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Tag: flea

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.

Flea treatments: What’s safe, what’s not

The National Resources Defense Council, which warned this week of the hazards of flea and tick collars, has issued a product guide ranking the safety of more than 125 flea and tick control products.

The guide lists the products, the chemicals they contain and the risks they pose. It’s part of a NRDC’s new Green Paws campaign that helps consumers find the safest flea-control products that won’t endanger pets or children.

NRDC released a report yesterday warning of dangerously high levels of two carcinogenic neurotoxins on pet fur after the use of ordinary flea collars. The organization filed a lawsuit against companies including Petsmart, Petco and Sergeants; and it has asked the Environmental Protection Agency to ban the use of the chemicals in flea collars.

For the full product list, click here.

Flea collars found hazardous to pets, people

Some flea collars for cats and dogs leave cancer-causing chemicals on their fur that are hazardous to the pets and their owners, the Natural Resources Defense Council says.

The council has filed a lawsuit, asking the federal Environmental Protection Agency to order the removal of two chemicals — propoxur and TCVP, or tetrachlorvinphos — contained in many flea collars. Up until now, the EPA has said exposure to the chemicals in flea collars is insignificant.

The NRDC, in a report released yesterday, says the chemicals left residue high enough to pose a risk of cancer and neurological damage to children that is 1,000 times higher than the EPA’s acceptable levels.

“Just because a product is sold in stores doesn’t mean it’s safe,” said Dr. Gina Solomon, a physician and a toxicologist with the environmental group and an author of the study.

(To see a full list of flea and tick control products, the chemicals they contain and the risks they pose, click here.)

The federal agency had no immediate response to to the petition, or allegations that it failed to safeguard the public and their pets from dangerous pesticides, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The lawsuit, filed in California’s Alameda County Superior Court, claims 16 retailers and manufacturers, including chain pet supply and grocery stores, failed to warn consumers that they were exposed to unsafe levels of propoxur in violation of state law.

The group conducted tests on nine dogs and five cats. The tests for TCVP were conducted on Hartz Advanced Care 3-in-1 Control Collar for Cats and Hartz Advanced Care 2-in-1 Reflecting Flea & Tick Collar for Dogs. Tests for propoxur were done on Zodiac Flea & Tick Collar for dogs and Bio Spot Flea and Tick Collar for dogs.

Pet owners calling the National Pesticide Information Center have complained that dogs and cats wearing collars containing the ingredients had stopped eating or drinking and showed symptoms including vomiting, twitching, diarrhea. There was no confirmation that the collars caused the problems.

In the tests for TCVP, after three days, 60 percent of the dogs and 40 percent of the cats had residue levels that exceed the EPA’s acceptable level for developing brains of toddlers who spend an average amount of time with a pet. For toddlers who have a lot more pet contact or have more than one pet, residue levels on 80 percent of the dogs and all of the cats would exceed the acceptable level.

In the tests for propoxur, after three days, all of the dogs had residue levels that would exceed the EPA’s acceptable level to for developing brains of toddlers spending an average amount of time with a pet.

You can read the NRDC press release here.

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Top 10 causes of dog poisoning

The ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center has put together a list of the top ten poisons that affected dogs in 2008.

1. Human medications. For several years, human medications have been number one source of poisoning cases — both prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs. Pets often snatch pill vials from counters and nightstands or gobble up medications accidentally dropped on the floor. Keep them in cabinets.

2. Insecticides. Bug control products rank number two, and many of them involved misuse of flea and tick products—such as applying the wrong topical treatment to the wrong species. Check with your vet before beginning any flea and tick control program.

3. People food.
Grapes, raisins, avocado, onions and certain citrus fruit can harm dogs. One of the worst offenders is chocolate, which, if ingested in significant amounts, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst, urination, hyperactivity, and in severe cases, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors and seizures.

4. Rat and mouse poisons. Last year, the ASPCA received approximately 8,000 calls about pets who had accidentally ingested rat and mouse poisons. Many baits used to attract rodents contain inactive ingredients that are attractive to pets as well. Ingesting them can lead to life-threatening problems for pets, including bleeding, seizures and kidney damage.

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