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Warning Against Spot-On Tick Meds


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From ABC15 in Phoenix:

 

PHOENIX - Some popular pet medication may be causing side effects like seizures, tremors and even death.

 

The medication is meant to protect, but the ABC15 Investigators have found many pet owners complaining about dangerous reactions they say were caused by some flea and tick products.

 

Amy Vasquez of Chandler said her dog, Mack, had a bad reaction to a medication that is supposed to protect pets from fleas and ticks.

 

Amy bought a spot-on flea and tick product made by the company, Sergeant's.

 

She said she used the medication exactly as the packaging instructed. Then, she said she looked at the spot where she’d applied the medication.

 

“It looked like the worst sun burn you’d ever seen...and, it was obvious it was exactly where I’d applied [the medication],” said Amy.

 

She said she’s found hundreds of other people complaining online about the same problems.

 

“And, the other dogs had it worse,” she said.

 

Among the online posts were complaints of vomiting, seizures, burning and open wounds.

 

Those are just some of the side effects dog owners said some spot-on flea and tick medication has caused.

 

The ABC15 Investigators received videos and emails from dog owners across the country describing the “horror of watching our loved one suffer.”

One email described the pet’s reaction as like “watching them die.”

 

Many spot-on products use pesticides as the main active ingredient, because it kills pests like fleas and ticks.

 

The products that contain pesticides are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency.

 

Now, the EPA is taking a close look at what it calls a large and growing number of cases involving spot-on products and reports of serious side effects.

 

According to the EPA's records, Sergeant’s has received the most complaints about its products.

 

In a statement to the ABC15 Investigators, Sergeant’s said, "All of Sergeant’s flea and tick products are safe and effective when used properly. All meet government safety standards and have been approved by the EPA. Sergeant’s is not taking the products off store shelves because more than 99% of the millions of doses sold have provided pets and their owners with extremely effective protection from fleas and ticks and with no adverse reactions."

 

Dr. Diane Paster is the Associate Director for Emergency Animal Clinics of Arizona.

 

She said the real problem may be the kind of pesticides being used in spot-on flea and tick products.

 

“I would really like to see the [products] with the most side effects pulled,” Dr. Paster said.

 

Do you use any spot-on flea and tick pet medications? If so, have you seen problems?

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I'd never put anything by Sergent's or Hartz on a dog of any breed.

 

Please don't confuse this with Frontline or Advantage, which are totally different products. I had a GH foster about 10 years ago who reacted to Frontline Plus, but was OK with the original Frontline.

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Guest Energy11

I'd never put anything by Sergent's or Hartz on a dog of any breed.

 

Please don't confuse this with Frontline or Advantage, which are totally different products. I had a GH foster about 10 years ago who reacted to Frontline Plus, but was OK with the original Frontline.

 

 

Yes, NO Sergents or Hartz for sure.

 

Frontline and Advantage have been around for years, with few side effects (other than some fleas appear to be immune to them).

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Guest kydie

Last year Sergent's was the one that had been reported to the EPA

with the gross side effects. :blink:

Edited by kydie
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I don't use ANY spot on period. I won't knowingly and deliberately introduce poison meant to kill things into my dogs system. Maybe I am influenced by the fact that I am a chemist and have learned to really respect the power of chemicals. I stick with the old time Adams water based and have no problems. I do use Interceptor as a heartworm preventative but only because I have learned over many years it is safe as is ivermectrin etc.-provided the manufacturer has not screwed it up. Recently the West Nile virus vaccination killed some horses. Of course they recalled the vaccine but it was too late for the horses.

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Guest Energy11

I don't use ANY spot on period. I won't knowingly and deliberately introduce poison meant to kill things into my dogs system. Maybe I am influenced by the fact that I am a chemist and have learned to really respect the power of chemicals. I stick with the old time Adams water based and have no problems. I do use Interceptor as a heartworm preventative but only because I have learned over many years it is safe as is ivermectrin etc.-provided the manufacturer has not screwed it up. Recently the West Nile virus vaccination killed some horses. Of course they recalled the vaccine but it was too late for the horses.

