Be safe, use veterinary products only

The title to this post does not always apply! In my opinion, you have to exercise a bit of caution and common sense when assuming that veterinary products are safe and the best because vets are in business and that means they have associations with other businesses to sell their products which in turn means the products on the shelves of the reception area have not necessarily been selected from an entirely unbiased standpoint. However, we should not be too cynical about the business activities of our veterinarian.

Don't Buy Cheap Cat Flea Treatments

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

There probably is one product which should, either be bought at a veterinary clinic or at least the buyer should know what his vet recommends. The product is spot-on flea treatments. People need to use this product ‘by the book’ and not take short cuts when it comes to this useful but potentially dangerous treatment.

The cat flea is a mega-health problem for the domestic cat. Once again, pet product manufacturers have expended a lot of effort and energy on creating a convenient method of controlling fleas with spot-on treatments. A lot of people like the treatment but they expect too much from it because alone it is often not enough. A more holistic approach is required.

However, I digress. The point of this article is that the cheaper, over-the-counter spot-on treatments can be extremely dangerous (is Bob Martin’s product cheaper than the average?). One vet in California states that he has seen animals die or having violent seizures after a cheap spot-on flea treatment. And, ironically, and sadly, the dying cats had fleas all over their body. There lies a tale of carelessness.

I believe that you will find that most veterinarians agree on this one: don’t buy cut price, over-the-counter (online) spot-on flea treatments or do so with genuine caution and knowledge. It could be a false economy. I’ll explain why.

The popularity of these spot-on treatments has spawned many varieties from different manufacturers. They all look very similar in that the insecticide is dispensed from a single-dose tube or vial. The manufacturers of these cheaper products copied the ‘veterinary products’.

Spot-on flea treatments sold at the vets contain low concentrations of permethrin, an insecticide. Cats can usually tolerate it.

The cheaper products, either because the packaging is confusing or because they contain higher concentrations of permethrin, are dangerous. Dogs require higher concentrations and the packaging should state ‘for dogs only’. Permethrin concentrations of around 45 to 65% may kill a cat. Kittens are particularly vulnerable to higher concentrations.

I suppose the point I am making is that with respect to potentially dangerous cat health products cat owners should either buy from their vet and pay a bit extra or seek the advice of their vet.

The problem here is that with the huge expansion of online shopping, many cat owners will now buy online from businesses such as Amazon. It is convenient. This bypasses veterinary input.

I am not involved in receiving commissions but ‘Frontline’ (or Advantage) is probably the product most likely to be stocked by a veterinarian. There are considerably cheaper products. I am not saying that all of them are dangerous but caution is required and one way to be safe is to buy from your vet.

Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.

15 thoughts on “Be safe, use veterinary products only”

  1. Just to mention_we have two Maine Coon Cats which suffer lifelong autoimmune deficiencies due to poor veterinary procedures and these two products [ Advantage and Frontline ] The first time I used them my cats foamed at the mouth and became ill. One now suffers upper respiratory issues and the other one has a arithimic heart and dermatitis. She has to be on Dexamethasone for her dermatitis and hair loss.
    P.S.-Putting their health at risk did not kill the fleas either.
    Now my cats health is in jeopardy if I take them to the vet.They have been compromised and will never be 100% again. NOTE: this is our experience with Toxic chemicals.I could add more about side effects I am still dealing with on a daily basis. Mamma Theo is 11yrs. and her three daughters are 10yrs of age.One of the daughters suffered neurological / nervous system damage and is off her rocker several times each day.I love them, so I have had to put my foot down and follow my instincts for their sake from here on out.note> diatomaceous earth will kill fleas in the carpet-as will Borax laundry booster [dollar store] but borax can’t be left on areas where your pets walk or sleep. Do the research folks.

  2. My veterinarian recommended revolution.That was a huge mistake. He had very bad side effects. I did not want to do it in the first place, but he had mites. I now just keep his mites under control with natural methods. It took a little over two years for four different vets to figure out that my cat had mites, they just didn’t believe that was possible for some reason. So by the time they did figure it out, because of my insistence, he was in pretty bad shape and I was desperate. I don’t really understand pouring insecticide on cats and dogs to get rid of fleas because of the risks. I was very careful and followed the instructions. My cats immune system was not compromised in any way, he was healthy.

    • Thanks Leslie for sharing your experiences. You make a good point. Vets do fail people and their cats sometimes. I suppose the point I am making is that in general it is better to buy a flea treatment that a vet recommends but as you state it does not always work well. Perhaps your cat was particularly susceptible to the insecticide in Revolution. I am sorry to hear he has such a hard time. I hate to hear that.

  3. Not only are a lot of these cheaper spot-on treatments dangerous for cats, but they they are often ineffective. Most of them only kill adult fleas, but not their eggs, so the life-cycle is never broken and fleas are ever present.

    In the UK we can easily buy Advantage and Frontline to treat/prevent fleas, from a variety of retailers. However the stronger versions which also kill ticks are only available from the vet or with a vet’s prescription, which makes it harder to shop around for a better deal.

  4. Nearly every caretaker I know uses Frontline or Advantage, because neither contain Permethrin.
    They all buy from various places, and I don’t know anyone who buys directly from their vet.

  5. I’ve been buying Advantage from the local pet store, which may be cheaper and quicker than getting it at the vet’s.

    I know these spot on products can create problems for some cats, but so far Mitzy can tolerate them.

    Sometimes people don’t make the connection between the spot on treatment and a re-action. So, I’d advise to be very watchful after treating for any unusual response.

    I called in a refill of Lactulose, and still had to wait a half hour to get it. So, I wouldn’t get anything from the vet unless I couldn’t get it elsewhere.

    I’m thinking about getting the prescription, and taking it to a pharmacy to save time, and probably money. It’s a cheap stool softener.

    • With you Sandy, you have that in-depth knowledge and natural caution and inquisitiveness, which protects your cats. A lot of first-timers or less vigilant people may cut corners and take risks. This is where cheap online products are a potential hazard.

    • Lactulose (generic is Enulose) is really very cheap. I’m sure you’ll find any human paharmacy much cheaper than getting it from a vet.

  6. I was looking for a way to contact you privately Michael Broad. I have been using RetroMAD1 on my near deathly sick kitten with FeLV. I am in the US and when I say this stuff works its the understatement of the year. Odorless, tasteless, absolutely no side effects, and its a liquid oral medication thats is incredibly easy to administer. IF you have any questions email me. My kitten had a 106 fever, a skin infection that made her hair fall out, and she hid in corner waiting to die until I received my RetroMAD1. Within 3 days of treatment she came out of her hiding spot and has gotten better each day. It is meant to be an HIV drug but it will probably take forever to get approved thats if big pharma doesn’t block its production completely.


Leave a Comment

follow it link and logo