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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, my dad just sent me a link to an article about the Seresto collar and how dangerous it apparently is. I did some digging and found several similar articles. They all seem to be recent (posted in 2021) and have similar findings. That there have been more reports of incidents regarding this collar than any other flea/tick pesticide on the market, but that the EPA hasn't done anything about it or issued any warnings.

Incidents range from chemical burns to seizures to neurological issues to death and some humans have been affected as well. I can link one of the articles for reference, but i was just wondering if anyone else has seen them and if there are alternatives for flea/tick prevention that may be safer? Or is it all just a bunch of hype?

We used Advantix2 on Kiley for most of her life, but switched to the Seresto collars when we got Dublin - figured it would be safer considering he mouthed/licked her a lot. Now i'm wondering if it was a good choice. I get that with any product like this there are risks but the "most incidents of any pesticide pet product" part is worrying.

Any input?

Seresto Linked to Thousands of Pet Deaths
 

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So, my dad just sent me a link to an article about the Seresto collar and how dangerous it apparently is. I did some digging and found several similar articles. They all seem to be recent (posted in 2021) and have similar findings. That there have been more reports of incidents regarding this collar than any other flea/tick pesticide on the market, but that the EPA hasn't done anything about it or issued any warnings.

Incidents range from chemical burns to seizures to neurological issues to death and some humans have been affected as well. I can link one of the articles for reference, but i was just wondering if anyone else has seen them and if there are alternatives for flea/tick prevention that may be safer? Or is it all just a bunch of hype?

We used Advantix2 on Kiley for most of her life, but switched to the Seresto collars when we got Dublin - figured it would be safer considering he mouthed/licked her a lot. Now i'm wondering if it was a good choice. I get that with any product like this there are risks but the "most incidents of any pesticide pet product" part is worrying.

Any input?

Seresto Linked to Thousands of Pet Deaths
I saw this story in USA Today this morning, it actually had a detailed explanation of why this particular collar is so dangerous to dogs. My dog is not currently on any preventatives, but he’s 9 months old, the weather is getting warmer, and we now have heart worm in Western Washington, and I find myself wondering what’s the best thing to do. Protecting against heart worm is a no-brainer, but that preventative also kills fleas and other parasites, how much chemical burden does that come with. I’m a nurse and have a pretty good idea how to determine the risks to benefits ratio of human medications, but canine physiology and drugs are something of a mysterious realm to me!
 

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To limit various exposures to the ingredients, I chose to go with seasonal use. The heartworm preventative I use also deworms for several other types. The flea and tick preventative is also used seasonally so I can reduce the chemical exposures.

I also have to plan ahead for any trips we take with the boys, making sure we have the right coverage for the locations we'll travel thru and to.

For the articles, my instinct is always to search for scientific studies from recognizable entities to confirm the data. I'm not doubting the number of reports and I'm definitely not dismissing the possibility that the pesticides are responsible but two things should be considered.

One is that these are reports from owners, vets. clinics of coincidental happenings. How many of these very sad incidents are proven to be from the collars?

The other is the number of reports vs the number of uses. The numbers of deaths are hard to hear, but statistically, many things in life are dangerous.

Some of the oral class of flea and tick preventatives are facing similar press.

I try to balance the risk by not using more than I need to, more often than I need to.
 

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Mia, Christmas in June 2010
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We use an oral preventive. When Mia was a puppy, her first vet gave us a free collar. The instructions warned that you should not touch the collar with your bare hands. I accidentally brushed the collar with my fingers while putting it on, and my fingers were numb for several days. Obviously I'm not a dog, and the collar may be interacting with dog skin differently, but it was worrisome enough to me that I took it off her and threw it away. We used topicals for a few years, because they were the only other option available, but we switched again when oral preventives came out.
 

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I live in an area where mosquitos, fleas and ticks are always there. My dogs get Heartgard plus, for prevention of worms and NexGard for fleas & ticks, which I think now always prevents some diseases caused by ticks . I do not like to use collars or the liquid on them. While I'm sure then ingesting a pill monthly must have some disadvantage along the line I have not had any reactions in any of my 4 dogs. (now 3) and many had been on this for 9 years. The other advantage I found is my indoor cats do not take anything for fleas and they no longer pickup fleas from the dog walking into the house. (hope I didn't just jinx myself). At this point I like the oral preventatives and will continue with their use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I get that the use of any flea/tick preventative is potentially dangerous - they're products designed to kill things, right - and there are some unanswered questions like Rose said. Who made these reports? Did the vet 100% determine the the collar was the cause of these incidents? Where are the studies? Why isn't the EPA doing something to warn people? Are we getting the whole story?