 

I, too, stick with Adams, but having worked at the vet for four years, for the most part, Frontline and Advantage are pretty safe. There is an exception for everything, though. I USED to use them, but to be honest, went to Adams when I lost my vet discount. I found Adams does the trick, and as you mentioned, there aren't a lot of chemicals, just Pyrethrins, which is made from the oil of the chrysanthemum flower.

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I don't use ANY spot on period. I won't knowingly and deliberately introduce poison meant to kill things into my dogs system.

...but isn't that exactly what you are doing with Interceptor? Putting poison meant to kill things into your dogs system? :blink:

Edited by Hubcitypam
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Somebody commented about Frontline's spot-on product, too:

 

 

Frontline almost killed my pet. I am a pet owner whose pet was adversely

effected by the spot on product Frontline Plus. I am fortunate he is still alive

after three years of continuous medical treatment, four blood transfusions and

$10,000 in veterinary fees. I have been in contact via letter(s) with Merial

Pharmaceuticals requesting provision of more substantial information regarding

their clinical study testing protocols of the chemical pesticide fipronil, to no

avail. I am concerned that this chemical is very dangerous and not properly

regulated and that Merial is deceptively advertising it as "safe/gentle" They

claim the pesticide fipronil used as the primary ingredient in the spot-on

application does not penetrate the outer skin (sebaceous) glands. The "fact" is

untrue in the case of many pets. The EPA needs to step up their plan to hold

product manufacturers accountable. We are awaiting some substantial

sanctions, however to date the false advertising continues in meida ads about

safety factions. Please continue an investigative story about spot-on products.

The public is being kept behind a wall.

Edited by MilliesMom
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Guest Energy11

Somebody commented about Frontline's spot-on product, too:

 

 

Frontline almost killed my pet. I am a pet owner whose pet was adversely

effected by the spot on product Frontline Plus. I am fortunate he is still alive

after three years of continuous medical treatment, four blood transfusions and

$10,000 in veterinary fees. I have been in contact via letter(s) with Merial

Pharmaceuticals requesting provision of more substantial information regarding

their clinical study testing protocols of the chemical pesticide fipronil, to no

avail. I am concerned that this chemical is very dangerous and not properly

regulated and that Merial is deceptively advertising it as "safe/gentle" They

claim the pesticide fipronil used as the primary ingredient in the spot-on

application does not penetrate the outer skin (sebaceous) glands. The "fact" is

untrue in the case of many pets. The EPA needs to step up their plan to hold

product manufacturers accountable. We are awaiting some substantial

sanctions, however to date the false advertising continues in meida ads about

safety factions. Please continue an investigative story about spot-on products.

The public is being kept behind a wall.

 

Just like humans, we all react differently to medications. Dogs and cats are no exception. IF I did use a "spot on" product, it would be either Advantage or Frontline, though.

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Guest TeddysMom

I don't use ANY spot on period. I won't knowingly and deliberately introduce poison meant to kill things into my dogs system.

...but isn't that exactly what you are doing with Interceptor? Putting poison meant to kill things into your dogs system? :blink:

 

Unfortunately we have to pick out battles. I have watched many rescued boxers die from the effect of heartworms or the treatments to get rid of them. I do use monthly heartworm preventative but have chosen not to use any spot-ons for fleas or ticks. I stick with Adams mist except on the few dogs I have who have fleas allergies then I give them Comfortis. I have to choose what I think is the best thing for my kids and really hope for the best, I think that is pretty much all any of us can do.

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It was the spill of a dog tick dip in my house 1984 that severely damaged my immune and neurological systems. I would never use anything on or in my pets that was a poison. Greyhounds are much more sensitive, anyway, as we know from the situation with sedatives used during operations.

