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The Side Effects of Advantix Parasite Treatment

 by simone on 23 May 2014 |
16 Comment(s)
Everyone knows the annoyance and distress that fleas cause our canine friends, and the danger of paralysis or death that ticks can lead to. Parasites such as fleas, mosquitoes, lice, sand flies, biting flies and ticks spread disease when they bite and suck blood, so it is important not to just kill them, but to also prevent them from biting and feeding in the first place. 

Advantix is a powerful preventative and parasiticide that affects the nervous system of these nasty little bloodsuckers, paralysing then killing them. Advantix combines the active ingredient imidacloprid used to control adult and larval fleas in the trusted and popular treatment Advantage, with permethrin, one of the most effective pyrethroids - a type of insecticide that also works as a repellant or anti-feeding measure. 

Used monthly, Advantix is applied directly to the dog’s skin at the neck, or for large dogs the dosage is spread out to four points along the back. The solution is then distributed via the dog’s oil glands throughout the skin, covering the entire body within 24 hours to provide weeks of protection. Any fleas surrounding the application area will be killed within five minutes and most fleas die within 12 hours. Advantix still kills 90 per cent of ticks after 28 days and up to 95 per cent of mosquitoes are repelled from biting.

Advantix has been specifically developed for dogs and is not intended for cats or other animals. In fact, it is poisonous to cats and can be fatal to them if ingested. Any treated dog should be separated from cats until the solution dries, in case the cat grooms and licks the application area. 

It’s not just discomfort 

Fleas are the number one cause of skin disease in pets. In addition to the itchiness and aggravation they unleash, flea infestations can produce redness, sores, scaly skin and odour for dogs. Fleas also transmit tapeworm and some dogs have Flea Allergy Dermatitis, an allergic reaction to flea bites. 

Canine Vector-Borne Diseases, or CVBD, describes diseases that are transmitted through blood-feeding parasites. Common ones include Lyme disease (form of arthritis) and borreliosis, bartonellosis, ehrlichiosis (attacks host’s white blood cells), babesiosis and anaplasmosis (attacks host’s red blood cells), leishmaniosis (ulcers) and rickettsiosis (spotted fever). These can develop into very serious health problems if left untreated. By also working as a repellant, Advantix reduces the risk or parasite’s biting and feeding, and therefore reduces the risk of disease for your dog.

Side Effects


Advantix is a safe treatment but just like us, each dog has an individual tolerance or sensitivity to medications and may be hypersensitive or allergic. Although extremely rare when Advantix is used at the recommended dosage, if your dog has an adverse reaction consult your vet immediately. 

Do not use Advantix on puppies younger than seven weeks and talk to your vet before administering it if you are already using other flea and tick control products or to any aged, medicated, sick and debilitated dogs (particularly those with heart, liver or kidney disease). And remember, keep Advantix away from your dog’s eyes and mouth and it is DEFINITELY NOT for cats.

Skin Irritation

The most common side effect is some minor skin irritation at the application point such redness, itching, skin discolouration, rash, an oily appearance or some hair loss. These irritations are usually temporary and may also subside after washing your dog (Advantix is waterproof from 48 hours after application but a bath could ease any irritation). However, if these irritations worsen or persist, then consult your vet. 

Serious Side Effects

Serious side effects with Advantix are extremely rare. The following can be indications of overdosing/toxicity or an allergic reaction so consult your vet immediately if you notice any of these - 

  • Drooling - This may occur if your dog licks the area of application as Advantix has a bitter taste to discourage ingestion, but drooling can also result from overdosing or an allergic reaction.
  • Lethargy
  • A marked increase or decrease in body temperature
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Incoordination
  • Excitability
  • Seizures

The most important thing is to always follow the dosage recommendations and directions on the label. Advantix is available in different dosages depending on the weight of your dog so make sure you use the correct one. Athough it is safe, have a talk with your vet if your dog is pregnant or lactating before use. Advantix is also waterproof so after 48 hours from application you can bathe your dog as normal. However, if your dog is a real water lover then re-application within the month may be necessary. 

Monthly treatment with Advantix will keep your dog free of fleas, ticks, lice, mosquitoes as well as sand and biting flies. Not only will these parasites be killed, but they’ll be prevented from biting, feeding and spreading diseases. You’ll be happy knowing that your dog is safe, but they’ll be even happier with their comfortable, carefree and now itch-free lifestyle. 



