Side Effects of Flea Control Products in Dogs and Cats

Side Effects of Flea Control Products in Dogs and Cats

Flea control products formulated for dogs and cats, can make the application site itchy, swollen, and even cause rash. Read the following CatAppy article to know more about the side effects of these topical formulations on pets.
CatAppy Staff
Did You Know?
You can use a dog collar to prevent your pet from licking the flea control medicine that has been applied on its skin.
Infestation of fleas is a common skin problem among cats and dogs. To resolve these issues, pet owners often use topical products to get rid of these parasites. These topical formulations are usually applied once a month on the pet's skin to treat and prevent infestation of these parasites. Frontline Plus and K9 Advantix are some of the popular brands that sell these formulations. However, these products can have a few side effects, some of which can be serious if your dog is allergic to the medicine.
Side Effects
Skin Problems
Skin irritation is reportedly one of the most common side effects associated with the usage of these topical products. The application site may turn red and itch excessively, prompting your pet to scratch. Your pet may also continuously lick the application area in order to soothe the irritation. However, this skin irritation usually does not last long and goes away within 2 days. However, in case you notice that the irritation is bothering your pet, visit your vet's clinic immediately.

The pet's skin may show a weeping sore after application. The irritated spot may be found to be devoid of hair and releasing pus. An allergic skin reaction to the product can lead to the formation of a blistered rash where it is applied.
Drooling
Well, this side effect would probably never occur if you prevent your pet from licking these topical formulations. Just a few licks of the product can make your pet drool a lot. It is because these products have a bitter taste, which can make your pet hyper-salivate. The pet may drool excessively in order to eliminate this awful taste.
Diarrhea
Diarrhea is another negative reaction that can occur in pets from applying these products. So your pet may suffer from stomach issues that may manifest in the form of diarrhea and vomiting. These side effects may not occur immediately but one or two days after using the product.
Loss of Appetite
There have been instances wherein dogs were found to be the least interested in having any food, a few hours after the application of these products. In some cases, the condition was severe and pet owners had to make use of a needle-less syringe to give water to their pet.
Lethargy
The pet may show posture problems and have trouble walking after application, making him lethargic. In some cases, the pets may face difficulty in getting up or walking.
Seizures
Some pet owners have noticed their pet experiencing seizures after the application of flea control products. This is a cause for concern and it indicates the dog's intolerance to the product. The active ingredient permethrin found in some of these topical medicines, is known to attack the nervous system of the fleas. Permethrin may also affect the dog's nervous system when the product is applied excessively or used regularly over a period of time. This could be one of the reasons behind the occurrence of seizures in pets after using these topical formulations.
Breathing Problems
Some pet owners have also noticed their pet taking small shallow breaths after application. This side effect has occurred a few hours to a few days after applying these products. This may indicate an allergic reaction and should be immediately brought to the notice of your veterinarian.
Caution
  • You should carefully observe how your dog or cat reacts to the usage of topical formulations for flea control. In case your pet is not comfortable, it may prevent you from applying it the next time. It may run helter-skelter, whine, or even bite you, so as to stop you from using the medication. So if you notice that the formulation is hurting your pet, you should probably discontinue its application and discuss with your vet about safer alternatives.
  • When used correctly as instructed by your vet, the topical formulation may not cause any side effect. Serious side effects may indicate an overdose of the medication, which can always be avoided by using it in the appropriate amounts.
On the whole, keep in mind that the amount of topical formulation to be applied will vary depending upon the size of your pet. Its dosage is not the same for cats and dogs as well as for small and large-sized dogs. The concentration of ingredients in these formulations is specific to the size and the animal species under consideration. So talk to your vet and discuss the dosage that would work best for your pet.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a veterinarian.