Flea treatments for dogs and cats include topical medications, flea collars and oral medications. “We found much higher levels than we expected,” she says. I did some research on this collar, and this is a common thing with this collar. “When pesticides are on pets, they come into contact with kids all the time.”. If your pet has ingested part of a flea collar, it is recommended to contact a veterinarian, the emergency number on the product package or Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680 for assistance. Children are especially susceptible, as their ability to rid their body of the chemicals is less efficient than that of adults. Marketplace also investigated how pesticides in flea collars can transfer from the collar to elsewhere in the home, which could raise special concerns for families with small children. She advises people who are concerned about pesticide exposure that there are other ways to control fleas, including bathing your pet and washing bedding regularly. It causes neurological problems and is listed by the EPA as a known carcinogen. Spot-on treatments are responsible for approximately 80 per cent of the incidents, according to the PMRA. When flea and tick collars are accidentally ingested or applied to pets inappropriately, they can result in severe clinical signs of the central nervous system (e.g., lethargy, walking drunk, dilated pupils, seizures, coma), gastrointestinal system (e.g., drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, bloating), and cardiac system (e.g., slowed heart rate, low or high blood pressure). And the truth is, there are better options,” public health scientist Miriam Rotkin-Ellman told Marketplace co-host Erica Johnson. Contact a veterinarian immediately. The reactive symptoms last for approximately one week. Marketplace found treatments on store shelves in fall 2014 that did not have the new labels. They can consume up to 15 times their own body weight in blood a day, which is basically the equivalent of a 100-pound human eating 1,500 pounds of … “I’ve seen it far too many times, unfortunately,” Dr. Chin says. Loss of appetite 4. Some of the symptoms of flea collar poisoning may include increased salivation, excessive heart rate, muscle twitching, blurred vision, body weakness, tremors, etc. Health Canada receives reports about incidents related to Canadian products used domestically and in the United States. If symptoms persist, call a physician. What to Watch For Excessive drooling Muscle tremors, staggering (ataxia) Possibly seizures An agitated or over excited state Vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing or hyperthermia (less common) Evidence that a pyrethrin or permethrin containing product was applied recently Box 500 Station A Toronto, ON Canada, M5W 1E6. Her team tested pesticide residues left on fur after monitoring a pet that wore a flea collar for three days. This pesticide affects the central nervous system in pets and humans. Chemicals transferred in this way can be enough to seriously harm a cat, he says. Children and husky dog image by Marzanna Syncerz from, NRDC: Poison on Pets II" Toxic Chemicals in Flea and Tick Collars, NYTImes: E.P.A. Closed Captioning and Described Video is available for many CBC shows offered on CBC Gem. It’s really easy to put on and can be used alongside other collars, i.e. IGR pyriproxyfen Acute symptoms of over dosages in cats include diarrhea, salivation, vomiting, muscular tremors and weakness. Fever and chills 2. Other temporary symptoms reported after exposure included nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and skin irritation. Stomach pain 7. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. This was a particular concern for small children, who could be exposed to chemicals absorbed through their skin, or if they put their hands in their mouths. Some of them contain ingredients that are also used to treat parasitic infections in humans. Flea treatments can include collars, sprays, powder, shampoos and “spot-on” treatments, where pet owners dab a small amount of chemical directly onto the animal’s fur. Are Dog Flea Collars Dangerous to Humans? SERESTO COLLAR Version 1.2 Revision Date 03/26/2012 Page 2 of 7 Other Ingredients Weight percent Components CAS-No. Continuous use of parasite control products can actually kill your dog but the ultimate irony is that symptoms of poisoning usually are misdiagnosed as a flea allergy! Some researchers are concerned that pesticides in flea collars can also pose a risk to people, even when used properly. One of the most common ingredients in flea collars is tetrachlorvinphos. The show also tested dog harnesses, evaluating popular brands on the market to see if they actually work in an accident. CBC Marketplace has discovered that more than 2,000 animals are reported to have died in North