Do NOT use this product! My cat was in to the vet in May 2015 because his Frontline Flea med wasn't working well and he was so itchy. The vet gave my Simba a sample of Cheristin. 24 hours later there wasn't a flea within miles of my cat. But when the fleas went away, the scratching continued and got worse- MUCH WORSE. Picture my fluffy chubby orange haired cat scratching around the clock and so miserable that he began to actually pull his fur out by the roots! It was horrifying. The Vet was certain the problem was not the Cheristin. It didn't get better.
By the time Simba was due for his monthly allergy med in June, he was getting worse and now the fleas were coming back. He was missing most of the fur on his tummy, and patches of bald skin were showing in other places too. I didn't want him to be any more miserable than he already was, so I used a second sample of the Cheristin so that at least on top of all his itch issues, he didn't have fleas. Once again, fleas were gone in 24 hours but my Simba was even worse. He was loosing weight, scratching around the clock and ripping large chunks of hair out by the roots. The vet prescribed something to help Simba relax, but then he was just a drousy cat scratching around the clock and ripping chunks of fur out. We would check on him to find small piles of fur everywhere.
The vet suggested that I take him to a animal dermatologist that practiced two hours from my home. In desperation, I made an appointment. But, it would be weeks before he could be seen there.
By July, I had been back and forth to the vet many times. Simba was furless on his legs, ears, spotches of his back, tummy, and tail. He had lost a couple of pounds and had completely lost his usually personality. He was on Prednisolone for the itch but it didn't help. I had to go out of town for a couple of days, and I actually instructed my family where to bury him while I was gone because I didn't expect him to live. At this point, I had him in a cone collar to try to prevent the scratching, but he would just rub so intently on anything around him that his skin would bleed. His skin was scabby, crusty, and flaking like nothing I had ever seen before.
Early August, I finally got my Simba to the animal dermatologist who had no idea what could possibly be going on with my poor cat. He was almost completely bald, still scabby, crusty, flaking and bleeding from rubbing so hard that his fur was gone. He looked sick and was down at least 3 lbs in weight.
The animal dermatologist did a skin biopsy and looked at the results of all the previous blood work that had been done on Simba with our own vet. A week later, she called to tell me that the results of the skin biopsy showed Simba had a severe drug reaction. Since the only drug Simba had been taking was Cheristin, it had to be the Cheristin. This vet suggested that I keep him on Prednisolone, which he had been given by our own vet.
But, Nothing helped. Simba continued to loose weight and was completely miserable with the scratching and sore skin. After several weeks of the Prednisolone, the animal dermatologist suggested I try Atopica for the itching. I was told it would take a couple of weeks to make a difference. But, by day 3 we could see huge changes in Simba. He wanted to spend time with us again as his personality was returning. He could sit quietly for a couple of hours without scratching, although I was hesitant to remove the cone collar for fear that we would look away for a few minutes and he would start at the scratching again. But, now we are into the second week of September and he has been on the Atopica for two weeks.
I have my cat back! Well, sort of. He still is missing fur in a few places, but has begun to grow short fur in most of the previously bald spots. He wants to be cuddled and held. He keeps getting into things he knows he shouldn't as he is getting bored in the house. I'm hesitant to let him go outside just yet. I don't want him to get cold without his usual coat of thick fur. And, I'm just plain over protective of him now.
I'm lucky my cat survived this horrible drug!
I would NEVER EVER use Cheristin for any pet again. In fact, one of the vets that has treated my Simba told me something frightening about this product. I was told that Cheristin isn't really new. The active ingredient was on the market a couple of years ago under a different drug name, but they had to take it off the market because of all the problems it was causing. Vets words, "it was reformulated and released under the name Cheristin". Only problem here is is that it still contains the same active ingredient.
Do NOT use this product!