Flea & Tick Products

This is a tough and tricky one, though there may be some promise in a new natural product that we'll talk about more in a minute. Also we want to stress to please DO NOT let your vet talk you into giving your animal a lyme vaccine. They will do more harm than good in the long run and are very controversial. Read our section on the dangers of vaccines and this info on the danger of the lyme vaccine.

We don't like to see chemicals used in anyway or at any times, however there may be cases when it might be the only effective choice for people living in heavily infested tick areas. In these areas people may have no choice but to use Frontline.  People email asking about the safety of products such as Frontline.

All we can do is point you in the direction. Check out this link on
ARE FLEA AND TICK TREATMENTS SAFE?

If at all possible keep your dogs in a tick free area for exercise and play - minimize any kind of tick treatment for when only absolutely necessary.

One interesting product which is totally chemical free that we've heard lots about is called the TIC CLIP. The ONLY NATURAL PET STORE website that sells them offers (on their version) a full refund at anytime if you are not happy with it. So it's worth a try as nothing to lose. The link and reviews on the product are listed here:
http://search.onlynaturalpet.com/search.aspx?searchterms=tic+clip

One of our caninecare members tried the tic clip with no success. She now uses the PREVENTIC COLLAR and has not found a tick on her dogs since.

We also suggest that you read the below and weight the pros and cons of various choices.

If you are in a one dog household and your dog doesn't interact with other animals you might want to look into the PREVENTIC collar. You might consider using from time to time and not leaving on at all times. The PREVENTIC is a good collar but if a dog is playing with another animal and the other animal puts his mouth on the collar it could make that animal very very sick as it is toxic. That is why we say, use it but then take it off  when not needed. For example, if you are someone who lives in the city during the week but goes to the 'country' on the weekend. You could put the collar on the dog when you arrive that weekend and then 24 hrs after being back home in the city, remove it. I believe you have to leave the collar on for a bit after being exposed to the tick environment incase one is attached. It gives the collar time to kill the ticks. The active ingredient that is used to kill the ticks is something that if absorbed by the body is said to be removed easily by giving activated charcoal. (note - please check with your vet before giving activated charcoal. Dosing is critical as it also can remove some minerals.
Our member who uses this collar gives her dogs activated charcoal once a week and FOOD GRADE DIATOMACEOUS EARTH in their meals 3 nights a week to help detox them from any possibly absorbed chemicals. The food grade DE will remove the chemicals in the body that are in this collar but NOT the chemicals that are in Frontline.
Read more on the benefits of FOOD GRADE D.E. here.
This collar is said to be as effective as Frontline. (Update) I have personally started using this collar for weekends on our dogs. I put their regular collar OVER the Preventic collar so if they play they do not have their mouth make contact with each others collars. I put it on the day before l leave for the country and then take off when I get home. My vet (who is not big on using drugs or shots) told me he prefers these collars to frontline.
NOTE on the PREVENTIC COLLAR. Only get the ones from the USA. Some places online sell from Australia. The Australian ones smell like pesticides and are a light orange in color. DO NOT USE THESE. The good collars are white and do not have any odor.

There are some new natural and organic flea and tick collars available. They are worth a try. Research on the web is your best way to find out choices and what might work best. After doing some research we think SERGEANTS -
SENTRY NATURAL DEFENSE.  May be the product we've all been waiting for. Two of our members have used it to prevent fleas and have loved it. We don't know yet how well it will work on ticks but again it may be the best choice for natural prevention right now.  I personally don't like it - found it not to work, and it made one of my dogs ill. So you must be careful with everything!

Also keep in mind some animals can have an allergic reaction even to a natural products. However all  in all... we personally feel natural is still always the better choice over chemicals.

We also recommend you stay away from PROMERIS. We've had many sad reports on this product.

