I didn’t know better but should have~ I picked up a single dose tube of Sargents Flea Drops .They were placed in a drawer that we keep pet products in. WE also had a 3 pack of Hartz Mountain that we were saving to use in August when more fleas are out around here since we already put new flea collars on each of our cats and dogs, but on that night my small grey cat started scratching like mad and even with the 3 week old flea collar,fleas were popping off her and onto the bedspread. I caught and killed those fleas and then went to the pet drawer and took out the already opened white tube of drops and though I knew it was a single dose, I put only 2 drops on back of her neck and then ontop the other 2 cats thinking it would help if the flea collars weren’t.
I had no clue that using so little could do so much harm! Had I used a whole tube she would have died for sure.
Well, I had also used them on the other cats so there were a couple of drops for each one and I squeezed out the last 2 drops to put them on the back of my little grey cat’s neck.
I could not read any of the microscopic fine print on the card anyway, as the vial was attached to as it was too blurry for my eyes but thought it might not be enough so planned on buying more the next day. The card it came on had already been discarded.
IF YOU USE ANY FLEA PRODUCTS ON YOUR PET, SAVE THE WRAPPING AND RECEIPT IN CASE YOUR PET HAS A REACTION!THIS IS THE ONLY WAY THEIR CUSTOMER SERVICE WILL HELP YOU AND POSSIBLY PAY YOUR VET BILLS~!!!
I was only looking to give her some relief as her flea collar just didnt seem to work well enough. I assumed they were the small dog/puppy drops but also honestly didnt think there would have been much of a difference either way, since alot of meds like worm meds have similar ingredients just larger amounts for dogs.
Still I knew my cat was about 6 lbs and she was scratching terribly from the fleas that the dogs & other 2 cats brought into the house had found their way to her.
She had been extremely itchy & when sitting on my bed several fleas had popped on my bedspread, so I caught & killed them quickly and then looked for that open tube of flea poison for her as I had already had put some on the other 2 cats since they were the ones going outside. I was only able to squeeze out 2 drops on my finger and rubbed them on the back of her head.
3 hours later she suddenly was convulsing and writhing, foaming at the mouth and bursting into fits running and crashing into things. My son saw her first and called me saying he thought she had rabies .
My son caught her when she ran into a bathroom closet & we caged her. I told him since she had never been outdoors that it was impossible for her to have rabies & that she had a rabies shot last year anyway.
I said it had to have something to do with the flea drops I used on her, so I began looking up online symptoms and found that the drops could cause those symptoms.
We began calling vets , all closed ~ but the one located at Animal Crackers former building outside of Wellsboro was familiar with flea drop poisoning, so the Vet told us to come right down and a Vet Tech, Hillary met us there, took our cat and began treatment immediately.
There is a different flea killing ingredient in dog flea drops than in cat flea drops which when used on cats attacks their liver and central nervous system~ highly toxic to cats~but some are also toxic to dogs ! I wasn’t sure which one I had used as I had a tube for the puppies too and both were out of the cartons so I brought the tube that I used and gave it to the tech so that it might help in diagnosing what meds to give her.
So it isn’t size and weight issue, its an actual chemical poison used in flea drops that is the issue and my cat has almost died from it.Now I see dogs too are dying from it.
I just called the vet and she is still alive and may recover thankfully. She is still being treated. It will be a very expensive lesson on my part and is extremely traumatic and life threatening for my poor cat as she is less than 2 years old and trusted me to take good care of her!
Treatment includes bathing off all the residue of the drops immediately with a soap based shampoo.
Intravenous fluids are important to stop the dehydration and to admininster muscle relaxers since the poison attacks the cat’s central nervous system.
Other meds including sedatives and pain relief are also needed.
Although some cats/dogs can survive this poisoning , some owners decide to ‘ride it out’ without veterinary care, the cat/dog will most likely die~ the pain involved as well as the involuntary writhing and convulsing is extremely painful to the pet –
SO VETERINARY CARE IS NEEDED IMMEDIATELY~
DON’T WAIT IT OUT~Your pet is in excrutiating pain,convulsing,seizing,vomiting and running into things~!!
