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poisoned my cat with flea treatment - please help!

(32 Posts)
PerpetualStudent Thu 04-Aug-16 10:06:23

I am in bits! On Monday night treated my elderly cat (16 years!) with a 'spot on' flea treatment from the supermarket (lets say the manufacturers were Pob Fartin, if using brand names gets me into trouble...)

She's had fleas for a while, have always treated her effectively with similar products in the past (she is my childhood pet, but been living with my mum until 2 years ago, this is the 1st summer she's spent any real time outside, so had been using up the flea products my mum gave me before buying this)

Immediately, it had a bad affect on her, she was twitching and struggling to use her back legs. This has continued, and although she eats and drinks if I put it in front of her, her pupils are smashed and all she wants to do is hide in dark corners of the garden. I know that's a bad sign.

I took her to the vet on Tues night, but they did little - a blood test showed she was anemic from the fleas. They just said to wash her to try get the flea treatment off (did this, didn't help) and try keep her hydrated. They have some flea stuff of their own for me to pick up.

Been googling and discovered how vicious this product I used is - how can they sell it so widely?! Is there anything I can do for her? She is so old, and was already underweight and frail. I feel so horribly guilty I've done this to my childhood pet...

AddictedtoGreys Thu 04-Aug-16 10:15:52

Have you checked that you used the correct size for her? Not saying you haven't, I just used to work in a vets and you would be surprised the amount of people who accidentally get the wrong size for their pet. In surprised your vets haven't put her on fluids to help keep her hydrated. All you can offer is supportive therapy unfortunately there isn't an "antidote" for it. And Bob Martins is utter shite and should be a banned product. Hope your cat is ok.

RubbishMantra Thu 04-Aug-16 10:52:47

That Bob Martin shit should be banned.

I'm sorry this has happened to your cat.

Is there another vets nearby you could take her to? Or at least ring your vet and say there's been little improvement.

TheoriginalLEM Thu 04-Aug-16 10:56:43

She must have been riddled with fleas to be anaemic! Take her to a different vet asap. She is at risk of liver and kidney failure and needs to be ona drip to flush out the toxins. Cannot believe this shit is still for sale. Poor cat.

PerpetualStudent Thu 04-Aug-16 11:08:18

Thank you for your replies. I've called the vets for advice, emphasising how unwell she looks. But they just say to try keep he hydrated and that the feas need to be treated before they do anything else. I'm not happy with them, but am on my own today with 14 month old DS (also ill - feel like the world's worst mother and cat owner!) so would struggle to get to another vets with her today. Will call one for a second option and go from there I guess...
The flea treatment they've given is called comfortis, it's a pill and says it for cats 1.9-2.8 kgs.
She weights around 2kg, the Bob Martin stuff said not to be used on cats under 1kg, even so I was cautious and didn't use the whole pipiette. Wish to god I'd trusted my caution and thrown the stuff in the bin.

PerpetualStudent Thu 04-Aug-16 11:19:17

So I'm worried about giving this new flea stuff - says on the instructions it works via a pesticide, which I understood as the bad thing about the Bob Martin stuff? Is there a chance it will make her worse?

TheEmmaDilemma Thu 04-Aug-16 11:41:45

I knew it was going to be Bob Martin.

Call back the Vet and get her an appointment, please.

TheEmmaDilemma Thu 04-Aug-16 11:42:23

I actually chased someone down in the supermarket and begged them to not use that product. blush

OlennasWimple Thu 04-Aug-16 11:43:56

Not a vet, but I don't get why the fleas need to be gone before they can start other treatment confused

SuburbanRhonda Thu 04-Aug-16 11:49:00

My cat was dangerously close to death when she became dehydrated after being over-prescribed hyperthyroid medication at the vet shock. We took her to the emergency vet and she was on a drip overnight - she made a massive improvement and is fine now.

PP are right - she needs to be rehydrated intravenously or there is a risk of organ damage. Please ask your vet to take her in to do this.

Spurs12 Thu 04-Aug-16 12:04:01

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

TheoriginalLEM Thu 04-Aug-16 12:13:30

You do need to be wary of what you use in top of the bob martins as there can be interactions. By definition, all flea treatments are pesticides so don't fret about that as they are supposed to kill the pests!.

I strongly advise that you at least contact a different vet fir advice.

How is your cat now? if she is fine in herself and not dehydrated (you can check this by pulling up the skin on the back of her neck and if it doesn't pop back quickly she is dehydrated) then trwating the fleas is a priority.

Frontline is fine although not always effective as the fleas have developed resistence and im worried it contains the same active ingredient as b m spot on. Ifrontline is fipronil if you want to compare.

Ice not had experience of comfortis but if its a tablet it is unlikely to work quickly.

If yourcat had alot of fleas you need to treat your house as there will ne eggs and larvae. Indorex is effective and safe.

