1 Week old pitbull puppies, why do they have hair coming off?
The puppies are 1 week old and with the mother, who we believe had fleas when she was given to us. She has a spot on her tail with no hair, we gave her flea medicine before she got pregnant.
The puppies have hair that appears to want to come off very easily if pulled or over time.
Could they have fleas? What can I do?
Puppy hair loss can be caused by a number of different things, including parasites of one sort or another.
Depending on what type of medication/preventative you used on the momma dog, she may or may not still have fleas. To learn more about dealing with these parasites, and which preventatives I would recommend, check out my fleas and ticks page.
You can't treat puppies under 8 weeks old for fleas as the medications are too strong, however as they're still with their momma if you treat her properly, the fleas will be killed. That's because they jump from her to the puppies and back, if they are poisoned by the medication when biting the momma dog, then they will not be able to affect the puppies. So, your first job is to make sure she's treated properly, check with your veterinarian if you want a recommendation as to what is safest for her and most effective in your area.
However, fleas are not the only parasites that could cause hairloss. Tiny little skin mites could quite likely be to blame. Mites cause Mange in dogs and Pitbulls are one of the breeds that are predisposed to suffering from this condition.
It's quite easy for your veterinarian to diagnose by taking a small skin scraping (from the momma most likely) and examining it under a microscope. If there are mites present then there are special shampoos, dips and medications that he can recommend or prescribe to treat the problem.
It's not something you can diagnose or treat yourself, and it's important that you find out for sure what's causing this hair loss. I strongly recommend that you take the momma dog, and one of the puppies at least, to your vet for an exam so that he/she can figure out what's at the root of the problem and get it taken care of.
Hope this helps, best of luck with your puppies.
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