Just like humans, dogs with sensitive skin can have uncomfortable reactions to certain medicines. Between breed, size, and age, no two dogs are the same so it shouldn’t be that big a surprise if your pup reacts badly to a flea medication that works effectively on the majority of pets.
More often than not, pet owners preemptively sound the alarm over what are common side effects of preventative flea and tick medication. This is especially true when it comes to topical treatments, otherwise known as spot on treatments, such as K9 Advantix or Frontline Plus. It is normal during the first 12-48 hours after spot on treatment is applied to your dog for them to experience a mild level of discomfort in the form of numbness, redness, or itching. This usually subsides quickly and can disappear completely over time. The reason redness and mild irritation occurs is because the medicine is working its way into the sebaceous glands of your dog’s skin where it will be the most effective in providing up to 30 days of flea prevention. It is also important to note that you should not wash your dog during the first 48 hours of application so the medicine is given time to absorb properly.
However, common side affects aside, use your best judgment when applying topical treatment to your pet. You know your dog better than anyone else. If they are having a noticeable reaction to topical medication, including obvious pain or even hair loss, wash off the product immediately. While it is uncommon, your dog could be having an allergic reaction to a component of the medication. In this case, we recommend trying an oral form of flea and tick prevention to ensure skin sensitivities do not continually flare up and cause future problems. Although rare, some flea and tick medications have even been known to cause seizures. When in doubt, always consult a veterinarian before starting any new prevention program.
There are many benefits to oral treatment when it comes to flea and tick prevention. Chewable tablets, like Comfortis, are easy to administer, mess free, and incredibly effective. Simply give your pup a pill once a month with their food and for 30 days, fleas will be held at bay. Also, oral treatments are a great alternative for dogs that have adverse reactions to topical treatment. Side effects of monthly pills or chewable tablets are rare, but can include nausea, diarrhea and hair loss. If your pet continues to react poorly to different kinds of flea treatments, contact your vet to figure out a way to keep your pet healthy while protecting it from fleas.
More Flea and Tick Control Advice
My Dog Still Has Fleas! What to Do When The Medicine Isn’t Working
What Does a Flea Bite Look Like?
Dog Hot Spots: What is Flea Allergy Dermatitis?
This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by,your veterinarian. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking professional advice due to what you may have read on our website.