Translating FDA Alert About Flea/Tick Products

FDA flea/tick product concerns


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is offering concerns about some flea and tick products.

Listen HERE to my WGN Steve Dale’s Pet World radio show to Dr. Todd McCracken, veterinary services manager at CEVA Animal Health and Fear Free certified, as he explains it all in a way which we can understand.

McCracken says the FDA alert is only for the isoxazoline class of flea/tick products: Bravecto, Credelio,  Nexgard and Simparica. These are all chewable products. To be clear, McCracken says these products do work; there is no suggestion that the products aren’t effective.

So why the concern now? As the products get into the general public, and people use them in large numbers, the FDA noted that some pets, albeit it a very small percent, have had muscle tremors, ataxia (balance issues and/or lack of muscle coordination when a voluntary movement is attempted) and/or seizures. He stresses these are still very rare events.

McCracken says that if you’ve noted any of the symptoms or signs in your pet, see your veterinarian to discern if the products may be related and to determine what product you should continue to use. Report any concerns here or via your veterinarian.FDA warning regarding flea tick products explained

Not all flea/tick products are implicated by the FDA.

So, to be clear, other over-the-counter products are not implicated. The product with randomly choosing an over-the-counter product is that the product simply may not work. Or might not match what you need where you live. For example, different tick species live in different places and not all products target all tick species.

Please see a veterinary professional for the right the flea/tick product for your pets and their lifestyles. Not using any product is no solution. Tick disease can cause serious illness. And fleas transmit disease too.

McCracken, notes his own company manufacturers another product not implicated by the FDA, a topical called Vectra 3D which has repellency properties – a kind of force field so the fleas and ticks don’t have a chance to bite. Vectra 3D also protects against mosquitoes and therefore heartworm disease which they may carry – providing a double defense against heartworm (in addition to the traditional heartworm preventive you’re hopefully using now).

Talk Pets with Paul

On another topic, I also explain how you may attend a (free) listening session regarding animal welfare with Chicago Mayoral candidate Paul Vallas. I talk about how Vallas has long been interested in animal welfare issues, and even made some promises – for example, more money for Chicago Animal Care and Control. I don’t recall a candiate for Mayor previously expressing any interest in this topic, or understanding regarding why it’s important. If you would like to attend this event on October 15 at  6 p.m. at the Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 N. Lincoln Ave, tickets, while they last, are available here.  Learn more about the event here.