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What is Flea and Tick Collar Poisoning?

The chemicals that are put into the flea and tick collars that many dog owners use to eliminate fleas from their pets can inflict harm if ingested. Serious effects on the central nervous system resulting in neurological deficits are possible. In fact, flea collar poisoning due to ingestion of the collar will affect your pet in the same way that the toxins affect the fleas they are meant to eradicate. In addition, the ingredients in the flea collars can leave a residue on your canine’s fur that remains for many weeks. Studies show that propoxur poisoning can occur by ingestion of the collar or by the licking of the residue found on the fur; amitraz toxicity happens when a dog chews on and eats a flea and tick collar. Both of these chemicals are used in topical flea and tick preparations, presenting more chances of accidental poisoning. Dog owners who use these products should also be aware of the potential dangers to other household pets and to children.

Flea and tick collars can contain ingredients that can be highly toxic to dogs if ingested. Amitraz and propoxur are two such chemicals, added to flea and tick collars during production. Accidental ingestion of a collar by your dog can result in severe toxicity.

Flea and Tick Collar Poisoning Average Cost

From 55 quotes ranging from $300 - $5,000

Average Cost

$1,200

Symptoms of Flea and Tick Collar Poisoning in Dogs

Amitraz

  • Weakness
  • Loss of bodily movement control
  • High or low body temperature
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Low blood pressure
  • Obstruction of the intestines due to paralysis of intestines
  • Dilation of pupils
  • Gastric dilatation
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Abnormal heart rhythm and rapid heart rate
  • Excess salivation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Seizures

Propoxur

  • Muscle twitching
  • Loss of bodily movement control
  • Weakness
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Salivation
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Seizures

With a skin irritation of propoxur, there may be evidence of redness of the skin, loss of fur, and a constriction of the iris of your pet’s eye.

Types

Other than amitraz and propoxur, another chemical used in topical solutions for flea and tick control and for collars used to eradicate these pests is tetrachlorvinphos, an organophosphate also known to be toxic to your dog’s nervous system.

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Causes of Flea and Tick Collar Poisoning in Dogs

Flea and tick collar poisoning occurs when a pet ingests a collar or consumes the chemicals that are left on the skin and fur as a residual product. Studies have proven that chemicals that are harmful to both your family pets and children can remain (and are accessible each time the collar is touched) for a few weeks after the collar has been put on your dog. Caution should be used when putting the collar on your dog; wash your hands after attaching the collar and make sure it is secure enough that pets cannot easily remove it, ingesting it accidentally in the process. Studies show that puppies and toy breed dogs, particularly the Chihuahua and Pomeranian, are susceptible to severe poisoning upon ingestion of a flea and tick collar containing amitraz.

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Diagnosis of Flea and Tick Collar Poisoning in Dogs

When diagnosing poisoning from a flea and tick collar or from the residue left on the fur and skin, the veterinarian will come to a conclusion based on the history and specifics that you are able to provide, if any, and the clinical signs. If you see that your pet is showing signs of a poisoning like loss of bodily movement control or vomiting, remove the flea collar right away, or in the case of ingestion bring the remains of the collar in with you when you go to the clinic or emergency room. Provide the veterinarian with as much information as possible, such as recent illnesses, changes in behavior that you may have noticed, and the approximate length of time that your pet has been exhibiting the symptoms. The veterinarian may order blood tests, urinalysis, and abdominal x-rays but the timing of these tests will depend upon the immediate condition of your dog.

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Treatment of Flea and Tick Collar Poisoning in Dogs

Flea collar poisoning is treated with support therapy and medication. Vomiting may be induced by the veterinary team, contingent on the chemical in the collar, and whether your pet is in a depressed state (as there could be risk of aspiration pneumonia). Activated charcoal may be used to bind the poison.

Fluid therapy will be put in place and your canine companion will be closely monitored. The veterinary team will check at regular intervals, your dog’s blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, blood markers, and urine production. If your pet is dehydrated the fluid therapy will ensure that he is getting enough liquids. Medication (like atipamezole), to counteract the effects of the toxicity, will be administered as well.

