Do not use cheristin for cats!!!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Grooming & General Cat Care' started by danielleb14, Jul 19, 2016.

  1. danielleb14

    danielleb14 TCS Member Kitten

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    Jul 19, 2016
    I work at a veterinary clinic we were told to try cheristin on our office cats. We did and it killed one of them! This medicine is EPA approved not FDA approved!! The Elanco Company first put this product on the shelves under the name Assurity and after numerous animal deaths they took if off the shelves and repackaged it under the name Cheristin.  When I contacted Elanco and told them about the cat's death, they told me nothing like this has ever happened before, but i highly doubt that our clinic cat would of been the first to die from this!! The Elanco Company offered to pay for a autopsy and when i asked the autopsy doctor about the results he said it was CHERISTIN that killed her!! I have been doing as much research as possible and I highly suggest you do too!! There is no expiration date on the box! How is that even possible? There is no way it could last forever and not go bad. The main ingredient is Spinetoram, a pesticide used to kill insects on trees!! I want this to be known so no one will ever use Cheristin and have anymore animals die!! PLEASE only use a product that is FDA approved for all animals!! Elanco told me the incident with my office cat passing away would be reviewed and not much else would be done about it. I can not believe it. We love our office cat and would never want anyone else to go through this heartbreaking ordeal!!! 
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 20, 2016
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  2. red top rescue

    red top rescue Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    Please spread the word; call the company; have your vets report it to somewhere OTHER than the company.  Report it to other vets.  Report it to the state vet board.  Report it to any interested NEWS people especially if your vet is willing to go on camera.  We have had an ongoing thread about this already, so please add this to that thread as well. 

    http://www.thecatsite.com/t/294358/...action-to-cheristin-flea-meds/30#post_4057503
     
  3. danielleb14

    danielleb14 TCS Member Kitten

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    yes we have been in contact with the company they paid for the autopsy, the Dr. I work for is going to call the USDA and FDA when we get the report back. I will post this on the link you sent me.
     
  4. jules10

    jules10 TCS Member Young Cat

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    I shall take further action on this as you request.  I contacted Elanco and the vet I spoke with lied and lied and lied.  They said there were no incidences of death, much less a death as horrific as the one my poor cat went through.  I contacted one vet already (they could have cared less) and will contact the other ones as well! 

    This is tragic!  Simply tragic!  I wonder how many other cat deaths there have been?  My cat was vomiting up blood and white foam in the end too before she was put down after not eating nor drinking nor able to move!  OMG! [​IMG]  
     
  5. jules10

    jules10 TCS Member Young Cat

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    Please let me know what the findings are!  I'm still beyond devastated about the death of my poor cat and now this.  [​IMG]  
     
  6. red top rescue

    red top rescue Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    Complaints have been going on for three years concerning this drug.  I believe it is like with the avermectin family, in certain animals, this drug can cross the Blood Braim Barrier, and for those animals, the drug works on them just as it works on the insects it is designed to kill.  It is a genetic abnormality and rare enough that the drugs do not get pulled, but every year some animals are sickened and killed by them.  The best advice for anyone is do NOT use anything on your animal without first researching by at least searching the internet for "complaints about _________."  Many things will have occasional complaints, but if you find a pattern, like this one, beware. 

    http://community.qvc.com/t5/Home/BE...XIS-COMFORTIS-ASSURITY-containing/td-p/322205

    If enough animals are sensitive to a particular drug, yours may be also.  It is not worth the risk.
     
  7. red top rescue

    red top rescue Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    After a little more research, I see it IS like the avermectins.  It is a MACROCYCLIC LACTONE, and there are three groups of these:  the avermectins, the milbemycins, and the most recent group, the spinosyns. 

    I can now understand why the company is not blaming their drug.  The drug is safe as long as it does not cross the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB).  However, in some animals there is a genetic anomaly -- in dogs it is called the Multi-Drug Resistance Gene (MDR1 gene).   It codes for a protein that is responsible for protecting the brain by transporting potentially harmful chemicals away from the brain. Any macrocyclic lactone that does make it past the BBB and into the central nervous system is rapidly removed by a special transport system called a p-glycoprotein transport system. This transport system binds up the macrocyclic lactones, transports them back past the BBB and returns them to the bloodstream (thereby preventing the chemicals from having a toxic effect on the brain).

