The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) has published on its website -
www.vmd.gov.uk/General/Adverse/current.htm - the following list of dog spot-on products that, if used accidentally on cats, can be fatal).
- Advantix Spot On Solution for Dogs
- Armitage Pet Care Flea and Tick Drops
- Armitage Pet Care Flea and Tick Drops for Dogs
- Beaphar Dog Flea and Tick Drops
- Bio-tech's Anti-Flea and Anti-Tick Drops for Dogs
- Bio-tech' s Flea and Tick Drops for Dogs
- Bob Martin Dog Spot On
- Bob Martin Flea and Tick Spot On
- Bob Martin Permethrin Dog Spot On
- Canac Dog Flea and Tick Drops
- Canovel Flea Drops
- Derasect Flea Drops
- Exspot Insecticide for Dogs
- Hartz Control Pet Care System One Spot Flea and Tick Remedy for Dogs
- Hyperdrug Veterinary Flea and Tick Drops
- Hyperdrug Veterinary Flea and Tick Drops for Dogs
- Johnson's Flea and Tick Drops for Puppies and Small Dogs
- Johnson's Insecticidal Flea and Tick Drops
- Protect Spot Flea and Tick Drops for Dogs
- Wilko Dog Flea Drops
- Zodiac Flea and Tick Drops for Dogs
As stated on the VMD website, ‘these products are intended for the treatment of fleas and ticks in dogs only. They contain permethrin, a substance that is safe for dogs but causes a toxic reaction in cats when present in spot-on products, due to its concentration.’ There is a concern that owners are inadvertently using ‘dog only’ products on their cats. When purchasing flea products from a supermarket, it can be easy to accidentally choose the wrong box from the shelf. The Feline Advisory Bureau (FAB) is trying to have the legal categorisation of permethrin products changed so they can’t be sold off the shelf in supermarkets but unfortunately this has not yet been successful, although the VMD is monitoring the incidence of these reactions.
Cats treated with even tiny amounts of spot-on products containing permethrin, or that inadvertently ingest the product from a treated dog - eg. if they groom the dog or rub against it then groom themselves - can develop signs of toxicity such as salivation, tremors and seizures and they may die
If a product containing permethrin is accidentally applied, it is important to wash off the product from the cat with water and a mild detergent and seek immediate treatment from a vet. The product packaging should also be taken to the vet. The VMD is actively monitoring the incidence of suspected adverse reactions to these products and requests that any incident be reported as soon as possible. Details of how to report a suspected adverse reaction can be found by visiting http://www.vmd.gov.uk/General/Adverse/mal252.pdf. Permethrin-based ant killer products, household sprays, dusting powders and insecticidal shampoos usually contain permethrin at concentrations lower than 1.5 per cent and are therefore unlikely to cause signs other than salivation and perhaps vomiting and diarrhoea if ingested. For feline safety, we would recommend that permethrin-based products were avoided in areas where cats have access, in case of overdose. There is no specific antidote and permethrin is the most common poison reported to affect cats and we recommend that owners use feline flea products on veterinary advice.
This is Pete in our care June 09, long term stray who was covered in fleas when he first found his way to the vets. Since has developed into a very handsome, loving puss cat.