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What is Flea and Tick Dips and Shampoos Poisoning?

Amitraz insecticide poisoning causes central nervous irritation, which includes seizures, difficulty walking, dilated pupils, and extreme sleepiness. It also affects the cardiac system (extremely low or high blood pressure, decreased heart rate) and the gastrointestinal system (vomiting, drooling, diarrhea). Death is usually caused by a depressed central nervous system. A toxic oral dose of amitraz is 10 milligrams per kilogram, and a lethal dose is 100 milligrams per kilogram. It is uncommon, but possible, for a dog to ingest a lethal amount of amitraz by consuming a collar that contains amitraz or a concentrated dip or shampoo. It is also possible to apply a toxic dose of amitraz insecticide topically, from confusion when diluting the solution.

Amitraz insecticide poisoning is caused by the drug amitraz, or formamidine acaricide, which is used as a topical dip or shampoo for the prevention of ticks and mange in dogs and other animals. This drug is also in dog collars which are made for treatment of these pests as well. Amitraz poisoning is a relatively rare condition and has a mortality rate of only five percent in dogs treated with the correct dosage, although it sometimes has serious or life-threatening effects on some toy breeds, puppies, and older dogs.

Flea and Tick Dips and Shampoos Poisoning Average Cost

From 69 quotes ranging from $300 - $5,000

Average Cost

$350

Symptoms of Flea and Tick Dips and Shampoos Poisoning in Dogs

Amitraz insecticide poisoning caused by flea and ticks collars or dips and shampoos has many symptoms, which are separated into three categories:

Central Nervous System

  • Acting drunk
  • Collapse
  • Coma
  • Death
  • Decreased body temperature (hypothermia)
  • Dilated pupils
  • Difficulty breathing (dyspnea)
  • Increased blood glucose
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of body movement control (ataxia)
  • Rapid breathing (tachypnea)
  • Respiratory depression
  • Sedation
  • Seizures
  • Shock

Cardiac System

  • Slow heart rate (bradycardia)
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)

Gastrointestinal System

  • Appetite loss
  • Bloating
  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhea
  • Drooling
  • Slow intestinal activity
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss

 Types

  • Oral amitraz insecticide poisoning is caused by your dog eating or drinking something containing amitraz, such as a collar or shampoo
  • Topical amitraz insecticide poisoning happens if your dog is treated with amitraz shampoo that is mixed in the wrong concentration or without being diluted; topical poisoning can also happen when shampooing a dog who is sensitive to amitraz, such as toy breeds or puppies
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Causes of Flea and Tick Dips and Shampoos Poisoning in Dogs

Both oral and topical amitraz poisoning can be caused by treating certain breeds:

  • Affenpinschers
  • Brussels Griffons
  • Chihuahuas
  • Chins
  • Havanese
  • Italian Greyhounds
  • Maltese
  • Miniature Pinschers
  • Papillons
  • Pekingese
  • Pomeranians
  • Poodles
  • Pugs
  • Shih Tzus
  • Spaniels
  • Terriers

Oral amitraz

poisoning is caused by the ingestion of:

  • Collar
  • Shampoo
  • Dip solution

Topical amitraz poisoning

  • Wrong dilution of shampoo or dip
  • Using medication on puppies or elderly dogs
  • Applying more than one type of medication containing amitraz
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Diagnosis of Flea and Tick Dips and Shampoos Poisoning in Dogs

A complete physical examination will first be done, which includes weight, height, body temperature, blood pressure, reflexes, heart rate, and respirations. Be sure that your veterinarian has all of your dog’s medical history, including most recent illnesses or injuries, shot records, and any behavioral changes you have noticed lately. Your veterinarian will also need to complete some laboratory tests including urinalysis, blood chemistry profile, complete blood count (CBC), blood gas, glucose level, liver enzyme test, and radiographs (x-rays) or ultrasound of the abdomen to see if there is evidence that your dog swallowed a collar (buckle or pieces of collar). A liquid chromatography test may also be done to check for amitraz insecticide in your dog’s plasma, stomach contents, or hair follicles.

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Treatment of Flea and Tick Dips and Shampoos Poisoning in Dogs

Treatment for amitraz insecticide poisoning caused by flea and tick collrs or dips and shampoos depends on whether it was an oral or topical poisoning. Topical poisoning requires immediate bathing with mild soap and a lot of water. Oral ingestion includes inducing vomiting with a peroxide solution or apomorphine if it has been less than 24 hours. Charcoal can absorb the amitraz, helping to eliminate the chemical and pieces of the collar in the feces. A laxative and enema may also be administered to hasten evacuation of the bowels about 15 hours after ingestion. Atipamezole or yohimbine may be used to reverse clinical signs, such as decreased heart rate, depressed nervous system and the effects of high blood pressure. The veterinarian will also administer IV fluids and medication to control blood pressure, body temperature, and dehydration. Your dog will be in the hospital for at least 24 hours after recovery for observation. It is possible to have a recurrence of symptoms with some dogs. The veterinarian will watch for abnormal body temperature, production of urine, blood pressure, heart rate, and glucose level.