    In certain animals, a mutation occurs in the MDR1 gene, and animals with this mutation have a defect in the P-glycoprotein that is normally responsible for transporting certain drugs out of the brain. The defective protein inhibits the animal's ability to remove certain drugs from the brain, leading to a buildup of these toxins. As a result of the accumulation of toxins, the animal can show neurological symptoms, such as seizures, ataxia, paralysis and even death.

    The existence of this genetic error is well known in dogs, particularly the herding breeds.  A test has been developed to spot it and there is a list of drugs to avoid.  I have not yet seen the test offered for cats, nor do I know if the gene abnormality would look the same, but the result is the same.  Some cats cannot tolerate these drugs either and I greatly suspect they too have a genetic mutation causing a defect in the P-glycoprotein so that the toxins build up in the brain and kill the animal just like they would kill the insect they are targeting.  This would explain why one of your office cats died with neurological symptoms and the others did not.  It would explain why numerous animals die from these drugs, yet most do not.  The problem is not with the drug but with the animals.

    The test was developed at Washington State University.  I think Mars has bought the right to it. 

    There are two places that test dogs for this gene.  I don't know if any places test cats or if it is basically the same test, since it's just a genetic profile.  Since yu work with vets, and your vets are also upset with this death, perhaps they would take an active interest in seeing if cats can be tested, and if there is any dna left from the cat who died that might be tested.

    Here are the test sites that currently will test dogs:

    http://www.wisdompanel.com/mdr1_disease_screening/

    http://www.animalgenetics.us/Canine/Genetic_Disease/MDR1.asp

    Let us know if anything comes of this.  The company might be supportive when they see you are trying to find out of the problem was with the animal and not the drug itself.  They might even want to research it.
     
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  8. apollobw

    apollobw TCS Member Kitten

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    My 18 year old hyperthyroid cat died early today, 1 1/2 days after putting Cheristan on him. I was going to bury him today but it rained most of the day. Do you know any vets in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area that would get Elanco to pay for an autopsy? Another person on this site said her hyperthyroid cat was seriously affected. I forget if her cat died or not.
     
  9. jules10

    jules10 TCS Member Young Cat

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    It seems that the deaths occurring are with cats that have been on this stuff for over a year in many cases.  Such was the case with my late cat -- she was dx'd with FAD in 2014 and had been on it about one year before symptoms began to appear and all of the veterinary visits.  No answers until I noted the my cat died the same way as the flea does -- spine attacked ---> paralysis ---> extreme weight loss ---> death.

    Saddest thing I've ever witnessed! 

    We need to get together as a whole and do something if at all possible.  Elanco = filled w/lies IMO!
     
  10. ginny

    ginny TCS Member Top Cat

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    That's kinda scary! I guess all other flea treatments work similarly.  So actually it is poison but not in such an amount as to kill the animal, just the flea.  But I have to wonder what are the long-term effects of these treatments.  We now know what it is with Cheristin (or Assurity).  What other long-term effects of this poison are there?  Cancer?  Neurodegenerative disorders?  Heart disease?  Kidney disease?  Cats don't just get sick for no reason, so everything they have been exposed to or ingested is suspect, whether topically or via GI.  

    Is there any safe alternative on the market?  Poison is not safe.  Is there any safe natural alternative?
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2016
  11. jules10

    jules10 TCS Member Young Cat

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    Back in the olden days before they had these topicals, we used to give all animals a bath often, that included the cats -- a flea bath it was called.  We'd use a shampoo that killed the fleas and they'd die and down the drain they would go.  Afterwards, the cat, while not completely flea-free would be much improved.  There were powders you could buy and put on the cat too, but I cannot remember them caring much for this.

    Then there was the flea collar and I don't remember them working very well.

    I'm back to where I was again now and that is the flea comb.  Luckily, the two large tomcats I have left love to be combed, in fact one of them sits next to where the combs are located when he wants you to comb him.  I trained both of them to love the comb.  They used to watch me comb the one that has died as I'd say, "Comb, comb, comb" as I combed her (she loved it too).  They were young very observant kittens at the time hence the reason they like it.

    On the other hand I had  a cat that hated being combed and it was head only.  He was a rescue that had a streak of intolerance in him I'd say.

    What else can we do?  Some recommend diatomaceous earth.  I've heard of good and bad with this stuff and I certainly would never put it on a cat. 

    We need options but seemingly have few as the poisoning continues.

    I'm keeping my two indoors and will continue to look for fleas.  If I find any, I'll do what I can to be rid of them w/the comb and hope for the best.