America since 2008 as a result of exposure to flea and tick treatment products, which can contain dangerous chemicals that kill fleas but can also harm pets. “Some people think, A cat is a small dog and I’ll just use a little dose,” Dr. Chin says. Fleas have voracious appetites. The chemicals may also be found in medicated power and collars. Flea and tick collars may differ depending on their active ingredient. According to the Extension Toxicology Network, in addition to irritating the skin and eyes, other symptoms can include "fatigue, twitching, cramps and muscle weakness, including the muscles necessary for breathing." The deaths included 1,188 cats and 872 dogs, most of them in the United States. Body aches and muscle pain 3. Symptoms of flea-borne typhus begin within 2 weeks after contact with infected fleas or flea dirt. 3 - 7% Flumethrin 69770-45-2 4. If your pets ingest or applied to them inappropriately, it may affect their central nervous system, cardiac system, and gastrointestinal system. Rotkin-Ellman at the U.S. Natural Resources Defense Council tested pets to see how much pesticide from flea collars the rest of us may be exposed to. Tetrachlorvinphos is also listed as a potential carninogen for humans by the Environmental Protection Agency. According to information Marketplace obtained from the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), Health Canada received 4,726 incident reports for cats and dogs related to topical flea treatments between 2009 and 2013. Both chemicals are also likely to cause cancer. “Flea collars are designed to release a toxic substance that kills fleas on the pet’s fur,” she says. I’ve never been a fan of any kind of flea collar, even the all natural ones. Many flea collars (especially the Hartz brand) have toxic results to cats. Audience Relations, CBC P.O. Based on its own research regarding the dangers of propoxur, the Natural Resources Defense Council submitted a petition to the EPA in 2011 asking for the approval of the use of propoxur in pet collars to be revoked. One time collars can give protection for up to 8 months. Flea collars rely on organophospates to compromise the central nervous system of fleas, but research has shown exposure to these ingredients is also dangerous to humans and pets. To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Dr. Chin says one chemical common in over-the-counter dog treatments — permethrin — is of particular concern. Pets that have ingested Imidacloprid have exhibited drooling, tremors, lethargy, lameness, and vomiting. Pet owners need to be extremely careful in how they choose flea treatments and how they use them on their pets, says Dr. Whitney Chin, a London, Ont.-based veterinarian. The chemicals from the medication disrupt the nervous system and can lead to serious health problems. Excessive drooling, agitation and excitability are also common signs of flea medication poisoning. Ranging from skin irritation and gastrointestinal distress, to organ failure and even death, flea collars have a long history of harmful effects in both cats and dogs. “It’s one of those things that is incredibly unfair — it’s unfair for families, it’s unfair for their pets, it’s unfair for kids. Fleas are pesky critters, and you want to keep them off of your dog. Muscle twitching Loss of bodily movement control Weakness Abnormal heart rhythm Nausea Vomiting Salivation Abdominal cramps Seizures Signs and symptoms may include: 1. Human and non-human animals are at risk of fleabites, which can be itchy and painful. Propoxur can also contaminate indoor air quality, increasing risks even for household members who never touch the collar or pet. Pet store staff may not always tell people who have both dogs and cats about the risks of exposure to both animals. Some of the treatments contain pesticides that target the nervous systems of fleas and ticks. By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. We reserve the right to close comments at any time. It can also cause less serious side effects in dogs, such as irritation at the spot of application, diarrhea, vomiting and seizures. Frontline, a common flea preventative that disrupts flea neural receptors, is a suspected carcinogen and endocrine disruptor that can be toxic to the nervous system if ingested. Cats can also be inadvertently exposed if a dog in the home is treated with a product and “the dog or cat socialize, share the same bedding or if the cat grooms the dog.”. Comments are welcome while open. Propoxur is the second common ingredient in flea collars that is extremely dangerous to humans. Later that evening, she developed systemic symptoms, including malaise, chest pains, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, diarrhea, stomach cramps, tremors, blurred vision, and excess salivation. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. by Saundra. Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted. A seven-year review of exposures reported in 11 states showed that the majority of people exposed had mild temporary symptoms including headache, dizziness and tingling in the extremities. However, she says, “it also can get on the bedding, it can get on kids’ hands, it can go all sorts of places.”. There are also more natural methods, such as essential oils, to kill and repeal fleas. Signs and Symptoms of Poisoning Type II acute poisonings are generally more severe than Type I.10 Type I poisoning has been described as characterized by fine tremor and reflex hyperexcitability. In March 2010, the EPA issued warnings about spot-on flea products but all flea and tick control products cause allergies and chronic exposure weakens the canine immune system. Almost two thirds (62 per cent) of these reports were for animals in Canada. Bottle with chemicals image by Kapu from Fotolia.com. ID collar. Rash (typically occurs around day 5 of illness) Severe illness is rare and mos… Dr. Chin is concerned that the new warning labels do not go far enough and should more prominently alert pet owners to the dangers of poisoning. Why after so many problems like this is it still on the market? Flea and tick preventatives that include Imidacloprid include K9 Advantix® II, Advantage® II, and Seresto® Flea & Tick Collars. Flea and tick medicine poisoning occurs when your cat has a negative reaction to the medication. Propoxur is the second common ingredient in flea collars that is extremely dangerous to humans. Or where human hands are petting the dog and contacting whatever is in the collar. It causes neurological problems and is listed by the EPA as a known carcinogen. It has no odor and is non-greasy. Organophospates form the basis of not only many pesticide and agricultural products, but also are the building blocks of nerve gas and other biological weapons. Some researchers are also concerned that pesticide exposures from flea treatments could have consequences for humans, especially small children. Most of the reports involve over-the-counter treatments. An allergic reaction typically develops within 12 to 24 hours after the flea bite. But some of the cheapest products -- flea collars -- may be dangerous for your dog and your family. However, products manufactured before the new rules were introduced were not recalled and may still be on the market. Symptoms of poisoning include a nasty smorgasbord of muscle twitching, seizures, respiratory paralysis and even death. Recommends Limits on Thousands of Uses of Pesticides, The Connexion: Flea collars are pulled off shelves, EPA: Petition Supplement Requesting Cancellation of Propoxur Pet Collar Uses; Availability, Rodale: Chemical Flea Collars Threaten Pets and Kids, as well as Pests. It is usually found in topical medication that is applied to the neck and back. Side effects may include rash, headache, dizziness, stomach upset, diarrhea, and a mildly rapid heart rate. In general, an accidental dose of a pet’s heartworm med is not expected to cause serious symptoms in a healthy individual. And the truth is, there are better options,” public health scientist Miriam, CBC Marketplace: Pet Safety - Paws for Concern, CBC's Journalistic Standards and Practices. Studies have shown that, after just three days, residue from the collars on pet fur exceeded acceptable EPA exposure levels for children. The investigation, “Paws for Concern,” airs Friday, Dec. 5 at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT) on CBC Television. IGRs are available as flea collars, creams, sprays, injections and pills. In the end, a flea collar may do more harm that good. Atropine is antidotal. “The longer your cat is left to shake, the greater the chance of permanent damage (death included).”. Even after two weeks, 75 percent of pets still have unsafe levels of toxins. Type II poisoning has typically shown severe salivation, hyperexcitability and choreoath-etosis. Humans and pets, however, have shown skin irritation due to topical Imidacloprid exposure. Rotkin-Ellman says that exposure to the types of pesticides used in flea collars may be linked to behavioural problems, cognitive delay and problems with motor development. More than 2,000 cats and dogs have been reported dead after exposure to flea and tick medication since 2008, and some researchers are worried about human exposure to the pesticides. Its best to get the collar off the cat now - wash the cat in Dawn dish soap and have a vet take a look at the cat. New labelling rules came into effect in Canada in 2012, requiring some treatments for dogs to show a clear warning label that the product can be toxic to cats. The team found that kids could be exposed to higher levels than are considered safe by the Environmental Protection Agency. Flea-collar