FLEAS AND TICKS
Animal Drug Safety Communication: FDA Alerts Pet Owners and Veterinarians About Potential for Neurologic Adverse Events Associated with Certain Flea and Tick Products
September 20, 2018
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is alerting pet owners and veterinarians to be aware of the potential for neurologic adverse events in dogs and cats when treated with drugs that are in the isoxazoline class.
Since these products have obtained their respective FDA approvals, data received by the agency as part of its routine post-marketing activities indicates that some animals receiving Bravecto, Nexgard or Simparica have experienced adverse events such as muscle tremors, ataxia, and seizures. Another product in this class, Credelio, recently received FDA approval. These products are approved for the treatment and prevention of flea infestations, and the treatment and control of tick infestations.
The FDA is working with manufacturers of isoxazoline products to include new label information to highlight neurologic events because these events were seen consistently across the isoxazoline class of products.
The FDA carefully reviewed studies and other data on Bravecto, Credelio, Nexgard and Simparica prior to approval, and these products continue to be safe and effective for the majority of animals. The agency is asking the manufacturers to make the changes to the product labeling in order to provide veterinarians and pet owners with the information they need to make treatment decisions for each pet on an individual basis. Veterinarians should use their specialized training to review their patients’ medical histories and determine, in consultation with pet owners, whether a product in the isoxazoline class is appropriate for the pet.
Although FDA scientists carefully evaluate an animal drug prior to approval, there is the potential for new information to emerge after marketing, when the product is used in a much larger population. In the first three years after approval, the FDA pays particularly close attention to adverse event reports, looking for any safety information that may emerge.
The FDA monitors adverse drug event reports received from the public or veterinarians, other publicly available information (such a peer-reviewed scientific articles), and mandatory reports from the animal drug sponsor (the company that owns the right to market the drug). Drug sponsors must report serious, unexpected adverse events within 15 days of the event. In addition, they must submit any events that are non-serious, plus any laboratory studies, in vitro studies, and clinical trials that have not been previously submitted to the agency, on a bi-annual basis for the first two years following product approval and annually thereafter.
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.
To report suspected adverse drug events for these products and/or obtain a copy of the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) or for technical assistance, contact the appropriate manufacturers at the following phone numbers:
Merck Animal Health (Bravecto): 800-224-5318
Elanco Animal Health (Credelio): 888-545-5973
Merial (Nexgard): 888-637-4251
Zoetis (Simparica): 888-963-8471
If you prefer to report directly to the FDA, or want additional information about adverse drug experience reporting for animal drugs, see How to Report Animal Drug Side Effects and Product Problems.
Fact Sheet for Pet Owners and Veterinarians about Potential Adverse Events Associated with Isoxazoline Flea and Tick Products
Issued by: FDA, Center for Veterinary Medicine
7500 Standish Place, HFV-1
5 Amazing Ways Diatomaceous Earth Can Help Your Dog
((((Best to use food grade))))
Diatomaceous Earth: Natural Pest Control And More A simple one is diatomaceous earth. This non-toxic powder comprised of the crushed fossils of freshwater and marine organisms, not only kills ticks, but has several other benefits:
1. Flea and Tick Control On the microscopic level, diatomaceous earth resembles bits of broken glass. Though food-grade DE is harmless to humans and animals, those itty-bitty glass-like fragments kill insects like fleas, ticks, lice and mites (and their larvae) by piercing their protective structures, which causes them to dehydrate and die.
Apply the DE lightly on your pet’s coat, as well as on bedding and carpeting. It can take three days for it to do its work, so leave it in any carpeting for at least that long before vacuuming.
2. Garden Pest Control Because DE repels and kills everything from ants, caterpillars, army worms, cockroaches, snails, spiders and termites to silverfish, earwigs, bed bugs, fruit flies and beetles (remember: it’ll keep the ticks away too!), diatomaceous earth is great for the garden – especially if you have pets roaming around there and don’t want to use chemical pesticides. Simply sprinkle in the area, or mix with water and spray on trees (according to Wolf Creek Ranch website, about a cup to a 1/2 gallon of water should do the trick). Make sure to apply repeatedly.
3. Healthy Supplement Because DE is full of minerals (magnesium, silicon, calcium, sodium, iron and other trace minerals), it’s also known to help keep pets – and people – healthy when eaten. According to eatlocalgrown.com, healthy skin, hair and nails and lower blood cholesterol are all potential benefits.