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Frontline and Advantage are exquisitely safe for mammals. Safer for greyhounds than the ingredients in the Adams products as well. Nothing against Adams, but I use it only on surfaces, not on my dogs.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Guest Bang_o_rama

Gina and I have both grown accustomed to our current cholinesterase levels and think the long-duration spot-type flea-and-tick products are excessively toxic. The symptoms that reacting dogs show are not of allergy or an unusual reaction; they are signs of what these chemicals are designed to do. If Bang gets fleas we plan on sticking to nothing more dangerous than pyrethrins.

~D~

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If Bang gets fleas we plan on sticking to nothing more dangerous than pyrethrins.

 

From Wiki --

"Pyrethrins are used in many varieties of insecticide, fogging products and in some pet products. Care should be taken when using this substance around humans and animals. Overdose and toxicity can result in a variety of symptoms, especially in pets, including drooling, lethargy, muscle tremors, vomiting, seizures and death. Toxicity symptoms in humans include asthmatic breathing, sneezing, nasal stuffiness, headache, nausea, incoordination, tremors, convulsions, facial flushing and swelling, and burning and itching sensation."

 

Pyrethrin is a poison (though a naturally derived one), Ivermectin is a poison, Milemycin Oxime is a poison and so is Spinosad. If you are giving it to you dog to kill something it harbors it is a poison.

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Guest Energy11

I think flea and tick control is a personl thing, too. YOU all know your dogs.

Adams came recommended to me by my former vet/employer, and I have used it for years without problems. So, to me, whatever works for your dogs, is the best.

 

EVERYTHING has side effects, but, to be honest, I haven't seen any with the Adams, and, quite frankly, none with I used Frontline and Advantage, either.

 

No matter, wouldn't it be WONDERFUL if we didn't have to use ANYTHING? Darned fleas, ticks and mosquitos! mad.gif

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No matter, wouldn't it be WONDERFUL if we didn't have to use ANYTHING? Darned fleas, ticks and mosquitos

 

That would mean a move to the desert Dee, and I know how much you love the heat. :)

Claudia-noo-siggie.jpg

Missing my little Misty who took a huge piece of my heart with her on 5/2/09, and Ekko, on 6/28/12

 

 

:candle For the sick, the lost, and the homeless

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Guest Energy11
No matter, wouldn't it be WONDERFUL if we didn't have to use ANYTHING? Darned fleas, ticks and mosquitos

 

That would mean a move to the desert Dee, and I know how much you love the heat. smile.gif

 

NOPE!! The desert WOULD NOT be for me! Now, Alaska, YES!!!!! Maybe too cold for fleas and ticks there! lol.gif

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Guest LindsaySF

It was the spill of a dog tick dip in my house 1984 that severely damaged my immune and neurological systems. I would never use anything on or in my pets that was a poison. Greyhounds are much more sensitive, anyway, as we know from the situation with sedatives used during operations.

The chemicals used in dips are very different from the chemicals used in Frontline, etc. I'm sorry for your problems, but you are comparing apples and oranges IMO.

 

Agreed that the spot-on treatments made by Hartz, etc, are dangerous. I won't use them either.

 

 

 

 

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Guest Bang_o_rama

 

If Bang gets fleas we plan on sticking to nothing more dangerous than pyrethrins.

 

Pyrethrin is a poison (though a naturally derived one), Ivermectin is a poison, Milemycin Oxime is a poison and so is Spinosad. If you are giving it to you dog to kill something it harbors it is a poison.

 

As DuPont used to remind us, "without chemistry, life itself would be impossible."

 

Toxicology is indeed a complex subject. The harm ANY chemical can do is dependent upon a buttload (a scientific unit in NJ) of factors, species and route of exposure being only two. There is never A toxicity figure for a given chemical; you have to wade through a sea of varying results and look for trends and patterns.

 

Lucky for me, I have the benefit of having spent years analyzing (and occasionally generating) just such data. With a bit of literature searching some information can be teased out to draw some at least tentative conclusions as to the relative danger posed by various chemicals. What I naturally prefer is the exposure that poses the least potential risk of harm to the dog and to us.