THERE IS NO HOME REMEDY TO SAVE YOUR PET~
YOU HAVE TO SEEK VETERINARY HELP IF YOU WISH TO SAVE YOUR PET~!
So an ignorant but well meaning action on my part, I caused my dear little cat to suffer horribly~ I called the vet today and she is responding to treatment since I got her there right away~ and she might be able to come home tomorrow~Thank God~! I didnt want her to die.
So I may be late with my rent this month, as the treatment is expensive, I am sure, as I have not received the billing yet~and will have to of course, pay for my mistake before bringing my cat home.
Included below is articles I found today, that explain what this poison does to cats~[since my cat was the one affected] so be aware that Flea Drops instructions have to be carefully followed but looking for signs of a reaction is very important as the toxins build up in the animal and may work one time but the next time could be the amount needed to be toxic.
Also it isnt merely a marketing issue that they mark some cards for puppies, dogs or cats as there can be other ingredient strengths that are not safe [none are actually ‘safe’] or that just because something is safe on dogs or other animals doesnt make it safe for cats or puppies !! I just saw a video of a full grown labrador retriever dying 3 days after a flea bath~!!
I am so sorry that I put my poor cat through this and will always look to check safety of a product in the future.My Vet says none of the over the counter flea products are safe and since many outsource to other countries that they may even have some mixtures stronger than others so they can not be trusted~
Now why these flea drop companies do put a some small warnings like do not use on cats -[if you can find the warnings hidden in the fine print] it should of instead been emphatic “WILL KILL CATS” Or Dogs~!
Or better Warning “Just ONE DROP CAN KILL YOUR PET ” would have been more to the point- STRONGER WARNING LABELS ARE NEEDED~
Naturally then no one would buy them~! So they hide the danger in how they word things on their packaging , so most people assume they’re safe.
The Vet & also blogs show this is a common mistake many pet owners make. I am not the first fool to do this~
Safety of Flea Drops
As mentioned above because topical flea treatments utilize modern drugs targeting insect nervous systems or growth hormones they are much safer for your pet than older flea poisons, or so they claim!
There are endless amounts of cases of side-effects but they are few and far between and usually extremely mild.
The most common form of side effect is an allergy to the non-active components in the flea drops. These are usually very mild vomiting or temporary hair loss at the site of administering the product. Animals with such allergies are obviously better treated with a different form of flea control in future.
The widespread fear of flea drops comes primarily from incorrect use of the products, according to those selling them, but the toxins used can affect each animal differntly so they should be banned.
For example giving a small animal a dose specified for a much larger one, or even more dangerous, giving dog medicine to a cat, but they dont know what to say to the person who used the medicine according to directions and the animal still dies~
Cat’s are highly sensitive to one ingredient often used in dog flea control products so should never be given anything other than a cat flea treatment, but then again ones designated for cats specifically still can kill cats.Likewise ones made specifically for dogs are still killing dogs ~ so there is something else the manufacturer is not doing right. It’s easier for them to blame the grieving pet owner and try to confuse them by saying they had to be the ones who did something wrong, when a pet owner can not always recognize the signs of an allergic reaction or of a toxic reaction.
For some more information about your cat flea treatment click on the link.
Some ingredients are meant to render female fleas unable to lay viable eggs. If an insect is affected it is unable to reproduce so drug-resistant offspring should not be a problem, according to those manufacturing it, but this ingredient also enters a cat and dogs sebaceous glands through the skin, so as a poison will have some sort of accumulative effect and while one dog or cat may be more resisitant to side effects another one may not as is the case in all those who have reactions and all those who die from the flea products.
Longer Lasting Flea Control
With most flea killing products there is also opportunity for a residual effect. Because flea drops are actually absorbed in the animal’s oil gland network the active ingredients remain at the surface of the skin for a relatively long time.
