Saturday, March 20, 2010

EPA Cautions Pet Owners Using Spot-on Products to Kill Fleas and Ticks

Fleas and ticks: two pests guaranteed to give pet owners the willies. Spot-on treatments may seem like a simple solution, but the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking a look at the risks of using spot-on pesticide products because there has been a "significant increase in adverse incidents."

The agency is working closely with the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine, as well as Health Canada; Canada first noted concerns with these products last year. The EPA started gathering information in 2008 after seeing an increase in incident reports, and now they're taking steps to make labeling more clear and do a better job of keeping tabs on future incidents.

According to the EPA press release, reactions in cats and dogs can include "skin effects, such as irritation, redness, or gastrointestinal problems that include vomiting or diarrhea, or effects to the nervous system, such as trembling, appearing depressed or seizures." If you have a large dog, chances are your pet won't have a problem with flea and tick products. It seems small dogs have more adverse reactions, and cats exposed to come dog products is "a concern."

The EPA recommends pet owners follow directions carefully and watch their pets closely for adverse reactions, and all pet owners should consult a veterinarian before using any such pesticide products on animals who are older, weak, ill or taking medications, pregnant or nursing, or have had reactions to similar products in the past.


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