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Please, Don't be Cheap When it Comes to....

April 30th, 2013 at 02:30 pm

When it comes to Flea Control for your pets.

I think we could all come up with many other things that you should not skimp on, but this is forefront in my mind right now.

If you don't know, haven't read my info or my blog before let me say I am a veterinary nurse (RVT) and I work in a single doctor practice. (I have really interesting cases sometimes and I really should blog more about work, but that is for another time.)

Yesterday we had two separate clients bring in their elderly cats. One cat was an indoor only cat and the other was indoor with access to the outside. Both cats were being seen because they haven't been doing so well.

They were both COVERED in fleas.
Crawling all over these poor, old cats were nasty, bloodsucking fleas.

In my opinion impossible to miss. You could part the hair and see the fleas walking around. The cats' fur full of "flea dirt" - flea poop looks like specks of dirt.

Most young cats can groom off almost all their fleas. Not that they should have to do that, use flea preventatives and they are so much better for it. Many people will say they don't see fleas and that is a big reason why. But, an old cat (or dog) don't groom themselves as well as when they were younger and can get overwhelmed with fleas. Fleas suck blood and with a ton of fleas feeding on a pet it can cause anemia among other things.

The owner of the indoor/outdoor cat has been "using some drops she picked up *somewhere*".
She seemed surprised that they weren't working. (Really?! Do you ever pet or look at your cat?)
Her old kitty was very dehydrated and anemic. Not to mention how miserably uncomfortable I can only imagine she was.

The indoor only cat: "Shouldn't have fleas! She is an indoor cat!"
The cat was seriously covered with fleas. It doesn't matter to the flea where the cat lives.
Actually, inside is even better for the flea - nice temperature controlled environment.
Unfortunately, that kitty was in bad shape due to other problems and was euthanized. It made me feel so sad that the cat had to spend her last days/weeks/months being eaten on by fleas. Frown

As the days heat up flea populations will climb. Please don't be cheap. Use the "good stuff" and use it every month. Indoor or outdoor. Look online so you can educate yourself about what flea dirt looks like. It dissolves to blood when wetted. You can find flea dirt much more easily than finding a flea - unless your pet is severely infested.

The "good stuff" in my opinion and what I use is:
Revolution or Advantage for cats.
Comfortis, Advantage or Advantix for dogs.
Capstar (for cats and K9s) can be used for a quick kill and is great to use in combo with above products to get an infestation under control.

So to conclude, this is an area where I say money well spent when you buy the right product.

What item or service do you feel is worth the "premium price"?

5 Responses to “Please, Don't be Cheap When it Comes to....”

  1. snafu Says:

    Poor kitties, how sad, I feel so bad.

    Question: Our BiShu has been prescribed Metacan 10 ml. for a disc problem. Is it a product I can buy at a pharmacy or is it only available at the vet's?

  2. LadyT Says:

    This breaks my heart! :-(

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    Good post! It is awful to think our pets need to suffer needlessly.

  4. Looking Forward Says:

    Snafu: You can get Metacam online or some human pharmacies have it. It is a human drug available as a tablet (last I checked). You might also buy a larger amount (32mL, 100mL or 180mL) and/or ask your vet to price match a lower price in order to save a bit.

  5. monkeymama Says:

    Having always had outdoor cats as a kid, we have never had a flea problem since the invention of Advantage. I would not use anything else.

    In fact, since our last cat was declawed/indoors, we never had a flea problem except one time when an inconsiderate relative brought over their dog (without asking). IT was only in our house a few hours and our cat was petrified. I was just so pissed anyway, but the cat ended up getting fleas. !!! So I bought some Advantage online, applied one treatment, and that was the end of it. It's not like it was super crazy expensive option. "One and done" is cheaper than buying the cheaper stuff over and over. {I am sure it took a while to notice because I was not expecting in the least, but at some point it becomes beyond obvious}.

    The cat we just picked up from the shelter has fleas - they are super obvious because his fur is light and because he keeps lunging at them to get them out. But, I have to look up what the shelter gave him and if it was any good. Activyl?

    Fleas can be uncomfortable for humans too - I have no idea how you would not notice and why you would not do anything about it.

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