Pet Owners Urged To Beware Of Alleged Flea Collar Deaths

It’s not uncommon for veterinarians to recommend the purchase of a flea collar when an infestation occurs — which has opened them up to a barrage of perhaps misguided lawsuits after a spate of animal deaths related to some of the products. When Rhonda Bomwell’s veterinarian made one such recommendation, she took it to heart. But one day later, her dog had a seizure and died before he could receive treatment.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the popular Seresto brand tick and flea collar is a likely cause of thousands of pet deaths — but the EPA hasn’t informed the public of its findings. The Seresto brand remains on the market. The collars kill fleas and ticks because they are designed to release supposedly harmless amounts of pesticide over a period of several months. 

Although the pesticides are supposed to be present in concentrations that cannot harm humans or their pets, new documents and research show the opposite to be true. The EPA has received over 75,000 incident reports related to Seresto collars, and nearly 1,700 of those reports involved the death of an animal. Nearly 1,000 of the reports indicated harm to human pet owners.

Retired EPA employee Karen McCormack said, “The EPA appears to be turning a blind eye to this problem, and after seven years of an increasing number of incidents, they are telling the public that they are continuing to monitor the situation. But I think this is a significant problem that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.”

A Seresto spokesperson said, “No pesticide is completely without harm, but EPA ensures that there are measures on the product label that reduce risk. The product label is the law, and applicators must follow label directions. Some pets, however, like some humans, are more sensitive than others and may experience adverse symptoms after treatment.”