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What are Flea Collar Allergies?

Many owners like flea collars for their dogs because it does not involve putting a liquid on his back monthly or remembering to give a pill. Unlike liquids that get dispersed throughout your dog’s coat, the flea collar remains in one place while on. Yes, the active ingredient gets dispersed throughout his fur over time, but the collar which has the most potency, says in one place. This can cause multiple types of allergies to develop in your dog. Contact allergies and respiratory allergies are the most commonly seen allergy symptoms in dogs in regards to flea collars, but in the most severe cases, it can even lead to death. If you put a flea collar on your dog and he begins to act abnormally, remove the flea collar immediately and take him to a veterinarian. The sooner you get him veterinary treatment, the better his chances of a full recovery.

Flea collars have been a type of flea preventative in dogs for many years. While the quality of the flea collars may have improved throughout the years, some dogs are allergic to the ones on the market today. If you believe your dog is experiencing an allergy related to a flea collar, remove it immediately and contact your veterinarian.

Flea Collar Allergies Average Cost

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Average Cost

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Symptoms of Flea Collar Allergies in Dogs

Severity of flea collar allergies in dogs can vary from mild to severe. Symptoms may include

  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Respiratory distress
  • Skin inflammation
  • Loss of hair
  • Rash
  • Itchy skin
  • Hives
  • Lethargy 
  • Death 

Flea collars can also be toxic to dogs. If your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms or something more severe, remove the flea collar and contact your veterinarian immediately. In worst case scenarios, a flea collar can kill your dog if you do not seek the proper treatment.

Types

Flea collars are commonly used as a flea preventative due to their convenience. Certain flea collars can be purchased over the counter, but some must be purchased from a veterinarian only. Studies are conducted on each brand of flea collar before it is considered ‘safe’ and placed on the market. However, this is not a promise or guarantee your will not have a negative reaction to it.

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Causes of Flea Collar Allergies in Dogs

Different brands of flea collars contain different active ingredients. The most common active ingredient in flea collars includes amitraz, pyrethrins, organophosphates, or carbamates. Symptoms of an allergy may appear immediately, within a few hours, or within days. When you put the flea collar on your dog, his immune system thinks the ingredients in the collar poses a threat and therefore the body does what it can to protect itself. This results in your dog experiencing allergy-like symptoms.

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Diagnosis of Flea Collar Allergies in Dogs

When you first arrive at the veterinarian’s office, she will begin by performing a physical examination on your dog. This will allow her to note any abnormalities of his vitals as well as observe of all his symptoms. If your dog is experiencing any sort of coughing, wheezing, or other respiratory problem, the veterinarian may take a radiograph. This will allow her to check for and rule out another cause of the symptoms like pneumonia or bronchitis. 

Blood work will be performed to give the veterinarian a broad look as to how the internal organs are functioning. A complete blood count (CBC) and chemistry panel will provide the veterinarian with needed information for proper assessment. A packed cell volume (PCV) may also be performed to determine hydration status. If your veterinarian feels it is necessary, she may also perform a urinalysis for further evaluation of kidney function.

If your dog’s skin has a rash or is inflamed in any way, your veterinarian may take a skin scraping sample to rule out external parasites or a bacterial overgrowth. Some dogs develop skin irritation or hair loss around the neck where the collar is. This makes it quite obvious the collar is potentially the problem.

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Treatment of Flea Collar Allergies in Dogs

Immediate removal of the flea collar is imperative. Depending what symptoms your dog is experiencing will determine his course of treatment. If your dog is experiencing any type of respiratory distress, he will be started on oxygen immediately. According to his need, he may be placed in an oxygen cage or receive oxygen via flow by. If he is suffering severe distress, he may need to be intubated and kept on oxygen via intubation until he stabilizes. 

Some type of medicinal ointment or cream may be applied to any areas of fur loss or inflammation to increase healing time. The veterinarian may also recommend a bath with a mild detergent to remove the medication of the collar from your dog’s coat. 

An antihistamine may be given to help decrease any swelling, itching, hives, or any other allergic response your dog may be experiencing. There are other medications your veterinarian can give to help with any itching, but in reality this only masks the symptoms. If you do not remove the source of the problem, the symptoms will continue.

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Recovery of Flea Collar Allergies in Dogs

The sooner you receive veterinary care for your dog, the better his chances of a full recovery. Some dogs only have mild allergy type reactions to flea collars, but some can have severe, life-threatening symptoms. Once the flea collar is removed and as much as the medication from the collar washed from your dog’s coat, the veterinarian will treat the symptoms and offer supportive care. If you sought out veterinary care quickly, the prognosis of a full recovery is good. If you have any doubts or questions about the use of a flea collar on your dog, discuss it with your veterinarian. Together you will come up with the best flea treatment plan for your dog.

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Flea Collar Allergies Average Cost

From 466 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$400

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Flea Collar Allergies Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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American Bully

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Five Months

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Unknown severity

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3 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Redness

My dog has a red rash looking thing under his flea collar

Sept. 28, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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3 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Many OTC flea collars can cause skin irritation, and they don't tend to work very well. If he is developing a rash, it would be best to take the collar off and call your veterinarian to see what flea control options they recommend so that this is no longer a problem. I hope that all goes well for him.

