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Question about Advantage Flea Treatment

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hi fellow cat lovers

Thor was having some issues yesterday where it seemed like his body would shake (like a shudder) and he was losing some fur. Our vet said he might be allergic to flea bites. I gave him a good brushing yesterday and wiped him down with a cool wet rag to see if I could find any flea eggs but all I saw was what looked like dried blood.

Just to be on the safe side, we gave both of the cats a dose of Advantage to get rid of the fleas. Every time this happens, Thor goes positively crazy. He cries, tries to get comfortable and sounds like he's just miserable for the whole day after we applied it. Is the flea treatment hurting him?

I've tried to look some things up on the web about it, but all I get are pet pharma junk links. Any help you could provide would be much appreciated!
post #2 of 28
The dried blood looking stuff is flea droppings. They eat blood and when they poop that's what comes out so I think it's safe to say that Thor has fleas. I never have been able to find any flea eggs in cats with fleas and the little suckers themselves are experts at hiding so you usually don't see them either. I just go by if I find any flea dirt.

A cat should not have the experience you are describing from Advantage and it really sounds to me like he is having some sort of allergic reaction. They really should have no noticable reaction. I wouldn't give it to him again and use another product instead like Frontline or Revolution which you need to get from the vet. If you have other pets it's super important that they are treated too as well as the house 'cause fleas can jump on Thor and bite him before they die and just one bite can cause him to have a bad allergic reaction. Cats with flea allergy has to be kept on monthly flea preventative during the whole flea season or all year depending on the situation. If you want to you can also give him a dose of Capstar along with the other flea medication to kill the fleas quicker since any flea bite makes him suffer so much.

I haven't experienced it myself but I have heard that due to the effects of the flea medication the fleas may go nuts and start biting before they die and of course if Thor is allergic that would cause him major discomfort. For that reason Capstar may be a good idea since it kills them off quicker. Just a thought.
post #3 of 28
Hi well, I can tell you that some cats do go "crazy" with that wet spot on the back of their heads for a few hours or even a day. It really has nothing to do with any bad reactions, just the feel of that wet area on them makes some cats upset until it dries. I have seen a few cats at the shelter do this after being treated with Frontline (that is what they use). Like they are trying to run from the spot-on treatment.
post #4 of 28
I would agree that Thor's having some kind of allegic reaction to the Advantage. Or as Ziggy's Mom pointed out, it could also be that the fleas are "freaking out" from the Advantage and are biting Thor vigorously. My Maverick had an allergy to flea bites, and would freak out himself if he got bit by fleas. I always had to make sure that he was flea-free.

The dried blood is indeed flea droppings. Whenever you see that, the cat does indeed have fleas.

I've always used Advantage myself for my cats, and never had an experience with any of my cats reacting quite severly that way -- although they do have a tendency to not like the stuff being put on the back of their necks. They'll usually give me dirty looks and hop around for an hour or so cuz they don't like it. Could you contact your vet to see what can be done? I'm sure there's some kind of remedy to give Thor if he is having a reaction to the Advantage.
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys! He seems to be feeling a lot better today. I have a feeling those fleas were making him miserable after we put the Advantage on him. I guess it makes them bite like crazy. Poor Thor...

The vet has already said that he probably has an allergy to fleas, but apart from getting him an allergy shot every now and then, what else can I do for him? I brush him regularly but it seems like all the flea dirt and poop accumulates at the back area right before his tail. He's mostly an inside cat, he does go out to an enclosed area in our back porch but other than that, I'm not sure where the fleas come from?
post #6 of 28
Fleas just sort of happen. Even a cat that never ever goes outside can get fleas. All you really can do is to keep the fleas off him. Make sure you apply Advantage monthly (every 3 weeks if it seems like it doesn't last the whole month), vacuum often (just vacuuming kills most fleas that get sucked up, but you can put a flea collar in the bag for extra killing power), have the house treated if it seems like they're living in the carpets. I like to give a Capstar tablet before I apply Advantage, to kill all the current fleas and give the spot-on a head start.

