Flea and Tick Medications
Poisonous to: Cats, Dogs
Level of toxicity: Generally mild to severe, life-threatening
Common signs to watch for:
- Profuse drooling
- Difficulty breathing
Most of the common flea and tick medications are topical drugs (applied to the skin over the neck/back) that contain pyrethrins or pyrethroids. Pyrethrins are a class of drugs derived from the Chrysanthemum flower/plant, while pyrethroids are synthetic derivatives.
In cats, signs of poisoning include profuse drooling, vomiting, tremoring, hyperexcitability, agitation, seizures, weakness, and difficulty breathing. Untreated, it can be fatal. These signs are rarely seen in dogs. In dogs, signs of parasthesia (a tingling sensation), scratching, drooling, etc. may be seen. Treatment includes prompt removal of the product (by bathing with a liquid dish soap like Dawn, Joy, Palmolive) to get the greasy substance off.
If you think your dog or cat is having side-effects or was exposed to pyrethrins/pyrethroids, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately for life-saving treatment advice.
Poison type: Medications
Alternate names: flea, tick, over-the-counter flea, pyrethrins, pyrethroids