Dear Pet Parent,
A recent USA Today article regarding the safety of Seresto collars has gone viral, prompting an influx of calls from concerned clients. We're reaching out to provide information and assurance based upon reliable science and our firsthand experiences using this product for nearly a decade.
The article claims to reveal information linking the use of the Seresto flea and tick collar with illness (specifically seizures) and death of pets. This article appears to be a sensationalized misrepresentation of the data collected by the EPA. Here’s the trouble: these data are simply collections of spontaneous reports made to the agency directly by consumers. The purpose of such reporting sites is to create a place for people to raise concerns. Public health agencies collect and monitor these spontaneous reports for trends that suggest a problem that merits investigation. If a pattern is seen that suggests there might be a safety issue, the agency can investigate to determine if there is a real concern or not. Investigations have not been done to show the reports in this article are accurate or that there are legitimate connections between the product and the events described.
To illustrate why this raw data is not reliable on its own, consider that the same issue has arisen numerous times over many years with regard to vaccines and the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), managed by the CDC and the FDA. VAERS collects unsubstantiated anecdotal reports about possible harm from vaccines. Despite the overwhelming evidence for the safety of vaccination and most vaccines in common use, these reports are frequently cited by anti-vaccine activists in an attempt to “prove” that vaccines are causing tremendous harm. One doctor actually submitted a report that a vaccine caused him to turn into the Incredible Hulk, and this report would still be in the VAERS database if he had not allowed the government to delete it - his point was to show that any claim can become part of the database, no matter how outrageous or improbable.
The USA Today article conflates a different pesticide with a high level of toxicity (a crop insecticide for agricultural applications) with the well-studied chemicals that are used in the brand name Seresto collar, which have decades of safe use in dogs and cats. Peer-reviewed, published studies provide scientific data proving the safety and efficacy of these ingredients used in combination in the Seresto collar; here is a 2012 study done in Europe (with higher regulatory standards than the US) and a 2015 international study that tested the collar alone and when used concurrently with other common antiparasitic treatments.
One critical issue that this article fails to address is the prevalence of knockoff or lookalike products. Unfortunately, if a veterinary product is successful, greedy companies try to capture some of the market by producing products that appear similar but contain different ingredients, or a different proportion of ingredients. It is not unusual for counterfeit replicas of a brand-name product to be produced in foreign countries and sold online posing as the original product. These knockoffs are convincing but have not passed the regulatory testing required of properly approved products to confirm safety and efficacy. Well-meaning consumers that have inadvertently purchased these products online or in retail stores may observe adverse effects in their pet and submit a report vilifying the brand-name product, even though that is not what caused the side effects.
Know that we have full confidence in the Seresto collars sold in our hospital, as we purchase directly from the manufacturer and can guarantee the legitimacy of our stock. Our doctors and staff have been using this product consistently on their own pets since Seresto first entered the market in 2012 and will continue to do so for convenient, safe and effective flea and tick control that we trust. We have seen a small percentage of dogs and cats with localized reactions (skin irritation/hair loss around the area of the collar), in which cases we have immediately addressed any issues and developed a new prevention program using an approved alternative product.
We have always recommended that clients choose a preventative program that best fits their pet, lifestyle and comfort level. Your pet's safety and health remains our priority and if any legitimate concern were to arise involving any products or medications provided to your pet, we would reach out to you immediately with information and a recommended course of action.
Thank you for your continued trust in our care,
Your pet's health team at Pets in Harmony Veterinary Hospital
Your cat really wants to know why you're so obsessed with taking pictures of him. And where does the red dot GO? Answers to these and more in today's post...
A message to our clients & community:
Some of you may have noticed a number of police cars at our office this morning - we've received several visits from concerned neighbors and friends (thank you!).
We sincerely appreciate your support over the past year, and don't intend to let this unfortunate event affect our goal to provide quality pet care in this community that we love so dearly. Harmony is our home, and will continue to be.
Dr. Silvis is offering a $500 reward for any information leading to the suspect's apprehension. He has also committed to matching an additional $500 donation to a local charity here in the Zelienople area.
If you know anything that may help identify the suspect, please contact Officer Zeke Reed of Jackson Township Police Department at
(724)452-5600 or firstname.lastname@example.org
In celebration of National Canine Fitness Month, Meredith & her Pharaoh Hound Roseanna are sharing exercises that you can do right at home with your dog!
These techniques help improve flexibility and core strength to prevent injury and improve overall health. Sedentary dog? This is a great start to increasing activity!
Part 1: Stretching
Learn how to warm up your dog's limbs with passive and active stretches to do in the comfort of your own home. Your dog will enjoy it, and you'll have fun, too!
Need captions? Check out the video here on our Facebook page.
PART 2: Land Treadmill
Need captions? Check out the video here on our Facebook page.
Ready for More?
It's important to know that Canine Influenza (a.k.a. the "Dog Flu") is a real thing. However, it's different from the pandemic that has all of America keeping their hand sanitizer within arm's reach.
THOUGH THERE ARE SOME SIMILARITIES IN SYMPTOMS, THERE IS NO CONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE THAT DOGS CAN CATCH THE FLU FROM HUMANS, OR VICE VERSA.
