I don't know about you guys, but I've had pets for a while now, and from time to time, you just have to use a flea collar. Maybe not like, all the time, but occasionally the buggers just turn up.  I remember there was a particularly bad outbreak maybe five years ago. I would see posts on social media all the time from people sharing their home remedies to get rid of them, stuff like that.  And we tried everything. We tried special shampoos, over the counter collars, treatments for the carpets, sprays for the outdoors, everything.  Nothing worked.

When it finally got to be too much, I just decided to skip all that and turn to a professional.  We had the house professionally treated inside and out by a local company whose name rhymes with BunSqueakity.  They did a great job.  But we also turned to our vet.  The vet said they knew about how bad it had gotten that year, noted that it wasn't just us - they'd seen multiple cases a day of people trying to rid their pets of these things.  After all, if they scratch too much it can hurt their skin, and if they eat the eggs or bugs on their fur, they can get sick.

The vet office recommended that we try these certain flea collars that last most of the year, a brand called Seresto.  They were pricey, but we got a rebate back and it turned out all good.  These things worked like a charm.  And there was no irritation or any kind of sign that the fur babies were unhappy with them.  Again, that was years ago, and we've bought several since. And since then, we've kept up the regular preventative sprays of the yard to ward off the fleas.

Cut to now.  I saw the article, you might have seen it too, in USA Today.  I read the article and was torn, because,  yeah, these stories sound horrible.  But, we've never encountered a problem of any kind with the collars.  Our pets are healthy.  They  may have had a hairball now and then and get a little too "chasey" in the afternoons, but otherwise they're normal, and have been for years. I thought, well, jeez, maybe we should look into this.  I was about to reach out to our vet's office, which rhymes with Rompson Bills Animal Clinic, when I saw they had already reached out to me.  Well, not just me, but their other clients as well.  Here's what they had to say.

Dear Clients,

As you may already know, there has been a viral news story circulating about the safety of Seresto collars. As of 2012, there are over 25 million pets using Seresto, including our own personal pets. It is endorsed globally as safe and effective and since they came out, we have not had any issues using them on our own pets.

Over the years there have been a number of “investigative reporters” try and unseat good, safe products without any scientific data to explain these adverse events, as is the case with this story. This causes people to misinterpret the information and causes unnecessary panic.

While we do understand client concerns, it is likely owners are linking Seresto collars to normal disease processes or unknown underlying health issues occurring throughout the duration of wearing the collar and are reporting it as such.

If any true evidence of health concerns is reported, we will be sure to alert you immediately and if you do notice any adverse reactions from a collar purchased at our clinic, please let us know so we can report it to the manufacturer. In the meantime, we will continue to use the Seresto collar on our pets as we have done the last 8 years.

So they say they're keeping up with it, and they believe it is safe. So basically what it comes down to is, who do you trust?  Do you trust your veterinarian, or do you trust the internet?  It's hard to hear these stories and not know if it's dangerous. Reading the article, they were using numbers like dozens, hundreds, and at one point thousands.  But out of millions sold and used, is that a lot?  Do you take the chance?

In the end, I had to choose trusting my vet.  I know for a fact that the vet's office knows a lot more than I do about animal health.  And what motivation do they have to sell me something that will kill my pet? That's like believing your doctor is selling you poison because they want you to keep coming back.  I can't look my doc or my vet in the eye and believe that they want to harm me or my pet.  And it's not like if we suspect or see the beginnings of a problem, we won't take the collars off.

What do you think? Do your pets use these collars? What will you do in the future?

Buggingly yours,
Behka