Some of my cats HATE having a spot-on applied. I think it might sting a bit.
post #7 of 28
Since no one else has brought this up, its also important to remember, if a cat has fleas, it most likely has worms as well as fleas transmit tapeworm.

AFAIK, Advantage does not treat tapeworm like some of the other topical flea meds do.
post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn View Post
Since no one else has brought this up, its also important to remember, if a cat has fleas, it most likely has worms as well as fleas transmit tapeworm.

AFAIK, Advantage does not treat tapeworm like some of the other topical flea meds do.

Check your cats rear end: if you see anything that looks like little grains of rice, it would indicate worms, too. I had forgotten to mention that also.

The flea dirt usually does accumulate mainly on the back by the base of the tail: why it's there mostly is anybody's guess. You may also notice what looks like dried blood throughout your house if the flea infestation is bad enough: it will turn into wet blood if it gets wet.

Even if your cats never go outside, they can get fleas. You can track them in on your shoes - especially if you have strays/ferals that you tend to. My cats never go outside, but yet they occasionally get fleas. But I have strays that I take care of, which is probably where the fleas come from.

On a personal note, I rarely have to use the Advantage every month as is recommended. I just use it when needed. It seems to last longer than the month that is recommended it be applied. That may vary from cat to cat though - especially if your cats go outside. I would suggest just keeping an eye on your cats to determine if they have fleas. I personally don't like putting anything like that on my cats unless need be.

Another thing to be mindful of: make sure you actually get Advantage when you pick the stuff up - and NOT Advantix. My vet's office once made the mistake of giving me Advantix in stead of Advantage - which would have killed my cats if I would have used it. I thank the Lord every day that I had enough sense to double-check into it before using it. I never would have forgiven myself if I would have accidentally killed my cats - even though it would not have been thru no fault of my own. Just an FYI for future reference.

I'm glad Thor's doing better!
post #9 of 28
With cats that don't have a flea allergy it's okay to just use flea preventative once in a while and keep an eye on them but with a cat that has a flea allergy it's crucial to apply flea preventative monthly. They can not get fleas under any circumstances. If you have other pets they should be treated monthly too to make sure they don't get fleas and spread it to the allergic cat. Flea allergy can cause serious physical symptoms in your cat like vomiting and diarrhea, eye infections and respiratory problems. It's an overreaction of the immune system which can affect the whole body. Not to mention that it's horribly itchy and the skin can become sore from the itching. With an allergic cat you have to do everything you can to prevent it. Treating your home now since you know you've had fleas is also important.

When I get a new foster that came in with fleas I always treat for tapeworm. A cat can have tapeworm for a long time and show no symptoms but if they've had fleas chances are good that they have ingested one while grooming and if so they will have tapeworm. It takes a while before the tapeworm will start shedding parts of its body which is the little nasty white worm looking thingies you see. So just because you don't see any doesn't mean that the cat doesn't have tapeworm. Unfortunately it's very hard to detect tapeworm with a fecal test too so you're left with just doing the math to see if it's a possibility that kitty has tapeworm and treat it. I love using Profender for tapeworm since it can be hellish to get a pill into some cats.

To get rid of the flea dirt on the kitty you can use a comb dipped in water and comb through the fur along with using a wet wash cloth to wipe him off. If you want to be really mean you can take a pitcher with water, put kitty in the tub and pour it on him as quick as you can. Count on an angry kitty that will take off and get your whole house wet though but it is much quicker than wiping and combing
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy'smom View Post
With cats that don't have a flea allergy it's okay to just use flea preventative once in a while and keep an eye on them but with a cat that has a flea allergy it's crucial to apply flea preventative monthly. They can not get fleas under any circumstances. If you have other pets they should be treated monthly too to make sure they don't get fleas and spread it to the allergic cat. Flea allergy can cause serious physical symptoms in your cat like vomiting and diarrhea, eye infections and respiratory problems. It's an overreaction of the immune system which can affect the whole body. Not to mention that it's horribly itchy and the skin can become sore from the itching. With an allergic cat you have to do everything you can to prevent it. Treating your home now since you know you've had fleas is also important.
I was referring to cats that don't have flea allergies - not to those that do. When my Maverick had flea allergies, I had to make sure that he was treated on a continuous basis to avoid an outbreak. I just don't personally think that it's necessary for a cat to be treated with any kind of medicine if it's not necessary. If they DO need it, that's another story.

