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.
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.