The recent rain & humidity in Sydney has provided the perfect conditions for hatching fleas. There has been a corresponding rise in demand for flea products by owners. Spoton products are still the most popular due to their efficiency and ease of application. However not all flea products are the same.
Changes in product regulation over the years have meant that both well known and generic treatments for fleas are available from veterinary surgeries, pet shop, supermarkets, pharmacies and over the Internet. Care needs to be exercised when purchasing products from non-traditional sources as it is often not accompanied with the correct technical advice and the ingredients can be old technology.
Flea products with Permethrin should only be applied to dogs. Toxicity occurs when the concentrated dog product is applied to cats. However cats that actively groom on or engage in close physical contact with recently treated dogs may also be at risk of toxicity. It can take up to 48 hours for a flea spoton to dry on a dog's coat so keeping your cat separate during this period is advised.
Clinical signs of permethrin toxicosis in cats include hypersalivation, depression, ear and facial twitching, generalised muscle tremors, hyperthermia, vomiting, anorexia, seizures, and possibly death. Onset of clinical signs is usually within a few hours of exposure but may be delayed up to 24 hours. The severity of clinical signs varies among individual cats. Immediate veterinary treatment is advised.