Friday, August 2, 2013

For My Friends With Little and Medium Sized Dogs

Our 13 year old, 15 pound Rat Terrier's behavior during the last two days had us very upset. This dear pet has been overprotected, I'll admit. We love him. We know him. We immediately know when his demeanor changes. First, I should tell you that he doesn't ever run loose without his master keeping a keen eye on him every minute in all kinds of weather. We know his body and his bowel habits completely. He's a good boy and always dependable. He has never even been allowed to associate with other dogs for fear of him "catching something" or having the transmission of diseases at all possible. Yes, we know he should have been socialized as a puppy. We were in err there. He has extreme sensitivity to foods and treats. His diet is and has been the same ever since he, at 4 months of age, joined us. No other dog food has he been fed but one brand. The variety has changed as he has aged. The normal feeding time is always first thing in the morning and then again at 5:30 pm. One can lasts 4 days. We know this because when a can is opened, it is shaken out onto a paper plate, and divided into four sections. Each section is then put into a plastic container and cut in half. Every four days a new can is opened. He gets one half section in the morning and the other half section at suppertime, along with enough hard kibbles to cover the bottom of a small cup. A treat is a few dry Cheerios in the morning and a plain vanilla cookie without icing, broken into several pieces at lunchtime, along with a very small piece of ham lunchmeat. If he eats anything else he will, almost immediately, throw up. He's a "barfer!"

He has a complete veterinarian exam once a year. All shots are current - always. He is given a Heartgard wormer on the first of every month. We cut it up into many small pieces because he will swallow it whole and then throw it up. He loves his worm medicine! He has been treated with flea medicine only when we see a flea. Because he is mostly white, if he has even one flea we will see it. All medicine is purchased at the veterinarian establishment. Because he gets high anxiety, panting, drooling and running around trying to hide when it thunders or there are firework noises in the surroundings, he is given medicine prescribed by the veterinarian. Now to get down to the reason for this story.

On July 31 at noon, we saw a flea. Horrors! I had on hand the new package of Advantix II and administered the product exactly as directed, both directions being printed on the outside of the box and on the inside flier. We thought it was "funny" that we were to put it on his back from shoulders to tail as we had never applied flea medicine like that before. We had always applied it only across the top of the shoulder. We followed the directions. He wasn't even given his monthly wormer medicine because we didn't want so much stuff in his body at the same time.

That evening, he was acting "off" and his little tail was tucked tight. We thought he was in pain or something but hadn't yet connected his behavior to the medicine. All he wanted to do was to curl up on his pillow on the couch and sleep. When he did jump down, he rolled like his back itched. That evening he didn't want to go out to do his business. He didn't do it after being coaxed several times to do so. We thought maybe he was constipated or even beginning to be impacted. This behavior has never happened before.

Yesterday, he continued eating well, but was still tucking tail tightly and sleeping and rolling once in a while. He didn't have a bowel movement at all and at 4 pm we called the vet. The vet was suggesting that perhaps a suppository, not a Fleet, could help him go. Then, when we didn't have any other on hand a teaspoonful of mineral oil was suggested. We didn't have that, either. Well we gave him olive oil with his supper, but he only had two very little marbles when he finally went. I mean size, of course, not real marbles!

After passing the night, hoping he'd be better in the morning, I woke up with enlightenment. My idea was that the flea medicine caused his distress, so I researched it as best as I could on the internet. I've posted a bit of my findings here. I then called the manufacturer of the medicine and was on the line with the consumer assistant for a very long time. Between us, we have come to the conclusion that it was an allergic reaction to the application of the medicine and she really tried to help. It's called "paraesthesia" and has numbed his lower back and tail areas. I will notify our veterinarian tomorrow. Right now he is becoming perky again and has had one good "go" but his tail is still tucked. My husband gave him a bath this AM, thinking he could wash out the stuff, but we now realize that we should have used detergent instead of shampoo. Hopefully he'll recover completely. We want that little stubby tail UP!

Please look carefully at my graphics. WE will go back to using just flea medicine and not the flea/tick combination. We and the consumer assistant now all believe the pymethrin is the culprit.

If we can obtain a receipt from the vet for our purchase, which was last year, we can send it in, along with the box and remaining poison and they will send us a cash refund. If we can't get a printed receipt, we can send the box back with the case reference number and her name to have a trade for a new package of Advantage as we had used in the past. This is a rare and unusual case, but we just want him well and hope he'll be completely recovered soon.

Side Effects of K9 Advantix II-
K9 Advantix II is a highly effective product protecting your dog from pests, however many potential users have fears of the side effects from using an insecticide on their beloved pets. But what sort of harms can come from the use of K9 Advantix II?  Unfortunately the known risks come with a debate. Fears can range from mild skin irritations to more severe health issues.
Some users have noticed their pet react to burning, tingling, itching or numbness to their skin shortly after treatment. These effects should clear up on their own in a few days. Washing your dog with a non detergent shampoo may help soothe irritated skin and keep the formula from washing off.
Active Ingredients
% By Weight
Other Ingredients

Waterproof Formula
K9 Advantix II is waterproof, so there's no need to reapply after your dog has a bath or goes for a swim. Studies show that dogs are still protected against parasites after exposure to water, though for best results, dogs treated with K9 Advantix II should be bathed with a non-detergent shampoo.

Please look at graphics full size by clicking on them.

The graphic below is of the notes I took when on the telephone with the consumer helper.


  1. I am so glad he is better! We never use flea and tick products. We put poison out in the yard. Ortho Max...the one for fleas and ticks and ants. We have used this for years and years now and have not had a flea or a tick for any of those years and we have 3 dogs. And we live in back of a field and have squirrels, so we really are surprised that this works so well! It doesn't help with fire ants, but it does with everything else....even spiders! There is a different Ortho for fire ants. I swear by them both!

    Give your sweet boy a big hug and kiss on the nose from me!

  2. Very detailed post! Nice job. I'm glad the little guy is perking back up.

  3. May not be so rare and unusual, Gere.... A couple of years ago I gave Molly and Murphy the liquid tick medicine on their back and shoulder area as I always did once a month. It was not your brand. About an hour later they both started rolling on the rug, running around the house, acting very different than they usually do. My immediate reaction was that they received a bad batch of the medicine. Joe and I gave them both a bath, twice but they were even more hyper. I became extremely alarmed and called the manufacturer who referred me to poison control. They told me to give them a bath with Dawn dishwashing detergent. That worked immediately. I stayed up the entire night to make sure they would be okay. I now use an all natural flea and tick repellent called Sergeant's Green. I totally understand what you and Ed went through. I hope I never experience that again. I pray that Pal will be okay.

  4. I found you...thanks to you coming back and giving me your blog url!! Thank you kindly. I will now follow you so I can always find you that way.

    Awwwwwwww, poor poor little sweetie!! I sure hope that maybe another bathing job will help him get back to normal. Our cat is allergic to ragweed. Even being an indoor cat, he is affected by it 'cause we carry it in the house when we've been outdoors. So, during the peak of the season, we have to give him a bath ---and you can imagine what that is like with a cat. But, I'll do anything for him to make him feel better.

    Give your fur baby a pat on the head and a gentle hug from me to him!!

  5. ps...I just left a comment on the post you shared with a link in my comments!!