Commercials, products, and veterinarian advice might lead you to believe certain purchases will have you doing what's best for your pet — though that isn't always necessarily the case. A popular flea collar sold in the U.S. has apparently caused a slew of pet deaths and illnesses in early 2021, and the EPA has yet to issue an official warning.
Keep reading for more on the pet deaths reportedly linked to a popular flea collar, and what to do if you — as a pet parent — own the collar in question.
What flea collar brand has been linked to pet deaths?
A popular flea and tick collar, recommended by veterinarians nationwide, has been apparently linked to hundreds of pet deaths and thousands of injured animals, according to USA Today. Documents from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shows a correlation between Bayer's Seresto collar and each of these fatalities and ailments; however, the government organization has yet to issue a warning to pet owners.
It's worth noting that Bayer, the company that owns Seresto, also owns Monsanto, the company that produces the controversial, potentially-carcinogenic, glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup. Various cities have banned glyphosate, and more than 11,000 people who developed cancer after using Roundup have filed lawsuits against the company.
The collar fends off pests by releasing two types of pesticides — imidacloprid and flumethrin — onto the animal. Although it's supposedly safe for cats and dogs, it has proven to cause irreparable harm. Since the collars were released in 2012, the EPA has received almost 1,700 pet death reports, and through June 2020, over 75,000 incident reports were filed, which included 1,000 incidents that included harm to human pet parents. In addition to failing to issue a warning, the EPA has refused to compare the safety of other flea collars to Seresto, according to USA Today.
“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,” said Karen McCormack, a retired EPA employee, as per USA Today. “But I think this is a significant problem that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.”
What should I do if my pet wears a Seresto flea collar?
Because the EPA hasn't spoken on how Bayer's Seresto collar compares to other flea collars in terms of pet safety, according to People, it's unclear if there is a safer option. But if your dog or cat does wear this type of collar — or any collar that releases pesticides — we suggest taking it off as soon as possible, before anything dangerous happens. If you or your pet has experienced strange symptoms, you should also report it to the EPA, to hopefully encourage them to issue an official warning.
Additionally, there are so many ways to naturally fend off pests that might affect your pet. We've compiled an extensive list of natural ways to treat fleas and ticks on your beloved pet, so you don't potentially expose them to dangerous toxins.
Hopefully the EPA will issue a warning regarding these reportedly dangerous flea collars sooner rather than later, for the sake of fur babies across the nation.