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Possible problem with Advantage (warning)

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I have given my cats advantage every month for at least a year, probably a year and a half.

The first time I put it on, I got it too low, and Ashley was able to lick it. She jumped around slapping at her mouth; didn't foam at the mouth; but was lethargic and I was told to watch her and bring her in if she got worse.

Last night at 10:30pm, I put the Advantage on Ashley (directly behind her head- upper neck). I had planned to give her a can of her absolute favorite food as a treat afterward.

Within 5 minutes (as I was in the kitchen opening the can) she started looking funny, and sat 5 feet away from the food and stared at it. She was lethargic; but did not seem to be in immediate distress. I thought she was upset at being given the Advantage.

She seemed upset the rest of the evening. In the middle of the night I started to pet her and she jumped backward, like she didn't recognize my hand.

Today, she'd been having problems jumping, and looked a little dizzy and sick in general. I called 2 emergency hospitals, the vet, and the Advantage company- they all said to watch her and bring her in if she got worse. The Advantage people said it was "not possible" for her to have any sort of mental reaction (trouble jumping or dizziness) to the Advantage. I don't know if that's true. The vet tech also said "we have people feeding their cats Advantage".

Her fur had not been licked, and she had not licked her Emily's fur (who I also gave it to).

It's only been in the past hour that she's come off the widowsill and started acting semi-normal again. I've been checking on her every half hour, and been worried sick.

I just thought people should know that pets can be sensitive to this product; even though it's supposed to be very well-tolerated. Apparently they can develop a sensitivity even after a year of tolerating it well.

I asked the Advantage people if it would work if I just put it on Emily; they said that would not be effective. So I will not be using Advantage again. They are indoor cats, and the only time we had a very minor flea problem was when I first brought Ashley home from the shelter.

My advice would be to not put the Advantage on unless you are able to keep a close eye on your cat for at least a half hour after administering it.
post #2 of 15
If they're both indoor cats, do you really have to use a flea product that often? I realize that indoor cats can get fleas, especially if they share a home with a cat or dog that goes outdoors, but generally it's not a problem, and you can do without the treatments.
post #3 of 15
My Crystal had a bad reaction to Advantage as well. She was vomiting and had diarehha. Lost strength in her back legs, they would just slid out from under her if she wasn't on carpeting. She had to be in the hospital for over a week. Although it can't be proven her symptoms started the day after she was treated with it. The vet called the Avantage company and they told him the same thing, that it wasn't possible....but it was just too much of a coincidence.
I don't use it (or any other flea treatment) on her anymore, it's not worth the risk!


Why would people feed their cats advantage Once one of my cats accidently licked a bit off of his fur and he drooled for over an hour!
post #4 of 15
Anytime you put a chemical on an animal you take a risk. I had an incident with my horse a few years ago with a spot on fly repellent. Even though I put it where the instructions said Racer got to it immediately and started gnawing his leg. Within two hours he was shaky on his legs and his hair was coming out in clumps. He also spiked a fever. I called the company and although they argued with me, the end result was I had to supply all the clinic notes and vet bills and they covered all the costs. They also redid their instructions and now the directions are to put this stuff in an unreachable place on a horse. They also offered me a one year supply of the stuff! I passed on that last offer


It is always good to switch out the flea repellent- Advantage one month, and Frontline the next and always buy the product direct from your vet-
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
thank you everyone for your input; i have definitely decided not to ever use advantage on either cat again. if they ever do have a flea problem (which i doubt will happen again), i'm going to make sure it's something very benign and definitely harmless to cats. i've promised ashley over and over today "no more smelly stuff!" (what i call advantage).

she's still looking lethargic, but is eating and felt good enough to terrorize emily a little bit.

thanks again!
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Puddertatten
thank you everyone for your input; i have definitely decided not to ever use advantage on either cat again. if they ever do have a flea problem (which i doubt will happen again), i'm going to make sure it's something very benign and definitely harmless to cats. i've promised ashley over and over today "no more smelly stuff!" (what i call advantage).

she's still looking lethargic, but is eating and felt good enough to terrorize emily a little bit.

thanks again!
That's a wise decision. Manufacturers push the prophylactic use of flea and tick products, but often they're absolutely unnecessary, i.e., they only have to be used if a problem develops.
post #7 of 15
There really is no easy answer here. Just because you have indoor cats, does not mean they will not get fleas. Fleas can jump up to 13 feet and can easily come indoors on humans traveling on clothes and shoes etc. Once inside, one flea will easily find the animal in the house, and quickly lay eggs.

When you think of all the problems fleas bring a cat, tapeworm, anemia, skin disorders, putting safe flea products on them far outweigh the risk of letting them have fleas. If you know your cat is allergic to advantage, then try frontline or revolution. But don't just think because they are indoor cats that fleas won't be an issue. Unless you live in Anartica or on the moon, you will have fleas if you have pets.
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy
There really is no easy answer here. Just because you have indoor cats, does not mean they will not get fleas. Fleas can jump up to 13 feet and can easily come indoors on humans traveling on clothes and shoes etc. Once inside, one flea will easily find the animal in the house, and quickly lay eggs.

When you think of all the problems fleas bring a cat, tapeworm, anemia, skin disorders, putting safe flea products on them far outweigh the risk of letting them have fleas. If you know your cat is allergic to advantage, then try frontline or revolution. But don't just think because they are indoor cats that fleas won't be an issue. Unless you live in Anartica or on the moon, you will have fleas if you have pets.
Sorry, M.A., but I have to disagree. We've always had dogs and/or cats, and except for one summer (way back in 1981, when we had 5 dogs, 2 indoor/outdoor cats, and 3 indoor/outdoor pet squirrels), we've never had a flea problem. Ticks, yes, but never an infestation in the house. We have, however, experienced allergy problems from dips, collars, and spot-on products (which we no longer use unless absolutely necessary), so I find it advisable to use a flea comb whenever a pet has been outside, whether in the yard or for a walk, and to only use such products if there are signs of a real infestation. I know you're used to dealing with ferals, and yes, fleas are a real problem there. However, two cats kept exclusively indoors are unlikely to get fleas. Unless you live in a rural area and hold livestock, have wild animals such as foxes, hedgehogs, coyotes, deer, etc., on your property regularly, or personally spend a great deal of time outdoors, infestation of indoor cats is improbable, but not impossible.
post #9 of 15
I use Revolution on my two cats, and they tolerate it well.

I only started using Revolution after I began noticing my cats with fleas......and yes, they are strictly indoor. My only guess is that I live in an apartment on the ground floor, and one of my neighbors has an outdoor cat that hangs around the building. It would be pretty easy for the fleas on that cat to get inside my apartment.

Three indoor cats who were patients at my vet's practice died from heartworms last year so......I'm going with the Revolution. So far, it seems well tolerated. By as with anything, I always make sure I hang around after I administer it to be sure there aren't any problems.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oddtree
Three indoor cats who were patients at my vet's practice died from heartworms last year so......I'm going with the Revolution.
So much for the vets who tell you heartworm "isn't all that much of a danger to cats"!
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
So much for the vets who tell you heartworm "isn't all that much of a danger to cats"!

Yeah, apparently they were pretty shocked by it too. I guess it could just be made up to sell more Revolution, but I really trust my vet. And Revolution is comparable in price to the others and also protects against ear mites, etc. And apparently less than 1% of cats of an adverse reaction to it.

The vet showed me the brochure with a drawing of a feline heart infected with heartworm.....I couldn't buy the Revolution fast enough!!
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oddtree
Yeah, apparently they were pretty shocked by it too. I guess it could just be made up to sell more Revolution, but I really trust my vet. And Revolution is comparable in price to the others and also protects against ear mites, etc. And apparently less than 1% of cats of an adverse reaction to it.

The vet showed me the brochure with a drawing of a feline heart infected with heartworm.....I couldn't buy the Revolution fast enough!!
I can't blame you. We used to live in an area where heartworm was a real problem (with dogs), and a lot of the neighbors were too cheap to buy the pills used back then, and lost their dogs.
We don't have heartworm over here, but that's what was said about parvo when we first moved here, and I asked about it; within two years, it had become a huge problem in Europe.
post #13 of 15
I have Frontline spray for any outbreaks we might encounter. I don't use it regularly and spray it around the doors and on the screens to keep fleas away.
post #14 of 15
I really don't like any of that stuff, I mainly think it can be very toxic. When Charlie came home from the shelter, he had a bad reaction to the Revolution, but it may have been to something else they did to him, they do alot at once at the shelter. He lost the hair where they had placed the meds at the back of his neck, and in oozy spots all over the rest of his body too, we had to go back in to the vet a few times to help him. Much later i used advantage on him out of desperation, and he appeared to tolerate it well, but i only used it once. the vet told us to use whatever had not been used last time. I have a friend who accidentally used the dog's flea meds on the cat, and the cat nearly died. It was a miracle recovery after the several days emergency visit, because after 20 minutes she just put her head down and she started repeatedly seizing. My house does have fleas, i say, "fleas navidad" at this time of year, because no matter how i fight it, with a very large and very very hairy dog who does go outside (and flea meds doesn't work on him, the fleas just laugh, though an herbal flea collar does help him), and 3 cats at present, and occasionally we have baby sat for someone or rescued a new stray, it's just an endless fight for me. I spend my life washing carpets and vaccuuming and hotwater washing (and drying) blankies, all rugs, my clothes, etc., to interrupt their life cycle, and that does help, but if i miss a week or two, i am in trouble. I am also very sensitive to the fleas and can tell when they've hatched or we've had a surge. Charlie hates the flea comb, but I do what I can. The two new ones i did have to use revolution on, they were strays and covered with them. I just try to use it only when really necessary, and make sure nutrition is good to help them keep good natural immunity to parasites. I do put ground pumpkin seed or veggie enzyme in my dog's food to protect from tapeworm, and it does work, but i don't know if i can do that with the cats. I have also wondered about the herbal flea collar they sell for cats--I have thought about it, but I am not sure if the oils they use are safe for them?
post #15 of 15
Applying any chemical to the surface of any living skin, (whether it be feline, canine, equine or human), risks an allergic reaction.

I have three fully indoor cats. They do occasionally go out on a lead to the back garden.

I make sure that they do recieve their flea treatments and worm treatments regularly. I'm not wanting to deal with another flea infestation.

I had to deal with the problem with one kitten, I'm not wanting to deal with the problem with THREE cats not unless I can help it.

I also rotate the treatments, Frontline one month, Advantage the next, Revolution another month. The risk for heartworm is minimal thankfully otherwise I'd be explaring other heartworm preventatives.

I always buy the products from a vet surgery, not from any pet store or online store despite the tempting low prices. For me, I would rather forgo some luxuries to ensure the health of my cats.

Generally the rule is, if irritation does occur, discontinue use. And not all animals react the same way to chemicals.
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