As all Pommy parents know well by now, our Poms are part of our families. We love them, we spend time with them and we care for them when they’re in need. Of course, Pomeranians don’t have the luxury of the English language when it comes to telling us they’re ill. This is why it’s so important to always be aware of their behavior. Noticing the slightest change in the way your furry baby is acting could indicate oncoming poor health. Catching illness early, whether it’s overheating or toxic poisoning, can make a huge difference in the healing process. You should especially use this vigilance when your Pomeranian is extra susceptible to illness. This could be during travel, in hot weather or if your Pom is taking any sort of medication. Some treatments like over-the-counter flea products can cause problems for Pomeranians.
Spot on Flea Treatments
Our beloved Poms with their gorgeous long hair are, unfortunately, an especially cozy home for the little parasites. You will likely notice that your furry baby has been burdened with fleas when you see him or her itching one particular area all the time. If itching persists and your Pom appears uncomfortable, it’s time to get some help. However, it’s extremely important to do so with prudence. Without proper care and attention, flea products can actually hurt Pomeranians. The risk of living with fleas and other parasites is high (tapeworms, lyme disease, etc.). However, there is still risk when using spot on flea treatments like Advantix, Frontline, or Spot On. This is especially true with toy breeds like Pomeranians!
In March 2010, the EPA published the results of a year-long study of spot on flea treatments. Their findings included the following:
• Most adverse reactions were seen in dogs weighing between 10 and 20 pounds.
• Reactions in mixed breed dogs were most commonly reported, however, the Chihuahua, Shih Tzu, Miniature Poodle, Pomeranian, Dachshund, Maltese, Yorkshire Terrier and Bichon Frise seem particularly at risk.
• Products containing cyphenothrin and permethrin were especially problematic for small breed dogs.
• Most incidents occurred in dogs under three years old, likely at their first exposure to a spot-on product.
• Adverse reactions for both dogs and cats were primarily skin, GI tract and nervous system related. Skin reactions included redness, itching, hair loss, sores and ulcers. Gastrointestinal symptoms included vomiting, diarrhea and excessive salivation. Reported nervous system symptoms included lethargy, nervousness, ataxia (movement problems), tremors and seizure.
This risk began to increase a few years before the study, when spot on flea treatments became available over the counter. This caused two things to happen. First, pet owners no longer had to visit the vet to get the medications. This meant that pet owners were no longer receiving advice from vets before giving treatment. It also meant that generic brands of treatments could begin competing with the name-brands.
Why was this bad? First you must understand how these spot on flea treatments work. The medication that you apply to the back of your Pomeranian’s neck is a pesticide.
This is why dogs and cats are given the treatment at a specific location—so that there’s no way of licking it. The pesticide helps to kill the fleas and, in theory, leaves the dog unharmed. In most cases, any risk of harm comes from using the treatment incorrectly. Having the vet’s instructions encouraged pet-owners to apply the flea treatment as instructed. When the generic brands became prominent, the risk grew higher because the chemicals were stronger or different.
So, when it comes time for you to treat your Pom for fleas, make sure you consult your vet first preferably a holistic vet. He or she will guide you to the correct type of flea treatment for your Pom. The holistic vet will also get an accurate weight of your furry baby, which is very important information for measuring treatment. If you have more than one Pommy, do not split a treatment for a larger dog between your two Poms. This is not safe. Also, avoid using flea treatments on older or pregnant dogs. Read the directions carefully and completely before you apply your Pom-sized dog (not cat!) treatment to your Pomeranian.
Then—watch your Pommy! Monitor them for any side effects or changes in behavior. This could be excessive salivation, twitching, seizures, diarrhea, vomiting or disorientation. If any of these occur, cease treatment immediately and call your vet. They know that flea products can hurt Pomeranians and will be ready to help you if the need arises. If you are looking for an all-natural Flea & Tick solution take a look at our FTX.