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 04-Aug-16 13:12:42

Ideally your cat would be on a drip, but I am guessing there are outside factors to this. Comfortis is an effective flea control and would be a good future option. All flea treatments are pesticides, but all pesticides are not the same hence some are safer than others. The big problem ones are permethrin based flea products.

BeBopTalulah Sat 06-Aug-16 17:30:41

Our last cat became 'ataxic' after doses of flea and worm treatment, staggering around like a drunk cat. We took him to the vet but they were not concerned, apparently this is quite common? One of my current cats got a bit 'tipsy' after his wormer/flea treatment, but again the vet was not concerned. I use Broadline now and so far no issues at all.

RubbishMantra Sat 06-Aug-16 17:55:18

You mentioned upthread worries about her hydration. You can get a 2ml or 5 ml(?) syringe (no needle obvs), and dribble it slowly (not squirt) into her mouth. You'll find a gap between her fangs and molars to fit the tip of the syringe into.

You can obtain these from your local chemist, if it's too late to see your local vet.

I never give flea and worming products on the same day.

reallyanotherone Sat 06-Aug-16 18:03:27

Very common.

Find a vet that is tegistered with veterinary poisons. They will take a history- time since application, ingredients in product etc, and tell you exactly what needs to be done.

RubbishMantra Sat 06-Aug-16 18:05:01

*Sorry, just picked up this is her first summer outside. Could she have nibbled/brushed up against lilies, (they ingest by licking the pollen off their fur)

Personally, I would expect more care and concern from my vet.

RubbishMantra Sat 06-Aug-16 18:16:54

Bob Martin, I hope you are alerted to this thread. Flea treatments are supposed to eliminate fleas, not make a pet poorly.

I think you should offer to pay OP's vet bills and take your flea treatments off the supermarket shelves.

PerpetualStudent Sat 06-Aug-16 18:50:57

Thanks everyone for your support and advice, I wanted to update, though I'm afraid it's not good news.
On the back of your suggestions, I did contact another vets, who were very much more concerned and asked me to bring her in.
After examining her and giving her a stomach scan, they found she had a likely tumour in her stomach, which would have been causing her health to deteriorate for some time.
This is likely to be why the fleas got such a strong hold of her, and why the flea treatment effected her so badly, even though she was in the right weight bracket.

Unfortunately, it was the 2nd vets opinion there was little to be done - the treatment would have been exploratory surgery to locate the tumour and decide how to treat it - which they offered openly, but GA and surgery for a 16 year old cat seemed cruel. At this point she couldn't use he back legs at all and was struggling to catch her breath.

So the decision was taken to put her to sleep. I buried her in our garden and planted a geranium plant over her on Thursday evening.

I'm desperately sad at loosing her, and still feel guilty as hell that I brought that Bob Martin flea stuff anywhere near her - my only comfort is that it highlighted an existing health issue, rather than causing a new one all by itself.

I still think it shouldn't be possible to sell an over-the-counter treatment that can so easily poison a pet though. It meant she spend her last days incontinent and paralysed, in pain and fear.

I also followed things up with my original vet, got a refund for the £56 flea treatment they sold me (which I never used) and am pursuing a complaint for why they didn't notice the tumour or have more concern when I called back about her deteriorating condition.

cozietoesie Sat 06-Aug-16 18:53:28

I'm so sorry about your girl.

LewisAndClark Sat 06-Aug-16 18:59:20

Oh I am so sorry. Your original vet sounds negligent.

reallyanotherone Sat 06-Aug-16 19:05:24

*Bob Martin, I hope you are alerted to this thread. Flea treatments are supposed to eliminate fleas, not make a pet poorly.

I think you should offer to pay OP's vet bills and take your flea treatments off the supermarket shelves.*

Theyve known for many years about this issue.

So sorry o/p

TheoriginalLEM Sat 06-Aug-16 19:06:09

I am so sorry to read this and angry on your behalf. The anaemia was likely due to the tumour but original vets misled by the fleas. They absolutely should have taken your concerns more seriouly.

please don't feel guilty, you did everything you could for her and understandably followed the vets original advice. Why wouldn't you?

Thankfully you listened to your instincts and got her tovthe other vet. Absolutely done the right thing putting her to sleep. Surgery was unlikely to be curative and anaesthetic a risk for her.

sorry for your loss flowers

RubbishMantra Sun 07-Aug-16 15:06:33

I'm so sorry Perpetual, I really am. It must have been awfully distressing watching her suffer.

Not your fault that your vet gave you such bad advice. And you're right, that Bob Martin shite just served to highlight a problem that your existing vet should have picked up on.

flowers for you and your girl.

RubbishMantra Sun 07-Aug-16 15:10:22

Really, how can they keep selling it then? Doesn't the UK have the equivalent of the FDA?

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