Flea and tick treatment

Transcript - Flea and Tick Treatment

Transcript - Flea and Tick Treatment

Narrator: It's a common problem that nearly every pet owner has had to deal with at least once in their pets' lives.

Elaine Sroka - Pet owner: " I went to visit friends who had property on a like a swamp and he came back and I was just stroking him and sure enough he had a - he had a tick."

Narrator: Fleas and ticks-a concern for most cat and dog owners, especially in the spring-and if your pet is infested it's not something to be taken lightly.

Flea and tick control products can be effective treatments but a recent report shows many pets have experienced problems with spot-on treatment sold in pet stores and veterinary clinics across the country. Cheryl Chaffey is a toxicologist with Health Canada and says some of the problems can be attributed to mis-use.

Cheryl Chaffey - Toxicologist - Health Canada: " We found first of all that cats tended to be a more adversely affected than dogs. We found that smaller animals within a weight range that was specified on the label tended to be more adversely affected than larger animals. Smaller breeds were affected and we found that people were mis-using the products. They were often using for instance dog products on cats."

Narrator: Here is an example of some typical spot-on treatment for fleas and ticks. This is applied directly to the animals' skin. So not surprisingly the most commonly reported incidents were skin reactions.

Cheryl Chaffey - Toxicologist - Health Canada: " We also saw reports of neuro-muscular affects. Things like trembling of the animal, as well as gastro intestinal disturbances. Dogs vomiting, cats being ill."

Narrator: Veterinarian, Veterinarian, Dr. Wade Wright believes flea and tick treatments are important to the overall health of your pet, but are most effective when used properly.

Dr. Wade Wright - Veterinarian: " Don't try and split up the medication, like if you've got a tube for your dog, maybe just a little dab for your cat and a dab for the dog that too could potentially be a problem. And you know if you suspect a toxicity has occurred, call the veterinarian as soon as you can."

Narrator: And if the idea of foregoing treatment altogether to avoid a reaction has crossed your mind, that's not a good option and in the end could pose a bigger problems.

Narrator: Pet owners should also report any adverse effects to the manufacturer who is required by law to report it to Health Canada. Contact information can be found on the product label.

Cheryl Chaffey - Toxicologist - Health Canada: " Health Canada is not advising the public to stop using these products. These products are a vital tool to controlling flea and tick infestations and infestations can be quite severe in animals. So it's important for the people to use these products when necessary."

Narrator: For more information, you can call the Pest Management Information Service line, toll-free, at 1 800 267 6315.

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