Also - i've seen knock off versions of these collars (bootleg marketed as Seresto usually sold from China), even found an article about them. How do those play into this? What about the generic versions? Is there any difference?

It's just alarming to see a former EPA official stating that this product had the most incidents of any similar product on the market. Maybe because it's so popular, maybe because of all the knock off versions, who knows? Just makes you worry. Or, makes ME worry.

Dublin had a seizure a year and a half or so ago. Vet couldn't determine the cause (best guess was stress from grooming since it happened in the bath tub but he's been groomed his whole life so i don't buy that was the only cause). Breeder said no history in his bloodline and specifically asked what flea/tick prevention i was using, wasn't impressed by the collar and said she used topical Frontline. Because of this seizure we can't use the oral stuff (vet advised against it). Which also has been linked to seizures.

I think just to be cautious i won't be using this collar until i know more about these articles... but what to use in the mean time?!? Are there any other collars that work well, or should i just go with a topical? Which topical?

I'm like Rose - we only use prevention seasonally. Annual heart worm tests and heart guard when mosquitoes come out, take a break during the winter months. Flea/tick only when it's warm enough out for them or when boarding. For the last two summers he only wore the collar when we went hiking. Not at home, not on regular walks (unless we went on the trails). I might go back to the topical for now and just only plan to use it during the months we hike or something..... or try a different collar that i can take off when he's home.
 

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I used to live in Florida where fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes are certainly a problem. I have never, ever, used flea collars or the liquid you put on their backs because I strongly feel that such chemicals are harmful. Instead, I used boric acid in the house and diatomaceous earth outside. Diatomaceous earth is absolutely the best and safest thing you can use - it is like powdered glass that gets under the outer shell of an insect and dehydrates them. The only health issue is to be careful not to inhale it or let your pet inhale it. Also be aware that it will kill beneficial insects as well has harmful ones, so use it wisely around a garden.

Diatomaceous earth is the powdered shells of extinct sea creatures. If you use boric acid, be sure it is placed where your pets cannot reach it.
 

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I hadn't been paying attention to Poodle Forum lately, and didn't recognize the Seresto name. But I just got this today: Seresto Flea and Tick Collars and the EPA | Hemopet
I don't think the collars work if just put on for a walk here and there, because it is something that gets into their bloodstream from what I understand that gets the mosquitos.

My Spoo is very sensitive to chemicals. The spot on Frontline formula gave him truly awful seizures. We ended up as part of a class action suit. I went to Ecuador year before last (I have stayed home all of Covid and not used anything). When we went there I used oral Bravecto and he did not have a major reaction to it.

Sometimes I have actually sprayed him with Off of there are a lot of mosquitos. I put a cover over his head when I do so. He is white so I can more easily find ticks, but have only ever found one. My neighbors dogs all use the poisonous preventives and we go to the same woods. They have a terrible time with Ticks. The only difference I can tell is diet. I do also sometimes spray him briefly with an essential oil combo.

I am curious about the Diatomaceous earth. If they shouldn't breathe it, how can you prevent that if it is sprinkled on them, even if rubbed in?
 

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I asked my vet about this Serestro collar issue last week during our puppy visit. My dogs don’t wear this product so I was asking to satisfy my curiosity.

She said when the story came out their office was surprised and worried as to be expected. Then they got together and discussed it. In this busy suburban practice they never saw any seizures etc. The worst they saw was a few pets had irritated necks which resolved when the collar was removed. They then called other vets in our area and found the same experience. She did mention that they have some cats with serious reactions to flea bites in which the use of this collar has been life changing keeping the cats healthy.
 
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Mia, Christmas in June 2010
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I am curious about the Diatomaceous earth. If they shouldn't breathe it, how can you prevent that if it is sprinkled on them, even if rubbed in?
DE is used in the yard, not on the animal. Like @Johanna , I used DE in my yard with good results - not that there's any way of testing this, but it seemed to work well. Mia is a tick magnet in a way that Zulu never was, and I tried every suggestion - from essential oils to adding garlic to her food - before oral preventives came along (they've been a game changer for us). Back to the DE - the only thing I was never sure about was how often to reapply, since rain and even humidity could affect performance. I was also concerned about the beneficial critters in the yard that I could be hurting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I find chickens are the best flea and tick deterrent. If you don't have chickens, try lavender essential oil- a few drops in a full spray bottle. Insects do not like lavender, but it will not hurt the dog.

