Flea, ticks and keeping pets safe

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - The Environmental Protection Agency has intensified its evaluation of spot-on flea and tick treatments for your animals. This after the EPA received several thousand reports of adverse reactions to the products. So, what can you do to keep your pet safe?

"We are seeing lots and lots of fleas this year," explained Dr. Robert Kennis, who specializes in dermatology at Auburn Universities Vet School.

The rainy weather is a perfect breeding ground for the insects. With m ore patients needing help for their dogs and cats, Dr. Kennis is keeping an eye on the EPA's investigation into over the counter and prescribed spot on flea and tick treatments. So far the EPA has received 44-thousand reports of adverse reactions in cats and dogs. Most of the reactions are mild or moderate, however more serious reactions like seizures and death have been reported.

"As veterinarians we try to use products that have ag good track record and we are comfortable with," said Kennis.

Dr. Kennis believes it's very easy for owners to be overwhelmed when trying to choose an over the counter flea and tick product, without the guidance of a veterinarian.

"There may be OTC that are safe and effective, but there are so many variables, like concentration how to use, some are for cats some are for dogs. There are so many variables and potential for human error," he explained.

So the best advice Dr. Kennis has for pet owners is to seek the advice of their dog or cats vet when choosing flea or tick program for your best friend.

The EPA is examing a list of products. We've provided a link to that list below: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/health/prodname-reg.pdf