Dog Owner experianced problems with ProMeris Flea and Tick Treatment-Depends on How It is Used!

ProMeris Flea and Tick Treatment Hazardous for Animals and Humans-Depends on How it is Used!

Summary of eRumor:

The originator of the email, a woman named Kathryn L. Leinthall, says that she had “debilitating” results using ProMeris flea and tick treatment on her 7 dogs and that she was affected by the product as well.  Her message says that within less than 2 hours of receiving the treatment, 4 of her dogs had vomited, were disoriented, were stumbling, and had other symptoms.  The dog owner says that in addition, she also began having symptoms such as swollen lips, red eyes, and disorientation.  All 7 of her dogs, she says, were admitted to a veterinary hospital and she was taken to a hospital emergency room. 

The Truth:

Kathryn Leinthall is real and lives in Interlaken, New York. Her experience with ProMeris is also real.

ProMeris is a product that its maker, Fort Dodge, describes as flea and tick treatment that “effectively stops and controls existing flea infestations for up to seven weeks in cats and six weeks in dogs.” 

It is sold only through veterinarians, not over-the-counter.

Fort Dodge said that although there seem to be several different events of adverse reactions being reported on the Internet, their investigation into the matter concluded that all of the reports stem from a single case. 

The company acknowledges that on Friday, April 11, it received a report from a veterinarian involving six Siberian Huskies and one mixed-breed dog that experienced reactions to ProMeris. According to Fort Dodge the clinical signs reported are similar to what they have seen in their safety studies when there was deliberate oral exposure to ProMeris.  But the product is designed to be absorbed through the skin, not through ingestion.

Fort Dodge said that the most common adverse effect reported since ProMeris was introduced to the market was lethargy, which can happen if the dog orally ingests ProMeris. 

The company reminded pet owners that ProMeris is designed to be applied in just one location on the dog: onto the skin between the shoulder blades.  It should not be applied on the surface of the dog’s coat or other locations on the dog’s body.  Putting ProMeris between the shoulder blades prevents the dog from licking it.  Putting it elsewhere, especially on the surface of the dog’s hair, increases the risk of the dog ingesting it orally and possibly experiencing the symptoms described.

Updated 4/21/08