Flea med recommendations?!

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Flea med recommendations?!

This is a discussion on Flea med recommendations?! within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Every flea medicine on the market that I find seems to have some horrible story of a dog that had an awful (sometimes fatal!) reaction ...

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Old 03-21-2017, 02:58 PM
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Flea med recommendations?!

Every flea medicine on the market that I find seems to have some horrible story of a dog that had an awful (sometimes fatal!) reaction to it. Our vet is pretty sure our dog
has some allergies, as he has pretty sensitive skin and stomach. I know we definitely need some sort of flea prevention as spring is here, but am hesitant he will react badly to whatever we chose. Anyone have any recommendations or a product they feel confident in?

Ps - our vet recommended nexgaurd, which when I researched it saw some nasty stories as well. Jeez! I wish there was a 100% safe choice!
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Old 03-21-2017, 03:04 PM
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After struggling with health anxiety for many years I can tell you this: you will ALWAYS find a nasty story on the internet.

However, there are often hidden little explanations for what went wrong, that as an outsider you may just not know. Maybe it wasn't X that caused the reaction at all, but that is what the owner assumed. Maybe there was an intense, rare, preexisting condition going on. Maybe the owner didn't use it right. Who knows.

I think Nexguard is a good product. Personally, my vet sold me a Seresto collar last year for my cat and I loved it so much that this year we're going to get them for the dogs too instead of Frontline Plus. I was always anti-flea collar but this one really seems to do the trick and I'm quite pleased. It's pretty economical, too, at about $7/month (the collar is about $55 and lasts 8 months).
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Old 03-21-2017, 03:22 PM
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I agree with @PoppyKenna - you can always find scary stories.

I use a Seresto collar and I love it. My dog has not had any reactions since she's been wearing it. We hike a lot and I have yet to pull a tick off of her since she's been wearing it. With that said, if I were to find a more natural product that worked just as well, I'd switch in an instant. Did your vet have any recommendations? Personally, I would pick a couple of products that seem like they may be good options for you and I would contact the companies. I would explain that my dog has allergies and maybe see what they recommend.
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Old 03-21-2017, 04:12 PM
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Ours had a bad reaction to two of the oral meds. One left her almost unable to use her back legs for a couple of days, another left her with zero appetite. She seems to have no noticeable reaction to Frontline +, which is what we have been using on her for the past several years. Fortunately there are four or five months she doesn't need them, but the other seven or eight months she certainly does.
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Old 03-22-2017, 11:48 AM
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It really just depends on the dog and, as has been said, there can be other factors at play. I've seen stories about dogs supposedly having horrible reactions to medicines but when you dig deeper you'll find the dog was very old, already in poor health, etc. So I tend to take such stories with a grain of salt.

I used topical preventatives for years, both on my 2 previous dogs, and my current one, and never had them have negative reactions, and that's despite using one that had some horror stories on it. Zody, the dog I have now, hated the Advantage II so much that he started to hide when he saw that I had the vial. I don't know if he did not like the smell, or if it caused some sort of reaction that was not visible to me. My friend used topicals on her poodle and none of the ones she tried ever worked, within a week or two the fleas would be back on the dog.

I now use Nexgard and have been doing so for nearly a year. So far so good. It keeps the fleas off my dog and I have not noticed any negative reactions. My friend uses Trifexis, her dog is now flea free and no negative reactions.

All you can do is try one and observe your dog. I always give my boy the nexgard in the morning and during the week, that way if he does happen to have a reaction to it the vet is open. Also be aware that if you do use an oral preventative there's no washing it off, you have to wait for the reaction to stop, and at the most do supportive care.
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Old 03-22-2017, 11:58 AM
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There are adverse effects linked to almost anything, and given the number of pets these products are used on I'd be surprised if there weren't a story for every product.

I always supervise closely for a few hours after giving anything new both the first and second time*, I also keep an eye on her for abut 72 hours after. Serious allergic reactions typically happen within 4 hours and delayed skin reactions typically occur between 24 and 48 hours.

For Echo we use sentinel and bravecto for fleas and ticks. We've been fortunate not to have had any adverse effects. For us not having her covered for fleas, heartworm and ticks would mean exposure to a higher incidence of illness than not treating or treating with unproven remedies.

*it takes two exposures for some reactions to appear.

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Old 03-22-2017, 02:39 PM
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Every medication on the market, for humans or animals, has the potential for side effects, some very minor, some more serious. I would have loved to keep Samantha on nexgard, (for fleas and heartworm) but that's the medication that left her with zero appetite. As I said we use fronline + and heartgard, which seem to have no side effects, at least in our case.
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Old 03-22-2017, 03:55 PM
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Personally, I would never ever give my dog chemical preventatives. There are natural preparations that work, one that many like is Wondercide, I can't vouch for it because I haven't tried it because my dog has never had fleas in his almost 7 years of life.
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Old 03-24-2017, 08:27 AM
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The problem is people post about extreme reactions on the net and not about the good experiences so you don't get an idea of scale. But I also worry about long term invisible effects like liver damage. I nursed my last dog through liver failure. We don't know what caused it but monthly dosing with a systemic insecticide is something I won't be doing again.
So I know where the OP is coming from - especially as I have a collie and they can be sensitive to all sorts. Am trying the alternatives first - one of which is Billy no Mates which you can get on UK Amazon. I'm also setting up flea traps (just in case).

If you google it, there are various sprays you can make as well

Last edited by pineapple; 03-24-2017 at 08:36 AM.
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Old 03-25-2017, 01:41 AM
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Treated tens of thousands of cases of flea infestation over last 30 years... FAR worse symptoms seen due to having fleas than I have ever seen with most of the treatments for fleas. Either I am super lucky, or bad reactions to flea products are not nearly as common as 'horror stories' would have you believe. Maybe seen 3-4 really 'bad' reactions to flea products in general (where animals nearly died), and zero to any of the current, effective, safer commercial flea meds. Have seen a number of untoward effects from the 'early' super toxic products containing organophosphates and related ingredients we were stuck with using in the early 80s and before. And also seen plenty of bad reactions to wrong products being used (like large dog meds on small dogs or dog products on cats- seen plenty of those on my emergency shifts). Never seen a single bad reaction to Nexgard, Bravecto, Revolution, Advantage, Comfortis (aside from some vomiting- nothing permanent or serious), Frontline (though read about some bad rabbit experiences), Program or Seresto collars... unless you consider local hair loss a 'bad' reaction. Seen a few with pyrethrums. Seen a lot of moderately troublesome reactions to topical products like shampoos, dips and powders (most of those no longer on the market), flea collars (old fashioned kind) and the old spot ons (usually Hartz and Sargent products)... plus these products rarely worked on fleas anyway.

Seen plenty of puppies and kittens (and a few adult dogs and cats) actually die from flea anemia... seen my share of flea borne infectious diseases, too. Treatment for fleas statistically far safer than having fleas I can assure you.

Never once seen a successful flea treatment from any 'natural' flea products, either, unless one considers Avon Skin-so-soft as a 'natural' product... it 'sort of worked' for fleas in the days we had nothing better. Borax and Diatomaceous Earth worked OK for treating fleas on carpeting, but required constant re treatment, and took a long time to eliminate fleas on a pet. Read dozens of research papers on flea control with natural products and none had promising results that were scientifically proven (LOTS of internet claims, though, I have noticed).

Many 'natural' products can actually be quite toxic or irritating, so caution.
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