John Harrell - Comment
John Harrell04 May 2018Reply
Our Lab is only eating about half of his normal meal after treating with advantix. Could this be normal. Also it has been 90 degrees. Thanks
Hans mooser - Comment
Hans mooser31 May 2018Reply
Kann es sein, dass es bei der Einnahme (golden retriever, 5 Jahre alt )von advantix zu epileptischen oder ähnlichen Anfällen kommt? Ist meinem Hund Bobby vor zwei Tagen passiert. Er bekommt advantix seit 4 Jahren.
Maureen - Comment
Maureen09 Jun 2018Reply
I lost my dog today 6/8/2018 25 minutes after using Advantix,she went into falling over,her head was tipped to the side,throwing up several times, the vet said she had neurological problem and doubts it was the flea and tick meds.I had used it for years without a problem,this time she was fine all morning until I put it on,I had to have her put to sleep it was so bad.Not sure if Advantix or not,But please be careful using any of this stuff,Tonight I sit here with a broken heart and wish I never put it on her.
Susan - Comment
Susan08 Jul 2018Reply
I have a 5-6lb dog and I used the appropriate dose for her. A few hours after I put it on her she was panting a lot and then she was having twitching or little tremors and she won’t walk. Has anyone heard of this response from the advantix? Another dog was having issues too and was acting funny, hiding under the bed, and just not being herself,
Theresa  - Comment
Theresa 08 Jul 2018Reply
My dog had a similar reaction. He was itching/biting the application areas , twitching and not wanting to walk. After bringing him to the emergency vet & getting a dx Of luxating patella & bringing him to the regular vet for a follow up appointment and recommended X-ray, combined cost of $500, I just knew it was not the problem. I remembered that we had applied the K9 Advantix (which I did mention to the emergency vet) and started to research allergic reactions. The only remedy suggested was to wash the “pesticide” off my dog with Dawn dish soap. I did that immediately. I also called the vet and the manufacturer. My poor dog-if only I figured it out sooner & washed the poison off right away he wouldn’t have suffered so long. Good news is that after a few days (5) he was back to his old self.
Elisa - Comment
Elisa02 Aug 2018Reply
I used advantix on both my 10lb dogs. My older dog who was 6 , had a seizure and now has problems with coordination, and has fevers on and off. The seizure happened 2 years ago after the last dose of the season and she has never been the same since. My younger dog shook her head non stop for a whole week day and night !! :( and then it subsided to every 5 minutes for the next few days and then kept subsiding from there. It has been a horrible experience!! Of course Bayer takes no responsibility and says their product did not cause any of this. I will NEVER use their product again and it DID cause these adverse effects for my pets. I now want to warn other pet owners to stay away from this product, for the safety of your pets and all the vet bills that are enccurred afterwards.
Jen - Comment
Jen27 Oct 2018Reply
I let the groomer use advantix on my dogs two days ago- for the first time ever. This morning, my 8 year old 12lb dog fell over and appeared to have a seizure. He slowly regained consciousness and his balance. After several hours, he seems better but still off. Our vet said to monitor him and that he most likely had a reaction to the spot on treatment. After reading the comments here, I realized my other dog has been shaking his head non-stop too! This will be the first and last time I ever use that poisonous treatment!
Jan Marie - Comment
Jan Marie29 Dec 2019Reply
I used as a secondary flea treatment given 2 weeks after normal dose of Nex gard for fleas.as per vet. I already bathed my lil dog and she minus fleas. I purchased the topical to assist with fleas when I walk with my dog around the neighborhood. Within a couple of hours after the application, Boo Boo (dog) started scratching, biting, licking almost non stop. I bathed again with her shampoo, and no relief. I put shirts on her to prevent skin irritation. and puncture. Contacted tele number from box for medical assistance. Informed to bathe Boo Boo again, this time with Dawn dish soap, lathering and massaging lather into skin for total of 3 times, rinsing after each app. Stated some dogs were sensitive to Permethrin-1 ingredient. Now days later problem still present. Contacted same dept. at Bayer on the 27th, first adviser was aloof, asked to speak with supervisor.. Informed now to apply vitamin E oil and cold compresses to application areas. If problem still continues, seek help from Vet. I do realize that animals just like humans can be more sensitive than others to various products. The assistance from Medical Staff area at Bayer is Sub Standard and so is the product. I hope this helps when others are considering applying this product to there dog..
Margot Selz - Comment
Margot Selz28 Jul 2020Reply
