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Popular Flea Collar Linked to Over 1,700 Pet Deaths

Toxic flea collar linked to at least 1,700 pet deaths and over 75,000 complaints to the Environmental Protection Agency

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You might want to take a closer look at your dog’s flea collar. Seresto, a popular flea collar for cats and dogs, and a best-seller on Amazon, has been linked to more than 1,700 pet deaths and is harming people, too.

A Center for Biological Diversity investigation just revealed that more than 1,700 pets were reported dead after wearing Seresto-brand flea collars using toxic chemicals. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency documents show the agency received more than 75,000 incident reports related to the collars, including almost 1,000 involving human harm—but issued no warning.

Seresto is one of the most popular brands of flea collars on the market. According to USA Today, in 2019 Bayer reported revenue of more than $300 million on Seresto alone.

In the many claims the EPA received, complaints range from death to troublesome rashes and adverse neurological effects, like seizures.

Still, the EPA, in charge of regulating such products, has issued no warnings.

"If this doesn't trigger a concern, that's a fundamental problem with the process," said Dr. Nate Donley, a member of Center for Biological Diversity’s Environmental Health program. "The fact that the EPA hasn't done anything to alert the public that there might be an issue here? It strikes me as borderline criminal."

Rhonda Bomwell would agree. She told USA Today that she had never used a flea and tick collar before. Pierre, her one-year-old Papillon service dog, was mostly an indoor animal.

Still, her veterinarian recommended she purchase one, so she went to the pet store near her home in Somerset, New Jersey, and bought Bayer’s Seresto collar. 

A day later, on June 2, 2020, Pierre had a seizure, collapsing while Bomwell was making dinner. Lying on his back, the dog stopped breathing and his eyes rolled back, reports USA Today.

Rhonda tried giving him CPR. Then she called the police. An officer helped her lift the dog into her car, and she rushed him to the hospital. Pierre died before he could receive medical treatment. Rhonda didn’t think to take off Pierre’s collar.

“I just didn’t put it together,” she said.

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