Many of you saw the news update regarding our flea and tick products. The important takeaway from the end of WBAL's article states that no reports are known of pets suffering from this reaction. But yes, these pesticides are drugs, and all drugs *can* have side effects, and these specific possible adverse effects are written in the literature contained within the packaging.
It scares us as much as any of you, but we use them to prevent fleas and ticks from transmitting some very serious diseases to our furry children. It doesn't matter if it happens in 1 in 10,000 dogs if you have that ONE dog and we completely understand and wrestle with this with our own dogs.
Each drug class can have their own set of adverse effects, listen to any commercial about a medication on TV, often times the side effects seem more severe than the condition they are treating. The isoxazoline class (our flea and tick preventatives on the chopping block) do have possible neurologic side effects. Other trusted brands applied topically have skin hypersensitivity adverse reactions that are possible, and they can be pretty severe as well.
Just as with any medication or vaccination decision, it is a personal decision between you and the professional advice and guidance you get from your veterinarian. I can't stress this enough.
These drugs are not the ‘evil doers’ as they are being portrayed, but very reliable players in the arsenal of options to try to prevent serious diseases transmitted by parasites such as lyme, erhlichia, anaplasma, and flea bite allergies. As with all of the decisions we make when medicating our pets, the most important considerations are safety of the drug versus the risk of the drug versus benefits of the drug.
There are natural products out there of course - and they have a much better safety profile, but many of them are less effective in preventing the parasites that carry the more serious diseases we are trying to prevent. So while safe - if they are ineffective, their safety doesn’t matter.
For those skeptical or scared of pharmaceutical options, pesticides, drugs with harmful side effects, etc...that is okay, and understandable when the potential complications are presented in such a way. Please know and understand our first interest is not doing any harm. Please know that we would not recommend a medication that we wouldn’t give our own pets.