FirstShield Flea Medication manufactured by Summit VetPharm

This in via an email from Jonathan:

Do not use this product. I have listed all the information I can find below. Our vet gave our kitten one treatment and she it is now dead. The Kitten was 12 weeks old and weighed approximately 2.5 lbs. The kitten was administered the treatment during a routine checkup. She was given a clean bill of health by the vet but he also recommended we start her on a flea treatment. That is point where the worst 24 hours of my life began. Within 12 hours the kitten became lethargic and non responsive. It exhibited heavy breathing and would not eat nor drink any food or liquids. We rushed her to the vet (the one that administered the treatment) and he refused to believe the medication was the cause. The vet had no willingness to help the kitten unless we paid him $500 so he could monitor her overnight. Unfortunately that money we did not have at the time. Within 24 hours the kitten was dead. During her last few minutes alive, she was writhing with pain, rolling on her back, and crying a loud sound. Her stomach (near her liver) became swollen and hard, her tongue dry and white, and her pupils fully dilated as well. I’m no rocket scientist, but if a perfectly health cat dies within 24 hours of being administered flea medication for the first time, there is no doubt what the cause is.

FirstShield Flea Medication manufactured by Summit VetPharm. VetPharm list the product in their Vectra line . This product is primarily sold and distributed at Petsmart via the Banfield pet Hospitals found onsite. Drug Facts: .

The main ingredients are as follows:

Dinotefuran 22% – &

Pyriproxyfen 3% –

Permethrin is a neurotoxin insecticide.Permethrins are synthetic pyrethroids that are more stable and last longer. It works by disrupting the nervous system of insects, killing by contact or ingestion. The EPA classifies it as a carcinogen ,it causes lung cancer and liver tumors in mice. Permethrin is indicated as a possible carcinogen by the EPA, causing liver enlargement and cancers in lab. mammals. It is embryotoxic in rabbits, and causes liver damage in mice.

“Pyrethroid toxicity targets nerve and muscle cells in pets, according to a study published in The Veterinary Journal in June 2008. The study found that dermal exposure by application to the skin or coat is the most common route of toxic exposure, potentially causing hyperexcitability, tremors, profuse salivation, and seizures. The seizures can result in brain damage or, less frequently, death.
The EPA approved the company’s pyrethroid spot on treatments just as it has approved all spot on treatments, but the agency has a history of approving pet products in the past only to pull them from the market later

Carcinogen: liver and lung tumors
Organ damage: kidney enlargement, changes in the lung
Neurotoxin: tremors, incoordination, elevated body temp. increased agressive behavior, learning disruption
Reproductive: fertility affected
Autoimmune: bone marow changes in lab. animals

But they are also linked to thousands of reported pet poisonings, and they have stirred the ire of pet owners, the concern of veterinarians, and the attention of regulatory agencies.
At least 1,600 pet deaths related to spot on treatments with pyrethroids were reported to the EPA over the last five years, according to an analysis of EPA pesticide incident exposure data by the Center for Public Integrity. That is about double the number of reported fatalities tied to similar treatments without pyrethroids, such as Frontline and Advantage — although these products also have critics.
Pyrethroid spot ons also account for more than half of “major” pesticide pet reactions reported to EPA over the last five years — that is, those incidents involving serious medical reactions such as brain damage, heart attacks, and violent seizures. In contrast, non-pyrethroid spot on treatments accounted for only about 6 percent of all major incidents.

Pyriproxyfen An active: sterilizer
Reproductive:reduced weight gain, toxicity to pups

Manufacture and Distributor Info:

This product needs to be pulled of the market. If you are a pet owner or know someone who is, please pass along the word.

6 Replies to “FirstShield Flea Medication manufactured by Summit VetPharm”

  1. I found this post while searching for informaton on Firstshield, and I am commenting to recommend that it be deleted due to misinformation. It lists the active ingredients of Firstshield for Cats as dinotefuran and pyriproxifen, which is accurate. However, the information that follows is for pyrethroids/permethrin, which Firstshield for Cats does not contain. While pyrethroids (including permethrins) are not safe for cats, pyriproxifen and dinetofuran are. Even if the cat did receive a pyrethroid-containing product, it would not cause her stomach to become “swollen and hard.” (I am assuming the original poster was going off of the possible link to cancers of the liver, but these take time to develop and even then can rarely be felt and are diagnosed with radiographs and/or ultrasound. They definitely would not develop to this extreme overnight.) The link between the product and the clinical signs is simply inconsistent, as the owner was told by the kitten’s vet.

    On a side note, why does everyone expect veterinarians to give their services away for free? If you went to the hospital and stayed in the ICU overnight, you are delusional if you think they wouldn’t be billing you for that stay, and it would cost you 20 times what your vet charges for the same services.

  2. I’m not vet either however, my 18 year old cat fell very ill after I gave her FirstShield. The vet knew her age and sold it to me anyway!. I took her to a different vet and one of the things he asked me was if she had received any flea medication. I told him the name and he didn’t say much. After researching and reading what others are saying about FirstShield, it is high on my list of suspects for causing her illness. I am not happy. She has always been a very healthy cat. It really sucks that companies really don’t care what they create for the dollar. It surely isn’t for the best interest of the animal in this case I feel. Please as a safety precaution do not use any FirstShield products and let Banfield know what you think of them marketing such a product!!! It isn’t worth your pet’s health to save some money on flea medication. Pay for advantage or Frontline and get a quality product. I hope my cat comes through this and I hope others get informed about the danger of this product.

    1. I put first shield on my dog in May 2018, started having seizures June, one month went by then another seizure, then cluster seizures, took to vet, put on Phenobarbital, still had occasional seizures, on October 31st, my dog had 4 grand mal seizures, vision impaired walking into everything, took him to vet, he had to be put down my Gizmo is gone bc of first shield, he was a happy healthy dog, this product is deadly, anyone know of a lawyer that can handle my case, please let me know.

  3. gave a dose of first shield to both of my cats, Stormy and Layla around 45 minutes ago. they immediately began running around, meowing, scratching, hiding and ignoring us. Stormy is the most quiet, calm, affectionate cat I’ve ever seen. he never meows and when it does it typically comes out in a squeak. five minutes after application, he jumped onto a piece of furniture, and let out the loudest meow I’ve ever heard in my life. he gave me a manic look and then preceded to jump down underneath the recliner. something’s wrong.

  4. Administered medication today. Our cat started having leg twitches about 30min to 1hour after application and gave meows that were indicative of discomfort. He also dry heaved as if he were going to vommit. He became agitated quickly pacing around the house, which is very uncharacteristic for our cat. He left the house and is now presumable hidding somewhere. I am quite worried he will not return after how dangerous First Shield is.

  5. Oh please find him! Sounds like he has neurological damage! Needs to be seen by a vet– and WHEN you find him , please put him under a warm shower and then rush him to the vet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *