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- Public Notices
Let me start by saying how sorry I am for the loss of Mr. Gibson’s beloved cat, as described in the Aug. 15 letter to the editor.
I do not personally know Mr. Gibson, but I know how incredibly difficult when anyone loses a beloved family member. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family during this difficult time.
However, scientific evidence does not support his conclusion.
Among the cat flea and tick products, Frontline Plus manufactured by Merial is one of the safest flea and tick products currently on the market.
According to the ASPCA’s poison control center, the nation’s largest animal poison control center, topical application of Frontline Plus has been associated with localized skin reactions.
Albeit an exceedingly rare complication, it can occur.
However, there can be more severe problems if Frontline Plus is swallowed.
At the label dose, when eaten it can cause an upset stomach (drooling, vomiting etc.). The bottom line is that for a cat to die as a result of Frontline Plus, the cat would have to eat dozens of doses.
I have so much faith in the product that I use it on my own animals, whom I dearly love.
However, not all flea and tick products are created equal.
Many over-the-counter products currently on the market have been associated with killing cats. These products typically contain a pyrethrin or a pyrethroid.
Although majority of toxicities arise from application of a dog product to a cat, some cats are extremely sensitive to these compounds.
These extremely sensitive cats can develop clinical signs from casual contact with a dog that has had one of these products.
The clinical signs of a toxicity to these products consist of skin and ear twitching, generalized tremors, shaking, ataxia (lack of muscle coordination), drooling, seizures and death.
If any of these are ever noted after applying a flea or tick product, it is a medical emergency, and you must seek immediate veterinary care.
The bottom line is that people need to know that there are some dangerous flea and tick products out there, but there are also some very safe flea and tick products, including Frontline Plus. Furthermore, all animals are not the same, and appropriate flea and tick control needs to be tailored to each individual animal as part of a comprehensive preventative medicine program as set forth by your veterinarian. If you have questions regarding what the best product is for your pet, please ask your veterinarian. We are here to help.
Dr. Robert J. Simpson
Kingston Animal Hospital