Is Your Pet's Flea & Tick Medication Safe?
with Allison Shalla of homeoPAWthic, Wellness Advocate

Official Warnings of Side Effects:

In 2018, the FDA issued a warning to veterinarians and pet owners about the safety of several popular flea & tick medications. The alert warned of the potential for adverse neurological events, including muscle tremors, loss of muscle control and seizures. These adverse effects had been reported after the use of popular flea & tick medications in the isoxazoline class including: Bravecto (tablet & topical), Credelio, Nexgard, Simparica and Revolution Plus. [source: fda.gov]


There are several forums that detail a staggering number of reports from pet owners whose dogs have suffered these side effects. While these products are still considered "safe for most to use" by the FDA, there is no denying the risks associated with their use. The Bravecto website warns: "Seizures have been reported in dogs receiving fluralaner, even in dogs without a history of seizures. ". These symptoms imply that dogs are being poisoned along with their pests...just at a much slower rate. And now with the increase in tick populations in North America, some veterinarians recommend these products be used as long as 8 months or even year-round, this becomes an even bigger concern.


How do these medications work?

These products use "ectoparasiticides" and they work systemically by being absorbed into your pet's bloodstream and tissues, including the skin. This means that in order for these products to work, fleas and ticks must attach to the skin and start feeding on the dog’s blood. It can take up to 8 hours to kill fleas and up to 48 hours to kill ticks. Since recent studies show that Lyme disease can be transmitted by ticks within 24 hours, this still leaves a margin of time where Lyme and other tick-borne diseases can be transmitted to the dog.


What safe alternatives can you use?

With all that in mind, you might now be questioning whether using these products is worth the risk to your pet. My own journey to natural pet health happened when one of my own dogs had an adverse reaction to one of these products. Her skin and coat was destroyed and it wreaked havoc on her immune system. We put through a formal report through our vet, and I vowed to find a better solution.


After extensive research, I was introduced to something called Effective Microorganisms or "EM" Technology. This technology is widely used in Europe in place of conventional pesticides in farming & agriculture and it turns out it works the same for people & pets! This natural technology was developed by Dr. Teruo Higa, a Japanese scientist, and you can read many interesting articles online about how EMs can replace the use of chemicals. I have personally been using "Natural Tick Collars" made with EMs for almost 5 years now with excellent results, and thousands of other pet parents have experienced the same. You can read more about these collars here. I am always happy to answer questions about fleas, ticks & EM Technology so feel free to ask away!


~Allison