The popular Seresto flea and tick collar is set to be recalled following research showing the roughly $70 device poses risks to pets and their owners, according to a new report from Congress. The results link the collar to nearly 100,000 incidents and 2,500 pet deaths.
Nearly 34 million collars have been sold to US pet owners, who have been attracted by the product’s commitment to warding off ticks and fleas for up to eight months, compared to other treatments that must be applied monthly . But the collar, made by Elanco Animal Health, is linked to a higher number of death and injury reports than competing products, says the report of the Oversight and Reform Committee’s subcommittee on economic and consumer policy. .
The report may have some pet owners wondering if they want to buy or continue using the product, which is part of the $232 billion pet care industry. During the pandemic, more Americans have adopted pets, while spending on pet-related items has increased during the health crisis, according to Grand View Research.
The subcommittee report highlighted the number of reports of injuries or deaths that owners have linked to the collar, as well as Canada’s decision to ban the sale of the Seresto collar because its review of U.S. incidents and toxicology studies revealed that it “poses too great a risk to pets”. and their owners for sale in Canada.
During a hearing before the committee on Wednesday, Elanco Animal Health CEO Jeffrey Simmons said the collar was safe and had been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, being the subject of more than 80 safety, toxicity and efficacy studies.
“Adverse event reports are not proof of causation,” Simmons said during the hearing. “We found no deaths due to the ingredients in the necklace.”
In 2021, there were just over 17 incident reports per 10,000 collars sold, with most of those issues involving irritation or redness, according to Elanco. In a statement to UKTN MoneyWatch, the company said an analysis of all such reports between 2013 and 2021 shows “no established link between Seresto’s active ingredients and pet deaths.”
Elanco added, “Given the strong scientific evidence of Seresto’s strong safety profile, we are proud to support the product as an important tool in protecting pets against fleas and ticks and harmful diseases that they convey.”
Symptoms: skin lesions, lethargy
The report cites the findings of the Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), which Raja Krishnamoorthi, an Illinois Democrat and chair of the committee, says is akin to the EPA in the United States.
PMRA’s analysis of symptoms experienced by hundreds of pets included skin lesions and irritated skin, which sometimes covered large areas of an animal’s body and did not disappear after the collar was removed, according to The report. Other symptoms include lethargy, abnormal behavior, excessive grooming and vocalization, vomiting, diarrhea and anorexia, according to the panel.
“These troubling symptoms appeared soon after starting use of the Seresto Collar, primarily within the first month,” according to the report. “Many pet owners have responded by removing collars from their pets early,” he said.
Pet owner Thomas Mairino of Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, told the hearing that the family dog was suffering from increasingly severe symptoms, including stomach bleeding and a seizure. , after starting to use a Seresto collar on the tips. from their veterinarian. Although they consulted several other vets, his condition worsened and the family ultimately decided to have the dog put down.
“The last 18 months of his life were agonizing to watch,” he told lawmakers. “If I could help prevent another family from going through what my family went through, I wanted to take action.
Some pet owners also reportedly experienced side effects, the panel report added. These included skin and immune disorders, as well as respiratory, neurological and digestive impacts such as throat irritation, dizziness and nausea, he said.
The report included several recommendations, including a voluntary recall of the collars by Elanco. He also suggested that the EPA revamp its process for reviewing products that contain pesticides.
Lawmakers are urging a recall of the Seresto flea collar after the pet deaths first appeared on UKTN News.