Flea and Tick Meds Aren’t Just Killing Fleas and Ticks

By John Martin - March 25, 2010

adult male Oropsylla Montana flea

I’ve always been a bit weary of using chemical flea products on P. Kitty and Biggie. P especially hates Advantage and will hide as soon as I open up the tube. So it didn’t surprise me to hear that the Environment Protection Agency announced last Wednesday (March 17) that due to hundreds of pets being killed or injured by flea/tick products, it will create stricter testing on flea and tick treatments that are applied directly to pets’ skin.

In 2008, the EPA received 44,263 reports of bad reactions from topical flea and tick products, up from 28,895 in 2007. In about 600 of these cases, the pet died as a result.

Small dogs and cats, especially, are more prone to having a harmful reaction to these products.

While the EPA will be scrutinizing the products, it also notes that pet owners can sometimes be partially responsible, by not carefully reading and following instructions on how to use the products. For example, cats should not be given flea medicine intended for dogs. Part of the new evaluation will include reviewing labels to make sure they more clearly explain how to use the chemicals, and hopefully, prevent more injuries and deaths.