When flea and tick season comes around, we all want our dogs to be comfortable and parasite free. Dog owners can choose from many solutions to flea and tick problems. Most lean toward a name-brand product such as K9 Advantix, assuming that, if the U.S. EPA has approved it and the veterinarian has recommended it, it must be safe. The Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for K9 Advantix, however, says that a "tingling or burning sensation" may occur that can be expected to dissipate after 24 hours. It goes on to say that repeated exposure to organic solvents has been associated with permanent nervous system and brain damage. Product reviews both praise and condemn this product, and it behoves all pet owners to do their homework before applying any chemical to their animals.
Ingrediets and Safety
The main ingredients in K9 Advantix are imidacloprid and permethrin. The "K9" in the name indicates this is a product for dogs only; the chemicals used in this product are not safe for cats. Permethrin, a type of pyrethrin, is the ingredient used for tick control.
A small percentage of dogs have serious reactions to the chemicals in K9 Advantix. Some dogs reportedly have died from reactions to the product; other, minor reactions such as skin irritation have been reported, as well. If your dog is among the few that have an adverse reaction to this medication, the small percentages are of little comfort. Cats that share a home with dogs are in danger of poisoning if exposed to K9 Advantix. Permethrin is toxic to aquatic life, as well, and should be disposed of properly.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that K9 Advantix produces problematic side effects that may include: hyperactivity (crying, running about, jerking, jumping and other frantic behaviours); itching; sleeplessness; temporary hindquarter paralysis; rapid, shallow breathing; fever; hives; "hot spots"; and hair pulling.
Remedies for Reactions
If your dog has a reaction to permethrin, Bayer--the maker of K9 Advantix--advises you to wash the product off your dog within 24 hours of application using Dawn liquid dish soap.
Most dogs will not have an adverse reaction to this product. It has been tested in laboratories and on dogs by dog owners successfully. As on any bell curve, however, a small percentage of dogs will have severe reactions to the chemicals, up to and including death.
Test a small drop of K9 Advantix on your dog before applying the whole dose. Watch closely for skin reactions. Dose only the amount specified for your dog by weight. Do not use on dogs: --that are known to have allergic reactions to the chemicals in this product; --with kidney, heart or liver problems; --that are pregnant or nursing, old or sick; --that are younger than 7 weeks old. If your dog is receiving other medications, consult your veterinarian before using K9 Advantix. If you are hesitant at all about using this product after doing your research, do not use it.
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