Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

Bio Spot Flea And Tick Control Products – Urgent Alert… Again

After the largest increase in reports and complaints about EPA approved flea and tick remedies in 2008 the EPA is finally launching a second look.  The complaint and warning below was posted in July 2002… now 7-years later Bio Spot is back on the top of the list of complaints filed with the EPA.  Why did it take them 7-years to follow up??
Hamish, below,  did survive but there have been cases of death from the use of these type products.  There was a women on NBC news last night that spoke about her cat dying after she used Bio Spot Flea Shampoo on her.

“Farnam’s Bio Spot Flea & Tick Almost Killed Our Dog.”

Six months ago, my family adopted a one and a half year old Dalmatian, named Hamish.  He had been in a high kill shelter in Connecticut, and was rescued just one day before he was scheduled to be destroyed.  

To protect him from fleas and ticks, we chose Frontline – a liquid that is applied to the dog’s back.  It gave us peace of mind knowing that he had this protection, but it had to be purchased from a veterinarian and was quite expensive.  
One day while shopping, I came across an over-the-counter product, called Bio Spot Flea & Tick Control (by Farnam Pet Products).  It looked similar to the Frontline product, but it was much cheaper, so I decided to try it.  The Bio Spot seemed to work just as well as Frontline, so I used it again six weeks later.  

An hour after applying the Bio Spot, I found Hamish thrashing about on the ground.  His body was completely stiff.  His head was raised in the air, and his jaws were opened wide.  A thick foamy saliva was spewing from his mouth.  Horrified, I tried to determine if something was stuck in his throat.  His windpipe was clear, but he was not breathing.  His eyes began to roll back in his head.  He was dying and I did not know what to do to save him!  We made a desperate call to our veterinarian.





After a few minutes, Hamish slowly began to recover.  We had just witnessed something we had never seen before – a grand mal (severe) seizure.  Our veterinarian said that a blood test might help to find the cause, and mentioned the possibility of epilepsy.  By the afternoon, Hamish looked much better, but that night he endured three more grand mal seizures.  

Why would a healthy dog have four grand mal seizures within twenty hours?  I searched the Internet for information on epilepsy, and read that if seizures begin to occur frequently, the animal may have to be euthanized!  We would not know the results of the blood test for a week, but we had a feeling it was 
not epilepsy, and wondered if the seizures were caused by the Bio Spot.

It seemed unlikely that Bio Spot could have caused the seizures because we had used it (same batch) just six weeks earlier with no adverse effects.  Also, the packaging did not list seizures as a possible adverse reaction (it listed only lethargy, itchiness, redness, rash, hair discoloration, or hair loss).  

Just in case the seizures were caused by the Bio Spot, we thoroughly washed Hamish to remove as much of it as possible, and took him to our veterinarian for a physical exam and blood test.  The exam showed that everything was normal, and the blood test revealed no internal problems.  Our veterinarian
could not rule out Bio Spot as the cause of the seizures.

Hamish has not had any seizures since the Bio Spot was thoroughly washed off three weeks ago, and appears to be in good health.  However, we worry about irrepairable damage that may have been done to his neurological system, and wonder if short-term exposure to the chemicals in BioSpot will cause any long-term health problems.

CONSUMER ALERT – July 14, 2002
How Bio Spot Works

According to Farnam’s website, the ingredients in Bio Spot “move around your dog’s coat by several processes including diffusion and capillary action, and transfer from hair to hair as the pet moves.”  That may lead you to believe that it remains on your dog’s coat, therefore it’s safe for your dog.  The truth is these harmful chemicals are absorbed through the skin and enter the bloodstream.  That is also how transdermal patches work – they use the skin as a way to enter the body.

The main active ingredient in Bio Spot is a pesticide known as permethrin  (it is used in more than 18 similar products, including Bayer’s K9 Advantix and Summit VetPharm’s Vectra 3D).  It kills insects by paralyzing their nervous system (that is also how nerve gas works).  However, it cannot distinguish between an insect’s nervous system, a dog’s nervous system, or a human’s nervous system. That is why it is important to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling. 

James TerBush is a designer of educational games and lives in Pennsylvania.

Serious Risk to Health

While never claiming their Bio Spot product is safe for dogs, the Farnam website states, “Nearly all dogs tolerate Bio Spot well.”  However, that does not mean it is safe for ANY dog.  The word “tolerate” means 
to bear, endure, or suffer.  According to the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“Many and perhaps most Americans believe that commercially available pesticides, such as those found in pet products, are tightly regulated by the government.  In fact, they are not. Not until the passage of a 1996 law focused on pesticides in food did the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) begin examining the risks from pesticides in pet products in earnest.  To this day, the EPA allows the manufacture and sale of pet products containing hazardous insecticides with little or no demonstration that a child’s exposure to these ingredients would be safe.  Just because these products are on store shelves does not mean they have been tested or can be presumed safe.”

“Of course, as bad as these products may be for pet owners and caregivers, they often are worse for 
the pets themselves.  Based on the very limited data available, it appears that hundreds and probably thousands of pets have been injured or killed through exposure to pet products containing pesticides. 
As with small children, pets cannot report when they’re being poisoned at low doses.”

                                       Natural Resources Defense Council
                                       Health Hazards from Flea and Tick Products (Executive Summary)
                                       November, 2000 

What is known about Bio Spot’s main active ingredient, permethrin?  A few drops of it can be deadly
to a cat.  Toxicological studies have linked this pesticide to serious acute and chronic health effects.  The EPA has classified it as a possible human carcinogen because it increases the frequency of lung and liver tumors in laboratory animals.  It suppresses the immune system.  Permethrin is also suspected to have played an important role in the development of illnesses known as the Gulf War Syndrome.  

In a recently published journal entitled, Experimental Neurology, researchers at Duke University Medical Center found that frequent and prolonged use of permethrin on adult rats lead to cell death in their brains. In another recent study, researchers at Virginia Tech found that low-level exposure to permethrin caused changes in the brain that could lead to Parkinson’s Disease.

The inert ingredients in Bio Spot, which are not disclosed, may pose an even greater risk because they receive much less scrutiny by the Environmental Protection Agency.  The cumulative and synergistic
effects of these chemicals are not required to be tested for safety. 

Is it true that nearly all dogs tolerate Bio Spot well?  Perhaps, but the risk of short-term exposure includes severe adverse reactions, and the risk of long-term exposure is unknown. 


Like humans… U.S. Pets are being over medicated and over exposed to chemicals and drugs

 We all can and should use as many natural home remedies as we can so our babies aren’t filled with awful chemicals!!!

One of the major culprits are the flea and tick meds… especially the push to keep your pets on them all year round.

Here are some alternatives:

Natural Flea Fighter

One dropperful of each: eucalyptus, lavendar, pennyroyal, and citronella in a quart of water

Pour mixture into a spray bottle and use every time before you take your pets outside.

Always dilute pennyroyal, never use full strength cuz it is toxic, but this is better and in smaller doses than what is in the leading commercial remedies!!

You can buy the ingredients at a health food store or market with a homeopathic, herbal section


Just adding a ‘little’ garlic powder to your pets’ food can remedy the flea and tick problem; about a 1/4 of a teaspoon for a 15 pound dog, and about 1 tsp for up to a 90 lb dog;also increases their immune system.

Also, use natural orange extract and water based sprays for around the house or yard, instead of chemicals.

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April 22, 2009 - Posted by | animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, pet products, Pets, Political Change, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


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