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FLEA PRODUCT FOR DOGS CAN KILL CATS!

01 December 2016
A FLEA PRODUCT WARNING FOR CAT OWNERS!

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) has published on its website a list of dog spot-on products that, if used accidentally on cats, can be fatal.  For further information see
www.vmd.defra.gov.uk/fsf/adverse_safety.aspx

The products listed (we have a copy if you would like us to email it to you) are intended for the treatment of fleas and ticks in dogs only. They contain permethrin, a substance that is safe for dogs but causes a toxic reaction in cats when present in spot-on products due to its concentration.

There is concern that owners are inadvertently using "dog only" products on their cats. When purchasing products from a supermarket, it can be easy to accidentally choose the wrong box from the shelf. Cats treated with even tiny amounts of spot-on products containing permethrin, or that inadvertently ingest the product from a treated dog, if for example they groom the dog or rub against it then groom themselves, can develop signs of toxicity such as salivation, tremors and seizures and they may die.

If a product containing permethrin is accidentally applied, it is important to wash it off the cat with water and a mild detergent and seek immediate treatment from a vet. The product packaging should also be taken to the vet.

There is no specific antidote and permethrin is the most common poison reported to affect cats. We strongly recommend that owners use feline flea products on veterinary advice.

The fact that many of us have cats and dogs as house pets sometimes disguises the fact that these are very different animals and cats, for example, should never be fed dog food or vice versa. Their nutritional requirements are totally different!