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Updated: Feb 14, 2022

Over the 22 years that I have been a practicing vet, I have seen many pets that have experienced adverse reactions to flea and tick products. Animals can have contact allergies to medications the same way people do. For example, a pet may have a skin reaction to a spot-on, and I always advise the pet owner to change to another type of product in such a case. Occasionally, an animal will have a reaction because it ingested the product. The most common problem I see is when a pet owner uses a product labeled “For Dogs Only” on a cat. This can be very dangerous. However, I have never seen a serious reaction to a spot-on pesticide that was used correctly.

Fleas Are A Fact of Life

Pet owners always have to deal with fleas and ticks. Biting parasites can make your pet miserable, and can lead to serious health problems in dogs and cats – fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and other insects can transmit deadly illnesses such as heartworm. Lyme disease is transmitted by ticks. And Cat Scratch Fever (Bartonella infection) is transmitted to people from flea feces. So flea and tick control is essential for both people and pets.

Safe and Effective

When used properly, spot-on pesticides work very well. I prescribe many types of flea and tick controls for dogs and cats. If I didn’t believe a product was safe, or if I didn’t feel confident about its effectiveness, I would not recommend it. So before you throw out your spot-on control, read the directions again very carefully. And make sure you are only using it in the manner described on the label.

Alternative Products

If you are still concerned or your pet has exhibited reactions to the spot-on products, you can use one of the many safe, natural flea control products available, such as diatomaceous earth, or a botanic product that  blends ingredients such as cinnamon, cedar, and clove oils to naturally kill and repel pests.  These products kill fleas and ticks, but are not as long-lasting as the spot-on insecticides.

Marshall Grain offers several spot-on options, as well as natural products, and our staff is always happy to help you make your selection. What’s important is to keep your pet comfortable and protected at all times.

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