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to want to 'sue' the vets? Or at least infest them with fleas?

(19 Posts)
zazas Fri 05-Aug-16 20:08:07

We have a two year old cat. Always flea treated him - never a problem until this week when we started to find fleas EVERYWHERE. Alerted to them by my 9YO DD who showed how if she stood still about 4 at least would jump on her bare legs (shudder). The cat was due for a flea treatment this week so I said thought that maybe as it was at the end of period it had allowed fleas to survive on the cat? Not that that had happened before I hadn't noticed much scratching though as the cat basically decamps to the outdoors over summer.

Anyway off to the vets I go - ask for some flea treatment for the house and to buy a repeat of the flea treatment. Except when I explain which one I discover I have not been buying flea treatment over the last 4 months (when I switched to buying it from the vets) but worm treatment!

I have been going to the vets on a Saturday AM when there is a younger man working (as it coincides with the DD ballet class) and he has been selling me what he described as a combined flea & worm treatment. It comes unpackaged (as in just a plastic thing). First he told me it was monthly and then when I went back 4 weeks later for a repeat he said it was for 3 months. Well he is right there but it is only for worms!

The woman just said - "oh sorry he is still learning and he made a mistake", this is what you need to treat the cat and the fleas in your house.

What I really need is a complete flea removal expert - we have 5 kids and a big, scrambling hotchpotch of a house with 100s of places for fleas to live - including carpets. I have sprayed 4 rooms with the spray (£20 a bottle) and probably need about 2 more bottles.

My husband and I have been working full time this week - I am away for a week next week and my husband is home but full time at work as heis covering holidays and we have no time to deflea the house - well of course we will make time but we have 100 other things we need to do!

I am so annoyed at the vets and their lack of concern about the ramifications of their mistake - what should I do - it is really disgusting. Can I really sue them or should???? I ask them to sort out my flea pot of a house. Ahhhhhhhhh!

Magstermay Fri 05-Aug-16 20:13:55

I think the first thing to do is ask to speak to the practice manager and get a copy of their complaints procedure. This will generally involve putting your complaint in writing so they can work to resolve it.

I agree they shouldn't be blasé about it but the receptionist probably didn't have much scope to 'do' anything about it herself in a financial sense.

Did you ask them for the flea treatment to sort the house for free? At the very least they should pay for that!
I would speak to a practice manager

Babyroobs Fri 05-Aug-16 20:17:55

I think that even this is hugely annoying you need to accept that mistakes ( human error) do happen. I would perhaps write a strongly worded letter and ask for financial refunding for the flea sprays you have needed to treat your house. I think sueing is a bit drastic. I can see why it is really annoying. Was there no information on the product you used? I would be very wary of treating an animal with an unlabelled product tbh.

Domino20 Fri 05-Aug-16 20:20:32

Ahh, I really feel for you, we only live in a two bedroom flat and it takes me at least 8 hours to clean and spray (to a level I am comfortable with). It's hardly even about the money the spray costs but the time and effort involved washing all the cushion covers, animal bedding, repeated vacuuming etc. What a pain!

Shizzlestix Fri 05-Aug-16 20:26:57

Spray each room, all carpets and soft furnishings. Use something really effective like RIP Fleas. Close the door/Windows, leave at least one hour. Get diactemous Earth, sprinkle in carpets, hoover up after a few hours. Repeat a week later. You sound like you're infested, you poor thing.

Whilst I know it's normal to rely on someone in the vet practice, I would insist on knowing what product is going on my animals. Frontline spot on no longer works, so do a little bit of googling re effective products for cat and house.

zazas Fri 05-Aug-16 20:29:59

Wasn't really thinking of suing grin just expressing my complete and utter bother at this all. I have to admit that I was slightly dumbfounded when I found out and having to be somewhere else so just listened to her explanation. Now that I dealing with the reality of it all, I am really annoyed. It is more the time and hassle although the £60 of treatment for the house isn't great!

I will write a 'complaint' - 4 months is a long time for them not to properly train their staff. He also sold the same product to my friend with two cats when she went in on a Saturday and asked for the same thing - a three month flea treatment - but only recently and before she became flea infested!

I know it was strange that there was no packaging - but he took it out of a large box and then printed a label with instructions on it.

Scratch, scratch

zazas Fri 05-Aug-16 20:33:03

Shizzlestix we are using RIP (stinks though!) Will ask my DH to get Get diactemous Earth (need to google it) and use that as well. Poor guy - he was looking forward to a relatively relaxing week without us all!

Cat now has Broadline - it had better work! And there I was thinking I was paying extra for the vet's expertise rather than buying from the supermarket!

bertsdinner Fri 05-Aug-16 20:47:59

Stronghold is good. Its a dual flea and wormer you apply once a month, from the vet. I think the ingredients in this one still work.

countingkids123 Fri 05-Aug-16 20:50:03

We're just in the middle of tackling a massive flea infestation. We got flea lamps from amazon; basically little lamps with a sticky sheet underneath them. You plug them in and the fleas are attracted to the heat from the lamps and hop on over. They then die a rather satisfying death on the sticky sheet. The advantage for me is seeing a satisfying amount of the little blighters dead. Keep the lamps on for a whole just in case any eggs hatch and young fleas start to hop about. We've got them in every room. We've also sprayed the carpets, especially around the skirting boards, vacuuming daily, and meticulously combing the cats with a flea comb. They think they're in heaven. It's not a quick process but you'll get there. Good luck!

toboldlygo Fri 05-Aug-16 20:52:57

I'm curious as to what the first product was? The only three month flea treatment I can think of is Bravecto which has only been available for cats for a matter of weeks.

