By May 21, 2007

Problems with SentryPro XFC flea and tick medication

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

Posted in: dogs

858 Comments on "Problems with SentryPro XFC flea and tick medication"

Trackback | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Concerned says:

    June 11, 2013. I too wish that I had done my homework before putting this product on my dog. He was acting like he was overdosing on LSD. Staring at the wall, not sleeping for two days, pacing back and forth, trying to hide under the bed even though he is too big to fit underneath the thing. After the first 24 hours I washed it off of him. He still did not show signs of improvement so I took him to the vet. The vet told me that I should never use this product again and that Front Line is the only thing he will use on his dogs.

    The dog seems fine now. After filling out an incident report, Sergeants has agreed to reimburse me for the purchase price of the product and my vet bill. I will need to sign a statement saying that I will not sue them in the future for any reason related to this product. It makes me wonder what the long term effects of this product might be, not just for my dog but for my family too. I can not believe that the FDA or the consumer product safety commission has not taken action to remove this product from store shelves.

  2. Cindy says:

    July14,2013 I should of research this before I applied it to my Cockapoo pup . It’s been about 30 minutes && she hasn’t had any reactions . I put on her head this plastic thing they sell at Petco so she wouldn’t lick or scratch herself . I’m scared she will have any bad reactions or such . I would die if my baby gets sick . I would defiantly keep you all informed if she has any symptoms . Ah, I’m praying she does not .

  3. Kim says:

    I can’t believe that this article/blog was written 6 years ago and yet I was still able to purchase this product and put it on 2 of my 3 pugs. My poor Rolo has been miserable for 12 hours now. I washed the product off 2 hours after application because he was restless and “itchy”. I washed it off my oldest pug too, even though he wasn’t exhibiting a reaction. Rolo is still very uncomfortable after 2 baths and 3 antihistamines. I hate to be using so much baby Benadryl, but it’s the only thing that’s keeping him calm and allowing him to sleep. I’m absolutely heartbroken to read that he feels like he’s being poked with pins and needles :((( To know that we have to ride this out for possibly a week is overwhelming. I am so upset that a company can be so heartless knowing that they’re poisoning our fur babies and causing so much senseless suffering. I’m very disappointed in Petsmart for continuing to sell a product after so many complaints. I trusted them with my babies!

  4. Marci says:

    Thanks everyone for the reviews. I just bought some of the stuff because it was cheaper than the Confortis I usually use. I will be returning the product to the Pet Smart and asking them why they carry this stuff. I live in Tennessee and our fleas appear to have developed an immunity to Frontline as it does not kill them here anymore. Thanks again,Marci

  5. Cindy says:

    On July 14,2013 I applied Sentry Pro ; However my pup was fine : thank god she did not have no reaction what so ever . It’s surprising how it seems to be efective on everyone’ buddies just not mine . I watched her 24/7 if she was fine : breathing ok & all & she was perfect . Now, she’s fleas & ticks free . I don’t use Sentry Pro anymore on my puppy since there’s no need. What I would advice you on instead of applying non knowing medicine on our buddies : give them there baths && if you see a flea, pick it out : that’s what we would do . Scub them nice . Fleas don’t like soap or water . Leave the soap on your buddie for a bit then wash them . Keep an eye out for the fleas too . We want the best for our buddies : of you don’t trust Sentry Pro because of the other comments : don’t buy the cheap flea medicine : buy the best one , yes , It will be pricy but worth it : Goodluck everyone & to your buddies (:

  6. linda says:

    I just purchased the Sentry Pro, I too have had applied the Sentry on my dog, after 48 hours he is still very itchy and he is so uncomfortable. I gave my dog benedryl to stop the itching, however, after that wore off my dog wants to take off his skin, rolling, itching and crying. I called the hotline and they recommend that I too, wash the dog 2 x with dawn dish detergent and advise them on how he feels. I will be taking the this product back to Petsmart, I just hope they will accept the return as this stuff cost me $40 for a six month supply. I also bought the yard guard made by Sentry and will be taking that back as I don’t know if my dog will have an allergic reaction to that as well. I will return to BioSpot.

  7. Bonnie Mcbride says:

    So I should have researched Sentry before giving it to my dog. She’s itchy and rubbing on my furniture . I just gave he 2 Benadryl and a bath so we’ll see how that works