Flea and Tick Advisory Info

On April 16th, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that it was intensifying its evaluation of
all flea and tick control products for pets due to an increase in reported adverse effects, especially from
spot -on type products.  Adverse reactions can range from mild skin irritation at application site to
seizures and death.  Manufacturer's are required to report all adverse reactions to the EPA.  The original
advisory listed 7 products that were responsible for 80% of the these reports.   The EPA has removed the
list of products from it's advisory to "review the completeness of the list"  We  will update the link when
the new list is posted.  

What we do know:
We  understand that Zodiac, Sergeant's, Promeris and Frontline were part of the original list.

We do know that the various manufacturer's will be meeting with EPA officials in May to discuss issues
relating to adverse reactions in pets.

We do know that no recalls have been issued.

We have been in contact with Merial, the manufacturer of Frontline, who has informed us that:

1.  They have submitted records and reports to the EPA which  do not indicate any sharp increase in
adverse events relating to Frontline products.  

2.  They will be working in cooperation with the EPA to address any concerns.

3.  Records indicate that adverse events relating to Frontline are rare and most are minor.

What do we think?

Is Frontline Safe?

We believe Frontline is a safe and effective product for control of fleas and ticks on dogs and cats.
Frontline does not enter systemic circulation (get into the bloodstream), but remains in the skin. We have
dispensed thousands of doses since opening both hospitals, treat our own animals with the product, and
have seen very few adverse events.  

What kind of adverse events have you seen?

Rarely we note irritation or tickling at the application site, occasionally hair loss at the site.

Have you ever had a patient suffer seizure or death from a Frontline application?

If Frontline is safe, why did it appear on the original list?

Frontline has been dispensed since 1996  and is the #1 choice of veterinarians and pet owners.  Because
Frontline has the largest market share, it would be expected to have a higher number of incidents

Frontline is dispensed by veterinarians, and adverse reactions would most likely be brought to a
veterinarian's attention and reported to the company.

Merial reports all
suspected adverse reactions, no matter how minor.

The EPA Advisory states:
"This information does not account for the market share of these products;
This information does not reflect the severity of incidents;
This information does not reflect potential misuse of the products"

Why do you think that reported incidents have increased?

Since the introduction of Frontline in 1996, many, many  other topical spot on products have been
marketed and sold , many without veterinary supervision. There have also been many counterfeit
products sold.  With more
spot on type products being sold over the counter and administered year by
year, we would expect more adverse reactions.

We appreciate that the EPA is looking into the details to insure our dogs and cats are safely protected.

What precautions should I take with Flea and Tick Products?

1.  Insure that you are purchasing a legitimate product from a legitimate source.
2.  Follow all dosing and administration instructions.
3.  Do not split doses.
4.  Do not use products on species not on the label.
5.  Do not use on kittens and puppies unless indicated on the label.
6. Apply the product when you have the opportunity to observe your pet.
7. Do not mix products.
8. Do not apply product if your pet is not in good health.
9. Report all adverse effects to your veterinarian.

What other options are there for flea and tick control?

As mentioned, we do believe Frontline is a safe and effective product.  We would be happy to discuss
other options appropriate for your pet's lifestyle at any time.  Please call or e-mail us.

Your pet's health and well being are of paramount  importance to us.  We will update this site as any new
information becomes available to us.

The Naples Safari Animal Hospital /Westcost Veterinary  Hospital Family
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