Thursday, August 15, 2013

Flea & Tick Medications

When I first got my dog Hiker, I took her out hiking and she got about 5 or 6 ticks. We had gone hiking in a canyon that had a lot of tall grass along the trail and I'm sure that is where she got the ticks.

I decided to start putting a monthly flea & tick medication on her. I first bought Hartz because it was inexpensive, but I was told by many friends not to use it because it had a bad reputation, so I decided to spend the money and buy Frontline Plus because I had heard that it was vet recommended and I had friends who used it on their dogs.

Then I saw Vetguard Plus at Sam's Club and it appeared to be a generic of Frontline Plus and it cost a lot less, so I decided to start using it on Hiker.

The first time I put it on her in June, I noticed that she was acting strange. She didn't want me to bother her and she seemed lethargic, but I didn't connect her actions with the Vetguard Plus.My brother had been visiting us and he had just left to go home. Hiker loves him so much that I thought she was just having separation anxiety for him.

The next time I put it on her in July, I noticed that she seemed to be breathing hard and once again she acting lethargic, and still I did not associate her actions with the flea & tick medication.

Today I put another dose on her as it had been a month since the last dosage. Once again, I noticed her acting strange. This time she started pacing. She circled the sofa for hours and then would lay down for a few minutes and soon get back up and pace some more. Again she acted like she didn't want me to bother her and she once again started acting lethargic.

I decided to go online and research these products and once I did, I tossed the last 2 tubes I of flea & tick medication that I had and I put Hiker in the shower and washed off the stuff I put on her today.

In my research, I found that all flea & tick medications are nothing but pesticides. The main ingredient in them is Permethrin. They claim that this ingredient is safe for dogs as long as you follow the instructions on how to use it but I disagree.

The most common side effect of Permethrin is redness, itching, rash or loss of hair, but it also has other side effects which include vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, increased excitability, lack of coordination, change in body temperature, seizures, tremors and lethargy.

I noticed the "excitability" in Hiker when she was pacing all over the house and the lethargy once she settled down some.

It is up to my friends who have dogs as to whether or not they want to use these kinds of products, but I just wanted to let you know the experience I had with my Hiker Girl.


  1. Poor Hiker! I don't have a dog, but I'll bet all the dog owners will be happy to be warned about this.

  2. We have long-hair cats and are always battling fleas. Generic products NEVER work and flea collars are a waste of money. My experience has been that Frontline Plus worked for the first application or two, but then seemed to stop working. Our older cat definitely had some hair loss. This last go 'round I used Advantage II. It has definitely whipped the fleas and both cats seem well... in fact, they seem like their old selves. I will be curious to see how they react in the coming months. Thanks for sharing your research.


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