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What to do?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 


A week ago, I had to leave town because my mother was scheduled for surgery. I was unable to find a cat sitter for my 2 babies, so I decided to bring them along. Besides I have been fighting a losing battle with fleas all summer and figured a week away would help them... I had to work right up until the time I had to leave, so if anything was going on I wasn't aware of it. Both cats seemed to have a healthy appitite before we left, I did withhold their supply on the day we were to leave so they would have an easier trip. But I broke down and gave them a treat as I put them in the carrier. When we arrived, I hurried to get things ready for them so they could eat... I knew they would be starving! Well my female (about 8yrs old) was very cautious, but finally got up the nerve to eat... however, my male (3 1/2 yrs old) refused food... Well we all thought he was just nervous and would eat when ready (although that didn't stop me from trying) That was Wednesday evening... Thursday I continued trying to get him to eat... offered him his food from home, his canned food used only as treats... even offered him milk (which he begs for but I don't give often cause it causes runs) and he refused all... I didn't know what to do... I didn't have money for a vet, but he needed help... so we started calling around for vets to help out... and instead of telling us to come in and they would work out payments.... they wanted to do A CREDIT CHECK on me and told me they would call back!!!!! Well a couple hours later they still hadn't called so we tried again... this time they said to bring him in (we told them that we didn't have much and they agreed to try to keep it close to $100) By this time, he was so weak that he could barely walk... and I was blinded by my own tears... We brought him in, the vet took a look at him and informed us that he was anemic from the fleas. His body temp had also dropped way below normal... He was immediately admitted to the hospital to be given a blood trasfusion and placed in an incubator to raise his temp. This was around 11 am and they told us we could come back and see him at 4pm or after... so we went to a friends house to let them know what was going on and when we arrived at Mom's house at about 12:30 there was a message on the answering machine to call the vets... He passed away around noon... We went back to the vets to pick him up, and were presented with a bill for $222.14 that I still don't know how to pay.... the only good thing is they gave me some Advantax for my other baby and a pill that would also kill the fleas! I spent the rest of the day in bed because my grief made me physically ill and I couldn't even sit up.
I have been a walking zombie ever since... dealt with the reason I was there Mom's surgery... but then it was time to go home... I debated what I should do.. take my baby girl home and hope the fleas don't kill her to (or the grief of being alone, she has never been) or let her stay where there are other animals that she was getting used to, in a flea free environment.... I chose what I felt was best for her.... the flea free environment. It is only temporary, until I am able to rid home of fleas. I have felt so guilty over this whole mess... my baby boy was just that.. my baby! and I feel like it was my actions or lack thereof that killed him! I probably weakened him by withholding his food.... and I didn't get rid of the fleas for him.... I had used a topical treatment that I purchased over the counter, he had a flea collar on, I have tried the flea killer for carpets, vacuuming, and the sprays for the cats... Nothing worked... I wanted to get the more expensive stuff but the money wasn't there... Now I need to come up with the money for the vet bill and figure a way to get rid of these fleas as inexpensive as possible! So I can bring my girl home! HELP!!!!
post #2 of 15
That is so sad! I am sorry for your loss. Most of the over the counter flea meds including collars are toxic to cats.. Fleas can't feed off people. I would spray the house, get a flea collar cut it up and pu it in your vacuum cleaner bag. Then take the ba out side to the trash. Also wash your bedding in the hottest water possible!!! Good Luck
post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by emb_78
That is so sad! I am sorry for your loss. Most of the over the counter flea meds including collars are toxic to cats.. Fleas can't feed off people. I would spray the house, get a flea collar cut it up and pu it in your vacuum cleaner bag. Then take the ba out side to the trash. Also wash your bedding in the hottest water possible!!! Good Luck
Really? I've been bitten by fleas before
post #4 of 15
my gf and dad get bit like crazy whenever we have fleas, but something about my mom and me, we dont ever get bit.
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slig
my gf and dad get bit like crazy whenever we have fleas, but something about my mom and me, we dont ever get bit.
According to what I've been reading this morning, fleas DO bite and feed from humans, it's just that some people are allergic to it and some aren't.
post #6 of 15
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Purity
According to what I've been reading this morning, fleas DO bite and feed from humans, it's just that some people are allergic to it and some aren't.
Fleas can bite and feed off people, but they can't live on humans the way they can live on cats. So when you treat your cats with a good flea treatment like Frontline, you can expect to be munched on by the surviving fleas for a few days. This will end once the fleas die (they only live a few days), and consistent vacuuming and treating the cats again a month later should get rid of the problem at least until the warm weather returns in the spring.
post #8 of 15
Did you give your other cat the treatments provided by the vet? They are very effective and protect for a month. Fleas can't survive for an extended period in the environment without an animal to feed off of. So go home, vacuum your place thoroughly, and you can bring your cat home.

