Dangers of Flea Medication

by Andie Francese

Flea and tick medications are common treatments for pets. They are often sold over the counter and applied to millions of pets ever year; however, flea medication carries a myriad of risks to both pets and owners. The medications are filled with toxic chemicals (they kills fleas and ticks, after all). If they are not applied to extreme caution, serious complications and possibly death may occur.

Concentration

Flea medication is highly concentrated; when rubbing the medication onto an animal, high concentrations can be left on one spot on the dog or cat. The high level in one are then seeps into the skin and into the pet's circulatory system. The toxins that are used to kill fleas are also harmful to the animal . Uneven application can cause nerve problems and can make both dogs and cats extremely ill with lasting effects.

Ingestion

Many flea medications come in shampoo form. The theory is that the flea medication will be applied and then rinsed from the animal. It is imperative to rinse the pet thoroughly, as dogs and cats tend to lick themselves and any medication residue could be ingested. The toxins in flea medication, even if just residue, can lead to nerve damage, brain damage and may be fatal for pets.

Human Contact

Any people using a flea medication on their pets also must be extremely careful when handling the products. Hands must be washed thoroughly afterward and skin contact should be limited. The toxic chemicals used to kill fleas can seep into the skin and cause unpleasant reactions in some people. .

Puppies and Kittens

Flea medication should not be used on kittens and puppies. The young animals are not big enough or strong enough to defend against the chemicals and may end up with brain damage, kidney damage and nerve damage if the product is not applied correctly.

Cats

Flea medication designed for dogs has been used on cats by some owners as the labels are not always clear, but the concentration of the chemicals designed for dog fur tend to seep more quickly and at higher levels into a cat's fur, and can cause serious neurological problems.

About the Author

Andrea "Andie" Francese. She worked as an entertainment editor, blogger and managing editor for the Mercy College "Impact" starting in 2006. Francese won 2 Quill Awards for her work on the "Impact" including Excellence in Journalism and Enterprise Journalism. She currently works for several blogging sites. Francese holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology with a minor in media studies at Mercy College.