Is Your Pet’s Flea Collar A Silent Killer?
If you knew that wearing a piece of jewellery or clothing could cause you to have seizures, severe skin burns, shaking, foaming at the mouth, and paralysis, you’d steer clear of it no matter what. And you almost certainly wouldn’t allow it anywhere near your pets.
Yet, you may have been exposing your beloved cat or dog to dangerous pesticides that cause the exact symptoms I just mentioned, without even knowing it.
Good intentions, bad results
You can buy drops or pet collars that protect Homer and Whiskers against ticks and fleas for a few pounds at any pet store. However, these products are extremely hazardous for your dogs and cats, especially when they lick themselves and ingest the poisonous chemicals used in these products. They’re also especially dangerous for your children and grandchildren when they pet, kiss and hug your pet.
You see, these ‘spot on’ flea and tick products contain hazardous ingredients, some of which are deadly pesticides. In fact, reports of pets reacting badly to anti-tick and flea products, spiked to a whopping 44,000 in 2009, including 600 dogs dying.
The problem had become such an epidemic that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assembled a team to analyse the data surrounding these reports. And here’s what they found.
- Dogs weighing between 10 and 20 pounds were having the most adverse reactions. Among those smaller dogs, Chihuahuas, Shih Tzu, Poodles, Pomeranians, Dachshunds, Maltese, Yorkshire terriers, and Bichons where at a much higher risk.
- Many of the chemicals used to treat dogs are deadly to cats.
- The inert ingredients in these products (which are almost always kept a trade secret) often make them even more poisonous. That makes it extremely difficult to choose a safe product for your pet.
That was 6 years ago… and as expected not much had been done to make these products any safer… or to get them banned. Once again it is up to you and me to read labels carefully and keep our dogs and cats safe.
To help you, here’s a quick guide to three types of products that experts say you need to avoid:
Must avoid #1: Any products containing permethrin, cyphenothrin and phenothrin. These three chemicals can all be fatal to cats. And cyphenothrin and permethrin are most likely to cause severe and potentially deadly reactions in dogs.
Must avoid #2: Trifexis, a once-a-month pill for fleas and heartworms, has been linked to the deaths of thousands of dogs. And it’s still on the market. Last year reports poured in about dogs collapsing and dying or going into organ failure and having to be euthanized after being given this drug.
Must avoid #3: Flea and tick collars containing an insecticide called propoxur, which may cause cancer in children. Last year, some high street pet stores and supermarkets started pulling propoxur collars from the shelves, but there are still plenty of collars available containing the chemical.
Some people swear by garlic and brewer’s yeast tablets as a natural flea and tick deterrent. Another natural tick and flea repellent people have success with is rose geranium oil, which can be applied to your dog’s collar. However, Do NOT use rose geranium oil on your cat. Cats can have a bad reaction to essential oils, primarily because they spend a lot of time grooming, which means that anything on their skin goes into their mouth.
With ticks, the best thing you might do is to check your pet a few times a day when you are in an area that has ticks, and remove them promptly. Using the proper technique is important, so make sure that you consult a veterinarian before doing it yourself.
Indigenous Brazilian people living in the rainforest have always dealt with pests in their environment. The lush forests and tropical climate are perfect breeding grounds for fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes.
Many of the people live in dwellings without doors or windows… inviting pests to have free access to their homes.
Yet, for centuries, the people have used a uniquely effective method to protect themselves from these pests – a combination of oils from their native surroundings – the same non-toxic oils used to formulate Flea & Tick Defence.
The formula is created using a special blend of “pet-friendly” Brazilian natural oils, based on centuries of successful use in one of the most hostile, pest-ridden environments imaginable.
If it works in the Amazon rainforest, it certainly will provide your pet with an excellent safe, natural deterrent for fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and even flies.
What also makes this product unique is that while it can be used on your cat or dog, it can also be used on horses to repel the same insects.
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Disclaimer: Bear in mind the material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.
“Safe use of flea and tick products in pets” FDA, fda.gov
“EPA evaluation of pet spot-on products: Analysis and plans for reducing harmful effects” EPA, epa.gov
“These are products designed to kill… and they do their jobs.”