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Safety Information

Bluetongue virus vaccine field safety data

The EMEA's Committee for Medicinal Products for Veterinary Use (CVMP) has reviewed data provided by Member States regarding the safety of Bluetongue vaccines used during 2008 as part of the Community approved emergency vaccination campaigns to immunise cattle and sheep. Overall, the frequency of adverse drug reactions was very low (<1:10,000) and the results support the continued use of inactivated bluetongue vaccines in the 2009 vaccination campaign.

The press release and the report can be reached by following these links:

Risk of avermectin toxicity to dogs

Horse, cattle and sheep wormers containing avermectins (eprinomectin, ivermectin, moxidectin or doramectin) present a serious risk of poisoning to dogs. In dogs, these drugs can cause nervous signs such as depression, pupil dilation, blindness, fits, staggering, coma and death. Collies and Collie-mix dogs are known to be particularly at risk as these animals are more sensitive to the effects of this drug class. Tortoises and turtles are also at risk.

The majority of cases of such poisonings in dogs reported to the VMD occurred because the dog ate spilt worming paste or horse feed containing these drugs, but there have been cases of dogs that fell ill after playing with used syringes. Not only pastes but also injectable and pour-on solutions are dangerous to dogs and contact with, or swallowing even small amounts of product may cause serious clinical signs.

The package leaflets of wormers containing eprinomectin, ivermectin, moxidectin or doramectin contain warnings regarding avermectin toxicity. It is important that users of these products read the instructions carefully before dosing their animals. It is also important that spillages are avoided and used syringes and containers are disposed of safely. Dogs suspected of having ingested or been in direct contact with products containing these drugs should be taken to their veterinarians as soon as possible.

Any suspected cases of avermectin poisoning should be reported to the VMD using the Yellow Form.

Permethrin Spot On Products Can Kill Cats

The following spot on products can be deadly for cats:

  • Activyl Tick Plus Spot-on Solution for Dogs
  • Advantix Spot On Solution for Dogs
  • Armitage Pet Care Flea and Tick Drops for Dogs 702mg Spot-on Solution
  • Beaphar Dog Flea and Tick Drops, 65% w/w, Cutaneous Solution
  • Bob Martin Dog Spot On Solution 744mg
  • Bob Martin Dog Spot On Solution 1488mg
  • Bob Martin Flea and Tick Spot On Solution 744mg
  • Bob Martin Permethrin Dog Spot On Exspot Insecticide for Dogs
  • Easi-drop Flea and Tick Drops for Dogs 742 mg Cutaneous Solution
  • Johnson's Flea and Tick Drops 742mg for Puppies and Small Dogs, Cutaneous Solution
  • Johnson's Insecticidal Flea and Tick Drops 742mg, Cutaneous Solution
  • Wilko Dog Flea Drops 65% w/w Cutaneous Solution

These products are intended for the treatment of fleas and ticks in dogs only. They contain permethrin, a substance that is safe for dogs but causes a toxic reaction in cats when present in spot on products, due to its concentration. Cats treated with even small amounts of spot on products containing permethrin, or allowed to groom dogs treated with any of the products in the list above, can develop nervous signs such as depression, drooling, tremors, seizures, vomiting and staggering, and can die.

Some pet owners apply spot on products containing permethrin that are indicated for use in dogs to their cats by mistake, or because they think that it is safe if they use only small amounts of the product. It is not safe to use any spot on product containing permethrin in cats. If you have applied any of the products listed above to your cat, it is important to wash off the product from the cat with water and a mild detergent and seek immediate treatment from your veterinary surgeon. Take the product package with you and show it to the veterinarian.

The VMD is actively monitoring the incidence of suspected adverse reactions to these products and requests that any incident be reported as soon as possible. Details of how to report a suspected adverse reaction can be found on the Adverse Reaction Reporting site.

Last Updated: 18 July 2013

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