Dear Pet Parent,
A recent USA Today article regarding the safety of Seresto collars has gone viral, prompting an influx of calls from concerned clients. We're reaching out to provide information and assurance based upon reliable science and our firsthand experiences using this product for nearly a decade.
The article claims to reveal information linking the use of the Seresto flea and tick collar with illness (specifically seizures) and death of pets. This article appears to be a sensationalized misrepresentation of the data collected by the EPA. Here’s the trouble: these data are simply collections of spontaneous reports made to the agency directly by consumers. The purpose of such reporting sites is to create a place for people to raise concerns. Public health agencies collect and monitor these spontaneous reports for trends that suggest a problem that merits investigation. If a pattern is seen that suggests there might be a safety issue, the agency can investigate to determine if there is a real concern or not. Investigations have not been done to show the reports in this article are accurate or that there are legitimate connections between the product and the events described.
To illustrate why this raw data is not reliable on its own, consider that the same issue has arisen numerous times over many years with regard to vaccines and the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), managed by the CDC and the FDA. VAERS collects unsubstantiated anecdotal reports about possible harm from vaccines. Despite the overwhelming evidence for the safety of vaccination and most vaccines in common use, these reports are frequently cited by anti-vaccine activists in an attempt to “prove” that vaccines are causing tremendous harm. One doctor actually submitted a report that a vaccine caused him to turn into the Incredible Hulk, and this report would still be in the VAERS database if he had not allowed the government to delete it - his point was to show that any claim can become part of the database, no matter how outrageous or improbable.
The USA Today article conflates a different pesticide with a high level of toxicity (a crop insecticide for agricultural applications) with the well-studied chemicals that are used in the brand name Seresto collar, which have decades of safe use in dogs and cats. Peer-reviewed, published studies provide scientific data proving the safety and efficacy of these ingredients used in combination in the Seresto collar; here is a 2012 study done in Europe (with higher regulatory standards than the US) and a 2015 international study that tested the collar alone and when used concurrently with other common antiparasitic treatments.
One critical issue that this article fails to address is the prevalence of knockoff or lookalike products. Unfortunately, if a veterinary product is successful, greedy companies try to capture some of the market by producing products that appear similar but contain different ingredients, or a different proportion of ingredients. It is not unusual for counterfeit replicas of a brand-name product to be produced in foreign countries and sold online posing as the original product. These knockoffs are convincing but have not passed the regulatory testing required of properly approved products to confirm safety and efficacy. Well-meaning consumers that have inadvertently purchased these products online or in retail stores may observe adverse effects in their pet and submit a report vilifying the brand-name product, even though that is not what caused the side effects.
Know that we have full confidence in the Seresto collars sold in our hospital, as we purchase directly from the manufacturer and can guarantee the legitimacy of our stock. Our doctors and staff have been using this product consistently on their own pets since Seresto first entered the market in 2012 and will continue to do so for convenient, safe and effective flea and tick control that we trust. We have seen a small percentage of dogs and cats with localized reactions (skin irritation/hair loss around the area of the collar), in which cases we have immediately addressed any issues and developed a new prevention program using an approved alternative product.
We have always recommended that clients choose a preventative program that best fits their pet, lifestyle and comfort level. Your pet's safety and health remains our priority and if any legitimate concern were to arise involving any products or medications provided to your pet, we would reach out to you immediately with information and a recommended course of action.
Thank you for your continued trust in our care,
Your pet's health team at Tender Touch Veterinary Hospital
Your pet's oral health is about more than fresh breath! Advanced dental disease can cause illness elsewhere in the body as bacteria enters the bloodstream through inflamed gums. This can cause infection in the kidneys, liver - even the heart!
Dental disease is also painful. As tartar builds up, the gums become red and irritated. Tartar buildup creeps below the gumline, eventually eating away at the structures that secure the teeth. A loose tooth is a painful tooth!
What is a dental prophylaxis?
A dental prophylaxis (or dental cleaning) is the only way to thoroughly remove tartar buildup from all of your pet's teeth and allow for a "clean slate" to provide at-home oral care & maintenance (and hopefully prevent the need for future anesthetic procedures)
For your pet's safety and to ensure a thorough cleaning, this procedure must be performed under general anesthesia. Precautions are taken to optimize safety, such as pre-anesthetic bloodwork, EKG & radiographs of the chest to detect abnormalities that may affect your pet's ability to handle anesthesia. All pets are monitored both manually and with electronic biometric equipment throughout anesthesia.
