SFSPCA Statement on Topical Flea and Tick Products

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The topical flea and tick products that the SFSPCA Veterinary Hospital dispenses through our pharmacy are chosen to be the very safest and most effective available. Adverse reactions to flea and tick products seen at our Veterinary Hospital are most often associated with products purchased across-the-counter from non-veterinary sources. The San Francisco SPCA recommends that any flea and tick prevention product used on your companion animal be obtained either from your veterinarian or be based on the individual advice of the veterinarian who knows your pet. Preventing fleas is important and following the recommendations of your veterinarian is best for the health of your animals.

Information on Flea & Tick Products for your companion animal:

To help minimize incidents that may be caused by product misuse, EPA is reminding consumers to always carefully read and follow all instructions on the label for these products.

Safety tips for pet owners:

  • Consult your veterinarian about the best way to to protect your pets from fleas and ticks and whether pesticides are even needed.
  • Use extra care before use on weak, aged, medicated, sick, pregnant, or nursing pets, or on pets that have previously shown signs of sensitivity to pesticide products.
  • If you use a spot-on product or any other pesticide on your pet, carefully read and follow the product label.
  • Use flea and tick control products only on the animal specified by the product label - for example, dog products for dogs only and cat products for cats only.
  • Follow any label prohibitions against use on weak, aged, medicated, sick, pregnant, or nursing pets, or on pets that have previously shown sensitivity to pesticide products. Apply only the amount indicated for the size of the animal being treated.
  • Do not apply to kittens or puppies unless the product label specifically allows this treatment. Pay attention to the age restrictions for puppies and kittens on the label.
  • Monitor your pet for side effects or signs of sensitivity after applying the product, particularly when using the product on your pet for the first time. Do not apply spot-ons to pets known to be sensitive to pesticide products.
  • If your pet experiences an adverse reaction, immediately bathe the pet with mild soap and rinse with large amounts of water.
  • Keep the package with the product container (such as individual applicator tubes). Also keep the package after treatment in case adverse effects occur. You will want to have the instructions at hand, as well as contact information for the manufacturer.

For more information, please visit the EPA website (http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/flea-tick.htm#safety)