I recently posted about alternatives to traditional flea and tick medications for our pets but after a new study was released, I felt a stronger explanation of why was in order. Click here to read Safest Flea & Tick Treatments for Dogs & Cats.
The Study That Brought About This Post
The newest study that came out regarding the nasty effects of flea and tick “medications” for our pets is titled “The effects of fipronil on emotional and cognitive behaviors in mammals.”
Rodney Habib of Planet Paws published a video recently discussing the study, letting us know that while fipronil is one of, if not the most, popular insecticides used in veterinary medicine to control pests, it has some pretty serious effects on our pets. One of the things this study observed was where the fipronil goes in the body. What they found was that it goes through and resides in the adipose tissue, the testes, the liver, the adrenal glands, the kidneys, the spleen, the heart, the olfactory bulbs, and the cerebellum (the brain) after dermal (skin) application.
As Rodney says, “it’s actually going EVERYWHERE.”
Scientists are theorizing that the effects these toxins have on the brain include stress, anxiety, and fear. Fipronil is altering the neurotransmitters in the brain affecting the levels of dopamine and serotonin. This could affect your pet’s memory, both short-term and long-term, it can create anxiety, stress, learning disorders, sleeping disorders, and lack of motivation.
This isn’t the only study of fipronil’s effects on our pet’s bodies. We also know that it causes disruption in the GABA receptors in the brain. We also know that researchers have been studying bodies of water, in England specifically (but I’m sure it’s all over) and found fipronil poisoning in the river. Environmentalists are quite concerned at not just the fact that fipronil is in the riverways, but at the astonishing rate at which it exists.
According to environmentalists, one application of flea treatment containing fipronil has the ability to kill 60 MILLION bees.
Some of the popular flea and tick meds that use fipronil are:
– Sentry Fiproguard
– Pronyl OTC
– Spectra Sure
What about other flea and tick meds?
Other popular flea and tick medications contain a chemical called isoxazoline, which also has some serious effects on our pet’s body.
Dr. Judy Morgan requested the adverse side effects of isoxazoline reported to the FDA (USA) and EMA (Europe) and published them on her blog.
- FDA 1/13 to 9/17:
- 32,374 reports of adverse reactions or death:
- 801 deaths (2.5%)
- 1728 seizure reports (5.3%)
- EMA 1/13 to 1/19:
- 39,148 reports of adverse reactions or death:
- 5556 deaths (14.2%)
- 6272 seizure reports (16%)
She continued, regarding the discrepancies in reporting between the FDA and the EMA, noting the pharmaceutical companies’ intervention in reporting in the US, as well as the fact that veterinarians generally don’t have the time to make reports.
Regardless, these are numbers I don’t like.
If you recall from my previous post, neurologic drugs, such as this can result in the following “side” effects:
– paralysis or weakness of the limbs
– tingling, numbness or other sensations of the limbs
– vision loss
– cognitive dysfunction and loss of memory
– obsessive and/or compulsive behaviors, sometimes uncontrollable
– behavioral problems
– poor circulation
– flu-like symptoms
There are multiple FDA and USDA notifications to pet parents regarding the use of these drugs.
Some of the most popular flea and tick medications using isoxazoline include:
– Simparica- Revolution
The “side” effects of these drugs don’t stop there. I personally had a cat many years ago who, after being given a topical dose of Revolution, had a nasty chemical burn between his shoulder blades. This was before I learned about what these chemicals truly are, and I told myself right then and there that I would never give any of my pets traditional flea and tick medications again. Sadly, when I called the vet to let him know, he seemingly had no interest. All I got was “oh, ok.”
What’s the solution?
I won’t ever claim to have all the answers, but I know there are things we can do to help prevent these pesky critters from attacking our precious pets and invading our homes.
As I said in my last post about fleas and ticks, the healthier your pet is, the less attractive they are as a host to parasites.
And if we think about it, dogs and cats, as well as their wild counterparts, lived in the wild with parasites all around for thousands of years before we came along. Nature always provides. Check out that post for more tips on plants that naturally deter pests, as well as natural alternatives that you can use on your pets and in your yard.
If you watch the video I linked above from Rodney, he gives a link to a PDF that Dr. Karen Becker created to help pet parents with flea & tick medication detox. Here is that link: https://www.foreverdogextras.com/account/all-bonus-materials
Dr. Will Falcomer just had Wondercide’s Stephanie Boone on his Vital Animal podcast to talk about what Wondercide is and how it came about. After unknowingly poisoning her dog Luna with flea and tick “medications” month after month and being told by her vet to put her dog to sleep, Stephanie created Wondercide (the road there was longer than that, but you can listen to hear more) and Luna lived for 6 more years!
Imagine how long Luna could have lived if she had been raised naturally her whole life! Now imagine how much longer your dog (or cat) could live if you did the same.
Food for thought!