AVMA comments on permethrin toxicosis

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Adverse reactions by cats to concentrated, spot-on, flea-and-tick products that contain permethrin prompted the AVMA Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents to make a recommendation to the AVMA Executive Board suggesting product labeling for safety. The US Pharmacopoeia Veterinary Practitioners' Reporting Program coordinator is also seeking comments from the AAHA, AAFP, and American Board of Veterinary Toxicologists on toxicoses involving cats exposed to permethrin.

The board approved a position statement on inappropriate exposure of cats to concentrated permethrin products and sent a letter to the EPA. The letter says that unintended species-specific toxicoses can be prevented. It suggests that product labeling include prominent warnings about exposure of cats to permethrin, the product's toxic and potentially fatal effect on cats, toxicoses in cats, a suggestion to contact a veterinarian in the event of signs of toxicosis in cats, and indication that cats in close contact with treated dogs might develop signs of toxicosis.

The July 15, 1999 JAVMA feature "USP — Reporting Back to You" addressed toxicosis in cats following use of concentrated permethrin products.