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Recovery of Flea and Tick Dips and Shampoos Poisoning in Dogs

You should continue to watch your dog closely for any recurrence of symptoms for at least 72 hours. Return to your veterinarian within two weeks for a follow-up examination and do not hesitate to call your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns about your dog’s condition. To prevent this from happening in the future, it is important to follow all of the directions carefully when treating your dog, or other pets, for fleas, ticks, or any other parasites. Keep all medications out of the reach of your dog.

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Flea and Tick Dips and Shampoos Poisoning Average Cost

From 69 quotes ranging from $300 - $5,000

Average Cost

$350

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Flea and Tick Dips and Shampoos Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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German Shorthaired Pointer

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Eight Weeks

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

None

accidentally used hartz flea and tick shampoo. Didn't sit on coat more than 30 seconds. Rinsed it off immediately then continue to rinse for a few more minutes. It has been about 2 hours and there are no symptoms. How long would it take if there were going to be any. Or is she okay?

July 30, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello, Usually, signs show up very quickly. If this only stayed on her a few seconds she will most likely be just fine. It sounds like you did the right thing and washed this right off.

July 30, 2020

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Chihuahua Mix Labrador

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Nine Months

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

None

I found and killed two ticks on my 9 month old dog within a week and I am wondering what I should do. Do I need flea and tick medication or just a tick bath or topical application? This is my first dog so I need help on what to do!

July 24, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello, Yes, flea and tick medication should help get rid of these ticks. Also, a bath would help remove them. Your vet should be able to get you flea and tick medication as well as a shampoo that will help.

July 24, 2020

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ShiChi

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About 3 years old

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Shaking

Yesterday I bathed my dog with Hartz ultra guard flea and tick dog shampoo (first time ever using any kind of flea and tick shampoo) and she has been shaking ever since.She is a very playful and energetic dog but she just sits or lays down with her tail between her legs.her heart is beating kind of fast, I really don’t know if she ok or not.

July 15, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Gina U. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello Certain over the counter flea products can contain an ingredient called pyrethrin or permethrin that can be toxic to dogs (and cats). It can cause shaking, tremors and lethargy. I recommend that you bathe your dog immediately with Dawn dish soap or some type of pet shampoo and take him to a veterinarian right a way for an exam. He may need emergency treatment. Good luck.

July 15, 2020

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Retriever

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One Year

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

None

While I was giving my puppy a bath with Veterinary Formula Flea and Tick shampoo, my pup licked his leg while the soap was on him. What do I need to do? I am terrified he is going to get sick from the shampoo.

July 12, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Gina U. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello If you are concerned about a potential toxin ingestion, it is recommended that you call a pet poison hotline or a local veterinarian clinic that is open now. Look at the label and check what the main ingredient is, so you can have that ready when you speak with the toxicologist or a veterinarian. Good luck.

July 13, 2020

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Thor

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Cocker Spaniel

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12 Weeks

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Moderate severity

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1 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Droopy Lowereyelid

I just got a new puppy he was infested with fleas I had to give him two baths with special shampoo for flea to finely get him free of fleas is very possible that some got in his eye today I realize he has a little of droopy eye. Can that be from the shampoo? I just got him yesterday by the time we got home was very late and then it took me about 3h for the entire procedure so is no way of knowing if he was the same yesterday. Thank you!

Aug. 12, 2018

Thor's Owner


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3320 Recommendations

It is possible that something is irritating Thor’s eye, however you should flush the eye out with sterile saline to be on the safe side and to monitor; if the eye doesn’t improve or there are any other symptoms you should pop into your local Veterinarian for an examination to be on the safe side. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 13, 2018

Thank you so much we made a appointment with Veterinarian just to be safe considering that it dint improve.

Aug. 13, 2018

Thor's Owner

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Boomer

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Labrador Retriever

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6 Weeks

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Fair severity

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Lethargy

I just brought home a 6 week lab puppy and accidentally washed him with Sentry flea and tick oatmeal shampoo and did not notice the warning label that states “Can be used on dogs and puppies 12 weeks and older.” My puppy is showing no signs of poisoning, he is just sleeping a lot and hasn’t had any water/ food. It’s been about 30 mins since washing him. Do I need to do anything for him? I washed him with the shampoo twice because the owners kept him outside in mud. But I did a very good rinse with luke warm water. Help!

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SHIBA

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German Shelpard

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1 Year

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Critical severity

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Critical severity

Has Symptoms

Loss Of Balance

Hie,my GS is poisoned from DIP.To be honest,the DIP was very concentrated as i thought that this would get rid of the ticks fast.Hours later i started noticing some signs;weakness,lose of appetite.I only thought this was caused by a fever from the bath so i only warmed her up with blankets.The next day,signs got worse;vomiting,lose of balance,prolonged sleep.I took her to the VET on the third day only to be told that i had poisoned my dog.She has been there for 4 days now but she is still dizzy and losing her balance.Please advise; is the losing balance and dizziness permanent due to excess poisoning,or there is a chance she will get back to normal?..Thank you.

Flea and Tick Dips and Shampoos Poisoning Average Cost

From 69 quotes ranging from $300 - $5,000

Average Cost

$350

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