Brand: ULTRA SABER ™ Pour-on
Company: MERCK ANIMAL HEALTH (INTERVET)
FORMULATION: «pour-on» for topical administration.
- Lambda-cyhalothrin: 1% = 10 g/L
- Piperonyl butoxide: 5% = 10g/L
CHEMICAL CLASS of the active ingredient(s):
- Lamda-cyhalothrin: synthetic pyrethroids
- Piperonyl butoxide (=PBO): synergist
INDICATIONS: BEEF CATTLE & CALVES
PARASITES CONTROLLED (spectrum of activity)
Apply product down the backline at the rate of:
- Less than 600 lbs: 10 mL (1/3 fl oz)
- Greater than 600 lbs: 15 mL (1/2 fl oz)
- For horn flies repeat treatment as needed; however, do not apply more than once every 2 weeks and do not apply more often than four times within any 6-month period.
- LD50 (acute oral) in rats: 300-2000 mg/kg (according to MSDS)
- LD50 (acute dermal) in rats: >2000 mg/kg (according to MSDS)
- Estimated hazard class according to the WHO: II, moderately hazardous
Withdrawal time in days for meat: USA NIL (not approved for dairy cows)
WARNING !!!: Never use on humans, dogs or cats. Pyrethroids are particularly toxic to cats!
2nd-generation synthetic pyrethroids (e.g. cyhalothrin, cypermethrin, deltamethrin, permethrin, etc.) are irritant to the eyes and the skin, both of humans and livestock. The inert ingredients in the formulation may worsen this side effect. Irritation can be particularly problematic for dairy cows because it can significantly hinder handling for milking.
You may be interested in the following articles in this site dealing with the general safety of veterinary products:
- Safety for humans
- Safety for domestic animals
- Safety for the environment
- Hazard classifications of pesticides
Risk of resistance? YES, resistance of horn flies to synthetic pyrethroids (incl. lambda-cyhalothrin) is widespread in the USA and worldwide, and can be very high.
The synergist in the formulation (PBO) is supposed to neutralize resistance. However, this synergist works only against the so-called metabolic resistance (enhanced detoxification) caused by mixed function oxidases (= MFO), which is one among several mechanisms by which parasites can become resistant to synthetic pyrethroids and pesticides of other chemical classes. PBO specifically inhibits the activity of MFOs. If metabolic resistance is caused by other enzymes than MFOs, or if resistance is (also) due to other mechanisms such as target site insensitivity, reduced penetration or behavioral modifications, it won't be neutralized by PBO. In the vast majority of cases producers affected by parasites resistant to synthetic pyrethroids do not know which mechanism makes the parasites resistant, and it is mostly not possible to find it out. Consequently, whether the synergist PBO helps to overcome resistance or not is often a lottery.
This means that if this product does not achieve the expected efficacy against the mentioned parasites, it may be due to resistance and not to incorrect use, which is usually the most frequent cause of product failure.
Alternative chemical classes/active ingredients to prevent resistance of external parasites through product rotation:
- Carbamates (e.g. carbaryl)
- Macrocyclic lactones (e.g. doramectin, eprinomectin, ivermectin, moxidectin, etc.) only as pour-ons. Injectables and drenches are ineffective against most external parasites.
- Organophosphates (e.g. diazinon)
These alternative products may not be available in all countries, or may not be available as pour-ons, or may not be effective against all the concerned parasites.
Learn more about resistance and how it develops.
Are the active ingredients of this product ORIGINAL* or GENERICS**?
- GENERICS (both cyhalothrin and PBO)
*Meaning that they are still patent protected and generics are not yet available
**Meaning that they have lost patent protection and may be acquired from manufacturers of generic active ingredients other than the holder of the original patent.
COUNTRIES where this brand/product is marketed: USA
GENERIC BRANDS available? YES, numerous with comparable synthetic pyrethroids. This brand with generic lambda-cyhalothrin is marketed by MERCK AH (fomer Intervet) in the USA.