All the leading topical cat flea treatments will remain effective for at least a month. In practice some such as Frontline will actually carry on providing complete flea protection for six weeks and while Frontline and Advantage are more expensive to use, they are safer than Hartz or Sargents, since they use cheaper ingredients which are more dangerous.
Safety of Flea Drops
As mentioned above because topical flea treatments utilise modern drugs targeting insect nervous system or growth hormones they are much safer for you pet than older flea poisons.
There are cases of side-effects but they are few and far between and usually extremely mild to severe and to fatalities that often go unreported.
The most common form of side effect is ‘said to be an allergy’ to the non-active components in the flea drops, but some reactions are to the toxins in them and not allergic but actually lethal to many pets.
Manufacturers dont want the bad publicity so sometimes pay off victims as it is still cheaper than changing their product ingredients to something safer.
The manufacturers say reactions are usually very mild vomiting or temporary hair loss at the site of administering the product, as they downplay the danger of their products and exploit the owners need to be rid of the fleas.
Animals with such ‘allergies’, they will concede, are obviously better treated with a different form of flea control in future, should the owner be lucky enough to recognizze the milder reactions.Or if the pet survives ~
They claim that the widespread fear of flea drops comes primarily from incorrect use of the products according to the manufacturers, but thats a lie since many die from correct usage as well !
For example giving a small animal a dose specified for a much larger one, or even more dangerous, giving dog medicine to a cat, are their obvious arguments , but what about the larger dogs who die suddenly from accurate dosing? What chances do the smaller dogs and cats have when big dogs also die from it?
How many pet owners who are not doctors, vets or scientists, rely on and trust the manufacturers to supply a safe effective product?
It is already known and admitted that cats are highly sensitive to an ingredient often used in dog flea control products so should never be given anything other than a cat flea treatment, but they are also sensitive to other ingredients and so there is still a problem with keeping these products available for public use.
Ingredients that are toxic to animals should not be used~!There are many nontoxic ingredients available but Hartz & Sargents are too greedy to use them and rather let pets die.
Toxic ingredients need to be banned and made illegal.
They should be removed from the shelves of stores.
For more information about your cat flea treatment click on the link which has some info but may be jaded by the special interest groups .
I wish I read this and other articles before applying those drops to my cat~! I never would have used them at all and now will only use what the Vet recommends~
Here is another case & people also trying to raise awareness:
Symptoms of one ingredient in many flea drop remedies: http://pethealth101.com/poison/PoisonSigns&Symptoms.shtml
Permethrin poisoning Cats is another one for example: http://www.petalia.com.au/templates/storytemplate_process.cfm?specie=Cats&story_no=2147&pafid=2349
Flea poison ingredient for dogs is different than for cats but both can still kill your pets~ http://www.nearlydrferox.blogging4life.com/?p=436
Cat owners accidentally poisoning their cats ~!http://www.cats.com.au/articles/486/catownerspoisoningtheirpets.shtml
while many products do say not to use on cats, many owners assume the ingredients to kill the fleas wont kill their cats but that it is merely stronger medicine, so think applying smaller amounts would be safe ~ when in fact it isnt safe and can often be deadly~
BEFORE YOU CAN FIND A VET : IMMEDIATE FIRST AID FOR CATS and Dogs is to wash them thoroughly with Dawn dishwashing detergent to remove the oily base holding the poison in the fur and on the skin of the animal [not to be instead of vet care ,only if a vet is unavailable]http://www.bigcatrescue.org/poisons.htm
Even some flea collars can kill your cat~! http://www.getipm.com/articles/letters/flea-collar.htm
Manufacturers need to stop using ingredients that are toxic to animals and meanwhile make stronger stated warnings on their products and not simple benign statements such as ‘DO NOT USE ON CATS’ – because buyers are not aware of how deadly these products are and assume they are safe since they are sold over the counter in supermakets and pet stores.
My cat is expected to recover. The bill is going to be very high and I can not afford it , living myself on disability~ All I can do is hope to raise awareness to prevent this from happening to others.