As far as the worms are concerned, I'm not saying the cat shouldn't be treated for them if they're not visible. I was just trying to point out what to look for...
post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 
Well, I do vacuum around once a week (Thor has long fur so it's a must around here!). I also vigorously rub a soaking wet rag over his back and tail -- he absolutely loves it! But I don't think that will get rid of the fleas... just the dirt. I'm really apprehensive about treating the place since I have asthma and I've heard those flea bombs are hard on your breathing.

I apply the advantage every 3 months or so (and yeah, I do make sure it's advantage and not advantix!) Thor will act like he has no problems at all, and then one day just out of the blue he acts like those fleas are agitating the heck out of him, even though I never see any in the brush (I try to brush him every day). My only guess is that they've hatched out overnight and are biting on him - and when we apply the Advantage, he's positively miserable all day from the biting

On the bright side though, I've never seen a happier kitty than Thor was today.
post #12 of 28
You can get a fine-toothed flea comb and comb through your cat's fur, especially on the back, shoulders and base of the tail. That will catch the nasty little critters and if you are quick you can crush them between the backs of your fingernails. But to get rid of them you need to treat for them.

I have used the original formula Advantage on all my cats without any problems. However, this time I treated my two girl spays with Advantage II, and they both got nerve damage!

Fortunately, I noticed it with Koi, my long-haired calico because she slept with me, and I noticed her head tilt and eye jitter. I called the vet early the next morning, and he had me bathe her in Dawn liquid dishwashing detergent and bring her in to flush her system. That, and a lot of prayer, saved her. She is now back to normal, except now her coat is scruffy, like the horrible experience aged her.

Somemore, my little long-haired Manx, was not so lucky. Unfortunately, in the chaos of a 4 cat household, having to go out of town on business, and being extra busy, I didn't notice her vestibulary symptoms for two weeks, too late to bathe her. She's developed heart problems, she's constipated, her head/neck hurts, she goes around in circles, she won't drink water (I have to hand feed her a mixture of water & canned catfood), she slinks and hides, and she feels miserable! I've spent a small fortune on vets, with more to come, as I have to make an appointment with a vet. neurologist, who is 2 counties away. If her quality of life can't be improved I will have to have her put down! That makes me very sad, because she is a sweet little kitty, very pretty and feminine looking, with the most perfect little ears I've ever soon on a cat.

A vet tech friend told me she's seen a lot of these reactions to Advantage II. Have you, or do you know of anybody else whose cats have had bad reactions to Advantage II?

My too neutered boys go outside, so instead of Advantage II, I used Revolution on them. No problems. On a cat I used to have I used another product, Foremost, and he was allergic to it.
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by catbutler View Post
You can get a fine-toothed flea comb and comb through your cat's fur, especially on the back, shoulders and base of the tail. That will catch the nasty little critters and if you are quick you can crush them between the backs of your fingernails. But to get rid of them you need to treat for them.

I have used the original formula Advantage on all my cats without any problems. However, this time I treated my two girl spays with Advantage II, and they both got nerve damage!

Fortunately, I noticed it with Koi, my long-haired calico because she slept with me, and I noticed her head tilt and eye jitter. I called the vet early the next morning, and he had me bathe her in Dawn liquid dishwashing detergent and bring her in to flush her system. That, and a lot of prayer, saved her. She is now back to normal, except now her coat is scruffy, like the horrible experience aged her.