Click here to learn more about GENERIC vs. ORIGINAL drugs.
For an overview on the most used antiparasitic pour-on brands click here.
ULTRA SABER Pour-on Insecticide is one of numerous insecticidal pour-ons for cattle, sheep and other livestock containing synthetic pyrethroids for the control of flies, lice and other external parasites. Worldwide there are hundreds if not thousands of such pour-ons. Besides cyhalothrin, numerous other synthetic pyrethroids are used in such pour-ons, e.g. cypermethrin, deltamethrin, permethrin, etc. They all have a similar spectrum of activity and a comparable safety profile.
Cyhalothrin is one of several Type-II synthetic pyrethroids and was introduced in the 1980s (by ICI). It is moderately used in veterinary products, significantly more in agricultural and hygiene pesticides.
All synthetic pyrethroids are veteran pesticides developed in the 1970s-1980s and are basically contact insecticides. This means that when the parasite comes in contact with it (e.g., during the blood meal, after landing on a treated host, etc), the active ingredient that impregnates the host's hair coat penetrates through the cuticle (i.e. the "skin" of insects and other arthropods) into its organism and disturbs essential biological processes in the parasite's body, in this case its nervous system.
After administration to livestock or other animals, synthetic pyrethroids do not have a systemic mode of action, i.e. they are not transmitted to the parasite through the blood or the host. Topically administered synthetic pyrethroids are very poorly absorbed through the skin of the hosts, and what is absorbed is quickly broken down and/or excreted. Consequently the concentration reached in the blood is too low to kill blood-sucking parasites. But this is why they are considered rather safe for mammals, both humans and livestock (cats are an exception: pyrethroids are toxic to them!) and why they leave rather low residues in meat and milk.
All pour-ons containing contact insecticides such as synthetic pyrethroids have the same weakness: they are applied on the back of the animal and spread more or less quickly along the hair coat to other parts of the body, but coverage is usually not homogeneous and some parts of the body are not or only poorly reached. How fast and complete the spreading is depends on a lot of factors (e.g. distance to the delivery point, rain, animal behavior such as grooming, licking, rubbing, etc.) but also on the inert ingredients in the formulation, which may or may not favor spreading. In any case, compared with the backline the concentration of the active ingredient will be significantly lower in body parts that are difficult to reach (e.g. udders, perineum, below the tail, inside the ears, etc), where parasites can survive because the concentration is not high enough to kill them. For this reason such pour-ons are mostly not effective enough against some parasites such as ticks, fleas and mites. Irregular spreading may also cause chronic exposure of some parasites to sub-lethal doses, which is known to favor development of resistance.
Control of susceptible (i.e. non-resistant) horn flies is usually good (several weeks), because they spend a lot of time on cattle and thus are exposed to the insecticide for a long period of time. Lice are also exposed to insecticides for a long period of time because they never leave the host. However, if horn flies have become resistant, control will be significantly shorter, if at all.
All synthetic pyrethroids have a certain repellent effect, mainly on mosquitoes but it lasts usually only a few days, if at all.
It is useful to know that the active ingredients of many synthetic pyrethroids consist in a mixture of various optical isomers. Cyhalothrin is a mixture of 4 isomers, lambda-Cyhalothrin is a mixture of 2 of these 4 isomers, and gamma-cyhalothrin contains only 1 isomer, the one with the most potent insecticidal activity.
This article IS NOT A PRODUCT LABEL. It offers complementary information that may be useful to veterinary professionals and users that are not familiar with veterinary antiparasitics.
Information offered in this article has been extracted from publications issued by manufacturers, government agencies (e.g. EMEA, FDA, USDA, etc.) or in the scientific literature. No guarantee is given on its accuracy, integrity, sufficiency, actuality and opportunity, and any liability is denied. Read the site's DISCLAIMER.
In case of doubt contact the manufacturer or a veterinary professional.