It’s also known as an overall detoxifier, which is probably why deworming is another common use for DE.
4. Natural Dewormer Taken internally, DE can rid dogs of roundworms, whip worms, pin worms and hookworms – though they are less effective against tapeworms – within a week of daily feeding. It should be fed for at least a month in order to kill hatching eggs and worms moving in and out of the stomach.
Make sure to mix the DE well into your dog’s food to prevent lung irritation from his breathing in the powder.
5. Chemical-Free DeodorizerIf your problem is stinky dog, you can also use DE as a natural deodorizer. Dust your carpet or other stinky area with DE and leave it for about a day, then vacuum or sweep it up. (If you are using it on carpet, make sure to vacuum your carpet before using the DE too.) For cat owners, mix in some DE with your kitty litter to neutralize odors.
So there you have it, five easy ways you can incorporate DE into your pet’s life for some natural housekeeping and nutrition boosting. Two important points to always remember when using DE: Never use the kind used in gardens and pool filters, it MUST be food grade or you will harm your pet. Also, avoid inhaling DE for you and your pets, as it is a lung irritant.
To use DE as a dewormer or food supplement, use the following amounts:
1/2 tsp for puppies and small dogs
1 tsp for dogs under 50 lbs
1 tbsp for dogs over 50 lbs
2 tbsp for dogs over 100 lbs
DIY!!!!! For fleas ---- Pour a quart of boiling water over a large thinly sliced lemon and let steep overnight Drain the lemon water and pour into a large glass spray bottle Add 10 drops each of Lemongrass oil and Citronella oil Add 1 cup of vinegar (white distilled or apple cider vinegar) Add a few drops of Cedarwood oil Keep refrigerated and shake well before applying to your dog’s coat
For an added natural tick treatment for dogs, use Rose Geranium oil (different than plain Geranium oil), by placing several drops (undiluted) on the inside of dog collar and on the base of her tail. This is for about 80 pound dog so adjust amount.
Warmer weather means many pet owners will be spending extra time outside with their four-legged friends. But that extra time playing outdoors or walking in the woods can mean more exposure to fleas and ticks. While there are numerous commercial products marketed to kill fleas and ticks, some pets may react poorly to these chemicals, suffering symptoms like skin irritation, vomiting, diarrhea and seizures. Cats and small dogs tend to be the most sensitive to chemicals, and many products safe for use on dogs are toxic to cats.
No pesticide is 100 percent safe — not even those that claim to be “natural.” However, opting for truly natural alternatives can help you avoid exposing your pets to chemical pesticides. Here are 5 remedies to help keep your pet pest free this spring:
1) Natural oils
Essential oils can be diluted and used as sprays or in shampoos to help keep pests at bay. But be careful not to overdo it with these, as your pet’s sense of smell is much stronger than yours. Apply oils in a well-ventilated area, and never spray around your pet’s face. Also, don’t saturate the coat — a little goes a long way. Lavender, peppermint, lemongrass and cedar oils work well, but they must be diluted in water or a carrier oil like olive or sweet almond oil before application. You can also add a few drops of essential oil to your favorite pet shampoo. By applying a few drops of diluted oil to a bandanna, you can make a stylish flea collar for your pet to wear. Make sure the smell is not overwhelming because this will be close to your pet’s nose. Neem oil is another favorite insect repellent that is included in various popular formulations. Rose geranium oil is safe enough to use full strength, but you will only need a drop behind each shoulder blade and one drop near the base of the tail. Cedar oil products are also available as yard sprays. Coconut oil kills and repels fleas due to the ingredient lauric acid. This solution can be rubbed through your pet’s coat or given to them orally. Add 1 teaspoon per 20 pounds of body weight twice daily in the food or offer as a special treat. Coconut oil melts at 76 degrees, so rubbing it between your hands will make it into a liquid that you can rub through your pet's coat. A bonus: Coconut oil moisturizes skin and helps kill yeast, too.
2) Fresh crushed garlic
This kitchen staple can be added to your dog's diet for flea protection. Anywhere from half of a clove to 2 cloves daily would be considered safe, depending on the size of your dog. A good rule of thumb is to use no more than 1/2 clove per 20 pounds of body weight daily, with a maximum of 2 cloves for any size of dog. If you have a pet that has a history of hemolytic anemia, it would be safest to avoid using garlic in any form. Do not give garlic to cats, as they are more sensitive to the toxic effects.