FRONTLINE Active ingredient is FIPRONIL. From what we can find out - activated charcoal does not absorb and help cleans the body of this chemical. To read more about FIPRONAL and it's dangers read this link:

http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2011/07/14/are-you-exposed-to-this-carcinogen-when-you-pet-your-dog.aspx

Hazards for Dogs

Despite fipronil and Frontline's determined safety for animals as a flea preventative, there has been controversy over how safe these products are in long term pet health. According to Whole Dog Journal, a monthly dog care and training publication, the active ingredient found in Frontline is a chemical that has demonstrated potential for nervous system and thyroid toxicity after long term exposure. Even at low dosages, it has been determined that fipronil can potentially cause skin problems, reproductive and hormone issues.

Hazards for Humans
Though application instructions provide instructions for people in applying Frontline on their pets, there is still risk and concern in handling Frontline for the owner. Instructions indicate not to allow the solution to come in contact with human skin. In the event that it does, it is advised to wash the hands immediately and avoid touching other parts of the body. Direct, short-term contact with the skin can result in minor irritation. If ingested, Frontline's active ingredient can cause nausea, headaches, stomach pains, sweating and even seizure. While Environmental Protective Agency research is inconclusive on fipronil's cancer causing effects on humans, it is still classified as a possible human carcinogen.

Hazards for Wildlife
According to the Journal of Pesticide Reform, flea prevention medications like Frontline persist on the skin of an animal treated with the solution for as long as 56 days. During that time, the animal will likely have contact with people and its greater environment. As a general pesticide, the active ingredient fipronil is considered toxic to birds, lizards, fish and other animals, even in minute concentrations with research showing clear adverse effects in reproduction.

Keep in mind even FRONTLINE does not prevent ticks 100%. Nothing can. (For more info on Frontline see the links on FIPRONEL at the bottom of this page)
Also note that some products made for dogs may kill a cat and visa versa. Always remember if you do decide to use a spot on treatment, remember, ANY TIME YOU USE A CHEMICAL YOU ARE PUTTING YOUR ANIMAL AT RISK.
No adult dog topical flea products should ever be used on a toy or miniature breed - ONLY applications for puppies should ever be used on these breeds - even if they are adult dogs.

Many deaths have been attributed to store bought products like BIO SPOT and more. Many products sold in the pet stores just should NOT be on the shelves. Also avoid all
Hartz flea products (read here).

You don't know if they will have a reaction immediately or down the road. We suggest if you do decided to use one of these that you read the below and also cross reference any products online to see how many others have experienced problems. If you really don't need to use the stuff, DON'T.

Also the tests that have been done on animals by these companies... why support them? Read more here:
www.fda.gov/cvm/FOI/925.htm and www.fda.gov/cvm/FOI/1369.htm

Here are some links to fill you in more on how this new natural product (containing EcoSmart Technology) works - It looks very promising!

www.publicaffairs.ubc.ca/ubcreports/2007/07mar01/bugs.html

 
www.ecosmart.com/commercial/default.asp
 

www.critterridders.com/ecopco_active.htm
 

http://www.sergeants.com/news_events/press.asp?prm_id=806

 
http://www.sentrynatural.com/

SHIRLEY'S WELLNESS CAFE - as website we highly recommend that you visit!
Pet Products May Harm Both Pets and Humans Products intended to kill fleas and ticks can also poison pets and the people who handle them. 

Each year, Americans purchase and apply to their pets a vast array of toxic chemicals intended to kill fleas and ticks. These include collars, sprays, dusts and more. Other pet owners take their pets to veterinarians to be dipped in chemicals. Many consumers probably assume that the products they and their vets use have been subjected to rigorous testing, and must, by virtue of their very ubiquity, be safe. After all, how could the government let deadly poisons be sold on grocery store shelves without applying stringent standards?

