SPCA warns improper flea treatment can be dangerous for pets
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TONAWANDA, N.Y. — Although they might look like perfectly healthy cats, two animals at the SPCA serving Erie County are lucky to be alive after their owner used an improper flea product on them.
"She applied a dog flea product on to two cats, and it took a couple days, but the cats were seizuring uncontrollably and she didn't have any options at that time so she surrendered the cats to the SPCA," said Gina Browning, public relations director for the SPCA.
Browning says the cats had to be surrendered because the SPCA cannot treat owned animals. By doing so, the owner gave them a second chance.
"It was touch-and-go for a while, and for quite a few hours, we didn't know if these cats were going to make it," said Browning.
"We're lucky these two came out of it. Not all of them do. So it depends, you know? We caught it quick enough and were able to act quickly," said Breanna Dimino, a licensed vet tech for the SPCA.
Unfortunately, these cats aren't the only animals who've suffered recently.
Browning said, "This summer has seemed to be the worst in recent years. We started getting calls from people improperly using flea products for about two weeks. Our mall site, the Galleria, is getting calls as well, and we've talked to local veterinarians in the area who have been seeing an inordinate number of this."
"Any medication is a poison, you know what I mean? If used improperly. So you've just got to make sure you use it properly, you use the correct amount, the correct type of stuff. It goes into their system, the flea treatment, so even though it's just topical, it does go into their system and can really affect them," said Dimino.
Browning and Dimino say they're not sure why there are so many cases of this, but stress the importance of at least consulting a veterinarian before applying any kind of flea treatment to your pet.
And while some options might seem more cost effective, Dimino says, "You get what you pay for."