How much longer will this go on?

I am a veterinary professional (not a doctor) and it’s crazy that after my first experience with the toxic reaction from these products, over 10 years ago, is still going on. I left working in a daily veterinary hospital environment to work on the management side for a few years and so I could finally earn my degree and get some management experience. Well yesterday was my first day back working for one of the largest Veterinary Hospital’s in my state and my second patient of the day was a very sick 3 year old tabby cat who when brought to me was shaking uncontrollably, foaming at the mouth and running a very high fever. We washed the pet right away with a mild hypoallergenic soap (unfortunately the owner didn’t think of that) placed the pet on iv fluids, placed it in a kennel in ICU and hoped for the best. I just returned for the hospital and the pet seems a bit better but we feel it should definitely stay another few days.

The shame in this is that the owners are usally trying to save money by buying these “cheaper” over the counter products rather than purchase the ones we recommend that are by prescription only. So what happens is now the pet owner is going to pay a $500 + vet bill over trying to save $10 or so.  I have seen this way too many times in my 10 plus years in the business and yet they still continue to sell these harmful products. The major pet supply stores need to remove these products from their shelves if they even have an ounce of concern for their customers pets. I did a little research before writing this email and found the hospital’s I work for are averaging 2 toxic reaction patent’s a month from dangerous over the counter products. In their defense I have also had patients that the owner did purchase the recommended flea/tick control products we endorse and the pet had to come back in after having a reaction after the owner applied it. It is pretty rare and most of those cases, once again, resulted in the owner trying to save money and “split” the product between multiple pets or giving a dog product to a feline. Please encourage all pet owner to be responsible and listed to their vets. 8 plus years of college..we do know a little bit about you pets!

2 thoughts on “How much longer will this go on?”

  1. Thinking back upon our bad experience with one of these products, I don’t think we purchased it in an attempt to save money; Rather it was a convenience issue – the product was readily available at the common retailer while shopping, so it was purchased. Still, you are correct that we did end up spend hundreds of dollars of vet bills, because of purchasing a poor product. Lesson learned. And yes it is amazing these products are still readily available.

  2. Thank you for your story. As a veterinary professional, you add much credibility to the discussion.

    I would hope that your veterinary practice has a process in place to report each and every one of these incidents to the National Pesticide Information Center (1-800-858-7378), the organization the EPA uses to compile these adverse incidents. Without a formal reporting process the EPA has to rely on the manufacturers for this information and their record for accuracy and timeliness is not good. Hartz Mountain, for example, has been cited and fined in the past for not reporting accurately and timely. It is, however, important that your practice also reports these incidents to the manufacturer (or encourages your client to do so). The manufacturer is required by federal law to keep a database and provide the information to the EPA. By reporting these incidents your veterinary practice and your clients will be doing all pet owners and animals an important service. Thank you again for articulating your views.

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