If the x-rays have shown the location of the collar in the intestine or stomach (or the absence, meaning the pieces did leave the body with the vomitus) an endoscopic procedure could be considered to remove it. In addition, your dog’s fur will be gently washed to remove all traces of the chemicals released by the flea collar.

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Recovery of Flea and Tick Collar Poisoning in Dogs

With both amitraz and propoxur, the prognosis can be favorable with early treatment. This is why it is so important to visit a veterinarian immediately if you suspect that your dog has ingested a poisonous substance. Your pet may recover, but the length of time it takes for him to get back to normal will depend on the level of toxicity and his state of health at the time of the incident. When dealing with a flea or tick problem, always consult your veterinarian for advice on the best products to use.

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Flea and Tick Collar Poisoning Average Cost

From 55 quotes ranging from $300 - $5,000

Average Cost

$1,200

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Flea and Tick Collar Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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French Bulldog

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One Year

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Unknown severity

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Hair Loss

My dog chewed her seresto flea collar, I called poison control they said to induce vomitting . (All pieces of the collar were there so she didn’t actually eat it) but I called to make sure Never any other symptoms not even diarrhea. But she’s now lost a good amount of hair but only on her under side. A bit of her l neck most of her under arms under legs chest and behind her ears. Could it be a reaction ? She doesn’t Itch scratch or rub nor is any of those areas red or irritated. Thanks for any input !!

Sept. 18, 2020

Owner

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Jessica N. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello- Thank you for your question. Without examining her skin it is going to be very hard to say exactly what is going on. With that being said allergies are very common in French bulldogs and tend to be worse at this time of year. They can also get mites, bacterial skin infections, fungal infections, fleas, and hypothyroidism that can cause hair loss I would recommend having her examined by your veterinarian, and they can evaluate the hair loss, then make a diagnostic and treatment plan to help resolve the hair loss. Good luck!

Sept. 18, 2020

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Shihpoo

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Two Years

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Itching

My dog is itchy. Chewing on himself until scabs forming. I've been giving him Benadryl and organic coconut oil typically.

Aug. 3, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Dogs can be itchy if they have parasites or mites, or if they have bacterial or fungal infections, or allergies. If you have been treating at home and it is not getting better, it may be a good idea to have him seen by a veterinarian. They will be able to examine him, do simple skin tests if needed, and get treatment for him. There are many good medications for infections and allergies, and he may need some of them. I hope that he feels better soon!

Aug. 3, 2020

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Chihuahua

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Seven Years

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Lethargy. Shaking. Stiff Neck.

After placing flea collar...noticed acting funny (within a couple hours). Removed collar but continue with ataxia, shivering, acts like neck is stiff. No vomiting. No diarrhea. Eating and drinking ok. It's been over 24 hours since removal. Will this slowly disipate? Should I make appt? Is this an emergency?

Aug. 2, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Some over-the-counter flea collars can be toxic to dogs, unfortunately. If you are able to bathe your dog around the area where the collar was, that may help. Otherwise, as long as your dog is able to eat and drink, and the tremoring and shivering is improving overtime rather than getting worse or staying the same, then you should be able to keep her at home and monitor her. If she continues to Tremor or shiver, or she starts to seizure, then it's best to have her seen by a veterinarian right away. I hope that she is okay, and it may be a good idea to talk to your veterinarian about oral flea control products for her.

Aug. 2, 2020

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Jack Russell

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One Year

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Uncontrollable Pee

We bought a flea collar for my dog about two days ago from the brand Vetality. After putting the collar on him he started coughing and shaking. He then started peeing while walking and we decided to take the collar off of him which has left a red, bloody, mark on his neck. He then walked to my mom and lifted his leg and peed on her. Any clue as to if it was a type of poisoning or is he just acting out?

July 28, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. Many over-the-counter flea collars are quite irritating and potentially toxic. I cannot comment on what might have happened with that flea collar, you may want to call a pet poison control hotline to see what the ingredients in that color are. In the future, it would probably be best to stick to a prescription flea control product from your veterinarian, as those are safe. If he continues to have problems, it would be best to have him seen by your veterinarian. I hope that he is okay.

