WAIT! Before You Buy Any More Flea and Tick Products, What You Need to Know
WHAT ABOUT THE EPA:
You probably thought, as I did, that they couldn’t sell these products unless they were safe, right? Wrong!
The EPA did not begin to review pet products for safety until 1996. But, unlike the FDA’s approval of human products, the EPA is not required to do the same rigorous testing on pet products.
The agency can’t require field tests on pet products prior to approval. So, they often test only one breed of dog or cat.
In other words, what limited testing they do may be done on big dogs and they have no idea what the effect to a tiny Chihuahua or Yorkie or any other toy breed might be.
According to a 2008 study by The Center For Public Integrity, Many, if not most spot on flea and tick treatments contain pesticides, and chemicals that are “likely to be carcinogenic to humans.”
The study reported that at least 1,600 pet deaths were directly related to the pesticides and chemicals found in these flea and tick products.
The report also stated that these products accounted “for more than half of pet reactions over the last five years. These were serious reactions, such as brain damage, heart attacks, and violent seizures.
These pesticides are also available in powders, shampoos, dips, sprays, and other forms according to the study and they are also linked to thousands of reported pet poisonings.
The Natural Resources Defense Council released a report in 2000 that also demonstrated a link between chemicals commonly used in flea and tick products and serious health problems in both people and pets.
According to the NRDC, there are studies that show these pesticides and chemicals can harm the nervous system. Children can be especially vulnerable because their nervous systems are still developing.
Symptoms of poisoning:
Symptoms of poisoning by flea/tick treatments may include salivating, dilated pupils, tremors, vomiting, hiding, shivering, and skin irritation.
What to do if you suspect your dog has been poisoned:
If you suspect your pet may have suffered negative health effects as a result of a flea product, consult with your veterinarian immediately.
If you think a child has ingested a pesticide, call your local poison control center. Be sure to report all such incidents to the EPA’s National Pesticide Telecommunications Network at 800-858-7378, or follow these steps to report an animal exposure or illness
Report to the Humane Society United States:
The HSUS would also like to keep track of these cases.* Please send your contact information, the product name, a brief description of the health problem, and a brief summary of your veterinarian’s findings to The HSUS at the following address:
The Humane Society of the United States
Companion Animals Department: Flea Products
1255 23rd Street, NW, Suite 450, Washington, DC 20037
*The HSUS will not be able to respond to you personally but will keep this information on file.