Flea collars linked to sickness and death in pets

A recent investigation has found over 75,000 complaints filed over potentially harmful tick and flea collars.

Tick and flea collars are supposed to protect our dogs and cats, so it’s troubling when we hear they could be hurting them instead.

An investigation published last week by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting discovered there have been more than 75,000 complaints about the Seresto brand flea and tick collar over the past nine years. They also found that nearly 1,700 dogs and cats wearing the collar have died.

The collar brand Seresto was created by Bayer Animal Health which was recently purchased by Elanco Animal Health. The collar uses two types of pesticides to kill fleas and ticks, releasing small amounts of chemicals onto your pet over time.

Click here for a list of natural ways to repel fleas. 

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which regulates products with pesticides, responded by saying it believes the collar is still safe enough, noting that some warnings exist on the product’s packaging. Despite the complaints, the product will stay on the market. Elanco provided this statement concerning the link between their products and deaths of pets:

There is no established link between death and exposure to the active ingredients contained in Seresto.

We take the safety of our products very seriously, and thoroughly investigate potential concerns related to their use. And, it is critically important for people to understand that a report is not an indication of cause. What those numbers represent is the number of reports received, and do not reflect causality. So, if a dog were to be wearing a collar and experience any sort of adverse event, the collar would be mentioned in the report. Drawing a causal link from individual incident reports is misleading.

Almost all flea and tick collars contain pesticides. If your dog or cat is experiencing health problems, consult your vet before using any flea or tick collar.


Michael is a recent graduate of the Haliburton School of Art + Design located at the Peterborough campus of Fleming College. He has also spent time at Trent University in the Cultural Studies program. He has a wide range of interests and passions, from music and film to animation and new media. Before moving to Peterborough in 2014, Michael lived in Kitchener, Ontario with his two cats, Chip and Brie.