Gave Maggie 11 pound Yorkie K9 Advatixll. About 1to 2 hours she could not walk and started shaking like a leaf. I called 800 Number and followed Instruction to bath several times with Dawn and rinse well.. and take to Vet. She was at Vet for several hours and was dx with reaction to Advantix ll. Vet said she should be fine after 24 to 48 hours. The next day the Seizures started, her leggs stuck away from her body , took her to her reg Vet on Friday and he said she should be fine. She had problems walking and standing on Saturday and Sunday . Monday she had Seizures again .She again could not stand and I took her back to Emergency. She was resuscitated and is in the clinic now very sick.They could not promise me that she will survive this. The Bill so far is almost $4000.00. So far I had very good Customer Service from PetCo .I just hope she makes it through the night. .I am a mental wreck.I hope Bayer will be able to help me pay this bill.They did pay for the other two Vets. Thank you
Nancy - Comment
Nancy09 Aug 2020Reply
I gave my pom the appropriate does of the advantix 2 actually it was less that what was in the little tube, I compressed the tube when throwing it away and a big drop came out. Given Thursday morning, Friday morning agitated, yelping and trying to scratch at the area it was placed on his back. Gave him a bath to try and wash it off. Saturday still agitated, yelping and trying to get the the area it was placed. After reading all the posts, I threw the rest of the tubes away. This is very stressful watching my little guy go thru this.
T. J.  - Comment
T. J. 08 Nov 2020Reply
Damn I had no idea this treatment caused so many problems. I used it on my rotts for years but now have bullies. They have not had any severe reactions other than irtitation and scratching but I will no longer use it on any of my dogs. Good ol Bayer and typical of pharmaceutical companies, no accountability or consequences for the crap they dispense and deem safe.
L. M. F - Comment
L. M. F05 Dec 2020Reply
We always suspected our 80lb dog was sensitive to Advantix. Usually on day 2 he would be moody and mopey. This time his reaction was really bad. Lots of panting, drooling, tremors, trying to hide, hold his head on an angle, easily startled and loss of balance. This is very scary. I pray he makes it through the night. Had I known his reaction would progress from mopey to this nightmare, I would have chanced ticks and fleas.
K.E.Q - Comment
K.E.Q05 Dec 2020Reply
what happened with your dog?uu, i went to the vet yesterdaym she put it in my dog and now he is sad, he is scratching the zone and moving their ears, please help, i am nervous and worried about it.
GD - Comment
GD21 Apr 2021Reply
applied advantix 11 to my 10 wk old puppy today she started scratching then thru up started to get lethargic then she proceeded to spin in circles crying and fell out in a seizure i realize this had to be the advantix i washed her off and then ran her to the emergency vet and she had another seizure she is at vet now on IV and praying she is ok having bloodwork ran and contacted the company as well waiting to hear back but ready to take this as far as i have to especially after seeing all these poor dogs with same conditions.
Jojo - Comment
Jojo16 May 2021Reply
The vet prescribed 0.4ml Avantix for my 2 year old Pom who weighs 3.75kg. I applied the medication on his back and and he seemed OK during the first 6 hours post administration. Then the back twitching started! It started with short twitches which did not seem to cause him any discomfort. Then the following day, the back twitching was stronger and occurred about twice every 4 minutes and he seemed to be aware of this because he looked surprised each time it happened. I have washed him a pet shampoo (which contains: sodium hydroxide, sodium benzoate, linalool, cinnamal, sodium laureth sulfate, disodium EDTA) and I am waiting to see if the back twitching will stop. Should I wait for the medication to wear off or should I take him to the vet ASAP despite having washed him?
Apart from the back twitching, he is his usual self. The twitching also occurs when he is awake and just chilling. While asleep, the back does not twitch. Has this happened to anyone? What are your thoughts?
CH - Comment
CH16 May 2021Reply
This is what's been happening with my dog for the past 72h. I just washed her with dawn dish soap so I'm really hoping it stops soon :( I feel terrible. My vet did say her skin could twitch but not for how long. Let me know if you have an update!
Kim - Comment
Kim16 May 2021Reply
How long did the twitching last?
Susan - Comment
Susan29 Oct 2022Reply
I did advantix 2 on my rottie yesterday she is throwing up and has had a few bouts of diarrhea and just keeps throwing up I washed it off of her so I’m hoping for the best
Ann - Comment
Ann08 Nov 2022Reply
I am wondering if any studies have been done to show that long term use of Advantix causes hind leg paralysis eventually? I have been using it because it kills mosquitos, too, but I am thinking I may need to stop because he is now (@ 8 years old) showing some muscle wasting on his hind leg. I used Advantix on a previous pet (large dog), and he did eventually show hind leg paralysis at 16 years old, and I just want to be sure that won't happen with this one if it is possible that paralysis could result from Advantix.
Mike - Comment
Mike01 Mar 2023Reply
Last three seasons we gave our lab appropriate dose. Once it caused a large legion. Now scarded with a bald spot. Hair hides it. We then started spreading it out in multiple spots. Last season at the end of season, we discovered lots of small scabs. Also it took us 3 years to realize allergies (which we initially thought it was food related) gradually got worse as the season went on. We won't be useing this product again.

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