The simple truth, however, is that the poisons in many of these products are not safe, either for pets or humans. Government regulation of these products has been sketchy, and testing of their impact in the home has been inadequate. The result is that many of the products sold by the millions in grocery, drug and pet supply stores, even when applied as instructed on the box, can cause serious health consequences to pets and humans.
more

Insecticides Associated with Bladder Cancer in Dogs - A statistically significant association between exposure to topical flea and tick dips, and the occurrence of bladder cancer in dogs has been found. The risk of bladder cancer was increased further in dogs living in proximity to areas sprayed regularly with insecticides for mosquitoes. An increased rate of bladder cancer in humans has recently been reported (Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, 1989(28): 407-414). 

Insecticides and Feline
hyperthyroidism - Since the early 1980s, increasing numbers of cats have been found with hyperthyroidism, enlarged thyroid glands and high levels of thyroid hormone in the blood. Cats which were regularly treated with flea powders and sprays, and were also exposed to lawn pesticides, have been found more likely to have hyperthyroidism.  A higher level of canned cat food in the diet was also an increased risk factor (Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 1988(6): 295-309). Thyroid enlargement has been seen in Great Lakes fish and in rodents fed on these fish. This has been attributed to pesticides and other contaminants in the lake water (Advances in Modern Toxicology, 1992(XXl): 129-145).

Chemical Flea Control Product WARNING for Cat and Dog Households! 
Learn about safe and effective flea control and prevention 

Pets as Sentinels of Pesticide Toxicity Rachel Carson described the detrimental effects of pesticides on animals including robins, caddis fly larvae, quail, salmon, and cats. Silent Spring shows clearly how deeply caring and fiercely protective Rachel Carson was of wildlife. Her concern extended to pet animals as well. Pesticide residues in our food and in the environment reflect years of chemical production and use. We face the continuing problems of the toxic by-products of manufacturing, runoff from outdoor applications, ground water contamination, and finally disposal of unused material as hazardous waste. Pesticides are used in virtually all public buildings, golf courses, schools, restaurants, hotels, hospitals and private homes as well as in agriculture and forestry. Rachel Carson's Silent Spring warned us of the threats to life attending widespread use of chemical pesticides. As a result of her effort the EPA was founded in 1970 and DDT was banned in 1972. 

Feline hyperthyroidism Frequently Asked Questions, Information About Overactive Thyroid Conditions in Cats. Some practitioners use alternative therapies for cats with mild hyperthyroidism. Because of the potential seriousness of hyperthyroidism, it's recommended that you work with a good holistic veterinarian or naturopath who specializes in pets to determine an effective treatment regimen for your cat.

Brandon Brooks, DVM  - "Many (if not most) Over The Counter (OTC) or non-prescription  flea control products are very toxic to cats and kittens- especially the ones only approved for use in dogs. Many people mistakenly buy these for their pet (it's not always their fault, the companies that make them want you to buy it, they don't really care about the dangers involved) so it pays to be extra careful when buying flea control products." Brandon Brooks, DVM is the former Staff Veterinarian, AsktheVet News Forum 

According to Dr. Brooks, even though the cat or kitten does not have the OTC flea control product directly applied to it, the cat or kitten may still become ill through indirect exposure if it is applied to a dog in the household, household furnishings, bedding, etc.. Also, many OTC dog flea control products are not only toxic to cats, but dogs as well. 

Alert!  "Farnam's Bio Spot  Flea and Tick Almost Killed our Dog (click here to read more)." One day while shopping, we came across an over-the-counter product, called Bio Spot Flea and Tick Control (by Farnam Pet Products).  It looked similar to the Frontline product, but it was much cheaper, so we decided to try it.  The Bio Spot seemed to work just as well as Frontline, so we used it again six weeks later.  An hour after applying the Bio Spot, we found Hamish thrashing about on the ground.  His body was completely stiff.  His head was raised in the air, and his jaws were opened wide.  A thick foamy saliva was spewing from his mouth.  Horrified, I tried to determine if something was stuck in his throat.  His windpipe was clear, but he was not breathing.  His eyes began to roll back in his head.  He was dying and we did not know what to do to save him!  We made a desperate call to our veterinarian.  
Alert Zodiac flea control killed 2 cats We have just lost 2 cats because of Zodiac flea drops. They died one after another , 2 healthy pets, we used this Zodiac drops for about 2 moths as instructed on the package. The vet said it went through the skin and damaged the liver.

