It’s approaching summertime here in Virginia, and after Lady Jaye and I went on a hike Saturday (more on that later) we knew it was time to break out the flea and tick medication for our dogs Porter and Rosie. I normally get FrontLine, but it was over three times the price of any other topical flea and tick product. I don’t remember it being so expensive. We purchased SentryPro XFC instead.
SentryPro XFC promises to kill fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, flea eggs, and flea larvae for up to three weeks. Sounded good to me. We bought two appropriate dosage sizes and applied them as directed to Porter and Rosie. Unlike other medications that go all the way to the base of the tail, SentryPro XFC is only to be applied from the base of the neck to halfway down the back. I thought this was odd, but didn’t think much more about it at the time.
Everything seemed to be going fine, and Lady Jaye and I went out for a bite to eat. We came home about three hours later. Rosie was flicking her tongue around, as if she was trying to get a funny taste out of her mouth. She drank some water, ran around, and then licked the side of the couch, tail wagging. Both dogs were scratching, but I chalked that up to the fleas biting for one last time before the SentryPro XFC put them to sleep … permanently.
An hour went by, and Rosie was still air-licking. She was also hacking and dry-heaving. I figured that Rosie had licked some of Porter’s treatment off his back. This would explain why we were directed to treat only halfway down the spine, so that the dog couldn’t lick off its own dose. I called the hotline on the back of the SentryPro box and talked to a very nice and helpful lady. She said that it was okay that Rosie ingested just a small dose, and gave me a tip to help soothe her mouth. I put two tablespoons of canned tuna fish juice in a bowl and made Rosie drink it. I think put one tablespoon of tuna fish juice in a small bowl with water, and gave it to Rosie. I made another one for Porter, just in case. After some coaxing, Rosie and Porter quite happily drank all of their nasty tuna water. The hotline lady asked us to watch Rosie to see if she if her dry heaving continued and be wary for a bloated stomach. If Rosie kept trying to vomit and wasn’t producing anything, her stomach could become distended. Another hour or so passed, and Rosie stopped licking. Things were looking up. We all went to bed, cradling Rosie like a baby in my left arm as usual.
It’s a good thing for Lady Jaye that I stay up late watching UFC. At about three in the morning I heard Rosie wretch. I turned just in time to see Rosie projectile vomit a huge chunk of grass towards Lady Jaye’s sleeping face, just inches away. Calling on the spirit of Caine from “Kung Fu,” I snatched the flying lump right out of the air. I cleaned everything up, and Rosie went back to sleep, her tail wagging gently. I thought we were out of the woods, but Sunday would bring a new set of problems with SentryPro XFC.
Both Rosie and Porter started shaking their fur as if they were wet. They were scratching themselves incessantly. Porter especially would shake his head, as if he had something in his ears. Lady Jaye and I scratched them whenever things seemed particularly bad, and this brought them some relief. Yay for fingers. The dogs were otherwise happy and energetic. They ate their food and drank water throughout the day. I did notice that Porter wasn’t as excited about his mid-day snack of carrots as usual, but I figured he was just tired of me giving him carrots as a treat all the time.
The itching and shaking continued well into the evening, and when I came to bed at about 1AM this morning, Porter couldn’t lie still. He’s tromp around the bed, lie down, then jump up with a start as if something had bitten him. I could hear him nibbling in the darkness, then he’d switch positions in the bed. I watched television for about an hour, but Porter didn’t stop his stomping itchfest. He eventually woke Lady Jaye up, and she got online to find out what problems other people were having with topical flea and tick medication. Symptoms reported online included: shaking as if wet, panting/heavy breathing, lethargy, and seizures. Apparently anything other than FrontLine can cause severe problems, including kidney failure and death. Fucking awesome. We decided to give Porter a benadryl to help him sleep. We all zonked out shortly thereafter, Rosie acting like a loaf of bread in my arms again.
I called our vet this morning. Since they don’t use SentryPro XFC or recommend anything other than FrontLine, they didn’t have any specific suggestions other than to give Porter and Rosie a bath. She suggested only using FrontLine in the future, no matter if I bought it from them or somewhere else. This echoed the sentiment we found on the Web, and whether or not this is true or just word of mouth marketing remains to be seen. I’ve used FrontLine on several dogs for several years without a problem, including Porter and Rosie. So there may be a kernel of truth in there.
I gave Porter and Rosie a bath after hanging up with the vet. After drying Porter off with a towel, he crouched down in the play position, wagging his tail. As soon as Rosie jumped out of the tub they started chasing each other. I heard Porter drinking water a few minutes later. I don’t think we’re out of the woods, and I hope they are just having a temporary allergic reaction on their skin due to the SentryPro XFC, but things seem better. I am going to keep an eye on them today to watch for the more dangerous symptoms. They seem happy for now, but please keep your fingers crossed for our pups.
Please sign Mike P’s petition at http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/sentryproXFC.