Pet owners report problem with flea and tick medicines

Consumers report reactions to flea and tick meds

TAMPA - Something unusual happened the night Fritz Evans treated Angel and Buckey with flea drops. Buckey the Siamese started shaking, and Angel hid under the bed and refused to eat.

Evans had no idea that back in 2009 the EPA issued a consumer warning after an increase in the number of reported reactions to spot-on products.

But it wasn't until 2011 and more than 20,000 people complained about pesticides that include spot-on treatments that the EPA took action.  An agency spokesperson explained. "In letters dated September 30, 2011, we instructed companies (registrants) who make spot-on flea and tick pesticide products to revise their product labels and submit them to the agency within 6 months. We are now reviewing and approving the revised labels and consumers are already seeing them in the marketplace."

Plantation Animal Hospital owner Dr. Rhonda Johnson says she's seen a number of cats and dogs get sick when pet owners don't follow the directions.

But no one, it seems, can explain what happened to Angel and Buckey as Evans used Hartz for cats single dose applicators. And the EPA confirms Hartz is among the companies who have complied with the stricter labeling rules.

A spokesperson for Hartz told us safety is their number one priority and that the company performs rigorous clinical tests on all products and that all of their flea and tick products meet EPA approval.

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