Why I Don’t Recommend Seresto Collars

If I am going to be truthful, it’s not that I don’t recommend them. I actively discourage the use of Seresto collars.

Many of you know I like to use the absolute minimum of chemicals on my dogs. And if I am not OK with something on my own dogs, I would never recommend it for my patients use. I’ve never been a fan of any kind of flea collar, even the all natural ones. 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. Or where human hands are petting the dog and contacting whatever is in the collar.

Recently, a patient of mine began having seizures. I have known this dog for some time, and these seizures came out of the blue. They became more frequent, and severe, leading to a consultation with a neurologist, and starting him on anti-seizure medication. While epilepsy is common in dogs, it usually starts around age 2-4 years, usually in females, and most commonly in a handful of breeds. This dog did not fit these criteria. The anti-seizure medication controlled the seizures fairly well, but the dog was clearly not himself. His dedicated owner racked her brain, trying to think of what could have triggered the seizures. Meanwhile, his performance in training was declining.

Finally, she remembered that she had put the Seresto collar on shortly before the first seizure. She took it off. Within 24 hours, the dog’s energy and focus were improved. Within 48 hours, he was back to his old attitude and performance level. After a bit more time, he was weaned off the anti-seizure medication. He has not had a seizure since collar removal and has been off anti-seizure medication for almost 2 months. His previous seizure interval was weeks.

This case inspired me to look deeper into the safety of the Seresto collar. Under the Freedom of Information Act, I obtained a huge amount of information about the adverse reactions and incident reports about the collar. Below is the summary.

 

You will notice that these are incidents reported between January 1, 2016 and July 1, 2017, for a variety of the Seresto collars.

First look in the middle of the page for the Summary by Full Reg. #. A total of 14,135 incidents were reported (includes both human and animal incidents). Yes, 14,135! These were divided into 11 categories.

Looking at the summary data, and using the codes provided in the box below them, you can see the following were reported:

300 Animal fatalities

980 Major animal reactions

3115 Moderate animal reactions

8515 Minor animal reactions

1118 Moderate, minor and unknown severity animal reactions

I have also added the rest of the codes for the human reactions, if you care to look at that data.

So how are you feeling about the Seresto collar now? About 10% of the total incidents reported were either fatal or severe – is that a risk you would take with your dog?

I’ll be continuing to read through all the files sent to me by EPA. Yes, that’s right, the Environmental Protection Agency. Because the chemical in the Seresto collar is classified as a pesticide, not a drug (which would of course be regulated by the FDA). As I find new details, I’ll share them here. In the mean time, I encourage you to carefully consider what chemicals you use on your dog. Try some natural options, such as essential oil products. And if your dog is wearing a Seresto collar, consider taking it off.

 

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