Pet Medication Safety


By Melissa Kohn
By Randy Livingston

MARION -- Spring is here. Your pets may be scratching with fleas and ticks. Many pet owners turn to medications to help keep their cats and dogs safe. However, sometimes those products end up doing more harm than help.

Melissa Ramaker of West Frankfort claims her cat died after using an over-the-counter flea and tick medication.

Most of those meds contain pesticides, and pet owners need to be careful, according to Veterinarian Jim Parker.

"Some over the counter products are more harsh on the pets
compared to those you'd get from your vet," says Parker. "We try to find something that is specific for just the parasite we're trying to
kill and not impact the host in the process."

Parker says not following the label's instructions can cause major issues. He adds, "Many times people try to put the dog product on the cat or split a large pill up between multiple little pets."

Parker says to watch for reactions such as vomiting after using any type of medication.

"If you feel that there's a problem, particularly with the spot-on treatments, bathe the animal as quickly as possible to get the medication off its skin."

Parker stresses the importance of talking to your vet before using any
type of medication, especially since every pet's situation is different.

To report a problem with your pet's flea and tick medication, call the National Pesticide Information Center at 1-800-858-7378.
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