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Flea Medication: Signs It’s Not Working

No one wants a dog or house full of fleas. It can start with one bite and then next thing you know you and your dog are itching and scratching like crazy. That’s why we trust flea prevention medication to ward off the pesky intruders. But sometimes the products we buy that are supposed to alleviate the problem turn out to be not so helpful.

How do you know if your flea medication is working or not?

Redness and Itching

This is one of the first signs you’ll see when it comes to flea medication. Most of the time flea medication is topical and you’ll often see inflammation, itching and redness at the site of application. It may be alarming, but it can be treated by washing off the product. However, once it’s washed off the medicine will no longer be effective in killing fleas.

Hair Loss

Another common side effect is hair loss. It happens in both dogs and cats but is most prevalent in cats. If you see any issues with your pet’s skin or fur after applying a flea medication, make sure to contact your vet. They can help you figure out the best option for your pet.

Continued Presence of Fleas

Of course, this seems like given but it’s not exactly that simple. When you first start the medicine it won’t kill all of the fleas immediately. As clinical instructor, Dr. Maria Verbrugge of the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine states. “By the time you see fleas on your pet, they have generally been laying thousands and thousands of eggs in your house,” It takes between six and eight weeks for those eggs to hatch, so using flea medication as prescribed doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be gone at the end of the prescription. While the medication may be working great, the last few fleas are still hatching. Make sure you are treating all the animals in your house to avoid the fleas finding another host and keeping the problem alive.

Vomiting and Lethargy

This occurs most often when your pet licks off the topical treatment. This is especially true if you see drooling or foaming at the mouth. Not only does this mean the medicine won’t work because it’s been removed, but your pet is in danger of oral irritation or ulceration of the mouth. Make sure to contact your vet if you see these symptoms.

Getting rid of fleas can be pretty tricky. After all, they are called pests for a reason. Fleas are stubborn, persistent and ever hatching little ankle biters. That’s why we turn to prevention and medications to help relieve our pets and our homes from these tiny tyrants. However, make sure to check with your vet for recommendations. And especially let them know if you notice any possible side effects.

It’s always good to know what to prevent and what to do to keep your pets safe and healthy. Head to our Facebook or Twitter and share how you take care of your furry family member.