Magstermay Fri 05-Aug-16 20:55:04

Even if the product isn't in a box it will still be labelled and the pipette should have details on it so you can check what you're being given. I'm not suggesting you have any responsibility for it though, you should be sold the right stuff.

If people don't let the clinic know there's a problem, they may not be aware he's giving out the wrong stuff regularly.

lougle Fri 05-Aug-16 21:28:28

toboldlygo I think that's the point. OP has thought she's been buying flea treatment but has actually been buying wormer.

StarryIllusion Fri 05-Aug-16 21:51:03

Flea bomb will sort the house but you will have to go out for the day. As for the cat, feed her a teaspoon full of coconut oil, the kind you get from the health food shop every day. She will probably take it from a spoon or you can mix it in her food. It is just like garlic, in that you exude it from your pores and fleas cannot stand it. Harmless to the cat and is also good for hairballs. We gave it to both our dogs, still do, one of them. The other sadly died of old age last year. They love it and neither of them ever had a flea again since. They get exercised in wooded areas too so used to come home hopping on a regular basis.

zazas Fri 05-Aug-16 22:07:28

Thanks all, I'm going to share these suggestions with DH. I never gave the treatment much thought (as in read the name on it) and it's long gone...

Of course it coincides with us after 9 years redecorating DD bedroom (she rightly pointed out that the baby mobiles hanging in her bedroom corners were no longer suitable for a 9 y at old grin, So there is stuff everywhere...and our fridge/freezer gave up on us after 12 years and a new one was supposed to be delivered on Wednesday but the courier, "forgot to deliver it" and now it's due Monday...so we have fridge stuff everywhere too. And did I mention we have fleas?!?!

Anyway, I still want to write a level of complaint...and suggest the compensation I feel I'm due...just the treatment costs, we will have to suck up our loss time and energy. Concerned it's going to take a fair whack of products...do you think I should just ask them to pay for a flea exterminator?

zazas Fri 05-Aug-16 22:08:22

That would be a letter of complaint!

LostSight Fri 05-Aug-16 22:11:53

I used to be responsible for responding to complaints about vets. In your position, i would write a letter telling them what happened and tell them specifically what you would like them to do. I think a full refund for the original treatment (which was not effective obviously) as well as the most recent treatment ( given the full inconvenience in addition to the extra 'house' treatment) would be perfectly reasonable under the circumstances.

If you can also say something positive about them and why you want to continue using their services in future, you are more likely to get a positive response. Almost all complaints are very angry ( obviously this is understandable, but it is horribly distressing to deal with them), so anything set out this way is more likely to be met with relief and (hopefully) compliance with your refund request.

LostSight Fri 05-Aug-16 22:21:17

They should have professional indemnity insurance for errors. If an exterminator proves necessary, it would absolutely be worth asking.

unlucky83 Fri 05-Aug-16 23:06:18

I would do as lost says for now but rethink the whole treatment thing - I am completely disillusioned and actually think regularly treating is a waste of money.
But then I got infested after using frontline for 2 years and it just stopped working - it as working so I stopped checking. At least you have only had a problem for a couple of months - I think I had mine for much longer than that before I realised.
Know you enemy.
Adult fleas live on your cat and lay eggs. The eggs fall off with the flea dirt (black specks - flea poo - which is actually dried blood). The eggs hatch into larvae - which eat mainly flea poo. They grow for a while - until they are visible by eye - just. They then pupate and develop into adult fleas. They can hang around as pupae for literally years -until they are disturbed (vibration, CO2 etc) when they emerge from the pupae as 'adult' fleas. The whole lifecycle in ideal conditions takes about 2 weeks. They need a feed before they can breed and they mate on the cat. They live on the cat ....they can survive for months biting (feeding) off humans but they can't breed. Just because you don't have obvious bites doesn't mean you are not being bitten - it just means you don't react to the bites (I don't - and I don't react to mosquito bites either -but I do react to midges, horse flies... and bees I recently discovered - I needed oral steriods!)
So...
First of all you have the best flea attractor in the world - it is furry with 4 legs and hangs around the places the fleas are likely to be. The fleas will jump on your cat in preference to anything - so treat the cat as a priority and don't exclude it from rooms it previously could go in. And don't treat it with a flea repellent just yet - let it collect them all up
No matter what treatment - flea comb too -so you detect quickly any problems with the treatment.
Get a good flea comb - long metal teeth and flea comb daily -fleas jump out the way but I find if you keep changing sides and do each side several times etc you get most of them (I think the fleas get tired!). Drop them in boiling water with washing up liquid in to kill them.
Also in some trial vacuuming alone got 90+% of adult fleas. So daily vacuuming - but don't worry about crevices etc too much better to do it daily than leave it cos you don't have time- concentrate on areas the cat hangs around - like sleeping areas or places flea eggs and dirt are more likely to fall off - so under windows where it jumps up, or around the cat flap. They can grow in tiny gaps on hard floors so you need to vacuum them too - and furniture.
They can also survive outside - so at this time of year they might be reinfesting the cat outside.
When they are in pupae they can withstand flea killers - it is the pesticide residue hanging around when they emerge that can kill them. Not sure you want pesticide residue hanging around when you have DC though...
I've used Johnsons 4 fleas tablets in the past - from pet shop/online and they kill the fleas on the cat and you can give them daily. They work for me.
I generally flea comb and hoover weekly- no other products used and up to 3 weeks ago didn't have a problem but with holidays etc she missed a few combs and I didn't hoover for 2 weeks. She does have a few now so I'll give her a 4 fleas tablet and hoover more regularly and I should get on top of it again in the next few weeks...
But never again will I not know I have a problem for months...so I get infested. It is gross and I feel your pain...at the height of my infestation I found a flea in my (crawling) baby's hair sad

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