Fleas and ticks affect pets all year round, but these parasitic blood-sucking insects are most active during spring and summer. If you have a dog and allow it to exercise and play in the yard, your pet can come into contact with fleas or ticks. Your pet being at constant risk of infestation often necessitates you use topical flea and tick medicine to protect your dog from becoming a host to these parasites. However, some dog owners have reported their pets having adverse reactions when they apply topical anti-flea products.  

Now, it has been concluded that flea medicines do not pose a perpetual threat to dogs if used correctly. Notwithstanding, some dogs still show signs of reactions when these medicines are applied on them. It is noteworthy that dogs’ reactions to flea medicine aren’t specifically due to allergies and they mostly happen when the treatment is working to kill parasites or if it is ingested. Should your pet ingest anti-flea products, they can be lethally poisonous depending on the active ingredients present. 

How Toxic is Flea Medicine to Dogs? 

The incidence of fatality resulting from flea medicine application is negligible in comparison to the number of applications by pet owners each year. When severe effects do occur, it is often due to misuse. For instance, cat flea medicines differ from those used on dogs, so if you use the wrong flea product for the wrong pet, it can lead to adverse reactions. Furthermore, as flea and tick medication kill parasites, your pooch may experience slight discomforts, such as itching and tingling sensations at the application site. Many dog owners often mistake the fidgeting and scratching that results as a bad reaction to the drug, but this reaction is usually self-limiting and would go away in little time. However, you should keep anti-flea products out of your pet’s reach because accidental ingestion can cause severe reactions to flea medicine. 

Possible Side Effects of Flea Medicines 

  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Seizures 
  • Tremors 
  • Depression 
  • Paraesthesia 
  • Skin irritation 
  • Pale skin 

Managing the Effects of Flea Medicines 

Treatment of flea medicine ingestion would require your vet to perform induced vomiting or gastric lavage on your furry companion. Also, to minimize other intestinal and nervous effects, activated charcoal may be prescribed to your dog by your vet. On a side note, keep some information in mind when applying flea and tick medication to your dog: 

  • Know your dog’s size and corresponding required dose. 
  • Only use products intended for dogs and not those for other domestic animals. 
  • If your dog is pregnant, nursing, sick, or old, you should consult a veterinarian before applying flea medicine. 

If you notice any signs of allergic reactions from your dog after using flea medication, contact Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661 for treatment recommendations and assistance.