Canine influenza virus (CIV) is most commonly spread in "high-traffic" dog areas, like boarding kennels, doggie daycares, dog parks, and animal shelters. Some local facilities are starting to require dogs to be vaccinated for CIV, but even if it's not a requirement - it's still a good idea to strongly consider the extra protection of immunization.
4 Things You Should Know About Canine Influenza
1. There is a vaccine available.
There are two strains of CIV: H3N8 (identified in 2004) and H3N2 (identified in 2015). Previously, only an H3N8 vaccine was available. We now carry a new combination vaccine with one that provides protection against both H3N8 and H3N2.
Since H3N2 was not included in the original canine influenza vaccine, all dogs starting the combo vaccine (even if they already had the H3N8-only vaccine) will require an initial series of two injections 4 weeks apart; it is then boostered annually to maintain protection.
2. Canine Influenza is highly contagious.
The virus is spread through respiratory secretions (nasal discharge, sneezing, coughing), and can survive on surfaces for up to 48 hours.
Be sure to thoroughly wash bowls, toys, and your hands! Though you cannot get your dog's flu, you can pass the virus along to other dogs after handling an infected dog.
3. Canine Influenza is a year-round problem.
Unlike the human flu, there is no "dog flu season" to worry about. Instead, the virus tends to spark up with isolated outbreaks throughout the year. Unfortunately, these outbreaks often occur in kennels and shelters. When dogs exposed to the virus leave the facility, they can spread the infection elsewhere.
4. If your dog is showing signs of an upper respiratory illness, schedule a visit with the vet.
There is no cure for the canine influenza virus, but your dog may need supportive care to combat dehydration and secondary bacterial infections.
The Internet is a great way to share information, but if something alarms you, please investigate it further before sharing with your friends. Stuff like this spreads like wildfire, causing pet owners undue panic.
Messages and images like the examples below that don't cite sources or appear to come from legitimate experts are all too often created just to incite fear and cause harm to big companies without cause:
SWIFFER WETJET CAUSES LIVER FAILURE IN PETS
A false account of a "neighbor's 5-year-old German Shepherd put down due to liver failure...and soon after his housekeepers' two cats also died of liver failure" has resurfaced. The message declares that Swiffer WetJet cleaning solution poisoned all the animals in the house just by using it to clean the kitchen floor.
Know that THIS IS FALSE INFORMATION that has been circulating since May 2004, and it has been brought back to life via social media (there are already 19,000 comments on the post in the image taken just 10 days ago).
We encourage everyone to read this article originally published by Snopes in May 2004. It contains important information, including a statement from the ASPCA Animal Poison Control toxicologists (direct link to press release is in the article) that explain thoroughly why this is nothing but a myth.
Diffusing Essential OilS KILLS CATS
This infographic has gone viral, fueling panic among pet owners across the web. Note that this graphic does not cite any reputable sources or additional information.
Essential oils, when ingested or applied topically (particularly if undiluted) can cause harm to pets. Cats, birds, and exotic pets can be more vulnerable to certain oils.
Essential oils should be used only under the guidance of a veterinary team that is knowledgeable about their therapeutic uses, toxicities, and your pet's physical health.
If you have questions about whether the essential oils that you're using in your home (in diffusers, sprays, DIY cleaners, or topically on yourself), ask!
There is no harm in being cautious, but please seek a professional opinion. Do not rely on information from an unknown source.
Please, if you share anything related to these claims, share this! Fighting against viral rumors takes an army!
Having a dog that loves to chew certainly helps to keep teeth healthy - usually. However, hard bones, antlers and cow hooves can cause dental injuries - so choose your dog's chew toys wisely and do not allow him to gnaw on rocks or other hard objects.
What is a slab fracture?
How is a slab fracture treated?
The carnassial tooth has three roots: two large ones above each point, and a third, smaller one that is directed at an angle towards the midline.
An incision is made on the gumline above the tooth to protect the gingiva and allow enough loose tissue to close the extraction site. To minimize trauma and prevent the small, inside root from breaking during removal, Dr. Brian uses a high-speed drill to separate the tooth into two halves before extracting each section individually.
How to prevent slab fractures
Chewing is a healthy, natural habit for dogs - and we encourage you to provide your pup with a variety of safe chew toys! However, it is important to avoid hard chews: tough bones, deer antlers, cow hooves, and even tough Nylabones.
Always supervise your dogs when they are working on a chew toy, and regularly peek under those lips to look for signs of trouble. If you're familiar with what the teeth look like normally, it will be easier to spot changes that could be a cause for concern!
Vaccine reactions are uncommon, but can be very serious, and in some cases, life-threatening. Know what's normal, and when to be concerned about your pet following a vaccination. Of course, if you're ever concerned about your pet's health, we encourage you to call us! Better to be safe than sorry. :)
Is your pet microchipped? Great! This permanent ID has proven time and time again to be an effective backup for lost collars and tags. But it doesn't stop at just having a microchip implanted!
The #1 reason for microchipped pets NOT reuniting with their owners is that the contact information in the database is incomplete or incorrect.
August 15 is "Check the Chip" Day, so take a few minutes to log in and make sure the info linked to your pet's microchip is up-to-date.
Not sure where to go? Visit www.petmicrochiplookup.org and enter your pet's microchip number to find out where the chip is registered. If you're having trouble finding your pet's microchip number, call us - we can help!