Dog and fleas

So my dog dislocated his hip and broke the bone holding his femur in place almost two weeks ago. He had to get surgery for it and almost two weeks later, I see fleas on him. I’ve had friends who told me their dog, like mine, was flea free until they took them into the vets for an ailment and when they brought them back home they noticed fleas a few days later. I was not told by my vet about this risk and I’m wondering if they should be held accountable for it? If I had known the risk I would’ve gone out and bought him flea medication the day I brought him home and they really can’t assume that every dog or cat coming through their hospital is on medication. This is a big deal to me because it’s been two weeks that he’s possibly had them (and he didn’t get it after the vets because he’s been staying in hims room 98% of the time to keep the weight off of his leg) and that means they could be in my carpets and reproducing which presents an infestation problem. Any thoughts or advice? (I did go out and buy him flea medication but it takes 12 hours to kill them and I’m really worried about my apartment possibly becoming infested from some that dropped off of him in the past two weeks!)

The fleas could have come from the vets or it could be coincidental. Have you spoken to your vet about this? Perhaps they will provide the meds for free if the fleas came from their clinic. Also, if it was my dog recovering from major surgery, I would be very careful about what kind of chemicals I put on him.

I haven’t. I did kind of rethink the meds because he did have surgery but the scar is on the left side of his body and I made sure not to go near it with the medication. Plus, it’s been almost two weeks and his scar is getting smaller and is in the final stages of healing. I didn’t think to call the vet because all I saw were the fleas and that’s when I ran out to get the medication

Except for two exceptions (Frontline and Advantage), all other OTC flea products are unreliable and definitely not worth the money.

There are medications that can kill the fleas in much less than 12 hours, but those are still (AFAIK) prescription only.

I would be a bit skeptical about the dog getting the fleas from the vet (since, after all, most vet clinics try to keep such infestations away). Still, if you think you got them from the clinic, you should call the clinic and say so.

How long have you been in your apartment, by the way? Reason I ask is because flea eggs can remain in carpets and nooks for long times, until the arrival of a suitable host (and better living conditions).

If your dog has had fleas for about two weeks, you’re approaching the time where the fleas could be ready for the next cycle (ie, laying eggs). In that case, even if you do get rid of the fleas on the dog (for now), you’d want to treat the house too, to get rid of any lingering eggs.

I did use advantage. We haven’t been living in our apartment for a really long time, about 8 months. But we’ve had our pup all this time and fleas start popping up when he comes home from the vet. I would actually think it more likely that he would get it from the vet as there are a lot of other animals there and not all of them are medicated for fleas. Plus, no one living in the household has been complaining about bites or anything so I’m thinking that it is pretty recent. The thing about flea medication, it kills the fleas on the dog but does it also keep fleas away? Because if we do have fleas in the apartment somewhere I don’t want to spend money on medication to kill them just for him to keep getting them. (And I would treat the apartment if I had the kind of money to do that)

In my experience (with cats) using a ver supplied product such as Frontline or Advantage kills the fleas on the pet and kills the newly hatched fleas as they jump on the pet. If you are using a good (not over-the-counter) product and don’t have a heavy infestation of fleas, the flea treatment should take care of it.

By all means contact your vet. He won’t know you have a problem unless you tell him. He most likely will offer a topical flea treatment for you dog; if he does make SURE you tell him what you have already treated your dog with.

Please talk to your vet. He is in business to keep you happy and your pets healthy. Give him a chance to do that. Good luck for your pup’s continued successful recovery.

I did call and talk to my vet. Mostly because I realized I put flea medication on a dog that has a healing gash on his leg. He approved the k9 advantix and wished me the best. Since I bought that at a pet supply store I think it’s over the counter and he didn’t offer anything else.

Some of the products that were “vet only” when I was a vet tech (12 years ago) are now over the counter at feed stores. When I said “over the counter” was referring to products by “Hartz” or Seargents" which do not work and can be harmful.

I hope you pup is doing well and flea free. You know, pictures are kind of required in this kind of thread…hint hint…

I want puppy pics!

Tell me how to post pictures on here and I’ll show (:

I believe that expecting a Vet to maintain a flea free environment and therefore offer reimbursement toward any resulting flea treatment is expecting a bit too much unless your pet is the very first animal to ever set paw within the facility.

Most Vets have their offices treated routinely to control infestation fully realizing that with the influx of animals on a daily basis, eradication is not feasible.
If a Vet is tasked with the responsibility of accepting liability to treat fleas as a result of a pet visiting the office, the consumer will ultimately foot the bill.

I’d hate to think that before the receptionist lets you know that “The doctor will see Fido now.”, you’re led down a dark hall to the Great Flea Dip Vat so Fido can be tossed in and inundated with flea killing toxic chemicals.

In an effort to fight ignorance, flea dip vats are nowhere near current treatment for fleas (I’ve seen them used at clinics very very rarely, as a one time thing for very infested, also very dirty just rescued dogs, prior to other treatments). Also, most vet-prescribed products (or those that once were) are relatively safe for pets (obviously not for the fleas), especially compared with flea dips, environmental flea treatments, and some OTC products.

I’m glad you told your vet. If other clients have been complaining of the same, then that would alert the staff, and perhaps check the green areas (if they have it) around it. If they hadn’t done it in a while, it may force them to look at their cleaning protocols too (an who does what). Clinics strive to keep fleas and ticks away, despite seeing animals that potentially carry them.

I neglected to turn on my 'sarcasm to prove a point font".

I do realize that it is a lot to expect. But being around animals and knowing about them I don’t believe it to be too much to ask for a little warning about the possibility. Especially if other people have had the same problem from visiting a hospital.

Unfortunately, after 2 weeks, it’s highly probable that you DO have fleas/flea eggs around your home.

Medication will kill fleas on your pup, and new fleas that get onto him. But it won’t kill flea eggs. Nor any fleas elsewhere in the home.


  • keep treating your pup with medication (as often as allowed) for a while.
  • clean all his stuff (doggie bed, favorite blankets, fluffy toys, etc.) by washing in hot water with bleach.
  • clean the house thoroughly. Get flea powder, sprinkle over rugs & carpets, leave it for an hour or so to work, then vacuum thoroughly. Then take the vacuum bag out of the vacuum and throw it in the trash outside.

Do all this on the same day. And then watch – if you still see fleas in a week or two, you may have to do it again. But most important is keeping the fleas off your pup via medication.