EPA data shows possible link between popular flea collar and pet deaths

SPOKANE, Wash. — Dog and cat owners everywhere do all they can to take care of the animals they love.  However, a popular flea and tick collar for dogs and cats has reportedly been tied to thousands of pet deaths, tens of thousands of animal injuries, and medical problems of thousands of people.

According to information released by the EPA, between 2012 and 2020 the flea and tick collar, Seresto, which is produced by Bayer, had more than 75,000 report incidents with pets and more than 650 incidents with humans. Some animals had seizures, and even died. What they all have in common is the flea and tick collar.

4 News Now reached out to the Washington State University of Veterinary Medicine. Associate Professor Raelynn Farnsworth said she didn’t know what could be causing animals to get sick. She noted it is difficult to tell the difference between a coincidence and a true cause and effect.

“We have it and we’ve used it, haven’t seen any problems with it. There are some dogs that get local irritation and things like that,” said Farnsworth.

The EPA complaints show thousand of injuries possibly connected with this collar, but the agency has yet to issue a warning about it.  The EPA also reported more than 650 minor incidents with humans.  Comin into close contact with the collar could pose a danger.

“What’s in it? They’re pesticides so you wouldn’t want your kid or you to ingest it obviously,” added Farnsworth.

She said it is still vital to keep fleas and ticks off of your pets. Fleas can cause permanent hair loss or other skin problems and the constant feasting on the pets blood can lead to anemia. Ticks can also transmit infections like Lyme disease. Farnsworth told us the advantage of using a flea collar is the ability to be able to remove it if needed. With topicals and medicines you can’t. The best thing you can do for your pet is to consult with your veterinarian about what is best for that individual animal, and if you think there is any problem with a product it’s important to report it.