What are the Different Symptoms of Flea Collar Poisoning

Flea and tick collars may differ depending on their active ingredient. Most of the collars contain amitraz, carbamates or organophosphates, or pyrethrins/pyrethroids. If your pets ingest or applied to them inappropriately, it may affect their central nervous system, cardiac system, and gastrointestinal system.

Amitraz poisoning occurs when a dog accidentally chews on and ingests a flea and tick collar. Carbamate poisoning happens when your pet licks the residue of the chemical on your dog’s fur. Other pets in your house are also in danger of poisoning if they ingest these chemicals.

If this happens, remove the collar right away and bring your pets to the vet. But, how will you know if your dog is poisoned by the chemical content of the flea collar? Below are the symptoms of flea collar poisoning.

Amitraz Poisoning Symptoms

Amitraz poisoning in dogs happens when dogs accidentally ingest the chemical from flea collar. It occurs by getting in contact with the skin or if your pets inhaled it. Aside from affecting the central nervous system, your dogs are poisoned by:

  • Increase glucose level in the blood
  • Loss of heat
  • Suppresses the release of insulin
  • Relaxes muscles of the pharynx and could lead to asphyxiation

The symptoms of amitraz poisoning in dogs include:

  • Abnormal heart rhythm and rapid heart rate
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dilation of pupils
  • Excess salivation
  • Gastric dilatation
  • High or low body temperature
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of bodily movement control
  • Low blood pressure
  • Obstruction of the intestines due to paralysis of intestines
  • Seizures
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

Diagnosis and Treatment of Amitraz Poisoning

As soon as your dog manifested the above symptoms, bring your pet right away to the vet. The vet may suggest inducing vomiting.  He will then assess your pet’s symptoms and ask you questions about the amount and time of poison ingested.

If you are sure that your dog got poisoned by its flea collar, you have to tell your vet right away so they can perform the proper diagnosis like conducting abdominal x-rays and other tests.

Treatment applied includes activated charcoal, fluid therapy if dehydrated, and some medications to counteract Amitraz’s effects. If the x-ray shows the poison’s location in the stomach or intestine, an endoscopic procedure is conducted to remove the chemical. Your dog’s fur will be washed off to get rid of the chemical traces released by the flea collar.

Carbamate/Propoxur Poisoning

Carbamate poisoning symptoms appear within 30 minutes. Sometimes it will take three hours to take effect. As soon as you notice that your dog has ingested its collar, do not waste any time even if there is no symptom to bring your pet to the vet right away. The absorption of this chemical is rapid.

The most common symptoms of carbamate poisoning are as follows:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Constricted pupils
  • Convulsions
  • Diarrhea
  • Fluid buildup in the lungs
  • Hypersalivation
  • Loss of control of bodily movements
  • Muscle contractions
  • Sensitivity to stimuli
  • Shaking
  • Tremors and twitching
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Vomiting

For severe cases, the heartbeat’s slowdown is manifested and blue mucus membrane, coma, and collapse.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Carbamates Poisoning

It is not easy to diagnose carbamate poisoning in dogs right away. The vet will derive his conclusion from the history and data you will provide and in clinical signs. If the dog shows symptoms of severe poisoning, it only means that the effects are fast.  Immediate action should be done to provide your dog with the immediate solution before it’s too late. Blood tests can also help in detecting how severe the toxicity is and provide immediate treatment.

Some of the treatment for carbamate toxicity includes:


An antimuscarinic drug that stops or slows down overstimulation as well as excess nerve impulses. The drug will also help regulate the pet’s heartbeat, inhibit symptoms such as spasming of the bronchi, and control the buildup of fluid.


This is given to control the tremor and muscle contractions.


Your dog will be forced to vomit by giving an emetic. Gastric lavage can also be considered. But it depends on the severity of your pet’s condition.

Active Charcoal

It is used to eliminate the substance in the body fast. You can use this if the situation requires it.


A sedative that relaxes the muscles and helps the dog rest so the veterinarian can continue the treatment.

Other Treatments

The vet will monitor the dog’s vital signs, body temperature, and others. Makes sure that your dog is rehydrated and his electrolytes are at the right level. Seizure control is quite critical during the recovery process.

Alternative to Flea Collars

Prevention is better than cure. Some of the things that you can do to prevent the occurrence of flea are as follows:

  • Bathe your dog regularly
  • Keep your pet’s bedding clean.
  • Make it a habit to clean and vacuum rugs, carpets, and flooring weekly. You can sprinkle some diatomaceous earth on bedding and let it sit there for an hour – the longer, the better to eliminate the fleas.
  • Improve your pet’s diet.
  • Look for reliable flea and tick repellents.

Other alternatives to flea collars include:

Essential oils such as

  • cedarwood
  • lavender
  • lemon
  • eucalyptus
  • citronella
  • lemongrass
  • neem
  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • peppermint
  • basil
  • catnip

Make sure you know the safe amount of essential oil for your dogs to take. Buy only the oil from reliable sources.  You can also make your own flea repellent and spray by combining two or more essential oils. These oils are known to be safe for your pets.


Flea or tick collars are very effective in getting rid of fleas and ticks. However, if the chemicals present on the collar get into your pet’s mouth, it can make them sick, or worst they could die from it. When accidentally your dog ingests the chemical present on a flea collar, bring your pet to the vet right away. You can provide first aid if you know what to do. If you find this post very helpful, feel free to comment below.

Helpful Resources:

How Long Does It Take for a Flea Collar to Work

Seresto Cat Collar Reviews

What is Amitraz Insecticides Poisoning