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Updated: Sep 1, 2022

As pet parents, we are concerned about our pets well-being. We don't want them to get any fleas, and especially ticks. They can cause anemia or Lyme disease. We ask our vets what is the best option to prevent fleas and ticks and, of course, they recommend pills or collars. The most common brands are Bravecto, Nexguard, Simparica, etc. Now, are they safe for our pets? That's the question!

Did you know that flea and tick medication has pesticides? Yep! They do!

Companies that sell these products say that the amount of pesticides are minimal. Blah, blah, blah. Do you put pesticides in your body? No, right? Why would you want to put poison in your beloved fur kid? This poison is killing our pets slowly, and when we realize the damage it is going to be too late. Our best friends can suffer from different illnesses, have seizures or organ failure, or they can die.

Ingredients of some flea brand medications:

1. Seresto: Imidacloprid, Flumetrin

Imidacloprid belongs to the neonicotinoid class of insecticides, which are the most commonly used insecticides on crops in the U.S. Nicotine is naturally found in many plants, including tobacco, and is toxic to insects. Imidacloprid is used to control sucking insects, termites, some soil insects, and fleas on pets. This pesticide is banned in Europe for outdoor use but allowed in pet collars. There is evidence that mammals can be harmed by these pesticides as well.

Flumethrin, this active ingredient is only found on Seresto.

In 2012, a Bayer study found that these two ingredients have a "synergistic effect," meaning they are more toxic together on fleas. This synergistic effect is likely to cause harm to pets. "This combination is just really nasty", The Center for Biological Diversity said.

2. Nexgard: Afoxolaner

Did you know that Afoxolaner was created specifically for NexGard? That is why they have the breakdown of what the composition of the chemical is, and that is Naphthalene.

Naphthalene is an aromatic hydrocarbon found in coal car or crude oil. Naphthalene is used in the manufacture of plastics, resins, fuels, and dyes. It is also used as a fumigant insecticide that works by turning directly from a solid into a toxic vapor. This process is called sublimation. Most products containing naphthalene in the U.S. are used to control clothes moths in airtight containers!

3. K9 Advantix II: Imidacloprid, Permethrin, Pyriproxyfen

Permethrin is an insecticide in the pyrethroid family. Pyrethroids are synthetic chemicals that act like natural extracts from the chrysanthemum flower. Permethrin is used in a number of ways to control insects. Products containing permethrin may be used in public health mosquito control programs. They may be used on food and feed crops, on ornamental lawns, on livestock and pets, in structures and buildings, and on clothing. Permethrin may also be used in places where food is handled, such as restaurants.

There are more products that contain pesticides:

Spinosad (Comfortis®; Trifexis®)

Nitenpyram (Capstar®)

Moxidectin (Coraxis®)

Moxidectin + Imidacloprid (Advantage Multi®; Proheart 6®)

Selamectin (Revolution®)

These pesticides are high enough to pose a risk to children and adults who play with pets that are wearing flea and tick collars. They can cause seizures and rashes in humans. EPA documents show.

The FDA website reported side effects and deaths after administration of flea, tick and heart worm treatments. Last updated on March 3rd, 2021. Here is the list of brands that the FDA reported.

For more info go to Animal Drug Safety Communication: FDA Alerts Pet Owners and Veterinarians About Potential for Neurologic Adverse Events Associated with Certain Flea and Tick Products | FDA

Side effects of flea and tick medication

  • Rash

  • Redness

  • Loss of hair

  • Itching with discoloration

  • Drooling

  • Increased excitability

  • Changes in body temperature (lower or higher)

  • Tremors

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Lack of coordination

  • Seizures

  • Lethargy

  • Abdominal pain

  • Light or severe depression

These pesticides are high enough to pose a risk to children and adults who play with pets that are wearing flea and tick collars. They can cause seizures and rashes in humans. EPA documents show.

So now what? What medication can I use for my pet?

Imidacloprid (Advantage II®)

Imidacloprid + Permethrin + Pyriproxyfen (Advantix II®) DO NOT USE IN CATS!

Please avoid or be extra cautious if you have cats in the household

Fipronil + Pyriproxyfen (Frontline®)

Indoxacarb (Activyl®)

I'm very into natural medicine, is part of my life and my fur kids' lives too

Here some natural products that might help:

  1. Coconut oil: Kills and repels fleas due to the ingredient lauric acid. This solution can be rubbed through your pet’s coat or given to them orally. Add 1 teaspoon per 20 pounds of body weight twice daily in the food or offer as a special treat. Coconut oil melts at 76 degrees, so rubbing it between your hands will make it into a liquid that you can rub through your pet's coat. A bonus: Coconut oil moisturizes skin and helps kill yeast, too.

2. Fresh garlic: This can be added to your dog's diet for flea protection. Anywhere from half of a clove to 2 cloves daily would be considered safe, depending on the size of your dog. Don't use more than 1/2 clove per 20 pounds of body weight daily, with a maximum of 2 cloves for any size of dog.

If you have a pet that has a history of hemolytic anemia, it would be safest to avoid using garlic in any form. Do not give garlic to cats, as they are more sensitive to the toxic effects.

3. Vinegar: This can be added to your cat or dog’s drinking water. 1 teaspoon per quart of water, or it can be diluted in water in a 1:1 mixture and sprayed on your pet’s coat.

4. Essential Oils Sprays:

Helps to soothe and heal from many insect bites

Has sprays for use on pets as well as for household and yard. Avoid rosemary scent if your pet has seizures and/or other neurological diseases.

5. Add Flea Treats (Brewer's Yeast) to food. It is nutrient dense with vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin B, chromium, and selenium. flea treats, natural flea control for dogs and cats

Other Alternatives

Use a flea comb to manually remove fleas: Squeezing them or putting them into soapy water (dish washing detergent) will kill them.

Give your pet a bath: Fleas do not hold onto your pet's fur, so many fleas will fall off when

you dip your pet in warm water. Fleas are less attracted to clean animals, so bathe on regular basis. Consider peppermint or neem shampoo for added anti-parasite kick (e.g. Dr. Bronner's peppermint liquid castile soap). Please do not use peppermint oil for cats as they may be

sensitive to it.

  • Another alternative is AnimalEO®'s Away essential oil blend and mix with unscented castile liquid soap (Dr. Bronner's, Dr. Mercola's, or 4-Legger).

These are some natural alternatives that my dog's vet Hemopet Holistic Care recommended.

Try these alternative medicines and products and let me know which one works for your fur kid. And if you try another natural medicine, please share it in the comments below.

More info about natural medicine on pets 5 natural solutions for flea and tick prevention | Fox News

And of course always ask your vet what works best for your beloved friend. Ask tons of questions, read the ingredients and components on the tick and flea medication labels, do your research, look for reviews. Our fur kids are the best thing that's happened to us, so we need to take care of them so they can have a healthy life.


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