Flea and Tick Collar Poisoning in Dogs

Veterinary reviewed by: Michele K.

Flea and Tick Collar Poisoning in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Veterinary reviewed by: Michele K.

Flea and Tick Collar Poisoning in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

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 be harmful if eaten. Serious effects on the central nervous system resulting in neurological deficits are possible.  In addition, the ingredients in the flea collars can leave a residue on your dog's hair that remains for many weeks. Studies show that poisoning by some types of chemicals can occur by ingestion of the collar or by the licking of the residue found on the hair. 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.

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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 hair, 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 shown 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 hair 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, depending on the timing and 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 likely be started, 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 to counteract the effects of the toxicity will be administered as well if possible

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 hair will be gently washed to remove all traces of the chemicals released by the flea collar.

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Worried about the cost of Flea And Tick Collar Poisoning treatment?

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Recovery of Flea and Tick Collar Poisoning in Dogs

While there are risks of toxicity if used inappropriately or eaten, veterinary approved flea and tick collars are generally quite safe if used properly.  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

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Jack Russell

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One Year

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0 found helpful

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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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0 Recommendations

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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0 found helpful

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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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Flea and Tick Collar Poisoning Average Cost

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

Average Cost

$1,200

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