    I have used Advantage for Large Cats on them and it seemed effective but in thinking back, I remember that it made them a bit lethargic too!  Also, I read somewhere that one of the ingredients in Advantage is responsible for the bee colony collapses we are now witnessing!

    This is a horrific situation we are seeing.  To me, the drug companies are responsible because their studies are not and were not adequate!  I think they need to be sued by some person out there than has the means to do just that. 
     
  12. ginny

    ginny TCS Member Top Cat

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    I think flea baths are a much better option depending on what ingredients you bathe them in.  Topical poisons go systemic eventually.  That's how transdermal meds work.  I can't see any good coming from poison.   And I totally agree that the drug companies share the blame, but we as consumers have  responsibility too.  Drug companies are only in it for the money, we know that.  Let the buyer beware!  We have the potential to bankrupt pharmaceutical companies if we just would.  But too many folk still trust their doctors and the drugs they prescribe implicitly.  I've learned not to.  
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2016
  13. jules10

    jules10 TCS Member Young Cat

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    >> We have the potential to bankrupt pharmaceutical companies if we just would.  But too many folk still trust their doctors and the drugs they prescribe implicitly.  I've learned not to.  

    I've learned too; the hard way as my beloved cat has died a horrible death. 

    I wish I could remember more about the flea baths I used to do.  I had 5 cats at one time and I'd run them through the tub one by one.  They'd come out a bit angry of course but after they were dry, clean, combed out and seemingly fairly flea free, they were grateful for this care.

    I doubt I'd try it again with the two huge 3 year old tomcats I have now.  I don't think they'd like it very much.

    The key is to start a treatment when they are kittens so they are used to it at an early age (as is the case with flea combing them).  They can learn to enjoy it, I know my two that are left do.

    I'd love to see these pharmaceutical companies that are making this crud go bankrupt!  That is perhaps my idea of a goal worth pursuing!  If we all took the time and effort of giving baths and combing, it could work well esp. if you keep the cats indoors.

    One thing I must WARN about is the use of ESSENTIAL OILS around cats, esp. lavender oil, cedar oil, eucalyptus oil and many others -- these are very toxic to cats but likely not to dogs.  Just because it is deemed "natural" does not mean it is safe.  While an essential oil is toxic to a cat, the actual plant itself (in the case of lavender and cedar anyway -- eucalyptus is a big no no period in ANY form!) is not toxic and can be used freely.  I have little sachets of lavender and cedar throughout the house in closets and drawers to prevent moth infestations.  I had a horrific problem with moths at the same time as I had the flea infestation 2 years ago.  I worked really hard cleaning and washing everything and finally managed to get rid of both of these pests but it was a long hard battle that went on for months.

    As of this writing, I have no more moths; I keep as many things as I can in plastic tubs that are sealed and I clean the house and vacuum frequently as I do not want to go through this ever again!

    I have used diatomaceous earth (Pet Safe) when I treated the garage a couple of  years ago.  I was super careful when I did that and moved the cats and their litter boxes indoors for two days as instructed.  I was certain to clean up good before I allowed the cats to return to the garage where their litter boxes are kept.  It seemed to have done a good job for pest control but I'd never consider using it in any form directly on a cat.  It is dangerous!  Absolutely!  Don't be fooled again by natural anything please! 
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2016
  14. ginny

    ginny TCS Member Top Cat

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    You are so right about natural ingredients.  Oxygen and water are both natural and we need it to live.  But too much of either one and we'll die.  The dose makes the poison.  Sometimes just the substance itself is poison so you are right to point that out.  

    I don't see the pharmaceutical companies going bust any time soon even though I said what I said.  We do have the potential to stop buying their products but again I don't see that happening any time soon.  If ever.  

    These companies make drugs like Cheristin to cater to our "need" to save time.  It's time-consuming to bathe a flea-ridden animal and comb them out.  But it's much safer to bathe them, as long as you use ingredients that are safe for the animal.  I've heard that drug companies rush their new products through the FDA for approval in order to make back all that money spent on years of studies and development and production.  In the process, drugs that aren't really safe slip through the cracks, or the FDA simply turn a deaf ear when knowledge of terrible life-threatening side effects arise.  How many drugs have been called wonder drugs only to be yanked off the market in only a few years?  Remember Fen-Phen?  It was a wonder drug until too many people kept dying of pulmonary hypertension and heart valve problems.  I'm not saying all drugs are bad.  But they all have side effects so beware.  
     