Here’s another ingredient likely already in your kitchen that can be used to protect your pet. Vinegar can be added to your cat or dog’s drinking water at the rate of 1 teaspoon per quart of water, or it can be diluted in water in a 1:1 mixture and sprayed on your pet’s coat.
4) Supplements from the outdoors
Beneficial nematodes that may already be in your yard can be used to kill flea larvae. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be sprinkled in the environment or on the pet. Be careful when using topically, as you don't want your pet to inhale the dust. Remember: Any squirrels, rabbits, and mice outside can be harbingers of fleas.
5) Flea combs
Don't forget this good, old-fashioned solution. Teeth in these combs lie close together and can effectively filter fleas, flea larvae, and flea eggs to help protect your pet. Comb your pet daily to check for any evidence of flea activity. When all is said and done, the use of natural preventatives against fleas and ticks can go a long way in maintaining pets’— as well as the environment’s— well being. When trying these solutions, pay attention to what works best for your pet to increase your chances for success.
Judy Morgan DVM, CVA, CVCP, CVFT
The dog flea (Ctenocephalides canis) is aspecies of flea(Siphonaptera) that lives primarily on the blood of dogs. The dog flea is troublesome because it can spread Dipylidium caninum. They are commonly found in Europe.
Although they feed on the blood of dogs and
cats, they sometimes bite humans. They can live without food for
several months, but females must have a blood meal before
they can produce eggs. They can deliver about 4000 eggs on the host's fur. The eggs go through four lifecycle stages: embryo, larva, pupa, and imago (adult). This whole life cycle from egg to adult takes from two to three weeks, although this depends on the temperature. It may take longer in cool conditions.
The dog flea's mouthparts are adapted for
piercing skin and sucking blood. Dog fleas are external parasites, living by hematophagy off the blood of dogs. The dog often experiences severe itching in all areas where the fleas may reside.
Fleas do not have wings and their hard body is flattened from side-to-side and has hairs and spines, which makes it easy for them to travel through hair. They have relatively long hind legs for jumping.
Signs and symptoms
Flea infestations can be not only annoying for both dogs and humans but also very dangerous. Problems caused by fleas may range from mild to severe itching and discomfort to skin problems and infections. Anemia may also result from flea bites in extreme circumstances. Furthermore, fleas can transmit tapeworms and diseases to pets.
When fleas bite humans they may develop an itching rash with small bumps that may bleed. This rash is usually located on the armpit or fold of a joint such as the elbow, knee, or ankle. When the area is pressed, it turns white.
When dogs are troubled by fleas they scratch and bite themselves, especially in areas such as the head, neck, and around the tail. Fleas normally concentrate in such areas. This incessant scratching and biting may cause the dog's skin to become red and inflamed.
Flea allergy dermatitis is developed by those dogs allergic to flea saliva. In this case, the symptoms previously mentioned are more pronounced. Because of compulsive scratching and biting, the dog may lose hair, get bald spots, exhibit hot spots due to extreme irritation, and develop infections that result in smelly skin.
Too effectively get rid of fleas and flea eggs, one should treat not only dogs but also the household and exterior regions to
eliminate eggs from bedding, grass, floor, furniture and other areas.
Treatment should be given as soon as signs of
fleas appear and repeated regularly. Delays in treating the infestation may lead to flea-transmitted diseases.
Once-a-month topical products are the most commonly used products to kill parasite infestations. They are normally applied
on the back of the pet and their advantage is that they also provide protection from further infestations. Sprays come in the form of aerosols and pump bottles and they are meant to be applied on all parts of the pet. Dips and rinses are also available but they are not as common as the other such products because they are the most dangerous for the health of the pet.
In 2009 the US Environment Protection Agency (EPA) conducted an investigation into the reactions of many pets to topical flea
products and released preliminary reports in the spring of 2010.
There are also different treatments available for dogs from natural alternatives to chemically-based products that include topical medications and oral medications. Although common remedies provide natural options with natural ingredients such as lavender, pennyroyal, neem, and sweet mace which are insect repellents care should be used since "natural" does not always mean non-toxic.
Evaluations of the toxicity of flea treatment products have been scientifically studied and are available online from the Natural Resources Defense Council and a list of less toxic and alternative treatments can be found in the reference book, Flea Control Secrets which maintains a blog specifically on flea treatment.