Somemore, my little long-haired Manx, was not so lucky. Unfortunately, in the chaos of a 4 cat household, having to go out of town on business, and being extra busy, I didn't notice her vestibulary symptoms for two weeks, too late to bathe her. She's developed heart problems, she's constipated, her head/neck hurts, she goes around in circles, she won't drink water (I have to hand feed her a mixture of water & canned catfood), she slinks and hides, and she feels miserable! I've spent a small fortune on vets, with more to come, as I have to make an appointment with a vet. neurologist, who is 2 counties away. If her quality of life can't be improved I will have to have her put down! That makes me very sad, because she is a sweet little kitty, very pretty and feminine looking, with the most perfect little ears I've ever soon on a cat.

A vet tech friend told me she's seen a lot of these reactions to Advantage II. Have you, or do you know of anybody else whose cats have had bad reactions to Advantage II?

My too neutered boys go outside, so instead of Advantage II, I used Revolution on them. No problems. On a cat I used to have I used another product, Foremost, and he was allergic to it.
OMG! I am so sorry that your cats had such a severe reaction to the Advantage II! I'm glad you posted this, cuz I was about to pick up some Advantage for my own cats: I don't think I will now, now that I've read this. I wonder what could have happened to the new Advantage formula to make your cats have such a severe reaction. I've been using that stuff forever. I don't think I will now anymore, after reading this. I wonder if maybe you got a bad batch or something..

If it were me, I'd be finding out more about the Advantage II to see if anyone else has encountered any problems. I'm not the suing type, but I think I'd seriously be considering suing the company if any of my cats were seriously hurt by using the stuff. I think the company had better do some investigating into what's going on with the Advantage II, and take it off the market.

I sure hope your cats will be okay!
post #14 of 28
Catbutler, where did you get the Advantage? Did you get it from a vet?
post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
I'm posting in this thread again because I've just given Thor the Advantage II (the previous one was just plain Advantage) to see if it might not make him react so bad. I've heard some people mention Capster... what is it?

Also I got Thor a Furminator comb. Not only does it get out heaps of hair, but occassionally I'll catch a flea or two. And he loooooves it. I'm still completely baffled as to how to completely get rid of these suckers apart from a flea bomb. Is there anything you can spray or put on the carpet?
post #16 of 28
Have you given him any flea baths? I believe Advantage is more preventative than 'get-rid-tative' if you get what I mean.
post #17 of 28

I just used advantage II on my cat and she started meowing and grooming her ears over and over and they are now red so i bathed her with dawn dishsoap she also has tremors and is shaking her head and flicking her ears I hope its over soon for her but my other cats are fine not thinking I will be using the advantage II anymore might try the first one or a different product but ill let my vet tell me which to use this time im hoping my other cats do not start to have a reaction like the other

post #18 of 28

I LOVE the newer Advantage 11!!

It's exactly the same but now has an additional med that kills eggs and larvae as well, which is wonderful because the original only killed the adults.

 

I use this on all of my rescue cats and kittens, and have seen very flea infested cats or kittens act funny and agitated while the fleas are going berserk.

 

To get rid of fleas completely I would give the Advantage every 2 weeks for as long as 3 months. This is safe, it can actually be given as often as every 10 days.

 

Then give every 3 weeks to a cat with a flea allergy. He will be MUCH happier!

 

The ONLY reaction I have ever seen, and this is treating cats and kttens as young as 3 weeks old (just a drop) for many years of rescue, over 2,000, is occasionally a cat will squint the first few hours, and I had only 1 who it made salivate due to the smell. I swear by it.

post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparkie View Post

I'm posting in this thread again because I've just given Thor the Advantage II (the previous one was just plain Advantage) to see if it might not make him react so bad. I've heard some people mention Capster... what is it?

Also I got Thor a Furminator comb. Not only does it get out heaps of hair, but occassionally I'll catch a flea or two. And he loooooves it. I'm still completely baffled as to how to completely get rid of these suckers apart from a flea bomb. Is there anything you can spray or put on the carpet?

I have used borox on carpets. leave on carpet or floor for 3 days and then sweep up. Re apply if you still have a problem.

post #20 of 28

I applied advantage to my cat for the first time and he is going crazy. He is shaking and having a bad reaction to the medicine. He can't walk and keeps falling down.  I called the VET and he advised me to wash it off and to watch him closely. It has been four hours and no improvement. Before I had used frontline and had no problem. I am going though hell along with the cat.

post #21 of 28

I haven't thoroughly read through all of the replies so this might be something you have been told about already, but your cat is def. flea infested, and when advantage is applied the fleas are no longer still, they start running around and going nuts, which in turn will cause a cat to act bonkers, can't be still, sleep, twitching,. etc. like mad the first day.

 

An actual reaction from the med occurs within the first hour usually and def. by the 2nd hour. It looks more like vomiting, very lethargic, they act totally and suddenly sick. Which is pretty uncommon by the way, especially for an adult cat.

post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by dennissleep View Post

I applied advantage to my cat for the first time and he is going crazy. He is shaking and having a bad reaction to the medicine. He can't walk and keeps falling down.  I called the VET and he advised me to wash it off and to watch him closely. It has been four hours and no improvement. Before I had used frontline and had no problem. I am going though hell along with the cat.

If you haven't already, you need to get your cat to the vet ASAP. Good luck!
post #23 of 28

Hello,

 

I have a Himalayn cat, Taboo.  She is 16 years old.  She is currently having a bad allergic reaction to Advantage, according to the vet.  She has red raised spots all along her ears, inside and out, all around her eyes, nose, neck, and head.  She is scratching so hard she has bloodied her ears and rubbed large patches of fur off.  All this happened with 1 or 2 week period after her 2nd dose of Advantage.  She also ran a fever.  At first I thought it was mites or fleas, but the vet checked thourogly and said no mites or fleas on her.  

 

She is a 100 percent indoor cat, but she does get fleas in the summer.  Off the dog, I quess.  If our suspicions are correct, I will never use Advantage again.  I would like ideas about a SAFER product to use for fleas for her

 

I also would be interested if other peoples kitties had a problem with Advantage.

 

Nancy Stell

post #24 of 28
My cat, Pookie is a maine coon 12 years old and diabetic on insulin and his companion Vegas black shorthair feral both have used Advantage II for over 5 years, This month Pookie had a reaction, I am sure it is the Advantage II because I can't think of anything else he has had. He did not have reaction until 8 days after I dosed him and he has sores in front of both ears and around his neck but not at dosing site??? I have been using Hydrocortisone spray (OTC) so he will not bloody his ear scratching and triple antibiotic cream and these places are healing. I am going to call the vet since reading other comments on site says it gets worse. I also used Dawn dishwashing detergent and water to wash him some where the dose site was, maybe I should try doing his whole body. He does not appear to be sick, no vomiting eating well and breathing okay. He is an indoor cat but he loves to go out walking on the leash or I will tie him out for 1 hour or so and I hate not to let him out because he enjoys it so but I have dealt with fleas before years ago when I took in a feral kitten to care for and it is not fun at all. I don't know what else to use, a flea collar years ago caused Pookie to have his third eye come down I switched to Frontline and after 2-3 does he had reaction to that and then I switched to Advantage II and now there is a problem with that I guess. I have never used Revolution (prescription) I thought if it but I read bad things about it...all of these are pestisides and I actually had a reaciton to Frontline myself, I broke out all over my hands and feet and I wished they had a natural way to combat the ticks and fleas that worked, but so far every natural product I have tried either smells horrible and the cats flip out at the smell or they just don't work.
post #25 of 28

Oh my goodness! I was just looking around online to see if anyone else's cat has had reactions to Advantage -- and it appears so!

 

I occasionally treat my indoor cat with flea medicine even though he is never outside. I had bought a 6 pack of Advantage II a couple years ago and hadn't used any in awhile. 