I'm so sorry you experienced this. Hopefully, though, you can use the experience to prevent it from happening again. You can get quality flea control drops (Frontline, Revolution, or Advantage - NOT Hartz or Sargent's) at most pet specialty stores and online and save the cost of a visit to the vet. Treat at the first sign of fleas and you will prevent serious problems from developing.

Also, start a savings account for emergency vet expenses. Just $25 a month will add up to $300 a year (plus interest) and you probably won't miss the money nearly as much as you think you will. It's possible to budget for a few dollars from each paycheck for an emergency savings account in almost all circumstances. Coming up with a few hundred dollars at a moment's notice in an emergency, though, is much harder.

Don't blame yourself. Yes, the situation was preventable, but there's a difference between something being preventable and something being your fault. The important thing to do is to learn everything you can so it doesn't happen again - which is exactly what you are doing!
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by semiferal
Fleas can bite and feed off people, but they can't live on humans the way they can live on cats. So when you treat your cats with a good flea treatment like Frontline, you can expect to be munched on by the surviving fleas for a few days. This will end once the fleas die (they only live a few days), and consistent vacuuming and treating the cats again a month later should get rid of the problem at least until the warm weather returns in the spring.
Aagin, as per my reading today, fleas don't live on humans or animals, they just jump on to feed. They live in your carpets and soft furnishings. If there is no host present, they can live dormant for up to 5 years, being woken up by the arrival of what they think is a host (they can often be fooled by the vaccum cleaner!). Vaccuming twice a day will help to get rid of them.

Frontline will kill the fleas on your pet, but won't affect the eggs and larve in your carpet (statisticly 5% are on your pet, 35% are larve and the rest are eggs), so you need to get a good flea spray (from the vet) and spray the house, or get the exterminators in.
post #10 of 15
It has always been my understanding that fleas can live in your carpets for at least a year. When we had our bad infestation we had an exterminator in and left the cat at the vet overnight to be defleaed. It wasn't terribly expensive to have the exterminators in, especially when you figure how much we had spent on over-the-counter products that didn't work anyway.

Even the spray for our carpets that we got from the vet didn't work very well.

Fleas also loved my blood - they never bit my husband or daughter but sure liked to chomp on me.
post #11 of 15
Ick--fleas are so gross!

ShhhQ, I'm really, really, really, sorry for the loss of your kitty. You made a brave, loving decision to leave your other cat there. Good for you! I hope your mother is doing well also.

The vet will have to take whatever you can give him, right? I would just try to make payments regularly, even $10 at a time if that works for you.

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Purity
Really? I've been bitten by fleas before
They can bite, but the can't live off you!
post #13 of 15
I think what people are trying to say here, is yes, fleas will bite you- but they don't live on you. Unlike our pets who have the unfortunate experience of having fleas burrow into their hair for protection and live off them for days or months on end until the kitty or dog dies from either a flea born disease or anemia. Perhaps if we had fur covering our legs, the fleas would also live off of us, but for now all they do is hop on bite and leave.

I use diachotomus earth crystals in my carpet. I also spread this along the outside of our home near the foundation to prevent fleas from coming in. I use advantage and frontline swapping every month because fleas can build a resistance to one chemical rather quickly so I try and keep them off balance. With an outdoor enclosure, I also routinely worm my cats because they get mice every so often burrowing into the enclosure- go figure, and I thought mice were smart!
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy
I use diachotomus earth crystals in my carpet. I also spread this along the outside of our home near the foundation to prevent fleas from coming in. I use advantage and frontline swapping every month because fleas can build a resistance to one chemical rather quickly so I try and keep them off balance. With an outdoor enclosure, I also routinely worm my cats because they get mice every so often burrowing into the enclosure- go figure, and I thought mice were smart!
Hissy, where do you get diachotomus earth crystals? I wouldn't mind getting some to spread around the outside of our house.
post #15 of 15
Any nursery carries them- there is a low toxicity to them but I have yet to see anything that kills outdoor fleas that isn't toxic. We do not put them under our home, because we have a lot of critters that live under there during the year, and I keep the crystals at a minimum spreading them so close to the outside walls you can't get a toothpick between them.
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