Local veterinary hospital weighs in on report linking Seresto collars to animal deaths

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ATHENS, Pennsylvania (WBNG) – A new one report of the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting in association with USA Today, Seresto has linked flea and tick collars to nearly 1,700 deaths and numerous other injuries.

Now many are wondering why the collars weren’t taken off the shelves.

12 News reached out to a local veterinarian to find out how to interpret the report.

Staff at Athens Animal Hospital in Athens, Pennsylvania say the report is complicated, and before making any purchasing decisions based on the results, it is important to consider how it was constructed.

“They took all the incident reports and said, ‘Here are all these incidents’ without necessarily investigating the cause,” said Abby Davenport, doctor of veterinary medicine at the hospital.

With no official recall, she said that if you’ve seen the report make the headlines and are wondering whether you should stop using the collar on your pet, it is important to do your own homework and read the report carefully.

“I would suggest reading the article, seeing where they got those numbers, how they came to their conclusions, and realizing that correlation isn’t always causality,” she said.

She stresses that the article has not gone into sufficient depth on the impact widespread counterfeit collars could have on statistics.

She said if you read the report and find that you still want to use the collar, make sure that the collar you purchased is genuine and authorized.

“There are many counterfeit collars out there and these are likely to be causing some of the problems you see online,” she said.

Davenport says many of these fakes are bought on sites like eBay. Amazon is also not immune to third-party providers.

“There are third party vendors on the site who usually market the collars at below average market value and sometimes these are fake and theoretically unsafe.”

Finally, she says you should understand the potential risks of using chemicals like those in Seresto collars on your pet’s skin.

“If your pet has sensitive skin or you notice a reaction, it might be a good idea to consider another type of flea and tick collar for your pet,” she said.

We asked Elanco, the maker of the Seresto Collar, for a comment. Your spokesperson, Keri McGrath, told us that she found the study to be misleading and that she had omitted important data that she provided when preparing the report.

As for the fight against counterfeiting, she says that she is a Section of their website dedicated to how to find authorized Serest Collar Sellers.