Best Cat Flea Treatment: At A Glance
- Best efficient flea treatment: Frontline Spot On for cats | Buy now
- Best flea treatment on prescription: Advocate 80 Spot-On for Large Cats | Buy now
- Best fit and forget flea treatment: Beaphar Cat Flea Collar | Buy now
- Best immediate flea treatment: Biospotix Cat Flea Spray | Buy now
- Best one-hit treatment for infestations: Johnsons 4Fleas Tablets | Buy now
- Best flea treatment at the vets: Program 80 Cat Injection | Buy now
Side Effects Of Flea And Tick Collars
The chemicals used in these collars are neurotoxins, endocrine disruptors and immunosuppressants. They can cause these signs and symptoms
- Nausea, vomiting
- Abortions and birth defects
Beware Fake Flea Collars
Flea and tick prevention is big business so its no surprise that there are counterfeit products vying for a piece of the pie.
The well-known Seresto flea collar brought in $300 million in sales in 2019. This success attracts plenty of knock-offs. You need to watch for fake name brand collars and off-brands as well. The bogus collars might not protect your pet from fleas and ticks. In fact, the ingredients might be even more harmful than chemicals in the real thing. They can cause severe illness as well as burns. The genuine manufacturers claim that some of the reports of injuries to pets are due to the fake collars.
If buying a Seresto collar, get it from a reputable source, like a vet supply company. Dont buy it from an unknown online source or even Amazon or E-Bay! You can go through the Bayer website, the manufacturer, to get a list of local and online authorized retailers.
If you believe you have a fake collar, you need to call Bayer directly. Give them the lot number and serial number of the product and find out if they made it.
Common Feline Diseases Carried By Fleas
As if the itching and stinging weren’t enough, fleas also transmit other conditions which can have a more deleterious effect on your cat’s health.
- Anemia: Unchecked infestations of fleas can actually cause anemia from blood loss this can sometimes be fatal, particularly in kittens. Pale gums are a red flag for anemia in kittens, and a sign that immediate veterinarian attention is needed.
- Tapeworms: Fleas also carry a parasite called tapeworm which are commonly found in cats that have been exposed to fleas.
- Haemobartonellosis : Fleas can also be vectors for a blood born parasite called Mycoplasma Haemofelis in cats. This bacterium can cause anemia, fever and severe illness. Haemobartonellosis is diagnosed by laboratory tests and treated with antibiotics, and in some severe cases, blood transfusions.
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What Does The Lyme Vaccine Do
The Lyme vaccine helps to prevent Lyme disease in dogs, a bacterial infection thats transmitted by blacklegged ticks that tend to live in woods and tall grasses in many parts of the country.
I tell owners the Lyme vaccine is belt-plus-suspenders for dogs with heavy exposure to deer ticks. The belt is a spot-on product that kills deer ticks, and the Lyme vaccine is the suspenders, says Dr. Betsy Brevitz, DVM, a vet in Fanwood, New Jersey and author of The Complete Healthy Dog Handbook.
What Should I Do If My Pet Has An Adverse Drug Event While Using An Isoxazoline Product
- If your dog or cat experiences any adverse event while using an isoxazoline product, first consult your veterinarian.
- The FDA continues to monitor adverse drug event reports for these products and encourages pet owners and veterinarians to report adverse drug events. You can do this by reporting to the drugs manufacturers, who are required to report this information to the FDA, or by submitting a report directly to the FDA.
- To report suspected adverse drug events for these products and/or obtain a copy of the Safety Data Sheet or for technical assistance, contact the appropriate manufacturers at the following phone numbers:
- Merck Animal Health : 800-224-5318
- Elanco Animal Health : 888-545-5973
- Boehringer Ingelheim : 888-637-4251
- Zoetis : 888-963-8471
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Comb Your Pet To Check For Fleas
If you’re in any doubt about whether your pet has fleas, a good way to check is to groom your pet using a fine-toothed comb held over a white surface, such as a piece of kitchen paper. Any fleas or flea droppings will be deposited on the surface. Add a few drops of water, and if the droppings turn reddish-brown it¿s very likely your pet has fleas.
If you’re still unsure if your pet has fleas or want to know what product to use, speak to your vet for the best advice.
Topical Flea Treatments For Cats
The most common flea control products contain either imidacloprid , fipronil , dinotefuran , spinetoram or selamectin . These are applied to the skin on the back of the neck, where they sink in and spread throughout the layer of fat beneath the skin, killing any adult fleas present. They continue to kill fleas for at least 30 days. After 30 days, a new dose is applied.
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Types Of Products To Kill Fleas On A Dog
Most flea preventative products will kill flea eggs, larvae and adult fleas. It can be overwhelming to choose from all of the options available, but your veterinarian will definitely be able to help.
