We have read the USA Today news article about the Seresto collar. We understand that this information, especially as it has been presented, is very alarming. We’d like to take this opportunity to help you sort through some of the concerns raised by the article, and share with you what we know.
We have carried the Seresto collar in our pharmacy for almost 7 years. Many of our staff members and doctors have used the Seresto collar on their own pets over the years without incident. Our experience with adverse effects associated with the collar has been limited to a few non-serious incidents of redness and hair loss on the neck where the collar is worn.
Unfortunately, at this time there is not enough information available for us to take a definitive stance on the safety of this collar on pets across the board. Currently, there is no proven link between illness and the ingredients of the Seresto collar. It is important to take into consideration that the USA Today article never makes the distinction between causation and correlation. In other words, while there may be reports of pets becoming ill or even dying while wearing a Seresto collar, there has not been a clear line drawn that indicates that the use of the Seresto collar has directly caused the death of a pet. It is also important to understand that while the news article certainly makes the number of pets who have had an adverse reaction to the Seresto collar seem staggering, they don’t break down the nature or severity of these reactions.
To put this into perspective: the reporting rate for all incidents related to Seresto collars amounts to 0.3% of the over 25 million Seresto collars purchased in the United States since 2012.
As you can imagine, we take the safety of our patients AND our clients very seriously. Our goal is always to work with you to help you make the best decisions for your pet’s health care, including which flea and tick preventative best suits your pet’s needs. If you are currently using the Seresto collar and you are concerned about the safety of your pets or family members, our recommendation would be to discontinue use of the collar until there is more information available. By the same token, if your pet wears a Seresto collar and has not had any adverse reactions to it, there is no immediate need to remove the collar.
A final note on flea and tick prevention:
If you do opt to discontinue the use of the Seresto collar, we highly recommend that you have an immediate backup plan in terms of flea and tick prevention. The risk of your pet coming into contact with fleas and ticks is high in our area. The potential for your pets developing health issues as a result of exposure to fleas or ticks (including tick-borne diseases, anemia, or flea allergy dermatitis) is significant enough to warrant using a preventative product on a year-round basis.
There are many products on the market and a multitude of places where these products can be purchased. We cannot stress enough the importance of purchasing any medications or preventatives you use on your pets directly from your veterinarian. This is the only way to ensure the authenticity and integrity of the products you are using. While the USA Today article does not specify where the collars associated with the reported adverse events were purchased, they do mention a major online retailer when referencing negative product reviews. The sad truth is that there are counterfeit Seresto collars out there, and the safety or efficacy of those collars certainly cannot be guaranteed.
If you would like to discuss alternatives to the Seresto collar please don’t hesitate to call us at (585)624-2240, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please rest assured that if any more credible information becomes available we will share it with you as soon as possible.
The Doctors and Staff at Mendon Village Animal Hospital