It’s that time of year again when we are starting to see those annoying, pesky, and even dangerous fleas and ticks! Luckily, we have come such a long way with prevention options for these pests.  Most people don’t realize that there was little options for us against fleas prior to 1989. This invention of flea prevention has been one of  the major events that have been credited with the transition to more of our pets become pampered indoor pooches and felines! 

Transition to 2019, just 30 years later, and it probably feels you are inundated with options, commercials, and recommendations for flea and tick prevention. We often tell people that there is no perfect flea and tick prevention, just the perfect one for you, your pet, and your lifestyle. If you want some more information, take a look at our flea and tick blog post: https://www.blueridgeanimalhospital.com/blog/whats-bugging-you-updates-of-flea-and-tick-medication/

While you have options for excellent flea and tick prevention, there is also the dangers of using the wrong kind!  There is also the concern with certain over-the-counter tick prevention and how safe they are. Please contact us and do your research prior to making a change! Sometimes the cheaper products can cause you more expensive treatment in the long-run. 

Our wonderful member Desiree has been receiving a number of phone calls with concerns for flea and tick applications and reactions over the past few weeks. Because of this, she felt it important to help discuss concerns and recommendations through our blog!

She created the following list of guidelines to help make everyone’s life a bit easier. As always, if you have any questions or you are seeing any unusual reactions to medications, contact us or the emergency clinic immediately. 

  • First and foremost, use correct dosing for pet, if unsure please contact us and we will weigh your pet to insure proper dose is being used. Even when dealing with dogs, we need to make sure we are not under or over dosing the pet, although most flea treatments are very safe in some levels of overdosing it is still best to avoid this scenario.
  • Reactions to flea and tick medication can not only come from applying it to the incorrect pet, but also if a cat licks the topical prevention off of a dog, is best to separate them if possible for at least 3 hours. 
  • You can bathe with 30 minute of application if you are concerned as long as your pet is not showing other signs such as tremors, then needs to go directly to a veterinarian. But do not put you or yourself in harms way by trying to bathe your feline friend. 
  • Be aware that some toxins can also be found in some insect sprays, flea spray, and shampoos, they’re normally safe for both dogs and cats, but still be aware of what chemicals you’re using in your home. 
  • Chemicals toxic to cats are called pyrethrins, although very safe for dogs they’re extremely toxic to cats. Cats lack the ability to quickly metabolize these toxins.  Pyrethrins are actually natural chemicals derived from the Chrysanthemum flower (commonly called the “mum”), while pyrethroids are synthetic derivatives (made by man). Common chemical names for pyrethroids include the following – note, they typically end with a “thrin.”

o Allethrin

o Deltamethrin

o Cypermethrin

o Permethrin

o Cyphenothrin

Signs of poisoning in a cat can be severe and include the following: 

  • Agitation
  • Drooling or vomiting (typically due to grooming the product off and tasting the bitter chemical)
  • Lethargy
  • Facial twitching
  • Ear twitching
  • Hiding 
  • Walking “drunk”
  • Gastrointestinal signs (such as inappetance, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.)
  • Muscle tremors
  • Warm to the touch (secondary to tremoring and hyperthermia)
  • Seizures
  • Death

Animal poison control center can be reached at: (888) 426-4435

Brands recommended and safe for cats are: Bravecto, Frontline, revolution, or Seresto collars. Again make sure it is the feline concentration as well as proper weight class.

Remember, even if your cat or dog doesn’t go outside, they can still come in contact with fleas and ticks. We do recommend keeping your pet on flea and tick prevention to help prevent not only the distress that comes from these creatures, but also the dangers and diseases they carry!

Don’t forget, we want to hear from you! What would you like to learn about or know more? Let us know!