Side Effects of Flea and Tick Spot Treatments

The warm spring weather means that flea and tick season is coming!  Topical spot products are the preferred treatment for many dog and cat owners.  When used correctly, they can be very safe and effective.

But it is possible that your individual pet may experience an adverse skin reaction to the treatment.

Here’s an overview of the most common reactions, courtesy of the Veterinary Information Network:

Epidermal paresthesia:  This is a fancy term for an itching, prickling, or burning sensation on the skin.  This reaction is most common with spot treatments that contain pyrethroids.  The itching can start minutes after treatment and last as long as 24 hours.

The skin looks normal with paresthesia, but you will notice behavior changes in your pets if they feel uncomfortable.

Contact dermatitis:  This skin condition occurs when your pet develops an inflammatory reaction to the spot product.  Your pet’s skin will look red and irritated at the application site.  In severe cases, the skin may blister.  The reaction time is more delayed than with paresthesia.

Wash off the product and seek veterinary care if the skin does not improve after the product is removed.

What should you do if your dog or cat has a reaction to a spot treatment?  Veterinary experts recommend that you discontinue use of the product.  You can try another treatment that uses different active ingredients and monitor your pet for signs of a reaction.

Important reminder:  Certain canine flea and tick spot treatments can be very toxic to cats, especially those containing permethrin.  Permethrin can cause life-threatening neurological damage in cats.  Never use canine treatments on cats.

If your pet experiences an adverse reaction to a spot treatment, you can report it to the manufacturer as well as to the Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency if you live in the U.S.

 

 

How to Keep Your Yard Safe for Pets

Here are a few springtime safety tips for pet owners who enjoy spending time with their fur kids in the garden!

Most dog and cat owners have a good idea about what plants are safe for their pets, and which ones can be toxic.  If you are unsure about what to plant, be sure to check out the ASPCA’s toxic plant list before heading to the garden center.

Pesticides in the garden can also be hazardous to our pets.  Make sure the products you use are pet-safe.  Health and safety experts recommend learning about the integrated pest management approach, which minimizes the use of toxic pesticides.

Besides plants and pesticides, there are other less obvious pet safety risks in the garden that even the most responsible pet owners may not think about.  Here’s a brief overview:

Standing water

Ponds, birdbaths, and other still water sources can harbor algae and other substances that may harm a dog or cat that drinks from them.  Provide a bowl of fresh drinking water for your animals when they are outside.

Fencing

Is your backyard fencing tall enough and strong enough to keep pets in and other critters like coyotes out?  Be sure to check your fencing for any gaps, holes, or wood rot.  It’s also a good idea to check the locks and latches on all gates.

Compost

Keep curious pets (and other animal visitors) out of your compost bins.  Compost, especially moldy compost, can be harmful if ingested.  Keep bins securely lidded or in an area that’s inaccessible to pets.

Mulch

Certain kinds of mulch can be toxic if eaten by pets.  Mulch made from cocoa shells is especially toxic to dogs.  Safe types of mulch include pine and cedar.  However, all mulch pieces can become a choking hazard if swallowed, so supervision is always a good idea.

Interested in learning more?  Click HERE for more pet garden safety tips.

 

Dog Beach Dos and Don’ts from San Diego Humane

Here in San Diego we have quite a few dog-friendly beaches for people and their pups to enjoy.  Are you planning on bringing your dog to the beach for some fun in the sun this summer?  The San Diego Humane Society has put together a list of some helpful dog beach etiquette tips for you and your best friend!

  • Many dogs go off-leash at the beach, but keep your dog leashed if you have any concerns about her behavior towards strangers and other dogs. You should also keep your dog leashed if she doesn’t come when called!
  • Bring plenty of fresh water for your dog to drink and an umbrella to provide your dog with shade on hot, sunny days.

  • Not every dog is a good swimmer, especially certain short-muzzled and short-legged breeds like Bulldogs and Dachshunds. Start your dog out leashed in shallow water to see how he does.  Make sure to pull him from the water if he gets tired.
  • Having up to date identification like tags and microchips is especially important when your dog goes off-leash at the beach.

  • Flea and tick prevention should also be up to date before you head to the beach.
  • Rinse the sand and salt water off of your dog when you’re done, and dry her off with a walk before getting back in the car.

 

Summer Pet Safety Tips

The Summer Solstice is this Thursday, June 21st!  Summer is a great time to enjoy the outdoors with your pets, but be sure you are prepared to keep them safe when the weather is hot.

The Arizona Humane Society has created some very helpful infographics on summer pet safety…because our friends in Arizona know a thing or two about hot weather!

Check out these important tips!

And this guide to heat exhaustion in pets:

Have a safe and happy summer!