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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19767
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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My daughter just a adopted a puppy from a shelter & she

Customer Question

My daughter just a adopted a puppy from a shelter & she keeps noticing a bug crawling around her face and ears.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Piper
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Piper?
Customer: I don't think so. They're not sure of her age, but they adopted her and her 2 siblings.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer where you can place your fully refundable $5 deposit (plus $14 after the Veterinarian responds). While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 1 year ago.

Hello. Thanks for the question.

You're almost surely seeing a flea. They will crawl in and out of the hair. They are very common in shelters. They have so many dogs coming in and out, that they cannot fully de-contaminate these facilities.

You'll want to use something like Capstar orally to kill the fleas on her quickly. You then start a topical monthly preventative. Ideally, I would give this year round to prevent infestations.

Here is a nice handout on flea control to read over:

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Where can she buy Capstar? Does Walmart sell it? (That's the only store open right now).
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 1 year ago.

Most pet stores and big chain stores carry it. I would call first to make sure, but they should carry it at Walmart.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Should she give Capstar to the other 2 puppies as well? Does she need to throw out the dog bed or can she just vacuum it out?
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 1 year ago.

I would treat all the animals in the house, yes.

The dog bed can be washed in warm or hot water- that will kill any fleas, eggs or larvae.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your help!!! Hopefully we can get rid of them quickly. Have a great night!!!
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 1 year ago.

It's not always a quick fix, but sticking with therapy and giving it a couple months will usually get it under control. Catching it quickly is also important in more mild infestations.

You're welcome.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Me again...Capstar is not available at Walmart & there are no oral treatments there at all. Walmart only has topical treatments, which indicate that the puppy must be at least 12 weeks old. Are these safe to use on a puppy younger than that. We're being told the puppy is probably 6 - 8 weeks old.
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 1 year ago.

I would go with Frontline. Don't use Hartz or Sergeant's, as they can be toxic in dogs. Frontline is safe, even in puppies this young.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No Frontline for dogs. Only Fipronil or Petarmor topical treatments. Are either of those acceptable to use or should they just wait & take the puppies to the vet tomorrow?
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 1 year ago.

Fipronil is the active ingredient in Frontline- that is the generic. That would be fine to use.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Awesome!!! Thanks again for your help!!! You can go back to sleep now, I promise I won't bother you again tonight. :)
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 1 year ago.

I work ER, I'm up until 7- no worries!

Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Gary