Watch out for flea treatment poisoning.
I was recently shocked to hear that the PDSA here in the UK are reporting that they are seeing around 20 cats a month who have been poisoned by flea treatments meant for dogs.
Apparently some dog flea treatments contain an insecticide called permethrin which is highly toxic to cats and can cause death.
I couldn't understand how this was happening, after all cat and dog flea treatments clearly state that they should not be used on other animals. Unfortunately it appears that not all cat owners were reading the instructions on the packets and were giving dog flea treatments to their cats. Sadly their cats paid the price for their, what shall I say, negligence.
However I was surprised to read that some of the poisoned cats were not given the wrong flea treatment but were poisoned by coming into contact with dogs that had recently been treated with this type of flea treatment.
Apparently you should keep your recently treated dog away from your cat for several days and perhaps even more if you have a dog and a cat who like to snuggle or groom each other. This must be a worry for owners of dogs and cats as well as being an inconvenience.
The advice being given out here is to check the ingredients on the flea treatment that you use and if it does contain permethrin, either change to a different product or to take extra care if you also have cats around the house too.
I'm not sure whether the Flea products in the USA may also contain this toxic insecticide but I would advise everyone to check before they may and make sure that they only administer the correct product to each pet.
If you are worried that your cat may have come into contact with a dog flea treatment and they are displaying any signs of ill health such as vomiting, convulsions or foaming at the mouth, that they should seek vet treatment as soon as possible.
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