.... chickens? Like, chicken chickens? Bird chickens? My landlords wouldn't go for that and i'm allergic to feathers (no joke) so.... but interesting to know!

My bosses mom makes her own flea/tick stuff out of essential oils for their dog, who has had bad skin reactions to just about everything else on the market... i might see if she would be willing to make me some to try with Dublin. There are also some collars out there that are essential oils - lavender, citronella, etc etc.

Our vet appointment is next week, i'll be asking advice from the vet then as well.
 

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PROCEED WITH CAUTION, as with ALL flea and tick meds!
I agree.

Seresto is regulated by the EPA, but this is the most current info I could find from them: EPA Seeking Public Comment on Petition Related to Seresto Pet Collars | US EPA

Other flea & tick products fall under the jurisdiction of the FDA. For those considering their options, this alert was issued directly by the FDA:


Isoxazoline products have been associated with neurologic adverse reactions, including muscle tremors, ataxia, and seizures in some dogs and cats.
The FDA-approved drugs in this class are:

  • Bravecto (fluralaner) tablets for dogs
  • Bravecto (fluralaner) topical solution for cats and dogs
  • Bravecto Plus (fluralaner and moxidectin) topical solution for cats
  • Bravecto 1-month (fluralaner) tablets for dogs
  • Credelio (lotilaner) tablets for dogs and cats
  • Nexgard (afoxolaner) tablets for dogs
  • Simparica (sarolaner) tablets for dogs
  • Simparica Trio (sarolaner, moxidectin and pyrantel) tablets for dogs
  • Revolution Plus (selamectin and sarolaner) topical solution for cats
 

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If anyone wants to see the reports they can be found here under Safety and Health
CVM FOIA Electronic Reading Room | FDA


The FDA and the manufacturers have agreed to add information to the product label but the drug is considered safe to use for the majority of pets.

Bravecto's product information sheet
381411_R9.pdf (bravecto.com)


The FDA said it is working with manufacturers of isoxazoline products to include new label information to highlight neurologic events, as they were seen consistently across the isoxazoline class of products.

These products continue to be safe and effective for the majority of animals, said the FDA, adding that it carefully reviewed studies and other data on Bravecto, Credelio, Nexgard, and Simparica prior to approval.

The agency is asking the manufacturers to change product labeling in order to provide veterinarians and pet owners with the information they need to make treatment decisions for each pet on an individual basis.

The FDA said it will continue to monitor adverse drug event reports for these products and encourages pet owners and veterinarians to report such events.


FDA issues alert for isoxazoline class of flea, tick products (veterinarypracticenews.ca)


This is the full Fact Sheet linked above by PTP

Fact Sheet for Pet Owners and Veterinarians about Potential Adverse Events Associated with Isoxazoline Flea and Tick Products

Fast Facts
  • The FDA is alerting pet owners and veterinarians of the potential for neurologic adverse events in dogs and cats when treated with drugs that are in the isoxazoline class.
  • Although these products can and have been safely used in the majority of dogs and cats, pet owners should consult with their veterinarian to review their patients’ medical histories and determine whether a product in the isoxazoline class is appropriate for their pet.
What should I know?
  • The FDA considers products in the isoxazoline class to be safe and effective for dogs and cats but is providing this information so that pet owners and veterinarians can take it into consideration when choosing flea and tick products for their pets.
  • Isoxazoline products have been associated with neurologic adverse reactions, including muscle tremors, ataxia, and seizures in some dogs and cats;
  • Although most dogs and cats haven’t had neurologic adverse reactions, seizures may occur in animals without a prior history;
  • Many products are available for prevention and control of flea and tick infestations. Some flea and tick products are regulated by the FDA and some are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. You can discuss all options with your veterinarian to choose the right product for your pet.
What products are in the isoxazoline class?
  • The FDA-approved drugs in this class are
    • Bravecto (fluralaner) tablets for dogs
    • Bravecto (fluralaner) topical solution for cats and dogs
    • Bravecto Plus (fluralaner and moxidectin) topical solution for cats
    • Bravecto 1-month (fluralaner) tablets for dogs
    • Credelio (lotilaner) tablets for dogs and cats
    • Nexgard (afoxolaner) tablets for dogs
    • Simparica (sarolaner) tablets for dogs
    • Simparica Trio (sarolaner, moxidectin and pyrantel) tablets for dogs
    • Revolution Plus (selamectin and sarolaner) topical solution for cats
  • These products are approved for the treatment and prevention of flea infestations, and the treatment and control of tick infestations. Some are also approved for treatment and control of ear mite infestations and some gastrointestinal parasite infections, and a few are also approved for prevention of heartworm disease.
What should I do if my pet has an adverse drug event while using an isoxazoline product?
  • If your dog or cat experiences any adverse event while using an isoxazoline product, first consult your veterinarian.
  • The FDA continues to monitor adverse drug event reports for these products and encourages pet owners and veterinarians to report adverse drug events. You can do this by reporting to the drugs’ manufacturers, who are required to report this information to the FDA, or by submitting a report directly to the FDA.
  • To report suspected adverse drug events for these products and/or obtain a copy of the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) or for technical assistance, contact the appropriate manufacturers at the following phone numbers:
    • Merck Animal Health (Bravecto): 800-224-5318
    • Elanco Animal Health (Credelio): 888-545-5973
    • Boehringer Ingelheim (Nexgard): 888-637-4251
    • Zoetis (Simparica, Revolution Plus): 888-963-8471
  • If you prefer to report directly to the FDA, or want additional information about adverse drug experience reporting for animal drugs, see How to Report Animal Drug and Device Side Effects and Product Problems.
  • Pet owners and veterinarians who have additional questions can contact [email protected] or call 240-402-7002.
Additional Information
Animal Drug Safety Communication: FDA Alerts Pet Owners and Veterinarians About Potential for Neurologic Adverse Events Associated with Certain Flea and Tick ProductsExternal Link Disclaimer
Safe Use of Flea and Tick Products
How to Report Problems with Flea and Tick Products


