIC - thinly slice whole lemon, including peel. Add it and 1 pint of near-boiling water and let steep overnight. Sponge solution onto animals' skin and let it dry.
    13. add ample nutritional yeast and garlic to the diet
    14. you can treat your carpets with an anti-flea mineral salt
    15 once or twice a year, sprinkle natural, unrefined diatomaceous earth along the walls, under furniture, and in cracks and crevices you can't access w/ a vacuum (it's harmless to pets and people but kills larvae)

    In another holisitic care book, I read that several drops of wormwood extract will make blood "unpleasant" for fleas, discouraging them from feeding on the animal.

    Fleas have been proven to avoid feeding on animals fed a raw diet, so switching them to a healthier diet will not only strengthen their immune system (fleas also seem to prefer immuno-supressed hosts - you should also worm the pups), and also discourage reinfestation.

    I am a firm believer in that you should treat the cause and not the symptom - so feeding poison (Frontline) continuously is only going to make the fleas go away now - it won't discourage diseases down the line, especially those resulting from continuous use of toxic substances subcutaneously or otherwise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Border356 View Post
    Oh, I didn't think about the mother licking it right off of them. I think my grandmother spread some red cedar shavings under the shed. She was told it was a flea repellant. So, I guess a bath in Dawn is my only choice. I might pick up a flea comb on my way there. Tomorrow is the only day I can do this.


    There's only one male dog that hops the fence to visit them. He's the dog of a friend who visits my aunt's house. He's fine around the puppies, though. And he doesn't come around much. Although I think he got another of the females pregnant. She's looking thick around the middle.

    I was thinking of getting them spayed, but I can't afford it. And I already took five cats out of that house because my uncle was going to kill them, so I'm on really thin ice with them when it comes to their animals. I don't know how to approach the subject without them getting quite offended. But, really, they have no busiess having those three outside females, plus all the puppies. All they do is feed and water them, and that's it. No attention, no vet care, nothing.

    I feel so stuck.
    Please contact the SPCA. If you don't help them, no one will -and it's not right, fair, just, use whatever word you want - to let them suffer. If you have a problem doing this, please let me know their contact information and I will. Animal cruelty comes in many forms, and it takes just one person to make a difference. Please tell someone who can save them from a miserable life.
    Last edited by minischnauzer; 08-12-2008 at 08:49 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Re: Four week old puppies COVERED in fleas. Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by minischnauzer View Post
    Because you have a puppy, you really should be careful with using any toxins on him directly or internally - is body is still developing. You really need to support his immune system through this so that he can resist the infestation and get better "on his own." [If you see a warning about having to wear gloves and/or avoiding contact with your own skin on a bottle, how can it be healthy or safe for a dog, who is smaller than you are?]

    Dr. Pitcairn (good book - Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats) recommends:

    1. steam clean carpets
    2. thoroughly vacuum/clean floors once a week (throw bag away immediately; adult fleas can get out of vacuum bags)
    3. launder pet's bedding in hot water w/ soap at least once a week
    4. bathe w/ non-toxic shampoos containing d-limonene
    5. use a flea comb to trap/kill fleas on the dog
    6. mow/water lawn regularly (fleas live in cool, moist areas; short grass would allow sun to penetrate and warm the ground, killing larvae)
    7. although sort of "backwards," having ants in your backyard will kill the fleas
    8. "sterilize" bare-earth sleeping spots by raking up all the dead leaves and covering it up with heavy black plastic (this is if you don't have grass)
    9. apply agricultural lime on grassy/moist areas (rake up leaves first) to dry up fleas
    10. herbal flea powders are non-toxic and can discourage fleas from getting on your pup [apply sparingly, by brushing backward along the hair and sprinkling it on neck, back, and belly - for severe infestations, do several times per week; then put pup outside so the fleas can get off] powders containig pyrethrins discourage fleas very well but don't kill them
    11. an herbal flea collar is an option, so long as it's not toxic
    12. a lemon skin tonic applied daily in severe cases is MAGIC - thinly slice whole lemon, including peel. Add it and 1 pint of near-boiling water and let steep overnight. Sponge solution onto animals' skin and let it dry.
    13. add ample nutritional yeast and garlic to the diet
    14. you can treat your carpets with an anti-flea mineral salt
    15 once or twice a year, sprinkle natural, unrefined diatomaceous earth along the walls, under furniture, and in cracks and crevices you can't access w/ a vacuum (it's harmless to pets and people but kills larvae)

    In another holisitic care book, I read that several drops of wormwood extract will make blood "unpleasant" for fleas, discouraging them from feeding on the animal.

