The flea pills and chews all contain a pesticide called isoxazoline. Products with this pesticide have been associated with neurologic adverse reactions, including muscle tremors, ataxia, and seizures in some dogs and cats. They include products sold under the brand names Bravecto, Nexgard and Simparica. "These products are approved for the treatment and prevention of flea infestations, and the treatment and control of tick infestations,” said the FDA.“The agency is asking the manufacturers to make the changes to the product labeling in order to provide veterinarians and pet owners with the information they need to make treatment decisions for each pet on an individual basis.”
Yes, fleas and ticks carry a range of diseases, including plague and Lyme disease, which can affect animals and their owners. Pets can develop allergies or sensitivities to the bites, and lose large patches of fur as a result. They can also become susceptible to worms and other parasites if they suffer allergic reactions to flea bites. But, these treatments–approved by the FDA–can also create serious and unnecessary side effects on your pet.
As a pet owner it is crucial that you are aware that sometimes it is necessary to use the pills, but there are other alternatives as well–that do not include pesticides. In addition, you should know that:
- If you and your vet decide to administer the pills to your pet, it is crucial to make sure you provide the proper dosage. Flea treatments meant for dogs can be deadly if given to cats instead.
- If your pet experiences a bad reaction from a spot-on product, immediately bathe the pet with mild soap, rinse with large amounts of water, and call your veterinarian.
- There are natural flea and tick prevention that you can either buy or make at home. You need to check your dog for fleas and ticks often, and it is important to educate yourself on how to remove them. Lemongrass, citronella, peppermint, and lemon are great natural ingredients to have in your pet's spray/shampoo.
- Be careful to not use the spray close to your pet's eyes.
- If you are fighting a flea/tick infestation make sure you contact your vet and treat, bathe, comb and protect your pet.
- It is recommended to use a comb–dip comb in a mixture of dish soap and water to kill remaining fleas on comb. You can also add peppermint to the water.
- Treat your environment–vacuum, clean, treat. If you have a flea infestation on your dog, it is possible that you will be fighting one in your home and yard. Fleas lay eggs on your dog that fall off when they are sleep on your sofa, or anywhere in your home.