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RECALL: Congress Fights To Recall Seresto Collars After Thousands Of Dogs Harmed

Written by: Molly Weinfurter
Molly Weinfurter is a writer for iHeartDogs, and she’s passionate about helping animals in need. She volunteers for Bailing Out Benji and a local dog rescue.Read more
| Published on March 19, 2021

Dogs can react to any type of pet product, including dog food, grooming items, and preventatives. But there’s a difference between a few allergic reactions and thousands of incident reports. Seresto Flea and Tick Collars are getting a lot of heat for that reason. Numerous customers are reporting illnesses and even death related to the collar, and it seems like more than just some coincidences.

But despite everything, Elanco Animal Health has refused to recall the products. So, a congressional subcommittee has stepped in, asking the company to do something about this unfortunate situation. Will it be enough to fix this problem?

Image: Kyle Anthony Evanow Facebook

Seresto is the Most Dangerous Flea Preventative

Flea and tick preventatives are essential for keeping your pet safe during warm months. But of course, putting a pest-killing product on your pet can have its downsides too. This is especially true for products like Seresto, which slowly release pesticides across your dog’s body for several months. The pesticides should repel fleas, ticks, and other tiny pests.

But Seresto has two pesticides in it: imidacloprid and flumethrin. These ingredients could be linked to animal and human illnesses, but the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hasn’t alerted consumers of this.

Animals reacting to flea and tick products is nothing new, but when you look at the EPA’s statistics, it’s shocking. The EPA received over 75,000 incident reports related to Seresto. In those reports, at least 1,698 pets died and 907 humans were harmed.

Westie Wearing Seresto Collar
Image: @SerestoUS/Facebook

While some of these reports might not be directly related to Seresto, there’s no way that all of them are just a coincidence. So, there’s clearly a problem with Seresto collars that needs to be addressed.

Congress Seeks to Recall Seresto, but Elanco Fights Back

Following these reports, a congressional subcommittee got involved. They are demanding that Elanco, the company that sells Seresto, voluntarily recall the products immediately. Not only are the incident reports much higher for Seresto than for similar products, but officials suspect that there are many unreported events, as well.

“We believe that the actual number of deaths and injuries is much greater, since the average consumer would not know to report pet harm to EPA, an agency seemingly unrelated to consumer pet products,” said Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi.

Seresto skin reaction

Krishnamoorthi, the chairman of the subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, sent a letter to Elanco requesting the recall. He asked that they issue full refunds to customers. Additionally, he reached out to Bayer, the company that developed Seresto, and asked them to release information about the potential toxicity of Seresto.

But it seems Elanco won’t comply. They’ve already made it clear that they don’t see an issue with their products.

“There is no medical or scientific basis to initiate a recall of Seresto collars and we are disappointed this is causing confusion and unfounded fear for pet owners trying to protect their pets from fleas and ticks,” said Dr. Tony Rumschlag, senior director for technical consultants at Elanco.

Seresto neck irritation
Image: Becky Blevins Facebook

How Can You Help?

The subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy will continue to investigate the situation. Amazon has also said that they are reviewing the product after receiving numerous complaints. But while the issue seems obvious to the rest of the world, Elanco and even the EPA seem to be ignoring the problem. Perhaps Elanco cares more about money than pets in this scenario, which is heartbreaking.

“The EPA appears to be turning a blind eye to this problem, and after seven years of an increasing number of incidents, they are telling the public that they are continuing to monitor the situation,” said Karen McCormack, a retired EPA employee. “But I think this is a significant problem that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.”

Dogs wearing Seresto collars
Image: @SerestoUS/Facebook

Customers have reported vomiting, hair loss, irritation, and even seizures after using Seresto. If you suspect that Seresto is harming your pet’s health, please contact the EPA. You can also share your experiences in a public Facebook group, which was organized by a dog parent who claims to have lost both their dogs after using Seresto collars.

No product should be causing this many problems. Please spread the word and be sure to use safer flea and tick preventatives.

Featured Image: @SerestoUS/Facebook

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