Seresto Collars: Are they safe?
Seresto Flea & Tick collars have been in the news in recent months regarding safety concerns. Reports from USA Today and the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting have believed to have linked Seresto Flea and Tick collars to an estimated 1,600 pet deaths/injuries as of March 2021. The report has been met with mixed reviews that have many veterinarians and pet owners asking, how much truth is there to this, and why does the product remain on the shelves? First, let's start with the statement directly from the manufacturer. Below is an official statement from Elanco, the parent company for Seresto Collars.
"Elanco takes the safety of our products very seriously, and thoroughly investigates potential
concerns related to their use. It is critically important to understand that a report is not an
indication of the cause. Since its initial approval in 2012, Seresto has protected more than 25 million U.S. dogs and cats from fleas, ticks, and the resulting tick-borne illnesses that can impact their quality of life.
The incident report rate for all adverse events related to Seresto is less than 0.3% of all collars sold since 2012 - defined by the WHO (World Health Organization) as “uncommon”. The significant majority of these incidents relate to non-serious effects such as application site disorders – reddening of the skin or hair loss below the collar. More than 80 regulatory
authorities around the world, including the U.S. EPA, rigorously reviewed and approved
Seresto, confirming Seresto is safe and effective when used according to label instructions"
Next, we are going to get a vet's opinion. Channel 12 news of New York spoke to Abby Davenport, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, at Athens Animal Hospital in Pennsylvania, about her opinion on the safety of Seresto flea and tick collars after reviewing the reports linked to the injuries.
"I would suggest reading the article, seeing where they got these numbers from, how they came up with their conclusions, and recognizing that correlation does not always equal causation," she said."
Lastly, and possibly the most crucial, what does the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) opinion on Seresto. The EPA is the government body responsible for regulating these pet products; an agency spokesperson said this:
“No pesticide is completely without harm, but the EPA ensures that there are measures on the product label that reduce risk,” the spokesperson said. “The product label is the law, and applicators must follow label directions. Some pets, however, like some humans, are more sensitive than others and may experience adverse symptoms after treatment.”
Consumers are also finding these products from 3rd party sellers like Amazon, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace, which may be providing counterfeit products not made by Seresto. These products do not adhere to the same safety standards and quality control measures that you find at registered Seresto vendors like Animal Station.
So what is our opinion at Animal Station? We find this report has a confusing structure and can see why it may be difficult to understand the correlation that the collars may have had on pets. Seresto has protected thousands of pets over the last decade but as pet owners, we encourage our community to do their own research and make sure you are making the best decision for your pet. Like humans, no two pets are alike and you should always consult your local veterinarian if you have any concerns. We will continue to carry Seresto and hope to see you soon!