manufacturers include warnings on the products to avoid exposure and to wash your hands thoroughly after handling the collars. In more severe cases, tremors can lead to seizures. Health Canada says it will investigate these cases. Copyright 2021 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. Research has shown these measures are not enough to limit exposure. Vomiting 6. Her vet said the best thing to do is to wash your dog in dawn dish soap instead of flea and tick collars or medication. For tips on keeping your pet safe, follow the conversation with @cbcmarketplace on Twitter, using the hashtag #pets. If the cat needs flea meds use Advantage or Frontline (but do not use these for 2 … CBC Marketplace investigates risks to humans and pets from popular pet products, “It’s one of those things that is incredibly unfair — it’s unfair for families, it’s unfair for their pets, it’s unfair for kids. After having her house sprayed for fleas, she came down with a terrible headache, intense fatigue, an icy-hot feeling and other scary symptoms that took months to fade. Fleas can also carry human diseases.The most famous example of this was the plague. If you have fumigated or otherwise eliminated the fleas and you or another person continues to display symptoms of flea allergy dermatitis, consult with a doctor to determine the cause and rule out other possible conditions. FLEA & TICK MEDICATION Research is so conclusive that France has banned the use of organophospates in flea collars. If you see any of these symptoms, call your vet at once. Itching and inflammation caused by flea bites can be treated and cured with over-the-counter natural treatments like calamine lotion, ice packs, aloe Vera, tea tree oil, and used tea bags. These compounds are made by combining alcohol and phosporic acid. Obtain medical attention or call a poison control centre at once. Dr. Chin advises talking to your veterinarian before choosing a treatment product, and says that not all products on the market are dangerous. A seresto collar is a protective collar that keeps your dog free from fleas and ticks that make their skin itchy and cause different types of skin problems. Using too much of the chemical can be dangerous, and it is highly toxic to cats. The pesticides in flea collars are from a group of chemicals called organophospates. Flea bites in humans are caused by fleas, a parasitic insect. Friendship with dog image by Michael Klug from Fotolia.com. It is a priority for CBC to create a website that is accessible to all Canadians including people with visual, hearing, motor and cognitive challenges. Approximately 48 hours after exposure, she sought care at an urgent-care facility. If flea bites are itched excessively it may cause a serious infection like the plague, typhus, or flea tapeworms. I am always very concerned about any flea and tick medication. However, people may not know they have been bitten by a flea or exposed to flea dirt so tell your healthcare provider about time spent outdoors or contact with animals. “People should be aware,” Dr. Chin says. The following traditional flea-control agents are toxic to humans and pets and are best avoided (with the exception of permethrin, which may be used in dogs). Cough 8. For humans, the risk of contracting another disease from the flea is very, very small. If inhaled: Remove to fresh air. Answers from trusted physicians on flea symptoms humans. While residual toxins from flea collars can be hazardous to humans, they can be outright lethal for your pets. First: cream-0,5% topically- a thin layer 2-3 times/day “There’s mounting evidence that pesticides can be really harmful for kids at low levels,” says Rotkin-Ellman. Q: I gave my pet an oral flea medication containing Nitenpyram and now my pet is scratching, panting and acting agitated. Most of the collars contain amitraz, carbamates or organophosphates, or pyrethrins/pyrethroids. FIRST AID MEASURES General advice: Take off all contaminated clothing immediately. Cholinesterase levels were not reported; she was treated with antihistamines. Topical flea and tick medications address active infestations, … “We don’t need to put our kids at risk, don’t need to put our families at risk, our pets at risk.”. Symptoms of human poisoning may include headache, weakness, sweating, blurred vision, nausea and diarrhea. Symptoms of exposure can include uncontrollable shaking, and the CVMA advises taking affected animals to a vet immediately. A pet’s heartworm med is not expected to cause serious symptoms in healthy! When used properly rapid heart rate available as flea collars, i.e Group chemicals. Many flea collars are from a Group of chemicals called organophospates is toxic. 2021 Leaf Group Media, all Rights Reserved many problems like this is a thing. 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