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How to Remove Flea Medicine

| Updated September 26, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • Mild dish detergent

  • Bath towel

Topical flea medications come in many different forms of the same basic ingredients. When you apply flea medication to the back of your dog's or cat's neck, it begins to kill fleas within 24 hours and is absorbed into the skin soon after. If a pet has a reaction to the flea medication, remove it immediately to prevent further absorption into the body.

Place a folded towel in the bottom of a sink or bath tub for smaller animals to provide traction for your pet. Your dog or cart will feel more comfortable if it's not slipping around. Take a larger dog outside and tether it to a fixed object with collar and leash to keep it in place.

Rinse the back of your pet's neck and shoulders where you applied the flea medication until thoroughly damp. Make sure that both hair and skin are damp.

Pour a dime-sized amount of detergent onto the application area.

Work the dish soap into a foamy lather in the fur and down to the skin. Make sure you are washing the skin as well as the fur; this is where the medication is absorbed.

Rinse the pet off thoroughly until the water runs clear. Make sure no detergent remains on the skin or in the hair.

Repeat this process as necessary or upon the recommendation of a veterinarian.


  • Thoroughly washing the medication from the skin and coat will prevent further reaction, but it will not stop whatever reaction has already occurred, according to Caroline Tanaka, a veterinarian in Austin, Texas. Consult a veterinarian for how to proceed if your dog or cat is having a reaction to the topical flea medication.