Dog Labeled Flea/Tick Prevention on Cats: A Big NO.
"Cat and dog flea/tick prevention have the same ingredients"
Cat and dog flea/tick prevention active ingredients differ greatly.
"Save money by applying a small amount of dog flea/tick to your cat"
Dog flea/tick prevention often includes active ingredient(s) that are pyrethrin(s) and/or pyrethroid(s) which are TOXIC to cats. Even if a small amount gets onto the skin of a cat it can cause serious reactions that can lead to death.
Toxicity levels range from mild to severe
Common signs of toxicity:
- Difficulty breathing
- Excessive drooling
"How does toxicity happen?"
Often it is from the error of applying a dog topical flea/tick prevention on a cat, but can also be from a cat licking/rubbing against a dog with a flea/tick topical product or contact with a form of insecticide.
"What should I do if I suspect a pyrethrin/pyrethroid toxicity?"
Bathe or wash the area the solution came into contact with using a gentle soap immediately and contact your veterinarian. Do not wait. If your veterinarian is not open or does not do after hours services take your pet to an emergency veterinary clinic.
"How do you treat pyrethrin/pyrethroid toxicity?"
Unfortunately, there is no quick cure for these cases. Supportive care is provided to help assist the patient in their fight against the toxicity. Supportive care may include: IV fluid therapy, anti-convulsion medication, temperature monitoring, muscle relaxants, or a variety of combinations.
"What is my animal's prognosis?"
Many cases come into veterinary clinics as an emergency in an already seizure/tremor-like state and experiencing hyperthermia or hypothermia. Stabilizing the patient and stopping the seizures/tremoring can prove to be difficult. Veterinarians try their hardest to make the best decisions based on each patient's needs. The prognosis can vary from fair to poor. It is important to get the effected animal to your veterinarian as quickly as possible after discovering the contact with the toxin has occurred.
- Flea/Tick Prevention should only be applied to the appropriately labeled animal(s) according to the package the prevention was purchased in.
- If you have a question about a flea/tick prevention and if it should be used on your pet contact your veterinarian prior to applying said prevention.
- Avoid letting your cat groom/lick/rub against a dog who has had flea/tick prevention applied topically over the past 48 hours.
- Insecticide should be kept in a closed, locked area out of reach of any animals.