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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-07-2015, 07:58 AM Thread Starter
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Topical Flea & Tick Products

We live in an area that has a very high tick presence, along with the accompanying high incidence of Lyme. My two-year old pup had developed intense itching after the application of Vectra 3 D, so our vet switched him to Activyl. Approximately 1 hour after application, he began vomiting violently, crying, losing control of his bowels (no diarreah), staggering and then collapsed and was unresponsive for a few moments. It was the holiday and my vet (who was out on an emergency) called back within minutes. He said the incidence of side effects with Activyl was rare, but possible, and there was no antidote. He recommended immediate and repeat washing with DAWN dish soap. If there was no improvement, or worsdening condition, we were advised to transport him to the emergency clinic (1 hour away).
Truthfully, I thought we were losing him. We bathed him using two thick applications of Dawn, then wrapped him in a blanket, observing him in his bed (he seemed uncomfortable being held). Within an hour, he began lifting his head, and breathing more normally. By two hours, he was up and walking. Other than seeming a bit lethargic, he's back to normal.
I've scoured the web but can find nothing about Activly side effects (the vet only gave me one to try, so no package insert). Unfotunately, after all of my reading, I've determined my older guy has been suffering from significant lethargy following application of Vectra, just never really noticed before. I have not called the hotline for Activyl, figured I'd wait until I get the insert from the vet's office.
Has anyone had a similar experience with Activyl? I am at a loss now as to preventative care. I think we will just check them each day for ticks, and approach flea tratment if needed.
All suggestions and insights appreciated.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-07-2015, 09:26 AM
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I'm so sorry that you've had such a bad experience. I think that if my dog had a bad reaction like this, I'd do exactly what you are doing and avoid the chemicals and just check THOROUGHLY for ticks daily. (which is really the best way to avoid disease transmission anyway)

I have had very good luck using Sentry Natural Defense rug powder in the rare instance that I've had a flea problem. It is essential herbal oils, with no insecticides. You bathe the dogs thoroughly, making sure to use a lot of shampoo, even on their heads (which is where the fleas tend to go to escape the water), launder all dog bedding in HOT water, and apply the Sentry Natural Defense to rugs and all areas where the dog(s) go. Leave it for a few hours and vacuum up. It will make your house smell like a spice cabinet for a while, but it doesn't smell BAD, just strong. I have been able to COMPLETELY get rid of fleas this way the couple of times we've had them.

I use Advantix on my 6 year old dog, but only when ticks get really bad, and never more often than every 6 weeks. I will not use any flea or tick product on my puppy until next season (if needed). Advantix has worked fine on my dog, but like ANY of these products, any particular dog CAN have a bad reaction to it. I hate using this stuff, but you always have to weigh risks and benefits.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-07-2015, 01:43 PM
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There is a product, Flea and Tick Defense, by Dr. Mercola which I have used with absolutely no negative reactions.
http://shop.mercola.com/product/flea...le,269,0,0.htm
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-07-2015, 02:20 PM
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Very sorry to hear about your dog! I've been using Activyl (but not the version with ticks, just the flea kind) for the last six months or so on my dogs. They have been okay with it. That is a scary story. After that I think i would avoid all chemicals for awhile and do manual checks with a flea and tick comb. It's tough since you have lyme in your area. We dont have lyme where I live so we only have to use tick treatments if there is a problem. When we had a problem a couple of years ago we used Advantix and the dogs did not have side effects. Definitely look into the natural treatments and see if they work for you.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-07-2015, 02:37 PM
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So sorry to hear you went through such a scary experience. We have ticks in our area and I have found a couple on Scout. The vet said there is Lyme in the area. I finally made the decision I needed to use Revolution on Scout and Truffles. I have been using it for several months without any problems.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-07-2015, 03:13 PM
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wow , scary for sure. That is one plus with topicals, is that if your dog does have a reaction like this, you can help by washing off immediately. , and Dawn is good for that. Stick with the well known ones is a good guideline, but there are no guarantees with these things.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-07-2015, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the responses. I picked up product information today and discovered the active ingredient is Permetherin - basically the same as in other similar products (so not sure why it is considered safer). I then researched side effects of Permetherin in dogs. This is a very interesting article, although a few years old. It describes exactly what we witnessed by applying this pesticied/poison to our little guy.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...e-flea-poison/
Of special note is the higher incidence of adverse reactions in smaller dogs - Bichons, Maltese, etc.

We have decided the wisest choice is to be diligent about checking for ticks, and deal with fleas as needed (they have never had fleas - knock on wood). They are routinely tested for Lyme every two years and we will take our older Hav off Vectra 3-D also, after learning about these drugs. My son is a pharmacheutical researcher and his comment was, "Why do you think they are not using these drugs on humans to prevent Lyme, they are simply not safe and Lyme can be treated."

I have spoken with Merck, the manufacturer. They confirmed that the ingredients are the same as in other well-known brands. The representative also said that the incidence of side-effects are basically the same as in comparable products. They will report to the appropriate agency.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-07-2015, 04:04 PM
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yep we're at a greater risk .

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-13-2015, 04:52 PM
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We found a tick on Kipper last month. Vet prescribed Vectra 3D. My husband applied it then when I was not at home but he did tell me Kipper got a little "hyper". Last night we applied his second dosage and oh, man, was I scared! Kipper got INSANE. It was as if he was on crack or something. His heartbeat was through the roof and he kept sitting, then getting up, then drinking water, running around but not in the usual "zoomies" manner. This was scary. I was beginning to panic. I got online and read that some dogs have even had seizures. So I got him in the tub and rinsed him out with some anti-bacterial soap. An hour later he was still acting weird and panting. I don't think we'll be using Vectra 3D anymore.
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