Wednesday, April 16, 2014
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Side Effects of Advantage Flea Medication

By Kristin Jirovsky
Advantage is a topical flea medication that kills fleas quickly, preventing harmful disorders in pets due to fleas. Advantage, like most medications, comes with some side effects. Advantage touts safe and effective flea relief within 12 hours. Advantage does not kill ticks.


Dosages are made for dogs 7 weeks or older, and cats 8 weeks or older. Dosages are also tweaked for cat and dog size, so be sure to give your pet the correct dose, which can be determined by a veterinarian. Weighing your pet beforehand is necessary and must not be "an educated guess." This could cause serious harm if not handled correctly.
For puppies and kittens under 7 or 8 weeks old, Advantage can be very harmful and shouldn't be given at all. Sores can develop and the medication may cause fatal reactions. To treat fleas on smaller animals, a dish soap is the safest way to smother and kill fleas.


Some pets with sensitive skin will get sores on the spot of application. These sores can bleed, become filled with pus, remain open for a length of time, and may require medical or surgical attention. Watch the application site for any splitting skin or areas that begin to swell, pus or crack. These are very painful to animals, so avoid touching these areas and seek medical attention for the animal.
Some medications may be applied, but a veterinarian should be consulted at the first sign of irritation to prevent incorrectly medicating your pet.


Some pet owners have experienced a strong medicine odor coming from their pet a few days after application. This is not harmful, but might be annoying. The smell resembles a medicine-like smell, some pet owners have reported, and will not last the length of the medication use, but only for about a week or so. This smell cannot be rinsed or scrubbed off, and rinsing or scrubbing may cause irritation. If the odor is too much to handle, try keeping the pet in a correct-sized kennel in a garage for a few days until the smell passes.

Needs Serious Attention

Watch your pet immediately after application and for a few days after. Some animals experience extreme cases where the neurotoxin in Advantage takes a toll on the pet. Some cases of organ damage have been reported in pets using Advantage in improper dosing or prolonged exposure. If your pet is exhibiting odd behavior, like seeming to not see objects in her path, stumbling or sleeping significantly more than normal, these are signs to discuss with your veterinarian.


Similar to the sores, Advantage can cause rashes on dogs with sensitive skin. These may only be noticeable by extreme scratching witnessed in dog behavior, but must be tended to immediately. If the dog scratches the area too much, it may cause bleeding, sores or an infection. Tend to the animal by applying petroleum jelly to the scratched area until medical attention by a veterinarian can be sought.
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