Quick Facts about pet flea medication:
Pet flea medications can be found in various products and formulations. They usually contain insecticides or substances that kill insects. Topical flea medications include shampoos, sprays, powders, and spot treatments. There are also pills that are given to the pet by mouth and special flea collars for the pet to wear.
Pets receiving spot treatments of a flea medication should be completely dry before being handled by a person to avoid accidental exposure. If the pet rubs up against the carpet or furniture before the flea medication has dried, residue of the insecticide can be transferred to the soft surface or furniture and then be passed on to a person inadvertently.
If the flea medication is in pill form, frequently an adult mistakenly takes the medication instead of their own. Sometimes the pet will eat the food around the medicine and leave it in their bowl, or they may carry it to a different part of the house and spit it out. Often, a toddler then finds the pill and puts it in their mouth, leading to an accidental ingestion of the pet’s medication. There are also flea collars that are placed around pet’s neck to slowly release the insecticide and deter the pests. Sometimes this collar will fall off and the toddler will be found chewing on it, possibly ingesting some of the medication or getting it on their hands.
If you mistakenly take your pet’s medication or find your child with pet flea medication, do not panic. An adult should drink a small serving of water, or if this is a child wipe out the mouth with a soft, wet cloth and give them some water to drink. Be sure to wash any exposed skin with soap and water. It is always best to call the poison center at 1-800-222-122 with any exposure to pet flea medication because there are many different kinds. The possible symptoms vary based on the product. When you call, have the product information at hand with both the product name and active ingredients to get the best first aid information. The poison center is open all day, every day for poisoning emergencies and questions.
**Note: Children should not be involved in applying pet flea medications because they are much more susceptible the effects of insecticides than adults. Read packaging directions completely before applying the insecticide and follow all directions given.