While topical flea products on companion animals have truly revolutionized the war against fleas, the expanded use of these pesticides has also resulted in occasional reactions as well. Examples of these very effective products include Frontline, Advantage, Revolution and Certifect. Probably the most common reactions experienced by pets are itching and/or irritation at the site of application, including hair loss and excoriation of the underlying skin in certain cases.
Treatment may include application of topical antibiotics and/or cortisone products, as well as considering alternative products should the reactions be severe or recurrent. While topical reactions are not usually very serious, there can also occasionally be more severe systemic reactions that may include lethargy, drooling, digestive upset (vomiting/diarrhea), and even rare neurological reactions such as tremors, hypersensivity to touch, weak gait, and even seizures. In these latter situations, the animal guardian may consider washing the pet with a mild shampoo. If the reactions continue, then a veterinary exam and evaluation is recommended. While these reactions are not common, veterinary stabilization may be needed including blood work, and supportive IV fluid therapy and medical support until the reactions subside.
Pets that experience reactions to the topical products may benefit from oral pest control products such as Program, Sentinel, Comfortis and Trifexis. More natural flea and tick preventative measures should be considered including the use of diatomaceous earth and topical essential oils, as well as natural products such as Wondercide and Cedarcide