On Seresto, the AVMA has this to say May 2021


From the time I realized how any flea/tick/worm drugs usually worked, I've been very cautious in using them, only on an as needed basis and for as short a time as needed. This is a discussion I've had with my vet.
 

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Elroy: Standard Poodle, Born 02/20/21
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I get so confused when this comes up. I am in CT where Lyme disease was first discovered. He's in tick prone areas all the time. Tick "season" is basically anytime it above freezing, but typically they're active from March through mid November. Fleas are similar. Basically Dec, Jan, Feb are the safe months. Since the 3 month Bravecto overlaps these months, my vet recommends using it year round. Also, we do occasionally have some pretty warm days (40's, 50's, 60's, and sometimes even 70) during Nov, Dec and Feb.
So far I'm using it year round with no adverse effects. Logically, as a systemic, the poison must build up over time. There's never a long enough drug free time to allow it to be completely metabolized. Is there any data showing how long it takes for their system to be 100% drug free? I'm thinking maybe once in a while I should do a season using a non isoxazoline treatment to give his system a chance to clear the isoxazoline.
Thoughts? What non-isoxazoline products are effective?
 

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Is there any data showing how long it takes for their system to be 100% drug free?
Good question. I've never looked for any studies but if I couldn't find anything online I'd contact the product developer/manufacturer. They surely would have done studies. It's even possible that "build up" is a non-issue but won't know without research.

Here's one study
Pharmacokinetics of fluralaner in dogs following a single oral or intravenous administration - PMC (nih.gov)

This one is interesting because it's a study for the possible use of isoxazoline in humans
Repurposing isoxazoline veterinary drugs for control of vector-borne human diseases | PNAS

There is a possible alternative with Bravecto that might warrant consideration. Bravecto covers 12 weeks for fleas and all but one of the ticks.

Dog Protection
BRAVECTO CHEW AND TOPICAL SOLUTION FOR DOGS

FLEA SPECIES


Cat FleaCtenocephalides felis
12 WEEKS
TICK SPECIES



Black-Legged Tick (deer tick) – Ixodes scapularis
12 WEEKS

American Dog TickDermacentor variabilis
12 WEEKS

Brown Dog TickRhipicephalus sanguineus
12 WEEKS

Lone Star TickAmblyomma americanum
8 WEEKS


Last year I read that Bravecto now offers a monthly chew which means that there's full coverage for those 4 weeks.
It's less convenient, having to remember every 4 weeks rather than 12 weeks but there are some benefits.

First is that the dosage given at a single time is lower
Second is that you have full coverage in those 4 weeks
Third, for some of us, is that you can more precisely target the use.

For alternative products, there's a number to choose from, as or less effective. I ran across this post from a vet that may have practically every option

Picking a flea & tick medication for your pet | Dr. Justine Lee | Dr. Justine Lee (drjustinelee.com)

The credentials are:
A board-certified specialist in veterinary emergency and critical care is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (DACVECC).

A DABT is an acronym for the professional designation Diplomate American Board of Toxicology, which is awarded to a person that has met certain educational, experience, and certification examination requirements in the scientific field of toxicology.
 
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