July 28, 2020

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German Shepherd

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One Year

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Unknown severity

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Tired Crying When Picked Up

We put a flea collar on 2 days ago. She started to get tired and sleepy, cries when picked up. Took the collar off and washed her. She is starting to move more now and eating, drinking and going to the bathroom ok.

July 18, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Some OTC flea collars are very hard on dogs, and taking the collar off and bathing her was the right thing to do. If she continues to become more active and normal over the next 12-24 hours, you should be okay to monitor her. If she continues to be lethargic, or starts vomiting or not eating, it would be best to have her seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. It would also be a good idea to contact your veterinarian to get oral flea prevention, as that may be safer for her. I hope that all goes well for her.

July 18, 2020

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Jordan

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Labrador Retriever

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9 Years

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Serious severity

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Lethargic, Excessive Drinking ,

My 9 year old lab has been wearing a Seresto collar purchased through the vet) sense he was a puppy. April-November) Never a problem. This year, I ordered from Chewy. Seemed exactly the same. After a week or so, my dog was unable to walk, not eating, lethargic. I took the collar off and he improved. Thinking maybe he was just sick *and the weather was getting warmer, meaning more ticks. I put it back on. Yesterday, after about two weeks again, he was different again. He was not walking, not eating, drinking more than usual. I thought I was losing him. took the collar off (that was the common thread). This morning he is better. He ate, wanted to be outside. Seems to be a bit better. I don't want to put the collar back on. I am concerned about ticks!

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Bailey

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Maltese

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10 Years

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Moderate severity

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1 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Tired

I put a serento collar on my 13 lb Maltese and Pomerania 3 weeks ago, 6 days ago he wouldn’t eat, drank lots of water, tired, no motivation, walked very slowly. I finally figured out the only thing different was the collar. He’s on prescription food because he had protein problems and then liver enzymes were high. He’s been very active and healthy since I got him the food he needs. Took the collar off 5 days ago, and still not eating, drinking more than usually, not acting like himself, tired and doesn’t want to walk. How long does the collar stay in his system? I bathed him with mild soap. But hasn’t gotten better. Do he need to be seen by his veterinarian? When should I see an improvement?

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Beast

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Pit bull

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4 Years

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Mild severity

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1 found helpful

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

No Use Bak Legs

My grandmother put A flea Caller on my Pitt he could not walk on his back legs after when realized it was from that removed it do u know how long it will take for him to get better

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Murray

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Newfoundland

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2 Years

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Moderate severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Lathargic, Depressed, Refused Food Water

I have bought and used seresto flea collars numerous times. I've had 2 labs, and 1 newfoundland. These last two that were bought were at 2 different times, one from rural king and one from amazon. My newfoundland (this was his 2nd collar) stopped eating, became extremely lethargic, and was acting very strange. The collar had been on for 4 days. I honestly just thought about it today (4 days later) and took it off. Within 30 minutes I got him to eat 1 cup of Turkey and drink water! Could the side effects of this collar stop that fast?

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Brandy Lee

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Golden Retriever

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3 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Paralysis On Face

In the past, I have used Advantix on multiple dogs over generations. No problems-No Way. Not the topic right now. I discovered my 30 day dose actually lasted over six months. I was concerned on it's potency and discontinued use. I switched to Seresto on my new 2 1/2 old Golden Retriever. Last year no problem. I give my dog/dogs "a holiday" on tick medication for winter. This past April 2019 I put a new collar on. My outdoor activity and Brandy Lee's is high risk for ticks. Quite often I have just as many ticks on me as Brandy. Well guess what? No ticks on Brandy and none on me. Going back to potency. There is no doubt that this tick collar was working on me as well. I pet my dog throughout the day but never touch the collar. In July, both of us have deer ticks in our skin. Both ticks were dead on removal. Mine was positive for Lyme and hers was not tested by my vet. We both went on anti. Shortly afterwards she developed depression and then right side paralysis on her face. I don't agree with the vet's diagnosis". "Trauma most likely" I took the collar off and have not replaced. Brandy is doing very well with a lot of facial massage and TLC. I am looking for a natural tick prevention.

Flea and Tick Collar Poisoning Average Cost

From 55 quotes ranging from $300 - $5,000

Average Cost

$1,200

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