Once under sedation, we use an ultrasonic cleaner to remove all traces of tartar that has accumulated on the surfaces of the teeth, as well as the calculus that we cannot see below the gumline.
We use a special probing instrument to measure the gingival depth surrounding each tooth. This helps us locate pockets of bone loss that may identify a diseased tooth that otherwise appears healthy to the naked eye.
In addition to physical measurement, we use dental radiography to locate signs of disease.
Look at tooth #105 in this photo. To view it from the outside, it looks perfectly normal - but the dark shadows around the root in the dental x-ray reveal bone loss all around. This is a diseased tooth that will cause pain and discomfort very soon if not extracted.
We ask for pre-authorization for extractions when you drop your pet off for his procedure. Our goal is to minimize anesthetic time, and don't want to extend it if we're unable to reach you by phone.
Know that we only perform extractions if absolutely necessary (i.e. the tooth is or will soon be causing pain to your pet). The veterinarian will use local anesthetic injections prior to extracting diseased teeth, and post-operative laser therapy is performed afterwards to minimize inflammation and jump-start the healing process.
Can't I just brush my pet's teeth?
YES, we strongly encourage everyone to include daily toothbrushing in their pet's routine. However, brushing alone is not enough to remove tartar that has already hardened on the teeth. It's as tough as cement, and adheres so strongly to the surface of the tooth that it must be removed manually with an ultrasonic cleaner.
After we've removed all the calculus, we polish your pet's teeth with a fluoride toothpaste (using a prophy cup just like at your dentist). This smooths out any microscopic scratches from the cleaning and provides a clean surface for you to start at-home oral maintenance.
How much does it cost?
Because every case is unique, we will provide a written treatment plan with an estimated range at the time of recommendation. The size of your pet and the severity of dental disease are the primary reasons for variation.
February is National Dental Health Month - check out our special offers here!
Click here for answers to your cat's most pressing FAQs about life. :)
An important message from your pet providers at Tender Touch Veterinary Hospital:
Dr. Brandi Cox has taken a position as a relief veterinarian to offer care throughout the Pittsburgh region. Unfortunately, this means that we will no longer be providing services for exotic pets.
Effective immediately, we will only be accepting canine and feline patients.
As a relief veterinarian, Dr. Cox will not be associated with a permanent location; she will fill in as a temporary caregiver when regular doctors are unable to be in their respective clinics. **Please understand that we are not able to provide you with Dr. Cox's personal cell phone number.**
It is important to us that you have access to continued veterinary care for your pets.
We have compiled a list of exotic practices around the area for your convenience (see reference list below). We've also marked them on a map for time/distance and custom directions to each location from your home: https://goo.gl/maps/cAcbVZkQZLB2
Please let us know your chosen practice and we will forward your pet’s medical records.
This information allows your new veterinarian to review subtle changes in weight, vital signs, lab results, physical exam findings, and more. Having a complete history is useful when assessing future medical concerns.
Thank you for entrusting us with your pet’s health over the past several years. It has been a wonderful opportunity to have grown to know and love your unusual pets. We appreciate your understanding and wish you and family health and happiness!
West Liberty Animal Hospital
3055 W. Liberty Ave
Pittsburgh PA 15216
Good Shepherd Veterinary Hospital
101 Fox Trot Dr
Mars PA 16046
All Pet Animal Hospital
5354 William Flynn Hwy
Gibsonia PA 15044
4224 Northern Pike
Monroeville PA 15146
Northview Animal Hospital
(Jennilee Morrison DVM DAVP – Avian, Dr. Pleban Oberst, & Dr. Zetwo)
223 Siebert Rd
Pittsburgh PA 15237
(Dr. Wells & Dr. Runcy)
2810 Washington Rd
McMurray PA 15317
20411 Perry Hwy
Cranberry Twp PA 16066
Protecting pets and people is the top priority here, and that's why vaccination is required by PA State Law. Recent amendments to the law may affect you as a pet owner, so we're sharing some key points: