FDA Alert on Chewable Flea and Tick Products
What does the FDA alert regarding some flea and tick products really mean? I went to the source, and talked to Dr. Martine Hartogensis, deputy director at the United States Food and Drug Associations Center for Veterinary Medicine’s Office of Surveillance and Compliance on my Steve Dale’s Pet World national radio show.
The FDA is alerting pet owners and veterinarians to be aware of the potential for neurologic adverse events in some dogs and cats when treated with flea and tick drugs that are in the isoxazoline class.
These products mentioned by the FDA are only:
Hartogensis says the FDA is NOT suggesting these products don’t work. Conversely, she makes a point of saying these do what they are supposed to, killing fleas and ticks.
These prescription products are very popular, Being so highly used the FDA has discovered the potential adverse events not previously seen (or seen enough to make a note of), particularly potential rare neurological events, such as stumbling, dizziness, and seizures. She said that it may be that dogs already suffering from seizures are now more predisposed when using any of these products, so a discussion with your veterinarian may be a good idea.
One way around this – for pet caretakers that are concerned – are spot-on products.
Chewable products the FDA has offered the alert on, those are products that work from inside the pet. Products you put on the pet (generally regulated by the EPA)
What isn’t an answer is to use some product you’ve read about online with claims without veterinary support. And using nothing is most dangerous because tick disease is real and fleas may be more than a nuisance, as they may cause disease.
The FDA continues to monitor adverse drug event reports for these products and encourages pet owners and veterinarians to report adverse drug events. You can do this by reporting to the drugs’ manufacturers, who are required to report this information to the FDA, or by submitting a report directly to the FDA.