Alert! Hartz Mountain Company is currently manufacturing and distributing a pet product specifically intended for cats that is highly toxic and dangerous.  Following is a detailed explanation of events that have prompted my recommendation that this product (Hartz Advanced Care Brand Flea and Tick Drops for Cats Weighing Over 10 Lbs.) be recalled immediately, and extensively investigated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)."  learn more

Alert! Advantage and K-9 Advantix Flea products

Here is a testimonial from a distraught cat owner
"Used Advantage on my cat and she's sick"

Mary Ann lost her beloved bearded collie 'Kaimen' as a result of using Advantage Flea Drops "Advantage flea drops were recommended by my veterinarian to control Kaimens flea problems The drops were placed on the back of his head in the nape of the neck After using Advantage for 13 months a growth the size of a golf ball emerged in that very same spot where the Advantage flea drop were placed The growth was made of a grey colored flesh with a putrid odor A purulent putrid liquid oozed out of it Kaimen was taking to the vet, where I learned more about the growth and just how deadly Advantage is to our pets The pesticide that is used in Advantage is called lmidacloprid and should NOT be absorbed through the skin I learned that dogs and rats who were used to test this pesticide developed thyroid cancer and it affected their appetite My dog Kaimen died at the age of two as a result of using Advantage which caused a tumerous cancer to develop in his neck and which metastasized in his brain I sent Bayer, the maker of Advantage, a letter with a return receipt but they never bothered to reply to my letter"


A friend used Advantage on his dog who got sick from it. He stopped using it and the dog recovered.

K-9 Advantix is highly toxic to cats, even if it is on your dog & the cat gets it on itself.

Natural treatment for flea bites, allergies and hotspots: a drugless approach


Shawn Messonnier DVM - "The Allergy Solution for Dogs provides owners with honest and objective information they can use to help plan a holistic treatment approach to dealing with their pets' allergies. Nothing bizarre or strange, simply proven treatments that I have used on thousands of pets in my years in private practice. Each day I help pets with allergies get off of steroids and help them live longer, itch-free lives" 


Learn more about safe and effective flea control and prevention 
VISIT
SHIRLEY'S WELLNESS CAFE

Here are a few more links that will tell you more about TOPICAL FLEA PRODUCTS

FIPRONIL - LETTER FROM THE NEW YORK STATE DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION

http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/insect-mite/fenitrothion-methylpara/fipronil/new-act-ing-fipron.html

THE RECONSIDERATION OF APPROVALS AND REGISTRATIONS RELATING TO FIPRONIL (FRONTLINE)
http://www.apvma.gov.au/chemrev/fipronil.pdf

RECONSIDERATION OF APPROVALS AND REGISTRATIONS RELATED TO FIPRONIL (FRONTLINE)
http://www.apvma.gov.au/gazette/gazette0310p59_v2.pdf

FRONTLINE SPOT ON FOR DOGS - SUMMARY OF PRODUCT CHARACTERISTICS
http://www.imb.ie/view_spc.asp?pa_number=10857%2F005%2F001

NOVEL DRUG DELIVERY STRATEGIES IN VETERINARY MEDICINE - (FRONTLINE)                   
http://www.ukicrs.org/VDDR.htm

FRONTLINE FACTS                                                                                                            
http://www.redmap.co.uk/ferretsabout/html/facts.html

MEDICAL ALERT: PROBLEMS REPORTED WITH NEW TOPICAL FLEA PRODUCTS                    
http://www.rabbit.org/chapters/san-diego/health/vet-talk/frontline.html
The following info is courtesy of

The Ultimate Pet Health Resource