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More warnings required on flea, tick products

promerisAmid an increasing number of reports of deaths and seizures, the Environmental Protection Agency is requiring beefed up labeling for flea and tick products used on dogs and cats.

The EPA wants companies to make instructions on the products’ labels more clear so people don’t give their pets too much of the pesticides, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The announcement affects most flea and tick products that are applied directly to a pets’ skin.

The products include those made by Merck & Co., Bayer AG and Pfizer Inc. under the names Frontline Top Spot for Dogs, Promeris Canine Flea Control and Enforcer Flea Drops for Cats.frontline

The EPA said the number of reports of pets suffering from these products continues to rise. In 2008, the EPA received 44,000 reports of adverse events from these products, a 53% increase from the year before.

Steve Owens, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances, said the labels are to blame, not consumers. “I don’t know how you would blame the victim in this case when the label isn’t clear,” he said.

Owens said in some instances, people don’t realize they need to regulate the dose based on their pet’s weight. He said the EPA will require more precise dosing on the product labels.

Companies that don’t voluntarily update the labels will be forced to, Owens said.


Comment from laura
Time March 19, 2010 at 8:33 am

It is too easy to make a mistake with these spot-on treatments. You have to get the dosage correct, you have to place it exactly between the shoulder blades, you have to make sure it doesn’t pool on the fur, and you have to keep all your pets separated to make sure the treatment doesn’t get licked by another pet.

Make one mistake and your pet will suffer illness or death. That’s not how products should work. Manufacturers need to allow for some user error, some factor of safety when they release a product for public use.

Comment from Anne’n’Spencer
Time March 19, 2010 at 9:51 am

Goodness, I had no idea. We’ve never had a mishap because the vet gives us the proper dosage per weight, and we only have one dog–so no danger of one pet licking the medicine off another pet. I had been thinking it was an improvement over the over-the-counter collars and flea powders.

Comment from Juliette Morgan
Time August 6, 2010 at 1:07 pm

This is horrendous I never knew this. I used to have our vet do the flea treatment but recently have bought Frontline products and done it myself – my little westie has been fine so far but I’m glad I have read this, thanks.

Comment from Joanne
Time November 8, 2010 at 8:19 am

Frontline is a bestselling product so I’m a bit shocked to read this – won’t treat my dog again myself – not worth the risk, especially as my cat licks the dog.

Comment from Sara@harnesses for dogs
Time June 16, 2011 at 12:04 pm

This is interesting, I read an article today about homeopathic alternatives to these ‘over-the-counter’ chemical based products which bears out what is said here. Apparently garlic capsules (which dogs will lap up like treats) give the same protection without the risk or expense.

Comment from Sara
Time June 16, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Sorry, meant to post link to the article I read which is very relevant to this post.


Comment from Kimberly Savino
Time July 11, 2011 at 1:38 am

Unless I’m missing something here, the problem doesn’t seem to be the Frontline – It sounds like owners aren’t using it properly. Flea/tick prevention is SO important. Fleas cause dermatitis and tapeworm in both pets and people, and can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars to erradicate from the home. Ticks spread diseases (most serious, lyme disease) to both pets and people. This can be dangerous to both people and pets, and costly to treat. I’ve had hundreds of dogs in my care since using these meds for years, and have never made a “mistake” with them, nor have we had any rxn more severe than a skin irritation, only if left on too long on a sensitive-skin dog. (Please note: I’ve used Frontline and Advantix only – “cheap” brands like Hartz and Biospot are known for causing reactions. Natural remedies like garlic lack the same level of effectiveness, and can be toxic to your pet – see ASPCA Poison Control Center.) You should ALWAYS know your pet’s exact weight, so just purchase the box that corresponds. Then, apply to the skin, not fur (it has to be absorbed, so leaving it on the fur wouldn’t make sense anyway) in areas not prone to licking, wash hands after handling pet, and keep pets separated for at least 24 hrs. Wash dog and his bedding after 24 hours (I don’t wait more than 48) and you should be good to go. Was there some other problem involving these meds that I haven’t heard about yet? If so, feel free to share a link!