A while ago I was contacted by a visitor to this site. She described her dog, who died, after being treated with PetArmor. Since then I have had numerous other complaints file in that sound very similar and a at a higher rate than usual. Due to this, and my own conscience, I can no longer stay silent as things progress on a regulatory level.
PetArmor is now owned by Sergeant’s Pet Care which, in turn, is now owned by Perrigo. Perrigo has a long history of putting tainted and contaminated products into the market even after they become aware the issues.
What began as a story like so many other stories I hear, has taken a surprising and concerning turn. This owner reported the incident to the company. The company must, by law, report this incident to the EPA. Since Sergeant’s still has a provisional approval for PetArmor and several other generic fipronil products under different names (for the same product), they are required to report quarterly. They failed to report this death completely. Why? Because under-reporting to the EPA allows manufacturers to skirt alarm bells and tweak the numbers of adverse incidents of their products. This is common practice. It benefits the manufacturers and, frankly, the EPA is still playing a 3 year catch up on going through incident reports because there is no standardized way to submit them. Yup. Every company who has a reporting requirement can’t seem to use one spread sheet or database attribution. Again, it’s in their benefit to mix it up and the EPA cannot tell them HOW to submit, merely that they MUST submit.
Back to the story at hand: The owner of the dog went above and beyond and, in a search for answers, sent the applicator to a lab at a University as well as had an autopsy with toxicology done on her beloved pet. The lab tested the product and saw what they expected to see, but also saw something unusual. The applicator contained a synthetic pyrethrin called deltamethrin. This should never have been in PetArmor. At all. Ever.
Deltamethrin is a known neurotoxin and extremely toxic to cats. Even in tiny doses it is known to be an endocrine disruptor. In pets it can cause everything from tremor, seizure, confusion, lethargy, vomiting, drooling, head shaking and death. In cats specifically it can cause even more extreme issues. In humans, it can cause asthmatic breathing, sneezing, nasal stuffiness, headache, nausea, incoordination, tremors, convulsions, facial flushing and swelling, and burning and itching sensation and death to those with ragweed allergies (which is 20% of the population). This is true even if humans are exposed by correctly applying it to pets and even more so with toddlers and small children.
Sergeants does not have the approval to mix and match deltamethrin with fipronil in a flea & tick product.
There are only three ways this contamination could have happened.
- On purpose, such as Sergeant’s adding it knowingly but not filing any of the appropriate forms with the EPA and not garnering the required approvals.
- Sergeants added deltamethrin as an ingredient that is not disclosed. Those ingredients are listed on your package as “other” or “inactive” or “inert”. They make up the majority, sometimes up to 98%, of the product. It is allowed for them to put other toxic chemicals and pesticides and not disclose them by claiming they are “trade secrets” and stating they are a carrier or synergist. Dirty little secret. They can add whatever they want, even things like DDT, and never tell you what you are putting on your pets or in your house. This seems less likely as the EPA are also stumped and they should have access to everything in a formula even if we do not.
- Or they are up to their old lazy tricks of not making sure their products are produced correctly and safely by following good practices. Due to the history of this company with human medications, I am leaning towards up to their Old Tricks.
I write this at great peril to myself for a variety of reasons, but I believe that you, the pet owner, needs to be aware of this risk and situation. This is wrong. Perrigo has proven themselves NOT to be an ethical company to their human or pet customers. So, it’s up to people like myself, and other bloggers, and those of you who are reading this to share it, so we can get the word out about these situations. Together we can stop pets and people needlessly suffering.
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