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Beware. I Almost Lost My Kittie To Cat Flea Spray

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  • Beware. I Almost Lost My Kittie To Cat Flea Spray

    One of my cats had a few fleas on her, so I went out and bought flea spray. I did everything as directed. Later, I went into the bathroom and found her lifeless body laying on a towel. She started convulsing; not quite seizures, but shaking and unconscious. She had vomit around her and her eyes were dilated. It was classic organophosphate poisoning (I'm an ER RN, so knew the symptoms). I washed her in Dawn detergent twice. Then she defecated all over. By then she was able to open her eyes, but was still having violent tremors. She ended up living and is currently sitting on my arms as I type this. I honestly had no idea that an over-the-counter flea spray could be so harmful. I don't want anyone else to loose their precious cats, so please be careful when using the products and keep a close eye on the cat afterwards!
    Member of the "I Ride A Chestnut Thoroughbred Mare, So You Don't Scare Me Clique"

  • #2
    Hartz?
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte

    Comment


    • #3
      Actually, it could have been pyrethrins too which are commonly used in flea control products for DOGS and by some less reputable companies in products designed for cats. Cats are very sensitive to pyrethrins, unlike dogs and horses, and a small dose can be fatal. For all of us horse owners - pyrethrins are the main ingredient in most equine fly sprays - do not use them on your cats either!

      Edited to add that apparently Hartz really does use organophosphates in their flea products. That's insane - those went out of favor as acceptable methods of flea control decades ago.

      http://www.nyvsc.com/pyrethrin-pyret...oms-treatment/

      Glad your kitty is okay!
      Last edited by In The Gate; Sep. 11, 2013, 09:05 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Tetrachlorvinthros is in Hartz feline flea sprays and is an organophosphate. There have been a *lot* of feline seizures and deaths caused by TCPV, and most of it by the Hartz spray.

        http://www.petmd.com/cat/conditions/...y#.UjBaOEUo6po

        OP, your cat really should still go the vet. It can cause long term chronic issues, there's treatments the vet can use to help avoid that.
        You jump in the saddle,
        Hold onto the bridle!
        Jump in the line!
        ...Belefonte

        Comment


        • #5
          Ive had both a cat and dog have severe reactions to Otc flea treatments in the past, very spooky. Glad the cat is feeling better. Please report the reaction to the manufacture of the product and make sure it is reported. They ishkibbled me on the dog because of the time frame and did not would not report it as a reaction to their product.

          Comment


          • #6
            Scary!!! So glad your kitty is ok. What brand was it? We don't usually get otc flea spray, unless our vet is out of the regular medication we buy...We normally gets Adams, but IIRC we've never used it on the cats. Will double check that it's safe before we ever do now!

            Comment


            • #7
              If you had time to post here, you had time to google:

              organophosphate poisoning treatment cats

              Treatment

              Expect your veterinarian to recommend hospitalization with continuous intravenous fluids. Other treatments may include:

              Bathing the pet in lukewarm water with mild dish soap can reduce the amount of topical exposure.

              Activated charcoal solution may be administered by your veterinarian if insecticide ingestion is suspected.

              Atropine or protopam chloride (2-PAM) can be used to treat carbamate and organophosphate toxicity. Unfortunately, many doses of these antidotes may be required since the insecticide lasts a longer time in the body than the antidote. Repeated doses over a 2 to 5 day period may be needed.

              In order to maintain nutritional support, a temporary feeding tube may be needed.

              Unfortunately, survival is not guaranteed, even with prompt veterinary care. The earlier treatment is instituted and the more aggressive it is, the better chance your pet has to survive.

              Take the cat to the vet.

              Comment


              • #8
                I don't understand how this stuff is still on the market 1. and 2. that people still buy it with all the information available on how dangerous it is.
                McDowell Racing Stables

                Home Away From Home

                Comment


                • #9
                  OP - I'm so sorry you are dealing with this.
                  “Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of Solitaire. It is a grand passion.” ~Emerson

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Years and years ago, my mother ran out of the monthly flea gel she normally used from the vet and tried a flea treatment she bought at a grocery store pet department. The house cat had a bad reaction to it, incontinence, vomiting, etc.

                    Never again, she said, and while I don't do flea treatments regularly on my two indoor kitties, I will never use flea treatment not bought from a vet.
                    Lucy (Precious Star) - 1994 TB mare; happily reunited with her colt Touch the Stars

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yeah, OTC flea stuff is scary.

                      When we have flea issues (fortunately not often these days!), I use species/size specific Frontline or Advantix II, a flea comb (for the pets), a vacuum and dimataceous earth (for the house and yard). Flea combing is a pain, but the animals really like lying there while I go over every inch of them...dumping fleas into a bowl with some dish soap in it. Fleas tend to like to be on their bellies, around their head and at the base of their tails.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Dupe...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MistyBlue View Post
                          OP, your cat really should still go the vet. It can cause long term chronic issues, there's treatments the vet can use to help avoid that.
                          Yes!

                          Take the cat to the vet.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Edited to add that apparently Hartz really does use organophosphates in their flea products. That's insane - those went out of favor as acceptable methods of flea control decades ago.
                            Crazy, is't it? Hard to believe, but that company has *knowingly* used known dangerous ingredients for decades. How that company has not been sued out of existence is beyond me.

                            I found out the hard way when I was 18, almost lost a cat to their flea powder. She seized and flipped out, bit through her tongue and her tongue was stuck on her tooth. I rushed her to the vet and even back then the first thing out of the vet's mouth was, "Hartz?" This was is 1987. *sigh*

                            I'm gobsmacked that they not only STILL do this stuff but that they still are allowed to do this.
                            You jump in the saddle,
                            Hold onto the bridle!
                            Jump in the line!
                            ...Belefonte

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The OP went from saying what her initial emergency treatment was to she ended up living. While she didn't say she took the cat to the vet and had xyz done, she also didn't say she did not take the cat to a vet. OP is an ER nurse, so I would HOPE she just left that part out, more wanting to warn everyone, rather than go through the long story.

                              IMO, this could be worthy of a sticky post so that more people see it.
                              I\'m not crazy. I\'m just a little unwell.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                People continue to not know about how dangerous Hartz is because pet stores continue to stock it. It drives me insane. My mother-in-law and my mother have both bought Hartz flea products and I had to talk them out of it.
                                "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

                                Graphite/Pastel Portraits

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Yes, I've had more than one person tell me, "How can it be so dangerous? Everyone sells it?"

                                  Sobriska, good point. Hope that's right.
                                  You jump in the saddle,
                                  Hold onto the bridle!
                                  Jump in the line!
                                  ...Belefonte

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Sobriska View Post
                                    The OP went from saying what her initial emergency treatment was to she ended up living. While she didn't say she took the cat to the vet and had xyz done, she also didn't say she did not take the cat to a vet. OP is an ER nurse, so I would HOPE she just left that part out, more wanting to warn everyone, rather than go through the long story.

                                    IMO, this could be worthy of a sticky post so that more people see it.
                                    Yes, I too hope that the cat went to the vet. I understand OP is a human ER nurse, but if my SO found me ".... convulsing; not quite seizures, but shaking and unconscious. She had vomit around her and her eyes were dilated. It was classic organophosphate poisoning (I'm an ER RN, so knew the symptoms). I washed her in Dawn detergent twice. Then she defecated all over. By then she was able to open her eyes, but was still having violent tremors." I sure as heck hope I would at least rate a trip to a qualified medical professional.

                                    If as a medical professional she clearly recognized the symptoms of such a life threatening event, then she should have sought medical attention for the cat-- which perhaps she just left out for brevity.

                                    If not, I'm sorry for the cat.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      My cat had a bad reaction to Hartz. An hour after I put the drops on her, she was listless and her eyes were dilated. I immediately washed the stuff off with shampoo. Twice. Then I googled it (or whatever the search engine was at the time) and was mortified to see what a long, bad history of cat deaths were attributed to Hartz.
                                      That was about 10 years ago. She's totally fine now and is curled up in my lap as I type this.

                                      Try googling "rimadyl kills dogs" when you're done with Hartz.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        It's crazy, but I read this thread this morning and then two hours later, talked a random woman at Wal-Mart out of buying Hartz flea collars for her cats! She was clearly going back and forth on it, and even said "My cat just scratched and scratched at the last one I had." I bit back my initial "DUH!" and just said that Hartz products have killed many cats and guided her to something safer.

                                        Then when I took Mick to the vet for her weekly shot, someone rushed in a dog that had been dosed with -- yup -- Hartz flea powder and was literally biting its skin off. So thank you, OP, for posting this -- it put it in my mind and hopefully helped save a life or two.

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