  15. red top rescue

    red top rescue Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    Macrocyclic lactones are lipids and they are stored in the fat and studies have shown there is a cumulative effect with regular dosing, i.e. they product is more effective with regular use.  If symptoms start appearing after long term use, treatment with charcoal can save the animal.  Macrocyclic lactones bind really well to organic matter like charcoal. Activated charcoal helps to trap the macrocyclic lactone drugs and stop the body from reabsorbing them. This is because these drugs undergo enterohepatic recycling - macrocyclic lactones get secreted into the intestines via the bile, but up to 20% of the secreted drug may be absorbed back into the bloodstream via the intestine, creating ongoing side effects. Drenching the charcoal regularly (four times daily for 2-3 days) can help to mop up any macrocyclic lactone drug secreted into the intestine via the bile (thus preventing reabsorption).  There are reports of IV lipid emulsions (20% emulsions used for IV feeding of animals) helping in the treatment of lipid soluble poisons (a puppy with moxidectin poisoning was helped with this in 2009). The lipid in the bloodstream helps to bind up the macrocyclic lactones (the MLs are attracted to the fat) making them unavailable to harm the rest of the body.

    The Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology in December, 2003 explains the "excitation" (tremors, fits, excitement) side effects seen in mammals poisoned with macrocyclic lactones another way in its article on chloride channels and selective insecticides. According to the article, the mammalian toxicity effect is dose-related. At lower doses, the macrocyclic lactone drugs bind to the GABA-gated chloride channels of mammals, but do not actually activate them (i.e. do not cause the influx of chloride ions that suppresses the nerves). They just block the GABA from getting access to them. This results in the nerve being easily and excessively activated (there is no GABA down-regulation of the nerve) and thus, an opposite, excitatory effect is noted - often a 'coarse tremor' or convulsions. With increased concentrations (doses) and longer-term exposure to the drug, the GABA channels do get activated, similar to the effect seen in insects, with resultant suppression of target nerve activation and signs of ataxia (wobbliness), flaccid paralysis and even death.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2016
  16. ginny

    ginny TCS Member Top Cat

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    @Danielleb14 - how long did it take the kitty to die from this dose?
     
  17. danielleb14

    danielleb14 TCS Member Kitten

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    It took about an hour from the time it was applied until the time she passed away
     
  18. ginny

    ginny TCS Member Top Cat

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    Omg that's awfully quick! Was it that quick in your kitty's case @Jules10?
     
  19. jules10

    jules10 TCS Member Young Cat

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    Treatment began with Comfortis in late 2014.  She was switched to Cheristin for Cats a few months later as soon as it came out on the market.  She was on these two products for abut 1-1/2 years total; symptoms began to emerge in late 2015 when I took her to the vet as she was acting very odd and hiding and pinned to the floor of the garage and under a bed at time -- immovable and seemingly scared to death as she was being slowly poisoned to death.

    The other two cats were being dosed with Cheristin for Cats as well; one exhibiting abnormal behavior and vomiting at times (he became greatly agitated and bit me which is very unlike him and I ended up in the ER with a deep puncture wound that became infected!).  All three cats were lethargic for a day or so afterwards.  I had contacted Elanco about this long ago and they said it was a side-effect that was very common.  Therefore, I did not worry about it as I was assured that Cheristin for Cats was SAFE especially being it is over-the-counter and can be bought online, etc. 

    Oddly, I read that this poisoning occurs to dogs on Trifexis as well.  It has SPINETORAM in it too and another ingredient for heart worm.  The heart worm ingredient in it is Made in China!  Anyway, it seems the dog deaths linked to Trifexis are supposedly mostly noted in herding breeds is the claim, especially Collies and those with white legs.   My late cat was a tuxedo tabby having having four very distinct white paws!  [​IMG]  
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2016
  20. jules10

    jules10 TCS Member Young Cat

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    I found a lot of info. re: the toxicity involved with Spinetoram and Spineosad (and boy is it ever SAD!).  It mentions "Assurity" which has been re-introduced as Cheristin for Cats in a weaker formation but the same toxic chemical is in it -- spinetoram and is now sold over-the-counter. 

    If you have a problem with it, good luck as Elanco will not accept any responsibility if your cat dies from this poison as they'll say the vendor you bought it from is at fault ...i.e. amazon.com, 1-800-petmeds.co, etc.  If you did not buy it from them (aka YOUR vet) you are OUT OF LUCK filing a complaint!  Do not be fooled!

