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feral health care

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
My wife Becky and I are in the process of socializing a seemingly feral cat who came to our house 3 mo ago. His name is Marlow and he has come a long way since I TNR'd him the second week he was here. He was treated with Advantage at the time he was TNR'd. On May 19. We believe he is ready to accept another treatment. Becky has been scratching his back and ears a bit each day for a week now.

Becky thinks he should be gaining more weight than he has. He looks very good to me. He is slim though. She asked that I inquire about worms. He does still eat wild game. How should we go about addressing this issue?
post #2 of 21
I wonder if you might get more experienced replies in the Caring for Strays and Ferals Forum...perhaps a mod would assist?
post #3 of 21
It is very likely he had worms to begin with (they almost always do) and so he still does.

I'd talk to the vet about using Revolution instead of Advantage. Revolution doesn't seem to work as well for ticks as Advantage does (but they're a REAL problem out here - much more so than fleas - which none of the feral kittens have ever had) - but it does treat internal parasites (I think round worm and heart worm? They're the most common).

After that first application of Revolution on ferals that were becoming friendly, we didn't pursue using it. My concern is that when we've had to treat our cats for round worm, it ALWAYS requires at least a second treatment, because the poison used to kill the round worm only works on the adults - so you have give a second application of the stuff after three weeks, so the eggs will have hatched and grown into adults. After that you may or may not have to give the meds a third time. As regards this issue, I don't know how the Revolution works.

But it is definitely worth talking to the vet about. If ticks aren't much of an issue and fleas are, you may want to try the Revolution instead of the Advantage. (I didn't say it, but Revolution is also topical and used just like Advantage).
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
I will look into Revolution. We do have alot of ticks.
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
I will seek the advice of our vet on Monday. Marlow, as I mentioned looks great. He has a pretty coat and looks healthy. My wife notices that he seems to cough though. My research indicates this could be a symptom of worms. As you say, and research bears out, almost all kittens his age (approx. 1yr) would have worms. His entire year has been outside.

I'm thinking Drontal and Revolution. I hope I don't have to catch him and take him into the vet' office. I'm afraid that may set back the socializing process.

Our indoor cat was given one dose of Drotal when he was 6mo old. No followup care other than an annual fecal screening.
post #6 of 21
If he was given one dose of drontal and didn't have worms after that - he must not have had worms to begin with?

I don't think the vet would do Drontal and Revolution - they wouldn't want to double-dose him on the internal parasite meds. If you can pill him, it's worth trying the Drontal with the Advantage, which works better for the external parasites than the Revolution.

Is it possible the cough is hair balls? Very normal in summer! Just putting that tought out there.
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
I called the vet's office today. Not much help. Sadly, I only spoke with a young woman who may or may not have had an understanding of my questions.

When reading about the various topical products on their own websites, none explicitly state that the product will kill an existing infestation. Only that they prevent worms. Including Revolution. The young woman at the vet's office suggested a topical product called Provantage @ 25$ a dose. she says it will get rid of all types of worms.However a google search turns up no such product.

Do any topicals kill existing infestations? If so, why don't the manufacturers explicitly say so?
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Regarding the cough, Becky thinks he is just choking on his food because he eats quickly without chewing. She will watch for a difference between dry and wet food.
post #9 of 21
My understanding is that Revolution kills existing infestations - just like the products kill existing fleas and ticks. We're at one vet on Wednesday and another Friday. I'll ask about all of it - including the Provantage. Feel free to list any more questions you've got!

post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
I was ready to use the "Revolution" but I needed a prescription. I wanted the vet to write the script. I got the Provantage option instead. When I asked the young woman if Provantage was prescption only, she said "not really". What does that mean? You can see how this one quote caused concern as to everything she told me.

In the mean time, as always, I appreciate everyones interest and help. I know I'm gaining valuable knowledge that will be useful in the future as well as the present.
post #11 of 21
Yeah - thank goodness we were so active in rescue we became the largest client of two vet practices. We're now friends with the vets, have their home phone numbers - and when we have questions, they themselves return our phone calls. It can be impossible to get real answers to questions like that from receptionists.
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
My understanding is that Revolution kills existing infestations - just like the products kill existing fleas and ticks. We're at one vet on Wednesday and another Friday. I'll ask about all of it - including the Provantage. Feel free to list any more questions you've got!

Hope you will be able to help with this question. Becky is asking me about it.
post #13 of 21
OK - our vet has never heard of Provantage.

BUT - they use Revolution almost exclusively now. If cats go outside - they don't even bother with Advantage anymore. You use it just like Advantage - but it kills SO MUCH more stuff! It protects against heart worm, and kills most internal parasites. It does not kill lung worm - but that is a very, very, very rare parasite (our kitty Flowerbelle had it when first rescued - and it was stumping everyone for a while. Never been a case of it recorded in this county before, and the ONLY way to get it is by eating snails, poor baby). And yes - it kills existing infestations! And you apply it monthly, so just like it continues to work against the fleas and ticks, it continues to work against the internal parasites too. Most common are round worm and tape worm (in cats), and apparently it works really well for those. So call the vet, get a scrip and go for it!

BTW - here's the vet practice we use:

Our vet is Dr. Bladek, and he is truly amazing. He has literally saved the lives of two of our cats - one from the rare parasite and one from a rare autoimmune disease. He goes so above and beyond, and I trust him on everything.
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
I will GET the Revolution one way or another.
post #15 of 21
You should be able to just walk into any vet's office and buy it. ???????????
post #16 of 21
I use Revolution exclusively. It does kill everything. I usually get it at my vet's - he sells me whatever I need. The charge is about $10 a dose.

I have also seen it on the web at and other sites. Some of the sites say you need a prescription but some don't. I haven't purchased it on the web (yet). But I am thinking about it.

Anyone else find it on the web?
post #17 of 21
There is another topical called Program that is supposed to help with all sorts of pests, including ringworm. Maybe that's what the vet's office worker was talking about?
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
I called the vet today and a different woman answered. Guess what? They sell Profender, not Provantage. Profender is a topical and compares to Revolution. I will still look for Revolution on your recommendation. I don't think Marlow is quite ready to hold still for the application just yet.
post #19 of 21
Maybe Becky should start practicing so he gets used to the feel of touch you need to use. In fact - she should practice on Sasha first. Whatever you use works best if you use your thumb and forefinger to spread the fur inbetween the shoulder blades down to the skin, and use your other hand to squirt the stuff in. When you know what you're doing it takes literally like 2 seconds - but it does take a little practice to get the skin exposed that quickly.

But if she can reach out and touch Marlow while he's eating - and practices getting that little bit of skin exposed on Sasha - it should be easy to do - and quick.
post #20 of 21
The shelter and rescue groups I deal with all use Revolution as well. I also find the best time to do the flea treatment is while eating.

Just make sure you part the fur well when you use topical treatments. I managed to pretty much dump Advantage on top of the fur with a semi-feral kitten, and it dripped down her neck, which she then licked, and started frothing at the mouth from the taste. I tried to hold her still and wipe it off, but spread it around even more

Poor girl took a while to trust me again. The point is it's better to practise first, get the hang of it, and make sure you do it right the first time

Good luck!
post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 
Becky began practice on Marlow tonight. I was with her and she did quite well. Marlow is really loosening up. He even sniffed my hand (first for me) and pawed at it twice. No claws.
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