Pyrethroid Insecticides

Pyrethroid Insecticides

The last common poison we wanted to share with our followers for National Pet Poison Prevention Month is the pyrethroid insecticides. Pyrethroids are commonly found in domestic insecticide products such as insect and spider sprays, ant sands and mosquito coils. These insecticides may also be found in some flea and tick spot-on products for dogs. Some common pyrethroid compounds include permethrin, bifenthrin, deltamethrin and esfenvalerate.

Exposure to these products typically occurs when animals walk over, or lick treated surfaces. This can result in irritation, tingling or numbness of the exposed areas of the skin and mouth. Animals that ingest these products will often begin drooling or vomiting. More significant exposures, such as those that occur from drinking concentrated products or biting into an aerosol can, may result in more serious effects such as tremor and seizures and can potentially be life-threatening.

Cats are very sensitive to pyrethroids and extra caution should be taken when using these products around them. Applying pyrethroid based flea and tick spot-on products (that are intended for dogs) to cats can be life-threatening. Cats can also be seriously poisoned after coming into physical contact with or grooming dogs that have recently been treated with these products.

To reduce the risk of poisoning, always ensure containers holding pesticides are kept well out of reach of your pets. Pets should be kept away from sprayed or treated areas until they are well ventilated and thoroughly dry. Spot-on products intended for dogs should never be applied to cats, and cats should be physically separated from dogs that have recently been treated with these products for up to 48 hours.

Fish are also incredibly sensitive to these insecticides. If you keep fish or other aquatic invertebrates, ensure the aquarium/pond and pump is covered prior to using pyrethroids. Dogs that have recently been treated with pyrethroid based spot-on products should not be allowed to enter ponds until the application site is thoroughly dry.

If your pet has been exposed to permethrin or any other pyrethroid insecticide, please phone the Animal Poisons Helplineon 1300 869 738 (AU) or 0800 869 738 (NZ) for advice. We can assess your pet’s exposure to determine if they will be at risk of poisoning and if they require urgent veterinary assessment.
For pet poison updates direct to your email box, sign up to our mailing list at here.