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Are Spot On Flea Treatments Safe?

As dog owners, we search endlessly for the best protection from fleas. They invade your pet, your yard, and your home. I am always researching this because I have dogs! IF you ever had fleas in your house, it is a nightmare! I don’t want to shorten my dog’s lives by making my life easier by using harmful chemicals. When I was growing up and into my early adult years, the cutting-edge products were flea powers and sprays. Please don’t confuse chemical based toxin sprays with sprays that are made with natural products. Any one near the chemical-based power or spray when being applied to pet were breathing chemicals along with having it on their skin Your dog was not only having these toxins seep into their skin but they were ingested them by breathing them in or licking themselves. This was also very dangerous because children, adults and other pets were also exposed just by being near that pet in the same house. As many as you know, I read. I read everything from books, articles on the internet and magazines, anything that I can learn to make my dogs leave longer, healthy and happy. I read medical journeys as well which sometimes I need to reread to understand the medical language. I do think Hutch likes it when Lew or/and I ask him questions to help us better understand. So last week, I picked up a magazine about dogs and cats. I was horrified to read that the author of the article claimed that Spot on products were safe. I am writing to inform you what I found out about these products. I am breaking the subject of flea protection up into four or five parts . I will address pills, collars, and other products in different posts to come. What are Spot on Flea products? This is an insecticide that comes in a small tube that is sold by how much a dog weighs in packages of six. The instruction directs you to apply the product directly to your dog’s skin usually between the shoulder blades. The liquid chemical contains Fipronil and (S)-Methoprene that works to keep adult fleas and ticks off your dog. It also will prevent larvae from developing along with killing the flea eggs. As fur parents, we certainly do not want our dogs to contracting parasites from fleas or ticks that can transmitted diseases such as Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, and tapeworms. Not only do they rightfully scare us, but they also claim that the most effective way to keep our pets safe and protected is with an active ingredient treatment that is comprised of Fipronil and (S)-Methoprene. The manufactories claim that once the chemicals are absorbed, the medication spreads over the surface of your dog’s skin through the sebaceous glands. Because the chemicals are on the dog's back, they cannot lick it and ingest the pesticides. The companies also claim that the insecticides spread through the lipid or fat tissues and do not enter their bloodstream. But studies show otherwise. Spot on Products- goes right into their skin to their internal organs. All chemicals increase their risk of getting cancer. I certainly don’t want my dog to suffer, cutting his/her life shorter due to an easy fix. Plus, fleas seem to adapt to certain formulas, so the companies of these products are making them stronger… ie more harmful chemicals. These chemicals take from moments to kill a flea up to three months and/or longer staying in the dog’s body. Some chemicals live a residue that stays forever.

In 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency began reviewing the safety of spot-on flea and tick products. What they found about three common substances used in these products was not pretty.

One very harmful chemical is Fipronil. If you read the package label some companies will state that fipronil is absorbed into the sebaceous glands of the skin. While this may be true, this is a half-truth. Fipronil like any other substance that makes contact with the skin will be absorbed by the body. Other pets such as cats and human alike are affected by this toxic also. Many people have been treated from burns of the skin to cancer. As much as these companies publish advertising claims to the contrary, both over-the-counter and veterinarian-prescribed flea-killing topical treatments are pesticides. These pesticides enter our cats’ and dogs’ livers and kidneys. The chemicals move into their intestinal tracts and are eventually eliminated in their feces and urine. As I stated before sometimes, we do need chemicals to combat the germ enemies, but we really need to limit where we can. Dr. Virginia DeBoy of the EPA’s Pesticide Division did a study that traced radioactive fipronil in exposed dogs. She found it in their fat, organs, urine, and feces. Further research shows that, even at low doses, the toxin fipronil has the potential to damage the nervous system. Fipronil is also responsible for thyroid problems, thyroid cancer, altered thyroid hormone levels, liver toxicity, kidney damage, cancer, and/ or convulsions. At the point of application or beyond this chemical also was responsible for hair loss, inflammation, chemical burn plus itching.

Are "Spot-On" Flea Killers Safe?

Absolutely not, says our author, despite what the commercials say. By Kathleen Dudley

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