Fleas have voracious appetites. Some researchers are concerned that pesticides in flea collars can also pose a risk to people, even when used properly. Pet store staff may not always tell people who have both dogs and cats about the risks of exposure to both animals. 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. 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 … Box 500 Station A Toronto, ON Canada, M5W 1E6. 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. Symptoms of human poisoning may include headache, weakness, sweating, blurred vision, nausea and diarrhea. If your pets ingest or applied to them inappropriately, it may affect their central nervous system, cardiac system, and gastrointestinal system. If flea bites are itched excessively it may cause a serious infection like the plague, typhus, or flea tapeworms. Flea treatments for dogs and cats include topical medications, flea collars and oral medications. Some of the treatments contain pesticides that target the nervous systems of fleas and ticks. These compounds are made by combining alcohol and phosporic acid. “We found much higher levels than we expected,” she says. I am always very concerned about any flea and tick medication. 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. FIRST AID MEASURES General advice: Take off all contaminated clothing immediately. Other temporary symptoms reported after exposure included nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and skin irritation. “The longer your cat is left to shake, the greater the chance of permanent damage (death included).”. Propoxur is the second common ingredient in flea collars that is extremely dangerous to humans. Bottle with chemicals image by Kapu from Fotolia.com. 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. What are the Different Symptoms of Flea Collar Poisoning. This pesticide affects the central nervous system in pets and humans. 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. by Saundra. And the truth is, there are better options,” public health scientist Miriam Rotkin-Ellman told Marketplace co-host Erica Johnson. Answers from trusted physicians on flea symptoms humans. 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. “We don’t need to put our kids at risk, don’t need to put our families at risk, our pets at risk.”. Pets that have ingested Imidacloprid have exhibited drooling, tremors, lethargy, lameness, and vomiting. They are considered safe. [6, 7] Combination products are the most effective insecticides but are more expensive. 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. “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. Q: I gave my pet an oral flea medication containing Nitenpyram and now my pet is scratching, panting and acting agitated. 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. The pesticides in flea collars are from a group of chemicals called organophospates. 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. I did some research on this collar, and this is a common thing with this collar. Research has shown these measures are not enough to limit exposure. 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. According to the website of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), “Toxicity [to cats] from dog flea and tick products is a medical emergency.”, Symptoms of exposure can include uncontrollable shaking, and the CVMA advises taking affected animals to a vet immediately. IGR pyriproxyfen Some of them contain ingredients that are also used to treat parasitic infections in humans. Symptoms of poisoning include a nasty smorgasbord of muscle twitching, seizures, respiratory paralysis and even death. Are Dog Flea Collars 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. Topical flea and tick medications address active infestations, … The investigation, “Paws for Concern,” airs Friday, Dec. 5 at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT) on CBC Television. Her team tested pesticide residues left on fur after monitoring a pet that wore a flea collar for three days. 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. 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. Children are especially susceptible, as their ability to rid their body of the chemicals is less efficient than that of adults. Stomach pain 7. 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. Symptoms of flea-borne typhus begin within 2 weeks after contact with infected fleas or flea dirt. Comments are welcome while open. Fleas are pesky critters, and you want to keep them off of your dog. Humans and pets, however, have shown skin irritation due to topical Imidacloprid exposure. Even after two weeks, 75 percent of pets still have unsafe levels of toxins. It just doesn’t make sense to me to put something that gives off odors or chemicals so close to the nose of an animal whose sense of smell is so keen. Signs and symptoms may include: 1. One time collars can give protection for up to 8 months. The team found that kids could be exposed to higher levels than are considered safe by the Environmental Protection Agency. 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. 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. 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. If symptoms persist, call a physician. 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. We reserve the right to close comments at any time. It causes neurological problems and is listed by the EPA as a known carcinogen. “Flea collars are designed to release a toxic substance that kills fleas on the pet’s fur,” she says. Some of the symptoms of flea collar poisoning may include increased salivation, excessive heart rate, muscle twitching, blurred vision, body weakness, tremors, etc. Most of the reports involve over-the-counter treatments. 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. Studies have shown that, after just three days, residue from the collars on pet fur exceeded acceptable EPA exposure levels for children. Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted. Body aches and muscle pain 3. Or where human hands are petting the dog and contacting whatever is in the collar. In general, an accidental dose of a pet’s heartworm med is not expected to cause serious symptoms in a healthy individual. 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. Research is so conclusive that France has banned the use of organophospates in flea collars. Copyright 2021 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. Audience Relations, CBC P.O. If inhaled: Remove to fresh air. Flea and tick collars may differ depending on their active ingredient. 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. “There’s mounting evidence that pesticides can be really harmful for kids at low levels,” says Rotkin-Ellman. Dr. Chin says one chemical common in over-the-counter dog treatments — permethrin — is of particular concern. For tips on keeping your pet safe, follow the conversation with @cbcmarketplace on Twitter, using the hashtag #pets. 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. The chemicals may also be found in medicated power and collars. First: cream-0,5% topically- a thin layer 2-3 times/day Spot-on treatments are responsible for approximately 80 per cent of the incidents, according to the PMRA. 