On a Monday morning at the beginning of December we were presented with a young cat who was uncontrollably shaking and drooling and unable to stand. Her extremely concerned owner rushed her straight to our Hospital in Witham where emergency treatment was started.

The owner had treated her dog and cat the night before with a flea treatment bought from a pet shop. Unfortunately as the treatment was bought without any advice from qualified members of staff and the packets were not clearly labelled, the incorrect flea product was applied to her cat.

The flea treatment contained a drug called Permethrin which, even in small quantities is extremely toxic and potentially fatal to all cats. After exposure to Permethrin the signs of poisoning usually develop within a few hours and require immediate veterinary attention.

Permethrin is often found in inexpensive and widely available flea treatments. Is it extremely easy to apply these products incorrectly if you do receive any advice at the time of purchase. Unfortunately we see several cases of Permethrin poisoning each year at Spring Lodge which all require large amounts of emergency veterinary care.

Luckily, due to the quick actions of her owner and our vets our patient survived but many cats are not so lucky. Our Vets and our patients owner would urge everyone to spread the word about the risks of Permethrin based flea products to all cat owners to prevent this situation happening again.

For more information go to http://www.fabcats.org/owners/poisons/pemethrin/article.html