Accidentally putting dog flea control (or the wrong dose) on a cat happens. Sometimes the applicators get mixed up, sometimes labels are not read closely enough. Then there are the times when people think "more is better" or that cats are just small dogs. They aren't. This common mistake can, and does, result in death. Knowing what to do and acting quickly can save the very pet you are protecting from fleas.
I asked veterinarian and veterinary toxicologist, Dr. Ahna Brutlag from the Pet Poison Helpline (PPH) for her insights on this problem of flea control toxicity in cats.
Learn More: Help - I Just Put Dog Flea Control on my Cat
October 15, 2013 Update: After this article was published, I received the following email from Dr Rebecca Milton BVSc, Technical Support Veterinarian at Bayer Animal Health in Australia.
Dr. Milton has a great tip to add to the discussion. Reprinted here with her permission:
Just wanted to say, great article re: dangers of dog flea products for cats. I work as the vet on the tech support line for Bayer Animal Health Australia - and this is definitely a problem we get calls about.
One thing I always like to mention in relation to this topic, is for cat owners/vets to ring the manufacturer to report these adverse events. I know it's off-label use, and a well known toxicity, but we still like to log them - in part to try and get an idea of frequency, but there are other reasons - especially collecting more info on cases where there was no direct application on the cat, rather association with a treated dog.
The Bayer global Advantix website has some FAQs related to product safety.
--Dr Rebecca Milton BVSc, Technical Support Veterinarian at Bayer Animal Health (Australia)
To report adverse reactions:
- Veterinary Adverse Event Voluntary Reporting (FDA - United States)
- Adverse Drug Reaction Reporting System (Australia)
Photo: Barnie / Janet Tobiassen Crosby DVM