Control products include medicines, drops and sprays that offer different results. Some of the most common [where?]brands and their basic characteristics include:
- Frontline comes in sprays, drops, general flea medication and other flea control products and it is highly effective.
- Advantage is a quick-acting topical application product that stops biting fleas in three to five minutes.
- K9 Advantix not only kills fleas and ticks but also offers control against mosquitoes, biting flies and lice with its waterproof formula.
- Capstar is an affordable Nitenpyram pill
that kills 98% of adult fleas within five hours. However, eggs and larva do
not get killed so it may be necessary to combine it with another
- Program comes in pills or liquid and it is taken monthly. It basically kills off the flea's capacity to reproduce which gradually kills off all the fleas.
- Revolution is a spot application that protects dogs from heartworms, fleas
and other parasites.
- Biospot is an affordable option made to kill fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. One application lasts about three months for fleas but one month for ticks and mosquitoes. It is not waterproof.
- Sentinel is a monthly Lufenuron tablet that stops young fleas from molting their outer shells, and makes the females lay eggs that can't hatch.
- Vectra is a once a month flea and tick treatment given to dogs. It kills all fleas and ticks that stays on the dog for a given amount of time. The formula is waterproof. The dog formula should not be used on cats as it has an ingredient that could affect the cat in negative ways.
Before choosing a treatment it is important to know the dog's weight and age. It is also important to consult a veterinarian to
learn more about the products and choose the one that is best for the
Alternative treatments include homemade repellents. Garlic, Brewers Yeast, and apple cider vinegar are effective in repelling fleas on healthy dogs. Sick or immune deficient dogs tend to attract more fleas and may require both commercial and alternative
Preventing and controlling flea infestations is a multi-step process. Prevention in the case of flea infestations can sometimes
be difficult but is the most effective way to ensure the dog will not get re-infected. Controlling flea infestations implies not only that the pet has been cured and the fleas living on it are killed but also that the environment in which the pet lives is free of these parasites. And from all these, removing the fleas from the pet is maybe the easiest and simplest step given the many products especially designed to kill fleas that are available on the market.
Every female flea on the pet is likely to have laid eggs in the environment in which the pet lives. Therefore, effective prevention and control of flea infestations implies having removed the fleas
from both indoor and outdoor environments, from all pets and also keeping immature forms of fleas from developing.
Removing the flea in indoor environments mainly consists of removing the fleas mechanically. This can be done by a thorough
vacuuming, especially in places where fleas are more likely to be found such as below drapes, the place where the pet sleeps and under furniture edges. It is estimated that vacuuming can remove up to 50% of flea eggs. After vacuuming, one is recommended to use a specially designed product to kill the remaining fleas and to stop the development of eggs and larvae. These products are available on the market and may include carpet powders, sprays or foggers which contain adulticides and insect growth regulators.
Special attention should be paid to the dog's bedding. This should be washed every week; also the bed and surrounding areas
should be treated with adulticides and insect growth regulators. Cleaning should be done at the same time in the cars, garage, pet carrier, basement or any other place where the dog is known to spend time.
Preventing flea infestations must include
eliminating the parasites from the yard or kennel areas, the two places in which fleas are most likely to occur. Dog houses, patios or porches are some of the outdoor areas in which it is more likely to find fleas and those should be thoroughly cleaned. Fleas can also be carried by wild animals such as opossums, chipmunks and raccoons. One is recommended to discourage these wild animals from their property and pets by never feeding them.
Removing fleas from the pets is not a difficult task considering the advent of products that are available on the market and which are designed not only to kill fleas but also to offer protection from further infestations. The flea control products come in the shape of
once-a-month topical, dog collars, sprays, dips, powders, shampoos or inject able and oral products. All these products contain an insecticide as an active ingredient which kills the fleas when coming into contact with them. Fleas absorb the insecticide which either paralyzes them or kills them.
A very important part of flea prevention is to persist with the same control measures for as long as possible. Even though the cleaning process was successful it is very likely that fleas in incipient stages
still exist around the house or on the pet. The life cycle of fleas can take up to six months and that is why it is recommended to keep up with the prevention measures for as long as half a year.
that kills 98% of adult fleas within five hours. However, eggs and larva do
not get killed so it may be necessary to combine it with another
and other parasites.