 

None of the flea and tick products sold are going to sicken or kill a LOT of pets. But there is always a subset of any population that is unusually sensitive to the actions of a chemical. I'd like to only use chemicals that have a sufficiently weak toxicity to make Bang, Sindar D. Cat and US very unlikely to be within that subset. My reading leads me to believe that the pyrethrins are preferable by that criterion. I have summarized some info below.

 

A useful site to gather such info is http://www.pesticideinfo.org/

Another is http://extoxnet.orst.edu/ghindex.html

 

Since we are concerned here with mammalian acute toxicity. I have omitted fish, invertebrates, etc. None of these products are likely to be carcinogenic as we would use them. Also, although all are neurotoxins, none are cholinesterase inhibitors.

 

Pyrethrum (the primary member of a class of similar compounds either derived from chrysanthemums or synthetic relatives of same):

WHO Acute Toxicity class: Not Listed (Note that it runs I, II, III and not listed, with I being really nasty).

Mammalian LD50s range from 370-2600 mg/kg.

Acute Toxicity: Slight

 

Fipronil (Frontline):

WHO Acute Toxicity class: II.

Mammalian LD50s (only one I could find!): Rat=97 mg/kg

Acute Toxicity: Moderate

 

Imidacloprid (Advantage):

WHO Acute Toxicity class: II.

Mammalian LD50s ranging from 131-450

Acute Toxicity: Moderate

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What you get in the Adams products is actually a combination of active ingredients -- pyrethrins, piperonyl butoxide, n-octyl bicycloheptene dicarboximide, maybe some others depending on the product.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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I know lots of people use them without any apparent problems, but I stopped using them years ago after doing some reading on how they work. They all contain neurotoxins (that's the reason they warn you not to get it on YOUR skin). The way I see it is if these chemicals aren't safe to get on my skin I certainly don't want to put it on my dogs. Cancers, endocrine and autoimmune disorders are being diagnosed in record numbers in both people and animals. I can't help but feel environmental toxins are playing a role.

 

I'm simply stating my opinion here and everyone is, of course, free to believe and do as they please for themselves and their dogs. That said, if anyone's interested here's a link to an article from Whole Dog Journal that I found very educational and instrumental in my decision to stop using chemicals on my dogs and in my house. WDJ Article

Edited by galgrey

Cynthia, & Cristiano, galgo
Always in my heart: Frostman
Newdawn Frost, Keno Jet Action & Chloe (NGA racing name unknown), Irys (galgo), Hannah (weim), Cruz (galgo), & Carly CW Your Charming

Princess http://www.greyhound-data.com/d?i=1018857

"It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life, gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are." -- Unknown

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But the WJD article doesn't seem to show an understanding of how the products work, the difference between cancer in rats and cancer in other animals, etc. Fipronil, for example, is toxic to the nervous system of insects. Dogs (and people) are a bit different.

 

 

ETA: I don't really care what people do or don't use on their dogs as long as their dogs aren't and haven't recently been present where my dogs and I are. Then I'm liable to get a bit irate about it.

Edited by Batmom

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Guest barkdogs

Anyone use vectra? I switched to it recently, as frontline wasn't doing the job.

 

I put it on everyone once this spring--twice on Nigel as I took him to see my folks and they live in a marshy area in Southeastern Maryland=TICKS by the boatload in the springtime. I am trying a concentrated garlic supplement on everyone too, to repel fleas and mosquitoes (apparently the ticks were unimpressed--I brought the vectra with me, hoping I wouldn't need it, but Nigel was quickly covered, so out came the vectra--having had lyme disease twice, I am somewhat touchy about ticks) I plan on not dosig them again unless I have to, although I probably will do one in the fall as the fleas here are terrible in the fall. But if the garlic does what it is touted to do, I may be able to avoid a second dose for the year. . . . I will post if the garlic seems to work!

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Guest TeddysMom

Try the Diatomacious Earth, it seems to have helped here with the spring ticks and it is totally safe. Just use the Food Grade and sprinkle it on them and rub it down to the skin. It is worth a try, cheap, harmless and it works.

Edited by TeddysMom
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