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Toxicity to Pets, Livestock, and Wildlife

DEET (N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide)
Chemical Technical Summary for Public Health
and Public Safety Professionals

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Atlanta, Georgia
December 6, 2004

In 1987, Fenvalerate and DEET (combination named "Fendeet") were introduced for the control of fleas and ticks on dogs and cats. The exact role of DEET in Fendeet toxicosis is unknown. Cats exposed to Fendeet exhibited signs including hypersalivation, ataxia, depression, seizures, anorexia, vocalization, hypothermia, bradycardia and dyspnea. The ability of DEET to enhance absorption of the chemicals dermally could have contributed to increased absorption of fenvalerate and the development of toxicosis. DEET administered alone at a dose of 3 g/kg caused excitation, depression, seizures, tremors, coma, ataxia, and toxic encephalopathy in rabbits. Although adverse effects were noted, recovery was usually rapid and complete in all exposures (Dorman et al. 1990).

The toxicity of DEET to mosquito fish was found to be very low in comparison to organochlorine and organophosphate insecticides. The fish affected by DEET showed total recovery when returned to fresh water. A concentration of 315 ppm of DEET caused 100% mortality at 24 hours of exposure (Michael and Grant 1974).

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