EPA Investigating Topical Pet Products

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) is evaluating spot-on pesticide products for flea and tick control due to recent increasing reports of adverse reactions in pets treated with these products.

The report was released in April 2009 indicated there were over 40,000 reports of side effects in the previous year. The Westgate Pet Clinic has been selling Frontline Plus Topical for 13 years and believes that Frontline is the safest and most effective product on the market.

Records from the United States EPA and Health Canada have noted a recent increase in more serious concerns including seizures and in some cases the death of the pet. The reported number of adverse reports on Frontline had consistently remained very low with the most likely side effect being skin irritation. The Frontline product has been manufactured unchanged during that period. Frontline isn’t registered in Canada and Merial does not sell it there.

On May 15th, 2009 EPA updated a list of topical products because the original partial list of products mistakenly implied that only those products were under investigation. The Merial Frontline Plus was on the original list and received unfavorable news coverage. This was surprizing to many veterinarians because Frontline is a truly topical product which resides in the hair follicles of the skin and is not absorbed systemically like other topical products. I expect the final report from the EPA to indicate the recently identified problem is with new products and products available directly through pet stores.

Clients should always seek the advice of their Westgate Veterinarian if there are any questions or concerns about any concern they have about their pet’s health. For more information about the EPA investigation visit EPA advisory or the American Veterinary Medical Association News Release.