    Much information from the website below:

    http://www.holisticandorganixpetshoppe.com/deadly-flea-and-tick-medications.html

    Specifically this part:

    >>Spot-On Pesticides such as Fontline, Zodiac, ProMeris, Defend, Bio Spot, Adams and Advantage trigger adverse reactions in dogs and cats, shorten life spans, cause terminal illness, and premature death. . The active ingredients in these solutions include chemicals such as imidacloprid, fipronil, permethrin, methoprene, and pyriproxyfen, all of which have caused serious health problems in animals in laboratories. Even some of the inert ingredients can be hazardous to your animal companion's health.  Are you poisoning your pet? Other forms of flea control powders, collars, and sprays are no less dangerous to you or your companion animals. Labels may warn not to get these substances on your skin, to wash your hands after applying it, and to keep it away from children, yet these chemicals are absorbed by your animal's skin. Immediate effects of pesticide overdose include vomiting, diarrhea, trembling, seizures, and respiratory problems. If your dog or cat shows any of these symptoms after the application of a pesticide, immediately wash the product off and seek veterinary care.


    Dr. Brandon Brooks, DVM  - "Many (if not most) Over The Counter (OTC) or non-prescription flea control products are very toxic to cats and kittens- especially the ones only approved for use in dogs. Many people mistakenly buy these for their pet (it's not always their fault, the companies that make them want you to buy it, they don't really care about the dangers involved) so it pays to be extra careful when buying flea control products." Our animals are sicker than ever. Veterinarians have never seen such an increase in the rate of liver disease, nervous system disorders, cancers, diabetes, renal failure and other diseases. Our animals are being routinely poisoned with pet food and pet medicine. Popular anti-flea and anti-tick medications are extremely toxic to the liver. According to Dr. Brooks, even though the cat or kitten does not have the OTC flea control product directly applied to it, the cat or kitten may still become ill through indirect exposure if it is applied to a dog in the household, household furnishings, bedding, etc.. Also, many OTC dog flea control products are not only toxic to cats, but dogs as well.

    and ...

    Pharmacokinetic interaction of the antiparasitic agents ivermectin and spinosad in dogs

    Abstract

    Neurological side effects consistent with ivermectin toxicity have been observed in dogs when high doses of the common heartworm prevention agent ivermectin are co-administered with spinosad, an oral flea prevention agent. Based on numerous reports implicating the role of the ATP-binding cassette drug transporter P-glycoprotein (P-gp) in ivermectin efflux in dogs, an in vivo study was conducted to determine whether ivermectin toxicity results from a pharmacokinetic interaction with spinosad. Beagle dogs were randomized to three groups treated orally in parallel: Treatment group 1 (T01) received ivermectin (60 μg/kg), treatment group 2 (T02) received spinosad (30 mg/kg), and treatment group 3 (T03) received both ivermectin and spinosad. Whereas spinosad pharmacokinetics were unchanged in the presence of ivermectin, ivermectin plasma pharmacokinetics revealed a statistically significant increase in the area under the curve (3.6-fold over the control) when ivermectin was co-administered with spinosad. The majority of the interaction is proposed to result from inhibition of intestinal and/or hepatic P-gp-mediated secretory pathways of ivermectin. Furthermore, in vitro Transwell experiments with a human multidrug resistance 1-transfected Madin-Darby canine kidney II cell line showed polarized efflux at concentrations ≤ 2 μM, indicating that spinosad is a high-affinity substrate of P-gp. In addition, spinosad was a strong inhibitor of the P-gp transport of digoxin, calcein acetoxymethyl ester (IC(50) = 3.2 μM), and ivermectin (IC(50) = 2.3 μM). The findings suggest that spinosad, acting as a P-gp inhibitor, increases the risk of ivermectin neurotoxicity by inhibiting secretion of ivermectin to increase systemic drug levels and by inhibiting P-gp at the blood-brain barrier.

    ********************

    I have been in contact with an attorney with added education in the field of organic chemistry.  I was advised that Elanco bought the patent for spinetoram, etc. from DOW Chemical.  It is used in shampoos that are used by you and I the attorney advised me.  The attorney also said that there were no studies that could be found regarding any studies on cats and the use of Cheristin for Cats that could be easily found.  I find this to be truly frightening!

    DO NOT USE ANY PRODUCT CONTAINING SPINETORAM OR SPINEOSAD ON ANY ANIMALS THAT YOU MAY HAVE, THAT INCLUDES NOT ONLY CATS BUT DOGS AS WELL and YOU TOO! 

    Awareness = Power!
     
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