As a small sidestep from our series on parasites, I want to talk about the counterfeiting issues surrounding the products we use to keep our pets safe from these infestations. The EPA and several companies that produce parasite preventatives have released reports of counterfeit products designed to look a lot like the preventatives your veterinarian sells but at lower prices that seem too good to be true. These products are typically imported from overseas and the packaging is copied to fool you into thinking they are safe, approved, effective products.
Sadly, these counterfeit products can contain just about anything except effective and safe medications. They are filled with chemicals that look like the real product, and are not only ineffective but also can be very harmful and even fatal to your pets. These counterfeit products are sold everywhere including Amazon, eBay and numerous online pet stores that advertise for lower prices. These stores commonly promote their convenience and low price as well as advertise your veterinarian is pulling the wool over your eyes to make more money. What these companies are not sharing is that your veterinarian can guarantee the products they sell you and they are backed fully by the companies that produce them.
If you have purchased a pet product from a source other than your veterinarian, take a peek at it for the following. All legitimate products will have matching lot numbers (a printed number designating the production batch) on the individual product package and the box. Legitimate products will have leaflets in English only, a specific set of FDA warnings, a listing of the active ingredients in the product and child resistant packaging. If your product makes you suspicious you can call your veterinarian or visit the EPA website to check out the lot numbers or file a report.