A popular brand of flea collars has been linked to the deaths of nearly 1,700 pets, but the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not issued a warning to the public.
According to USA Today, which cited the EPA, the Seresto flea collars, developed by Bayer, have been linked to at least 1,698 pet deaths since being introduced in 2012.
Through June 2020, the EPA received more than 75,000 major and minor injury reports related to the collars
The EPA report also includes nearly 1,000 incidents of humans being harmed while in close proximity of the collars.
A popular brand of flea collars, Seresto (file image), that have been linked to the deaths of nearly 1,700 pets yet the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not issued a warning to the public
Rhonda Bomwell came forward to say reveal that she believes her dog, Pierre (left and right) died from wearing the collar
Last year, Bomwell bought the Bayer’s Seresto flea collar for her nine-year-old Papillon service dog, Pierre, and attached it around his neck. But just a day later, Pierre had a seizure, collapsed and stopped breathing
Karen McCormack told USA Today that the EPA has known about these incidents for years but has not informed the public of the potential risks associated with this product.
McCormack, a retired EPA employee 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.’
Keri McGrath, a spokeswoman for Elanco, which sells Seresto, told DailyMail.com: ‘We take the safety of our products very seriously, and thoroughly investigate potential concerns related to their use.’
She then explained what the numbers mean, saying: ‘It is critically important to understand that a report is not an indication of cause. What those numbers represent is the number of reports received, and do not reflect causality.
‘So, if a dog were to be wearing a collar and experience any sort of adverse event, the collar would be mentioned in the report.
McGrath then noted that ‘reporting rates have actually been decreasing over the life of the product’.
‘That said, we continuously monitor the safety of our products on an on-going basis,’ she added.
The Seresto flea collar releases small amounts of pesticide onto the animal for months at a time in a bid to kill fleas, ticks and other pests while also being safe for the cat or dog wearing it.
Pet owners who believe their beloved dogs fell victim to the dangers of the flea collars have also come forward.
Rhonda Bomwell told USA Today that she had never used a flea collar until her veterinarian recommended she use one.
Last year, Bomwell bought the Bayer’s Seresto flea collar for her nine-year-old Papillon service dog, Pierre, and attached it around his neck.
But just a day later, Pierre had a seizure, collapsed and stopped breathing. She called police who arrived to help her lift Pierre into her car. But it was too late. Pierre died before he could even receive medical treatment.
She told the news outlet that she didn’t even think about the collar being a cause to his seizure, saying: ‘I just didn’t put it together.’
Ron Packard, of Massachusetts, also spoke to the news outlet about the loss of his two dogs. Both dogs, Danny, 10, and five-year-old Dominic, died in June 2019. Packard is pictured with both of his dogs before they died
Before their deaths, Packard said his dogs had seizures, became lethargic and started vomiting before refusing to eat. He then took them to a veterinarian who couldn’t figure out what was wrong with the dogs. Both Danny and Dominic died two weeks later
While the EPA has yet to respond to a DailyMail.com request for comment on this matter, a spokeswoman for the agency told USA Today that the two pesticides – imidacloprid and flumethrin -in Seresto have ‘been found eligible for continued registration’.
‘No pesticide is completely without harm, but EPA ensures that there are measures on the product label that reduce risk,’ the spokesperson said.
‘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.’
The Imidacloprid pesticide is part of a class of neonicotinoid, which are insecticides, most commonly used on crops in the US.
Imidacloprid is banned in the European Union for outdoor use.
Flumethrin is only an active ingredient in Seresto, according to EPA documents.
In addition to death, other pet owners have reported their fur friends breaking out in skin rashes and having neurological issues after using the collars.
Ron Packard, of Massachusetts, also spoke to the news outlet about the loss of his two dogs.
Both dogs, Danny, 10, and five-year-old Dominic, died in June 2019.
Before their deaths, Packard said his dogs had seizures, became lethargic and started vomiting before refusing to eat.
He then took them to a veterinarian who couldn’t figure out what was wrong with the dogs.
Both Danny and Dominic died two weeks later.
In a bid to get to the bottom of what happened to his dogs, Packard retraced his steps and the only thing he could think of was that he had put the Seresto collars on both dogs just a month before their deaths.
To prevent other tragedies, Packard created a Facebook page where people can share their experiences with the Seresto collars.
While some have shared that their pets have also died, others said they managed to save their pets after picking up on what could have been causing their illnesses.
‘I don’t want others to go through what we went through,’ Packard told USA Today. ‘Every time I read the stories, it brings me back to my dogs. But if I can save a few pets, I can deal with it.’
The collars have also harmed people by causing seizures and rashes.
In one incident a 67-year-old woman who slept in a bed with a dog that was wearing a collar reported having a heart arrhythmia and fatigue.
The family of a 12-year-old boy who slept in a bed with a dog wearing a collar reported that he started having seizures and vomiting.