Commercial Flea and Tick Products

by Dr. Deva Khalsa on November 3, 2011

What happens when our children touch and hug pets that have top spot products on their skin?

Are Commercial Flea and Tick Products Safe?

That’s why Deserving Pets offers you TICKED OFF, an effective yet safe alternative. TICKED OFF provides all natural, chemical free relief from fleas and ticks. It is made of safe hydrolyzed silica and safe Southern Red Cedar Oil. You do need to spray it on liberally as it is a contact killer (the silica clogs up their external skeleton). You can also spray it around the house.

Read below to learn why it is so important to use a Safe and Natural Pest Repellent for Pets.

Despite advertising claims to the contrary….. our well known and commonly used topical treatments actually do contain pesticides that do indeed enter our pets’ internal organs and are found to eventually be eliminated in their feces and urine (after traveling though their internal organs!).

Additionally, children and adults that interact closely with pets who have been treated with these chemicals can also be affected by the toxins.

All flea and tick products are made up of “active” and ” inert” ingredients. The active ingredients target and kill fleas- but some of the inert ingredients are also toxic, although the word suggests that they’re safe. Unfortunately, all the “active” ingredients in the spot-on preparations have been linked to serious health effects in laboratory animals.

For instance, Dr. Dobozy of the EPA’s Pesticide Division states that the fipronil in the (Frontline) formulations for pets ” is a persistent chemical that has the potential for nervous system and thyroid toxicity after long term exposure at low dosages.” Laboratory health effects include thyroid cancer and altered thyroid hormones, liver toxicity, kidney damage, convultions, whining, barking, crying, loss of appetite, incoordination, reduced fertility, fetus mortality, smaller offspring, loss of hair at or beyond the application site, moist inflammation, chemical burn and itching.

Veterinarians, like myself, have been told that Frontline is not absorbed into your dog or cat’s system. In fact, many years ago this fact made me a proponent of Frontline. I was told it stayed on the surface of your pet’s skin within the oil glands and, of course, Lyme disease can easily become a life threatening disease. Therefore, a simple spot-on product which was effective in deterring fleas and ticks that was limited to the skin’s surface was a welcome tool.

Merial’s web site states the fipronil is absolved into the skin and that the sebaceous glands (oil glands) provide a natural reservoir. It creates the impression that the product does not migrate into your pet’s body. Yet Dr. Dobozy’s study showed that a significant amount of radio-labeled fipronil was found in various organs and fat and was also excreted in their urine and feces. So much for Frontline limiting it’s range only to the skin of dogs and cats. My colored glasses have turned into 3-D glasses and my perspective has changed.

Washington-based Center for Public Integrity (CPI), a non-profit investigative news organization and the National Resources Defense Council, an environmental advocacy group; have published reports about the safety of both prescription and over-the-counterflea and tick treatments.

Most people think that the pyrethrins (naturally occurring compounds from the chrysanthemum plant) and pyrethroids (the synthetic counterpart), are less hazardous than other tick and flea preventive ingredients. In fact, the contrary has been irrefutably proven. CPI collected data just recently made public through the Freedom of Information Act and analyzed the real data about the pyrethroid-based insecticides that are manufactured for pet, human and environmental use. According to CPI, from 2002 through 2007, at least 1,600 pet deaths related to spot-on treatments were reported to the EPA. That was nearly double the reported fatalities linked to flea treatments without pyrethroids. The pyrethroid spot-ons also accounted for more than half of “major” pesticide pet reactions including brain damage, heart attacks and seizures. Non-pyrethroid spot-on treatments accounted for about 6 % of all major incidents.

Bio Spot Flea and Tick Control, Defend EXspot Treatment and Zodiac FleaTrol Spot On all contain either or both of the active ingredients Permethrin and/or Pyriproxyfen. Permethrin has been implicated as a carcinogenic insecticide causing lung cancer and liver tumors in laboratory animals. There is also a suspicion that it disrupts endocrine function. It can act as a neurotoxin, causing tremors and also increased aggressive behavior and learning problems.

Advantage contains the active ingredient Imidacloprid. In laboratory studies Imidacoprid has been found to increase cholesterol levels in dogs, cause thyroid lesions and liver toxicity and has the potential for damaging the liver, kidney, thyroid, heart, lungs, spleen, adrenal, brain, and gonads. As a neurotoxin it has caused incoordination and labored breathing and muscle weakness. When this drug was tested after it’s introduction in 1994 researchers found an increase in frequency of birth defects when it was tested on rats, mice and dogs. In the Journal of Pesticide Reform, author Caroline Cox exposes the resultant thyroid lesions studies have shown as a result of exposure to imidacloprid.

Several weeks ago my entire newsletter was devoted to the problems being reported with Frontline and I promised a follow up. If you wish to receive the data about Frontline newly or once more please e-mail me and let me know. This information is so vital for the health of our beloved pets.

After CPI’s report the EPA in April 2009 announced it was taking a closer look at all spot-on flea and tick products as a result of the increase in adverse reaction reports with special attention to spot-ons. The EPA is also taking action to address uncertainties about the so-called ‘inert’ ingredients present in these products.

Safe alternatives are very much needed for flea and tick control. The high incidence of cancer in both dogs and cats, hyperthyroidism in cats and hypothyroidism in dogs, aggression and behavior problems, along with a whole slew of miscellaneous medical problems could potentially be linked to these previously “believed to be innocuous” spot-on products. Who would think, without the knowledge gained from these studies that being on Advantage could potentially raise your pet’s cholesterol level in a blood test. As an old friend used to say ” This opens a whole new can of worms!’

Read about Ticked Off on There is a whole page on Instructions for Use on the product page. It is made from the safe Southern Red Cedar and is safe for cats. You can also use it around your yard and home. Give your pet the only supplement I know that is designed to clean out carcinogens, with Kale,Broccoli, Grape Seed Extract, Selenium, Vitamin C and many other phytochemicals to help repair damage already done; Deserving Pets VITAL VITIES Carcinogens are all too prevalent in today’s world. It’s time to take a pro-active role and add the insurance of excellent nutrition. Sign up to the Deserving Pets site for their newsletter today to get the latest web mail on how to keep cells and organs healthy.

And copy this off to all your friends for we care about their dogs and cats, too!


Dr. Deva Khalsa VMD

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