Making safe choices with Flea Treatment

Choosing the right flea and tick treatment can be a confusing task. With a choice of sprays, collars, tablets, spot ons, mousses and shampoos all offered from a variety of locations, it is easy to worry that you are not choosing the best product for your beloved pet.

The problems with Permetherin Spot On flea treatment

It is important to note that while there are a wide range of insecticidal spot on treatments available for cats and dogs on the market they do not all work in the same way.  The most commonly used spot-on treatments often contain fipronil, which is safe for use in dogs and cats and is effective against ticks and fleas with rapid action. Permetherin is also a popular fast acting insecticide effective against ticks and fleas with one major difference – PERMETHERIN IS TOXIC TO CATS WHEN DIRECTLY APPLIED!!!

Many flea spot on treatments available from supermarkets and pet stores offer permetherin products with little or not warning on the danger of using these products on cats. While it is important to ensure you buy the correct spot on treatment for the species and size of your pet, this is even more vital when you have a mixed species household and extra care needs to be taken to ensure the correct product is administered as many spot-on pipettes look the same out of their packaging. Permetherin causes problems when applied directly, but also cats can be at risk when other pets have been treated with permetherin spot on through secondary exposure.

It is worth noting, however, that many hosuehold sprays contain permetherin as it offers a repellent action to remove fleas from an environment. As long as pets are removed from the area being sprayed for at least 30 minutes after application to the household there should be no adverse effects due to the very low level of product remaining.

In a study from data collected from the Veterinary Poisons Information Services (VPIS) database, 1306 cases of permetherin exposure had been reported between 1988 – 2006. Of these, 286 cases had follow up data in cats which gives us clear indication of the issues using Permetherin products on cats. 96.7% of cats developed clinical effects – with 87.8% developing twitching and convulsions. Most upsetting of all is that over 10% of the cats from this group died either directly from the application of the product or from being put to sleep as a result of reactions to the spot on.

The Dangers of Online

There are well publicised risks with purchasing prescription medicines online in human pharmacy due to the dangers of being sold counterfiet products that do not actually contain what they are supposed to. The same dangers are present for animal medicines even for products that don’t require a prescription. While there are many reputable websites selling veterinary products there are still plenty of sites selling fake products that may have no effect or may even cause serious harm to your pet.

If you find a product online cheaper than your vet take the time to speak to your vet and they will be able to advise on any dangers of buying online. Remember your vet has your pet’s best interests in mind and is able to advise the best treatment for your pet without the need for self-diagnosis and potentially risky online purchases. Your vet is also able to assist with administering products if you have trouble.

Benefiting from a Complete Treatment Program

Spot on treatments are incredibly popular to ensure any fleas, and often ticks are killed and re-infestation is prevented for a month or more. It is worth remembering however, that the fleas you see on your pet only make up around 5% of the total flea infestation. The other 95% is made up of eggs, larvae and pupae found within the home environment – within bedding, carpets, furniture, skirting boards, cupboards…Household sprays are great to use alongside your regular spot on treatment to provide an easy way to help break the flea life cycle and protect your home against fleas.

This is especially important for dogs and cats who suffer from flea allergic dermatitis (FAD), who can show severe signs  of irritation at the presence of just a single flea.

Owners must ensure a trustworthy household product is used to provide a safe and efficacious treatment for their home. Care is needed when using these products and instructions must be followed carefully as they can be toxic to some pets, such as birds or fish. All animals should therefore be removed from the sprayed area and fish bowls completely covered for at least 30 minutes following application.

Contact us on 01670 457271 to speak to us about options available for flea and tick treatment for your dog or cat.