    Fleas have been proven to avoid feeding on animals fed a raw diet, so switching them to a healthier diet will not only strengthen their immune system (fleas also seem to prefer immuno-supressed hosts - you should also worm the pups), and also discourage reinfestation.

    I am a firm believer in that you should treat the cause and not the symptom - so feeding poison (Frontline) continuously is only going to make the fleas go away now - it won't discourage diseases down the line, especially those resulting from continuous use of toxic substances subcutaneously or otherwise.



    Please contact the SPCA. If you don't help them, no one will -and it's not right, fair, just, use whatever word you want - to let them suffer. If you have a problem doing this, please let me know their contact information and I will. Animal cruelty comes in many forms, and it takes just one person to make a difference. Please tell someone who can save them from a miserable life.
    Thanks for all those tips, but they're useless to me. All these animal problems are at my aunt's house, and I don't live there. I live in a flea free environment with very spoiled dogs. :]

    The puppies get no vet care. They won't be dewormed or anything. They'll probably just put a sign up for puppies in a week or two.

    And my uncle (because they're broke and, dare I say it, stupid) will only buy 50lb bags of Ol Roy to feed all the outside dogs. Ick. But they did get Puppy Chow for the puppies since they're being weaned. At least my Grandma is softening it with water and a little milk.


    But, another of their females is pregnant, I'm pretty sure.
    The dogs have food, water and shelter. Just no vet care or attention.
    If I call my AC, what can I expect?
    Last edited by Border356; 08-12-2008 at 08:12 PM.

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    Re: Four week old puppies COVERED in fleas. Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Border356 View Post
    If I call my AC, what can I expect?
    This is a very sad situation. Not exactly sure what you can expect from the AC, but I think their lives would be better than where they are now even if they are PTS. I know that is very hard for me to even think about, but really do you have any other choice? The females are going to be having litter after litter with no end in sight, I don't think that is fair for the females or the puppies. It's like they are stuck in a puppy mill and no way out of that he!!.
    Patt
    Gracie, Blk/Wht Boston Terrier, Joey (Tan/Wht Chihuahua),
    Fritz (Long hair Blk/Tan Dachshund), Trixie (Smooth Blk/Tan Dachshund

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    Re: Four week old puppies COVERED in fleas. Help!

    If you Google any of the meds with key words such as "Frontline and Seisures" or "Advantix killed my dog" you will see that some dogs have a very bad immediate reaction and the long term effect is unknown. I have reseached holistisic methods of handling fleas and ticks and I have found that Neem oil and Neem powder is all natural and works best for me. If you want to know more Google Critter Shield.

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    Re: Four week old puppies COVERED in fleas. Help!

    I would call animal control or the ASPCA and report them..That is just ridiculious ..But I will say for our dogs I treat with neen oil bath's and it works great..Garlic tabs are another option but you have to have the dosage right and based on weight

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    Re: Four week old puppies COVERED in fleas. Help!

    ABSOLUTLY call the SPCA right away! The longer these puppies are in your grandmothers care, the less chance they will have at survival! PLus the longer they are on Ole Roy food, without proper vet care, & have a flea infestation the harder it will be for the SPCA or a rescue to help them. So please, I beg you, call someone to have these animals taken out of these condidtions. Labs are great dogs & would most likely be adopted quickly but they need to ahve the proper care first.

    Where are you located? Are there local lab rescues in the area? your grandmother has to know that she is in over her head. Will she really be that upset if these puppies are taken away? It is obvious that she does not or cannot care for them.

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    Re: Four week old puppies COVERED in fleas. Help!

    Everyone, please note this is an old thread.

    Puppies are probably already adopted out to good homes (I hope).
    Patt
    Gracie, Blk/Wht Boston Terrier, Joey (Tan/Wht Chihuahua),
    Fritz (Long hair Blk/Tan Dachshund), Trixie (Smooth Blk/Tan Dachshund

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