Sometimes when a new product comes out, it’s touted to be much safer, then years down the line, we find it really isn’t safe at all. Or worse, we find that the latest greatest product is actually the same old bad one in different clothing.

Recently several new products have come out, but today I want to cover Sergeant’s “new” product for dogs.

Sergeant’s Pet Care released Sergeant’s Evolve Line of Flea and Tick Squeeze-On for Dogs. The line itself isn’t too new, but their “new” claims are. The EPA gave it the thumbs up. Likely because the same formulation of active ingredients has been used in Sergeant’s Gold products for years.

Evolve 11 is being touted by Sergeant’s as a “Gentle Product for Small Breed Dogs” (see upper left corner of picture). The ingredients are 55% Etofenprox, 2.2% Pyriproxyfen and 42% “Other Ingredients”. In the past, these ingredients have often been called Inert. Manufacturers do not need to disclose them, even to the EPA, if they claim the inert (or “other”) ingredients as a trade secret.

Etofenprox is a pyrethroid, which means it is a synthetic derivative of pyrethrin. Pyrethrin is made from the chrysanthemum plant. Pyrethrin is a perfect example of why “natural” does not necessarily mean “safe”. Etofenprox is known to be an endocrine disruptor for mammals, including humans and as such, can cause a whole host of issues. One of it’s primary methods of action is to interfere with the thyroid and steroid receptors in mammals. Before you think that perhaps it is safer in lower doses, one of the key factors with endocrine disruptors is that a very small amount causes these issues. That’s something unique just to EDs.

According to the NRDC Green Paws website, they give it a toxicology rating of three paws out of three paws.

Etofenprox –Etofenprox is one of a class of synthetic chemicals, called pyrethroids, that are derived from natural chemicals found in chrysanthemums. The synthetic varieties are significantly more potent and persistent than naturally occurring products. Etofenprox also disrupts the endocrine system, specifically thyroid hormone, and is toxic to the developing nervous system. Etofenprox, like other pyrethroids is known to be very toxic to cats, causing muscle tremors, seizures, salivation, vomiting and even death. Veterinarians caution against using pyrethroid containing products if there are cats in the home.

  • Toxic to the nervous system
  • Endocrine disruptor
  • Very toxic to cats

{Thank you to NRDC & Green Paws for their fantastic Database!}

Pyriproxyfen, the second ingredient, is the same thing as Nylar. Interestingly enough, in some Sergeant’s products, Sergeant’s calls it Nylar, in others whatever they feel like at the time. It’s not uncommon for these manufacturers to make up names so that it is even more difficult for the public to keep informed on dangerous ingredients. Nylar is what’s commonly known as an IGR – Insect Growth Regulator. This means it interferes with a flea’s ability to come into adulthood and reproduce.

These two ingredients are the same as  in their Sergeant’s Gold line, so nothing too new about their “new and gentle” formula. Recently, Sergeant’s has made a move to remove their Sergeant’s Gold line from the market. Apparently to replace it with pretty much the same product, but attempting to make it look more appealing to those who do not know about the dangers of some of these flea and tick products.

If you look at the top left of this package – the same product, but a higher weight class for dogs, you can see that Sergeant’s feels adding Vitamin E might help your dog… Not sure what the logic is there, but I am sure Sergeant’s has some explanation.

If this slight of hand move angers you as a consumer and pet owner, here are  few quick actions you can take to help.

It might seem like educating pet owners about these products is a never-ending mission, but you make a difference. Reaching one person at a time, we can all make a difference.

Special thanks goes to for the heads up on the “new” claims for Evolve. If you haven’t visited the site before, it’s full of an incredible amount of information.

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