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anses

French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety

Ensure the proper use of antiparasitics for the treatment of pets!

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News of 13/04/2018

The return of spring is synonymous with that of parasites such as ticks, fleas and mosquitoes that can cause serious diseases in animals as well as diseases transmissible to humans. To protect our domestic animals, the use of ectoparasiticides is an effective solution. These antiparasitics can be used to treat and/or prevent insect infestations in animals. However, it is important to ensure the proper use of these veterinary medicinal products!

Each antiparasitic used in veterinary medicine is covered by a marketing authorisation issued by ANSES’s French Agency for Veterinary Medicinal Products (ANMV) based on a benefit/risk assessment for a given animal species. Sold by pharmacists and veterinarians as well as in supermarkets and garden centres, these veterinary medicinal products are not without danger. Therefore the precautions recommended by the Agency should be carefully followed with each use.

Use the appropriate veterinary medicinal product to treat your pet

Marketing authorisations for veterinary medicinal products are issued for a given animal species. It is therefore important to use each product for its intended species!

ANSES regularly records serious and even fatal adverse effects observed in cats treated with ectoparasiticides containing permethrin that are intended for dogs. These products can cause neurological disorders (tremors, seizures, ataxia, agitation, coma) sometimes associated with digestive symptoms, which can be fatal for cats. Just a few drops can be enough to cause serious effects in the most sensitive cats.

Human health: comply with the conditions for use of veterinary medicinal products

Adverse events in humans can occur through contact with treated animals or through direct contact with a veterinary medicinal product during administration to animals. They can also occur through mishandling, misuse or accidental ingestion. To prevent this type of effect, strictly comply with the conditions for use stated in the instructions provided with each product:

  • Wash hands after use
  • Carefully rinse skin or eyes with water in the event of accidental exposure or splashing  
  • Do not smoke, drink or eat during application
  • Do not handle and do not let children play with treated animals until the application site is dry or after a recommended time period if one is given in the instructions.

It is preferable to treat animals in the early evening and to not let animals that have just been treated sleep with their owners, children in particular.

Do not use antiparasitics intended for animals to treat head lice in children!  

Veterinary drugs authorised as pet antiparasitics, insecticides or acaracides must never be used for treating children's head lice. In the event of lice infestation, we recommend you use the appropriate treatment, based on the child's age, and that you seek advice from a healthcare professional (pharmacist, physician).