The best way to kill fleas on dogs is with a traditional flea bath. There are lots of flea shampoos available that will kill fleas in nearly every stage of life. Some of these flea shampoos will also prevent further infestation for a few days or weeks after the bath.
Flea collars and topical flea treatments are the two most commonly used products to kill fleas on dogs. Topical treatments and flea collars were shown to be almost 100% guaranteed to kill fleas, flea eggs and larvae.
Other options are edible flea pills to kill fleas and keep them from infesting their pet in the future. Flea pills are more convenient than collars or topical flea treatments, and much easier to use. All you have to do is feed them to your pooch like a treat. The downside is the dog has to consume a chemical which, even though they’re safe, can have side effects in rare cases.
You can also find flea sprays that can be used to kill fleas on your dog and around your home. Some owners opt for flea sprays as the first product because they can treat all areas in the house, and not just the dog, and prevent future infestations.
Flea Shampoos Are Unnecessary
“Nowadays, flea shampoos are rarely if ever needed because the topical and oral flea products are much more effective and safer,” Sawyer said. “For flea-infested animals, we typically give a fast-acting oral product such as nitenpyram and follow with a bath in Dawn dish detergent or another mild cat shampoo. You can use a flea comb to assist in removing dead fleas and flea dirt .”
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Final Thoughts On Flea Control
You are certainly entitled to your own ideas on flea control:
- Natural products versus conventional
- Or over-the-counter flea products versus veterinary products
But if youre finding fleas at this time of year, or if youve been seeing fleas for several months, your prevention program has failed. Bottom line: Your animal is suffering.
Letting your pet get so infested with fleas that theyre running across her face or your white socks is cruel.
Oh, you dont know about the white socks test? Clients like to brag to me that when they wear their white socks and they can see the fleas on the socks, its time to treat. No. It might be time to move!
This is an out-of-control flea infestation.
Many people still dont seem to understand that having fleas biting your body constantly is horrible. Well, how about if I go outside, pick up some poison ivy, and rub it all over your arms and legs? Or just set you on a porch at dusk with 200 mosquitoes!
When In Doubt Ask Your Vet
The right treatment depends on your location, your activities, and your pets medical history. Pet owners who hike with their dogs have different needs than those who have house cats. Avoid just grabbing any box off the shelfinstead talk with your vet, who will be aware of recent pest outbreaks in the area, product recalls, and your pets medical history. All pesticides have risks, from skin irritation to seizures. We recommend only FDA-approved or EPA-registered treatments that both kill and protect against pests. All are regulated to ensure safety and efficacy, said Dr. Jennifer Welser of . Treatments that both destroy and defend against pests ensure that your pet is protected 24/7.
If your pet has a minor reaction to the flea and tick product, such as application site discomfort, dont freak out. I do see topical site reactions and its not common, but some animals just have more sensitive skin than others, said Dr. Tierra Price, whos a shelter veterinarian and the founder of the BlackDVM Network. She added that its best to consult your vet before switching to a different flea and tick treatment if youre worried about side effects.
Our experts said pet owners shouldnt dismiss these products entirely. Its possible there were multiple factors that could contribute to problems, noted Jennifer Gervais, a pesticide specialist with the National Pesticide Information Center, an EPA partner. We just dont know.
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Flea Season Control And Prevention
Even if your dog or cat spends minimal or no time outside, you still should practice flea prevention because you can be a flea’s entry into your home and onto your pet. If your home is in a warm-weather climate, you should consider year-round flea control for cooler climates that experience freezing temperatures, initiate flea prevention in the spring, before the pupae emerge.
Flea preventives vary widely according to what stage of development they address. Some kill adult fleas only while others leave the adults alone but prevent egg hatching to break the life cycle effective only if the animal never comes in contact with another flea. The best flea treatment for cats and dogs is the one that your veterinarian recommends for your specific situation. Discuss the best option for your pet with your vet.
The Problem With Oral Flea And Tick Meds
The problem with poisoning fleas and ticks is that youll also poison the host and thats your dog! So If you want to find the safest oral flea treatment for dogs The answer is, theres no such thing.
The theory behind isoxazolines is that your dog is a lot larger than a flea so they assume a little bit of poison wont hurt him. And that might sometimes be true. But what happens if you give your dog a small amount of this poison every month for years? The manufacturer doesnt actually know what happens because safety studies were only done for 3 months.
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Do I Treat All Animals In The Household
Yes! All cats and dogs in a household should be treated for fleas and continue all year round. Although you may not see fleas on the cat because they groom well and can keep the flea numbers low, each flea can produce up to 40-50 eggs per day. Even one flea on an animal will contaminate the property and fleas will continue developing.
How To Use Comfortis
While you should consult your veterinarian about your pets specific needs, these are the general guidelines for administering Comfortis:
- Administer every month.
- Administer year-round without interruption for best results.
- Give with food for maximum effectiveness.
- Administer the correct dose as prescribed by your veterinarian.
