Things to Know About Pet Grooming and Pesticides

August 1995

Why am I getting this fact sheet?

Your cat or dog has been treated with a dip or shampoo for fleas or mites. The product that was used contained the insecticide that is circled on the list on the back of this sheet.

What are flea dips and shampoos?

Virtually all cats and dogs have fleas which can be a major source of irritation to your pet and to you. Flea dips and shampoos are State and Federally registered pesticide products that kill fleas on your pet. These products contain a low concentration of insecticide that should control the fleas without harming your pet if used properly.

Will I be exposed to the insecticide?

This treatment leaves a small amount of residual insecticide on your pet's fur and skin. Over the next few days the residue will decrease each day as your pet sheds, rubs, and grooms. When you pet the animal you may be exposed to this insecticide. The primary routes of possible exposure for you and your family will be through the skin or hand-to-mouth contact. Skin represents a significant barrier to absorption, but all insecticides are absorbed through the skin to a limited extent. Any exp sure you get will be a small fraction of what your pet received.

How can I avoid or reduce my exposure to the insecticide?

Each time you handle your pet for the first couple of days following the treatment, wash your hands before eating, smoking, or going to the toilet. This will reduce possible exposure from ingestion through the mouth and absorption through the skin. To keep exposure to an absolute minimum, you may try avoiding contact with your pet for the first few days following treatment will also reduce exposure but may not be possible.

Can my pet or I become ill from exposure to the insecticide?

If used according to label instructions, it is highly unlikely that you or your pet will get enough exposure to produce illness from this treatment. In general if your pet is okay, you should also be okay, because you receive less exposure than your pet. However, infants less than a year old and people over 75 years, as well as anyone with chronic or debilitating medical conditions, may be more sensitive to these insecticides. Consult your doctor for specific advice.

lf you have one or more of the symptoms listed below after handling your recently treated pet, consult your regional Poison Control Center or contact your personal physician.

Symptoms of Overexposure

Allethrin, Permethrin, Pyrethrins, Resmethrin
Itching skin, tingling skin, lung congestion

Carbaryl, Chlorpyrifos, Dichlorvos (DDVP), Malathion
Fatigue, headache, blurred vision, dizziness, nausea, stomach cramps, diarrhea

Skin irritation, eye irritation

Irritated skin, allergic skin reaction

Dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors

California Environmental Protection Agency
1020 N Street, Room 100
Sacramento, CA 95814-5624
Phone: (916) 445-4300

Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder. More