If a dog has fleas or ticks, then it is important to treat it right away with one of the many treatment options available. No matter which one is chosen, it is important to monitor a dog after giving it a new kind of medication for the first time. The dog could have an allergic reaction and require treatment.
Like humans, dogs can have allergies. When this happens, a dog's body reacts to an allergen in its environment. While the allergen will not bother a dog that is not sensitive to it, the immune system of a dog with allergies will react to an allergen as though it is a threat. Whether the allergen is inhaled, ingested or comes in contact with a dog's skin, the dog's immune system will try to expel it from the dog's body. This process causes the allergic reaction.
Flea and Tick Treatment
Flea and tick treatment can be given to a dog in the form of medicated powders, shampoos, specially-treated collars or topical treatments in which liquid medication is applied to the back of a dog's neck. The treatments contain insecticides that target fleas and ticks, and the eggs they leave behind. Treatments are available by prescription from a veterinarian or over the counter. According to the ASPCA, prescription flea and tick medications are usually more effective and safer.
Allergic Reaction Symptoms
If a dog is sensitive to medication used for flea and tick treatment, then it could have an allergic reaction. If placed on the back of the neck, flea or tick medication could cause the dog to develop an itchy spot where the oily liquid contacted the skin. The dog might try to scratch or rub away the medication. The skin will turn red, and the irritation could worsen and become a painful, scabbed-over sore on the dog's neck, states "The Complete Healthy Dog Handbook."
Washing away the irritating medication with a mild dog shampoo can treat a dog’s allergic reaction to flea and tick medication. Stop the dog from rubbing against the floor or furniture in order to prevent skin damage. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration states that if the redness does not fade or if the dog exhibits more severe signs of reaction, like vomiting, diarrhea or extreme salivation, it should be taken to a veterinarian.
Fleas and ticks can both cause skin irritation in a dog. They can also spread disease and trigger allergic reactions of their own in dogs. Fleas and ticks can also spread to a home and its inhabitants. Avoid any flea or tick medication if the dog has proven to be sensitive to that medication in the past. A veterinarian can recommend a safer alternative.