- If you miss a dose, give Comfortis immediately and resume regular monthly dosing.
View the Comfortis product label for more details.
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Side Effects Of Oral Flea And Tick Meds
But dog owners have reported some pretty serious side effects. Theyre often neurological in nature, like seizures. Thats because most of these products kill the pests by attacking the nervous system and paralyzing them. Side effects from these drugs include:
- Skin irritations
Thesesymptoms show that dogs are being poisoned along with their pests. Theyre suffering the same neurological issues that kill the fleas and ticks. So every dog is at risk. And you only need look through social media at dedicated pages where heartbroken owners describe the seizures their dogs suffered before they died.
Even the inactive ingredients in chews are undesirable. They may not be listed, but can include things like natural flavors that arent natural, starches, sugars and preservatives to name a few.
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Not Fleas Or Food Try Environmental
And that leaves the final category, allergies to environmental stimuli, which afflict between 10 and 20 percent of dogs. In fact, an environmental allergywhich includes allergy to grasses, pollens, insects, and moreis diagnosed only after ruling out all other possible causes of the allergic signs.
In environmental allergies, the immune system overreacts to these allergens and causes a variety of signs, including itching, skin inflammation, skin infections, and ear infections, says Dr. Miller.
Unfortunately, we cannot treat environmental allergies by removing grass, trees, dust, mold spores, and so on from our pets environment. So, instead of changing the pets environment, we have to mediate the pets allergic reaction.
Immunotherapy, commonly known as allergy shots, is one of the oldest and still most effective treatment options for environmental allergies in dogs, says Dr. Miller. It is the only natural way to truly try to change the immune systems response to allergens, but it requires a long-term commitment on the part of the pet owner.
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Risks And Concerns Of Cat Flea And Tick Treatment
The purpose of flea and tick medicines is to create an environment thats inhospitable to these parasites. However, using these treatments could result in some health risks to your cat.
- Treatments that are not FDA- or EPA-approved may use harmful pesticides or other ingredients that are toxic to your cat.
- You should never use flea and tick medicine on cats. This is because the ingredients in these products are formulated based on a dogs chemistry. Many topical flea medicines for dogs include ingredients like permethrin. Exposure to concentrated amounts of this chemical could lead to illness or even death.
- If ingested, topical flea medicine could make your cat seriously ill. Thats why you should apply it to an area your cat cant reach, such as the back of its neck.
- Some cats have an adverse reaction to oral flea and tick treatment, such as nausea or excessive panting. This is usually temporary and wears off.
There are few health and safety concerns when using FDA-approved flea and tick medicine. However, if your cat experiences side effects, change the type of medicine youre using. When in doubt, or if your over-the-counter flea medicine isnt working as expected, contact your vet. They may be able to offer you a prescription-based treatment instead.
How To Protect Cats From Fleas
Fleas are tiny parasites that love to feed on your pets blood. The bites cause irritation and this can effect you and your family as well.
The bite usually causes your pet to scratch, and it can lead to irritation and allergies. If fleas become established on your cat, it can lead to more serious health problems and you could end up with an infestation in your house.
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Fleas And Flea Control In Cats
24th July 2018
The most common flea found on cats and dogs is the cat flea . Occasionally, rabbit, hedgehog and other fleas may be found on cats but these are much less common.While many cats live with fleas and show minimal signs of infestation, control is advisable for several reasons including:
- The cat flea can carry the larval stage of the tapeworm Dipylidium caninum and cats become infected by eating fleas during grooming
- Fleas have the potential to transmit other infectious agents between cats
- Adult fleas feed on cat blood in young kittens, this can cause weakness, anaemia and death
- Fleas are important in the transmission of cat scratch disease between cats and to humans. This is an infection with the bacterium Bartonella hensellae and is spread when fleas feed on blood.
- Some dogs and cats develop an allergy to flea bites, which causes them to scratch excessively or develop skin disease
- Cat fleas can cause itchy bites on sensitive humans, typically around the ankles.
- Using modern treatments it is now possible to control cat fleas very effectively, but where the fleas are very common this may require considerable effort.
How Can I Tell If My Cat Has Fleas
The most common flea that feeds off cats, dogs, and humans is the Ctenocephalides felis. If you observe your cat scratching and aren’t sure if fleas are the cause, you can certainly try to use a flea comb on your cat and observe if tiny black dots are present. These black specks are commonly called “flea dirt,” but in reality, it is the excrement the flea leaves.
If you do not see them, it does not mean that they are not there as fleas can be present in small numbers where the flea or flea dirt are simply not visualized. Fleas are very good at hiding on cats. In other cases, the trained eye of a veterinarian may be needed to find these tiny black dots that emerge on the comb. If you find the black specks, smash some with a damp paper towel, and the flea dirt will turn a rust color or red. The red color is residue from your cat’s blood and a warning that cat flea control is necessary.
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