Oct. 5, 2020

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Terrier

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Three Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Coughing

Can a tight seresto collar cause a dog to cough

Sept. 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. A tight collar of any kind might cause a dog to cough, yes. There are many other causes for coughing, however, and it your pet is still coughing once you take the collar off or loosen it, It would be best to have them seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine your pet and see what might be causing this, and let you know what treatment might help.

Oct. 11, 2020

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Dorkie

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Three Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Panting, Heavy Breathing

I got my dog Adams flea collar at the store and when I put it on him he started to pant/breathe heavy. Is that an allergic reaction to the collar?

Sept. 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. It sounds like it may have been a reaction, yes. I hope that he is okay. If he is still having problems, Since I cannot see your pet, it would be best to have them seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get treatment for your pet.

Oct. 13, 2020

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Dachshund

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Nine Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Excessive Scratching, Swollen Eyes

I put an otc flea collar on my dog and after about 2 hours I noticed her eyes are swollen and she is scratching excessively around her eyes, paws and back. Could she be having a reaction to the collar?

Sept. 25, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. It sounds like she was having a reaction to the collar, and I hope that your pet is feeling better. If they are still having problems, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get any testing or treatment taken care of that might be needed.

Oct. 21, 2020

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Rottweiler

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Two Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Itchy Skin Lumps On Neck Blood From Scratching Self Eye Swollen

I used hertz flea med on dog now he itches so bad he is losing hair bleeding and his mouth is nasty looking n eye swollen

Aug. 18, 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 control medication can cause reactions with dogs, and it sounds like your dog may be having one. He needs to see a veterinarian, as they can examine him, see what might be going on with his skin and his eye, and get treatment for him so that he is more comfortable. They can also talk about oral flea control for him for future use so that this doesnt happen again to him. I hope that he is okay.

Aug. 18, 2020

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Momo

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McNab collie

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1 Year

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Mild severity

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1 found helpful

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Lethargic
Pain When Lifted
Scared

We have a 1 1\2 year old rescue& we put a seresto collar on him & within 24hours he wasn't him self. Afraid of me and my husband, helping or whining when we touch him, lethargic. I have since taken off the collar & washed his whole body with dawn soap. I'm at worried bout him! My hubby is freaking me out saying I may have killed the dog :( help me

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Paisley

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Australian Shepherd

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8 Years

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Serious severity

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2 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Licking
Infection
Scratching
Hive

Paisley scratched himself raw causing bilateral ear infections. The vet treated them and diagnosed him with seasonal allergies. That lead to a staph infection which I have been treating him for going on 5 weeks with medicated shampoos and antibiotics. Mine you they shaved my Aussie bald. I have changed his food added omega supplements and changed the detergent I launder his bedding with... there is little improvement. I asked the vet if they thought it might be the Seresto collar... the last visit cytology shows the inflammation not much bacteria. The poor dog keeps getting hives and scratching them. I was sent home with more antibiotics and a moisturizer. I cut the collar off tonight thinking it’s the cause.

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Bella

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Mixed

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9 Years

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Moderate severity

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1 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Itching, Aggressivness,
Itching, Aggressivness, Lesions

I have been using the Soresto collar a few years with great success this year my 9 year old mixed breed started scratching and biting uncontrollably causing lesions, red spots, limping from chewing her feet and was becoming aggressive I took off the collar and overnight most off the itching stopped and she isn't limping as bad, this has happened twice since the spring and each time cleared up when the collar came off so I know i cant use Soresto anymore shame on Bayer for putting out a produce that causes these issues it should be taken off the market immediately

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Maxie

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As a breed

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5 Years

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Mild severity

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1 found helpful

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Rash Under Neck

Hi there my dog is Allergic to flea collar can I use sudocrem on him I've just give him a shower with medication shampoo thanks for any help for him please.

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Harley

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Mixed

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4 Years

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Moderate severity

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2 found helpful

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

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

See Above

My pets are all rescues, have regular vet visits and are current on all their vaccinations. They have all been spayed or neutered. I have used topical flea products on them for years, but this past winter, it didn't get cold enough to kill the fleas. None of the things I had relied on for years were working. Finally, I bought flea collars for my 5 dogs and 6 cats. At first, I didn't notice any problems and was glad all the itching had stopped and no more fleas were being brought into the house. They have been wearing the collars about three months now. Then last week, I found one of the outside cats dead in our barn. I hadn't seen him in weeks. He was emaciated and had lost all the fur around his neck. I was horrified. Shortly after putting the collars on my dogs, Harley, a 16-pound, 4-year-old Heinz, began occasionally wheezing. It was nothing that disturbed me. Gradually, the wheezing got more frequent. Now this week, Harley has a developed a runny (alternating dry) nose, sneezing, watering eyes and some coughing. He has been very tired and wants to be with me a lot more than usual. He has not lost any hair around his neck, is still eating and drinking well and has not lost weight. His paw pads are not dryer than usual. He has been in good spirits, plays with his toys and goes in and outside on schedule. He has not vomited or had diarrhea. However I believe his symptoms are moderate but getting worse. Today, he developed a fever. Very concerned now, of course, I went to the internet to find answers. After reading several sites about dog's illnesses, I found this page on allergies. Immediately, I took his flea collar off, gave him a Dawn bath and benadryl. Right now, Harley is laying next to me dreaming and growling a little in his sleep. I hope I have found the solution to his issues, but am definitely keeping a close eye on him. If things don't get better within the next two days, a vet visit will be next on the agenda. In the meantime, is there anything else I can do for my Harley?

Flea Collar Allergies Average Cost

From 466 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$400

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