 

We just got an indoor outdoor cat and I was starting to suspect that both cats had fleas. So last month I gave Caesar his dose of Advantage II on the back of his neck. The next day his left eye was almost swollen shut. It looked absolutely awful. I worried that some of the medicine got into his eyes when I was applying it but I wasn't sure. I took him to the vet and she gave me some eye ointment to help the inflammation go down.

 

His eye was back to normal within about a week, but a couple weeks after that he was acting off his game -- getting his claws caught on things a lot, and one day he seemed to be having muscle tremors. Took him back to the vet and she said he seemed to have a respiratory infection -- wheezy lungs and a fever. 10 days of antibiotics later and he was acting as good as new.

 

So about a week ago I gave him his dose of Advantage II and within a couple of days one of his eyes (the right eye this time) started oozing and swelling. It wasn't as bad as last time, but I took him to the vet and she agreed that it is likely he's had some kind of adverse reaction to the Advantage II and recommended that I try Revolution instead.

 

I'm just so thankful that nothing worse happened to him -- I had no idea that this external flea medicine (which has worked MUCH better than when I used Frontline) could cause such health issues! 

post #26 of 28
Well when I called my vet about Pookie she said facial abrasions/bumps etc were normally caused by food allergies and not flea treatment and she suggested I try Advantage II one more time; but then I noticed a scab on his neck below his ear and they would not be too far from the application site. I am just afriad that one more time may cause him to have a more severe reaction. I am goin to do some more research on Revolution but my vet said she likes Frontline and Advantage II because it is external only and Revolution actually goes internal....that means the reaction if there is any could be worse and harder to cure.
post #27 of 28

My friend has several stray cats he adopted over the years. This year was the worst for fleas! He refuses to bath them so I have to assist him in grooming the animals. I take a flea comb and dip in in soapy Dawn soap water before I comb the cats. Feel free to add a tiny drop of tea trea oil to the Dawn soap water..but make sure it is highly diluted because cats cannot handle essential oils like dogs can. The Tea Tree oil is antiparasite, antifungal and it helps healing. I have to dip the flea comb in another container that contains hydrogen peroxide with water then I wipe flea comb with a paper towel and start all over again until the cat is thoroughly combed clean.

 

When we are finished, we apply Advantage II to the nape of the animal's neck and it seems to work well so far. My pet store said a lot of pet owners were complaining of other topicals not working as effectively this year. Advantage II kills the fleas as well as the eggs and the larvae. Since the fleas feed off blood, I heard Advantage II makes the flea unable to reproduce from feeding off the blood. Advantage II is like a condom for cat fleas! :)

 

As an added source of protection, you can give the animals an oral Capstar pill which will kill the living fleas immediately for a 24 hour period. Another option is to take the pets to your vet and get a prescription for Comfortis for cats. Comfortis works like Capstar but it lasts for 30 days and it costs much more but it is worth it. The Capstar and Comfortis pills leave no residue but you have to make sure the cats have no allergic reactions to any of these treatments such as vomiting, lethargy or intense scratching to the point of taking off tufts of fur.

 

Work with our vet on a preventive program for killing fleas on your pet and in your home.

Vacuum regularly and consider renting or buy a steam vacuum if you want to destroy the fleas, eggs and larvae. Consider adding a touch of tea trea oil and or Dawn soap to your steam vacuum. Wipe down all surfaces with a disinfectant and wash all bedding. Consider keeping that litter box clean by scooping it out more than once a day and add some activated baking soda to the litter to keep it fresh and clean. You can buy anti-flea spray that has insect growth regular (IGR) and spray pet bedding with this and let it dry. Spray down cracks and hard to reach surfaces with a disinfectant spray. Good Luck!

post #28 of 28
Iv just used advantage so fingers crossed, but I do use acclaim house spray and it works miracles. U spray everything, leave the room for half hour then return n open the windows. About a tenner a tin but worth it, treats the house for 12 months, kills fleas, eggs, bed bugs, dust mites, spiders, everything.
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