ProMeris Flea & Tick Treatment Warning

E-mail warns that ProMeris brand flea and tick protection may cause allergic reactions or illness in cats and dogs.

  • Published

Claim:   E-mail warns that ProMeris brand flea and tick protection may cause severe adverse reactions in pets.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, April 2008]

Alert about the new Flea & Tick Preventative called ProMeris

This is a new product designed to be a more effective product than other flea/tick treatments that was just released this year. It is available thru a vet and not currently on-line. I got ProMeris this week for my 7 dogs (6 Huskies & 1 Golden-Airedale), and the results were debilitating for nearly all of them-including me. Since my incident this week, my vet has pulled it from distribution and alerted the manufacturer, Fort Dodge.

Here are my results: Within less than 2 hours after applying, 4 of my dogs had vomited from 2-4 times, 3 were disoriented and stumbling, 1 was dragging his back leg, 1 was salivating. I had very similar symptoms like an allergic reaction-my lips were swollen, eyes very red, mucous membranes such as eyes, nose, and mouth were stinging. I was very disoriented-dizzy equilibrium and not able to drive. To make this a short story-all 7 of my dogs were admitted to the hospital for veterinarian care, and 3 of them remained for care, IV fluids and observation for 24 hours. I was in the emergency room. I’m home now and so are the dogs. We’re all feeling much better. Vet bills were over $2,500 and Fort Dodge is paying for these. Not only can the product cause this reaction, it has a highly noxious odor that permeated the house and is just starting to dissipate after 3 days.

Your dogs/cats might not have the same reaction, but given my experience — I wanted to help you all become well-educated about the


Origins:  ProMeris, produced by Fort Dodge Animal Health (a division of Wyeth), is a topical pet product used for controlling and preventing flea and tick infestations in cats and dogs. ProMeris, whose active ingredients are metaflumizone (for flea control) and amitraz (for tick control), was approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in mid-2007. ProMeris is only available through practicing veterinarians and is not sold as an over-the-counter product.

Since the introduction of ProMeris, anecdotal accounts (like the one quoted above) have appeared stating that pets (and in some cases their owners)

have experienced severe adverse symptoms such as lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, disorientation, depression, nervous twitching, and hyper salivation after the application of ProMeris. (Similar accounts can be found here.)

It is difficult to determine at this time whether such anecdotal reports indicate a serious general problem with ProMeris. Just about any product used with animals, no matter how generally safe, can produce adverse reactions in some cases due to misuse (i.e., misapplication or overdose) or unusual sensitivity to one or more ingredients in individual animals. Moreover, the safety studies conducted for ProMeris found no significant problems with either cats or dogs, even when the animals were given repeated topical applications of five times the recommended dosage. The studies suggest that most of the symptoms described in accounts such as the one quoted above are likely reactions stemming from treated animals’ ingesting the product after application. (ProMeris, like many such products, is deliberately formulated to be unpalatable in order to prevent such accidental ingestion.)

ProMeris is aware of these reports, and their representative veterinarian, Dr. Tom Linz, said “a group of veterinarians in the company handle these adverse events when people call in and we investigate them thoroughly to make sure it is the product and it’s not a concurrent product or something else going on.”

Last updated:   10 August 2011


    Faulkner, Todd.   “Pet Health Questioned Over Pet Product.”

    WPSD-TV.   15 April 2008.