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. 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). Almost two thirds (62 per cent) of these reports were for animals in Canada. Cholinesterase levels were not reported; she was treated with antihistamines. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Nausea 5. However, products manufactured before the new rules were introduced were not recalled and may still be on the market. Closed Captioning and Described Video is available for many CBC shows offered on CBC Gem. Fleas can also carry human diseases.The most famous example of this was the plague. “Some people think, A cat is a small dog and I’ll just use a little dose,” Dr. Chin says. Flea-collar manufacturers include warnings on the products to avoid exposure and to wash your hands thoroughly after handling the collars. Using too much of the chemical can be dangerous, and it is highly toxic to cats. Approximately 48 hours after exposure, she sought care at an urgent-care facility. It has no odor and is non-greasy. It causes neurological problems and is listed by the EPA as a known carcinogen. Why after so many problems like this is it still on the market? “When pesticides are on pets, they come into contact with kids all the time.”. There are also more natural methods, such as essential oils, to kill and repeal fleas. ID collar. The chemicals from the medication disrupt the nervous system and can lead to serious health problems. 3 - 7% Flumethrin 69770-45-2 4. Many flea collars (especially the Hartz brand) have toxic results to cats. An allergic reaction typically develops within 12 to 24 hours after the flea bite. I’ve never been a fan of any kind of flea collar, even the all natural ones. It can also cause less serious side effects in dogs, such as irritation at the spot of application, diarrhea, vomiting and seizures. 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. Side effects may include rash, headache, dizziness, stomach upset, diarrhea, and a mildly rapid heart rate. It’s really easy to put on and can be used alongside other collars, i.e. SERESTO COLLAR Version 1.2 Revision Date 03/26/2012 Page 2 of 7 Other Ingredients Weight percent Components CAS-No. Cough 8. 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. 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. 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. Propoxur can also contaminate indoor air quality, increasing risks even for household members who never touch the collar or pet. If you see any of these symptoms, call your vet at once. Chemicals transferred in this way can be enough to seriously harm a cat, he says. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Some researchers are also concerned that pesticide exposures from flea treatments could have consequences for humans, especially small children. While residual toxins from flea collars can be hazardous to humans, they can be outright lethal for your pets. Vomiting 6. But some of the cheapest products -- flea collars -- may be dangerous for your dog and your family. Rash (typically occurs around day 5 of illness) Severe illness is rare and mos… Atropine is antidotal. “People should be aware,” Dr. Chin says. It is usually found in topical medication that is applied to the neck and back. 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. 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. Human and non-human animals are at risk of fleabites, which can be itchy and painful. 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! 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. Flea and tick medicine poisoning occurs when your cat has a negative reaction to the medication. Acute symptoms of over dosages in cats include diarrhea, salivation, vomiting, muscular tremors and weakness. Flea and tick preventatives that include Imidacloprid include K9 Advantix® II, Advantage® II, and Seresto® Flea & Tick Collars. Muscle twitching Loss of bodily movement control Weakness Abnormal heart rhythm Nausea Vomiting Salivation Abdominal cramps Seizures 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. 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. The deaths included 1,188 cats and 872 dogs, most of them in the United States. Tetrachlorvinphos is also listed as a potential carninogen for humans by the Environmental Protection Agency. 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). Health Canada says it will investigate these cases. In the end, a flea collar may do more harm that good. 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." “I’ve seen it far too many times, unfortunately,” Dr. Chin says. 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. Marketplace found treatments on store shelves in fall 2014 that did not have the new labels. Propoxur is the second common ingredient in flea collars that is extremely dangerous to humans. Excessive drooling, agitation and excitability are also common signs of flea medication poisoning. In more severe cases, tremors can lead to seizures. Dr. Chin advises talking to your veterinarian before choosing a treatment product, and says that not all products on the market are dangerous. However, she says, “it also can get on the bedding, it can get on kids’ hands, it can go all sorts of places.”. Type II poisoning has typically shown severe salivation, hyperexcitability and choreoath-etosis. Friendship with dog image by Michael Klug from Fotolia.com. One of the most common ingredients in flea collars is tetrachlorvinphos. Both chemicals are also likely to cause cancer. If the cat needs flea meds use Advantage or Frontline (but do not use these for 2 … FLEA & TICK MEDICATION Obtain medical attention or call a poison control centre at once. Flea bites in humans are caused by fleas, a parasitic insect. The reactive symptoms last for approximately one week. Health Canada receives reports about incidents related to Canadian products used domestically and in the United States. Symptoms of exposure can include uncontrollable shaking, and the CVMA advises taking affected animals to a vet immediately. 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. Loss of appetite 4. Contact a veterinarian immediately. Fever and chills 2. IGRs are available as flea collars, creams, sprays, injections and pills. For humans, the risk of contracting another disease from the flea is very, very small. The show also tested dog harnesses, evaluating popular brands on the market to see if they actually work in an accident. Most of the collars contain amitraz, carbamates or organophosphates, or pyrethrins/pyrethroids. 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). 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.”. 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 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. The Hartz brand ) have toxic results to cats found in topical medication that extremely! Hyperexcitability and choreoath-etosis about the risks of exposure to both animals dose ”. Uncontrollable shaking, and vomiting shaking, and a mildly rapid heart rate two weeks, 75 percent pets... 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