Dogs May have Side Effects from Popular Flea Medication

Pets are like our children; we get excited to welcome them into the family and do everything we can to give them a comfortable life. Unfortunately, regardless of how well we protect them, they will fall ill, and it is our job to ensure they bounce back to health. The common problems we encounter are parasites such as ticks and fleas, and sometimes, we rush to buy medication from the store without consulting with professionals. While we may have our pets’ best interests at heart, not everyone does; hence some unscrupulous businesses produce drugs that cause severe side effects. The FDA has warned that dogs may have side effects from popular flea medication so let’s tell you more about what drugs to avoid and the harm they could cause.

Your dog could lose mobility

According to Wink News, Joe Brewster noticed that his 12-year-old dog Buddha was not as fast as he used to be. The problem got worse, and Joe took Buddha to the vet when the dog lost mobility in her hind legs and started getting seizures. Joe was not sure what the problem but one thing he knew is that Buddha might be in senior years but not too old to get around on her own. Hence it is only after further probing by the vet that it dawned on him the problems had started three days after giving Buddha a flea and tick medication called PetArmor for Dogs.

Although the vet, Mandese, explained that Buddha’s symptoms were rarely caused by flea medication and could instead be due to a disease transmitted by the parasites, Joe begs to differ. He believes Buddha would not have lost mobility had the drugs indicated that there is a risk they could cause seizures. To Joe, the company producing the drugs should be charged with animal abuse, but the firm did not bother disregarding Joe’s claim. Instead, he joined just the over 1,300 plaintiffs who have alleged that the drug caused unreasonable side effects in their pets. Compared to the number of annual sales that PetArmor makes, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) considers 1,300 complaints a negligible figure; hence nothing has been done about the accusations.

EPA could be blamed for such unfortunate outcomes

While the EPA only talked about receiving reports dating back to 2011, they failed to mention that it has cases dating back to 2008. According to Top Class Actions, unlike the 1,300 negligible reports that the EPA insisted on having, there were at least 75,000 complaints since 2008. The parent companies, Velcer and FidoPharm, were sued after customers claimed that the products were not safe for their pets.

The drugs in question were “spot-on” tick and flea products, and the lawsuit was because the firms did not label their goods as being potentially harmful to animals, something that Joe would have appreciated. When advertising the products, the companies do not disclose the side effects that include paralysis, seizures, and lesions. EPA has continued ignoring the complaints; hence the pets are exposed to such severe side effects.

Indeed it is not just Joe who has a bone to chew with PetArmor. According to a Reddit thread, someone posted if you care about your pet, you should not use PetArmor, because you will either kill the animal or end up with a huge vet bill. One user agreed that her dog broke out in a rash, vomited, and lost appetite. She regretted that had she known about the lawsuit, she would not have used the product.

Why you should avoid PetArmor

With PetArmor and PetArmor Plus, the main active ingredient is Fipronil, which the FDA concluded as safe for your dog. However, Dogthusiast termed Fipronil as a toxin which is a slow-acting poison. According to the article, the toxin remains in an animal’s bloodstream even after death such that the carcass will be toxic if consumed. The EPA also knows the extent of damage that Fipronil can cause hence describes it as a possible human carcinogen.

Although EPA ignores the many complaints, studies have proven that the ingredient can cause seizures in animals. In a study to determine the side effects of Fipronil, rats were given the drug for 52 weeks, and they developed increased liver mass, thyroid hormonal changes, and kidney effects. In the long-run, seizures and deaths were also reported. In extreme cases, the rats also developed tumors, so if the ingredient can cause such health issues to a rat, you should think twice before giving it to your adorable pet.

What drugs should you avoid giving to your dog?

In 2017, WSBTV published how several people claimed that Bravecto killed their dogs. The drug is chewed, and once ingested, it kills fleas and ticks for three months. While the manufacturer insisted on its safety, pet owners like Donna have a different story. Donna had the worst day of her life when her dog, JoJo, experienced the side effect of vomiting in her first two doses, but the third one was fatal. Chris Weber also has the same tale because after giving Truck, his dog, the third dose, he had to euthanize his beloved pet. Another pet owner claimed that her dog had become lethargic, and although she could not prove it was Bravecto’s fault, she had her suspicions.

In 2018, the FDA reacted to the thousands of complaints against some of the flea and tick medications. Consequently, despite drugs such as Bravecto, Nexgard, Simparica, and Credelio being FDA- approved, the agency warned that the drugs resulted in serious side effects. Such medications contain isoxazoline, and instead of pulling them from the market, all that the FDA did was advise the manufacturers to label the products with a warning so that buyers make informed decisions. They suggested that if your pet suffers any adverse reactions from spot-on products, bathe them with mild soap, rinse them thoroughly and call your vet.

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