If your dog is diagnosed with demodectic mange, your vet might recommend a dip containing the insecticide amitraz. Brand names for these dips include Mitaban and Taktic, along with generic versions. If you live in an area with a heavy tick population, you can protect your dog with a special tick collar -- sold under the trade name Preventic -- containing amitraz. This collar does not control fleas. Amitraz works by acting on the nervous system of particular parasites.
Most dogs tolerate amitraz well, but side effects are possible. That's especially true if your dog ingests the drug, either by licking the dip or chewing on the collar. Products containing amitraz should never be used on cats. You should wear gloves when applying the dip or attaching the collar. Wash your hands immediately afterward. Pregnant women should not expose themselves to amitraz.
Amitraz Side Effects
When you place your dog in an amitraz dip, avoid getting the liquid in his eyes or mouth. Sedation is a common side effect in dogs after a dip or receiving a tick collar containing amitraz. Expect your dog to sleep excessively for up to three days after amitraz exposure. Rare side effects include excessive scratching -- possibly from a reaction to dead mites -- increased appetite or appetite loss, vomiting, diarrhea, excitability and irritated skin. Call your vet if your dog experiences any side effects from the dip.
If side effects occur from a tick collar, remove the collar immediately. Dogs who have chewed on or ingested the collar may experience serious depression. Take your dog to the emergency vet. She can either induce vomiting if the dog just consumed the collar or administer an antidote intravenously.
Do not use amitraz on dogs under the age of 4 months. Pregnant or nursing dogs should not receive this medication. Consult your vet before using this product on a toy or other small dog. Diabetic dogs should not receive amitraz. Avoid using amitraz on debilitated or old canines, or on those receiving certain medications. Check with your vet to ensure amitraz is safe to use in conjunction with any drugs or supplements your dog receives.