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Lufenuron: Warning from Pet Consumer Report.


Warning about Sentinel and other Flea and Heartworm Products

Is Sentinel the Answer to Heartworm and Fleas?

Sentinel is a monthly tablet that guards against heartworm, fleas, roundworm, hookworm and whipworm. Wow! Now that's a mouth full! Seems like an easy answer to all your prayers, right? Are you wondering how one little pill can do all this? Well the answer is simple and straight forward; it poisens heartworm, fleas, roundworm, hookworm and whipworm. Actually, it's enough poison to kill an army of insects and parasites. But it is FDA approved and the FDA says it is harmless to dogs. So, is it "safe" to trust the FDA when it comes to your pet? Well, keep in mind this is the same organization that approved PPA in all of our cold medications that is getting so much media attention and the basis of hundreds of lawsuits. Don't put the health of your dog or cat in the government's hands -- we wouldn't. As always, we encourage you to get the facts and decide for yourself.

One of the chemicals Sentinel contains, lufenuron, is used for the flea prevention. Unfortunately, it doesn't prevent fleas from jumping on your pet. Lufenuron has no effect at all on the adult flea, as a matter of fact, its only target is the female flea who lays eggs. When a female flea jumps on and bites a treated pet it ingests lufenuron. When the female lays eggs, the lufenuron is deposited in her eggs. Now here is the clincher. Sentinel states that lufenuron prevents "most" eggs from hatching or maturing into adults. Most? What about the fleas that do not fit into this "most" category? And what about all the male fleas? Well logically, they remain on the animal. You know what it recommends on the package? "Use of other conventional insecticides should be employed for adult flea prevention." If you do that, why even use Sentinel? We consider this pill an internal insecticide.

Side Effects of Sentinel

Want more? Let's take a look at some of the side effects of Sentinel. It has been reported to cause lack of appetite and anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, lethargy, difficulty breathing, and skin irritations. Hmm, a long list of side effects just like a long list of what Sentinel prevents. When these products first came out, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) became flooded with reports of adverse side effects. Apparently the pesticides and repellents being used to protect dogs and cats from fleas, ticks and parasites were harming the health of the animals and the humans administering them. That's right, humans! In an 18-month period the EPA received 853 reports of adverse side effects caused from these so-called "safe, easy to use monthly tablets". There were 148 animal deaths, and 58 reports of human sickness. Doesn't sound too safe to us! Think about this -- those are just the people who made the association between their personal or pet's illness with Sentinel. Most people would not even think of this potentially making them sick because it is marketed as totally safe.

Animal Right Issues

We have a real issue here too. At the time this article was written, Novartis Animal Health, the makers of Sentinel, use laboratory animals to test their products. They purposely overdose innocent dogs and cats to see what will happen. They give high doses to pregnant dogs to see if there are any birth defects passed to the puppies. They administer "exaggerated doses" to puppies to see if they develop any side effects. All this from a company who puts the words "animal health" after their name. Why would a company so concerned about animal health put animal's health in jeopardy?

We will never have a good answer for that one.

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