Dont use DOG flea treatments on CATS!!

Dog flea treatments killing cats
08 November 2007

Hundreds of cats are dying needlessly after being accidentally treated with commonly used dog flea treatments, says a study produced by the Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS), part of Guy�s and St Thomas� NHS Foundation Trust.

Following their recent joint study, the VPIS has joined forces with cat welfare charity Feline Advisory Bureau (FAB) to warn owners of the dangers of using dog flea preparations on cats.
The study found one in 10 cats reported to the VPIS died, after being exposed to spot-on dog treatments containing the chemical permethrin.

Permethrin is so poisonous to cats they can become seriously ill even if they come into close contact with treated dogs, such as by sharing bedding.
Pemethrin is of low toxicity to most mammals, but because of metabolic deficiency, it is highly toxic to cats.

Permethrin is a pyrethroid, a type of insecticide which is commonly found in pet flea treatments, ant-killers, fly sprays and other pesticide products.
The VPIS, which is part of the Medical Toxicology Unit at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital, regularly receives enquiries from vets across the UK about cats being exposed to permethrin.
The VPIS study reviewed 286 cases where canine spot-on permethrin preparations had been used on cats.

Of these cases:
97 per cent of the cats had signs of poisoning
88 per cent had twitching and/or convulsions
10.5 per cent of the cats died or were euthanased
The VPIS has already received over 230 enquiries this year about cats that had been exposed to permethrin.

However, VPIS manager Alex Campbell said he believed these figures indicate the problem was even more widespread and the number of poisonings understated.
"Not all veterinary practices use the VPIS, and not all vets will report every case. If this chemical is used, it can cause severe illness and death in cats."
Alex said cats poisoned with permethrin may need two to three days of intensive veterinary treatment.

He said: "There is no need to use permethrin containing products to control fleas on cats. There are many different 'spot-on' medications formulated specifically for cats, none of which contain permethrin".

The VPIS and FAB are urging cat owners to check very carefully when treating their cats with spot-on products. Owners should ensure they do not use flea treatments designed for dogs and especially notones that contain permethrin.
Advice should be sought from a vet or a qualified professional on the most appropriate, safe and effective flea treatments to use on cats.

VPIS and FAB are lobbying manufacturers to make the warning on permethrin containing flea treatments for dogs more noticeable.

He said: "Accidents inevitably occur, but it's not enough for the manufacturers of these products to say there is a warning on the packet. It must be visible, understandable, and printed on both the packet and the container itself to reduce the incidence of serious poisoning.

"They have a responsibility to their customers, and both have a duty to the animals under their care."