Shy and Huli Buli Go into Convulsions and Wind Up in the Hospital for Four Days after They Are Doused with a Topical Flea Insecticide
"I got a call from my daughter who told me that the cats had gone into fits and were having convulsions. They were in a terrible state and although I tried using water to wash off the treatment that is applied to the neck it was no good."
-- Jennifer Leyton-Purrier
During the summertime and in locales that experience year-round warm temperatures, fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and other pesky parasites abound. As a consequence, many individuals unwisely douse their cats and dogs with over-the-counter insecticides.
Little do they realize that these chemicals often are far more lethal than the parasites that they are intent upon eradicating. Jennifer Leyton-Purrier of Ashford Carbonel in Shropshire recently made that mistake and it nearly killed her two fifteen-month-old Bengal cats, Shy and Huli Buli.
Shortly after the application of an over-the-counter flea retardant to both cats they became violently ill. "I got a call from my daughter who told me that the cats had gone into fits and were having convulsions," Leyton-Purrier told the Ludlow and Tenbury Wells Advertiser on August 25th. (See "Ludlow Cat Owner's Scare Following Flea Treatment.") "They were in a terrible state and although I tried using water to wash off the treatment that is applied to the neck it was no good."
Rushed to Teme Vets in nearby Ludlow, Shy and Huli Buli hovered between life and death for the next four days as they were placed in medically-induced comas and kept alive intravenously. They since have recovered and now are back at home but it is too early to tell if they have suffered any permanent damage.
Leyton-Purrier so far has shelled out £500 for their treatment and that conceivably could be only the beginning. (See photo above of her with Shy and Huli Buli.)
Leyton-Purrier readily admits to committing the grievous error of not reading the instructions on the label beforehand. That mistake coupled with the fact that the product is not specified by name precludes a more thorough analysis of this unfortunate incident.
All that can be said for certain is that hopefully she will pay closer attention to her duties as a newly-elected member of the Ludlow Town Council than she did to Shy's and Huli Buli's welfare. If she fails to do so, the citizens of Ludlow could be in for some difficult days ahead.
None of that in any way alters the disturbing fact that so-called spot-on flea and tick insecticides kill thousands of cats and dogs as well as injure tens of thousands more each year. According to data compiled by the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances, there were 44,263 reported harmful reactions to these products in 2008 as opposed to 28,895 during the previous year. If that many pet owners took the time to either write or telephone the EPA with their concerns it is a good bet that the actual number of cats and dogs that experienced adverse reactions to these products was at least ten times greater.
In addition to the fits and convulsions experienced by Shy and Huli Buli, other common reactions include, inter alia, skin irritations, neurological damage, vomiting, burns and welts on the skin, excessive drooling, uncontrollable shaking, a loss of control in the legs, and death. Cats and small dogs, such as chihuahuas, Shih Tzus, miniature poodles, Pomeranians, and dachshunds, are especially susceptible to the harmful effects of insecticides that are intended to be used only on larger animals.
"These are poisons," the EPA's Steve Owens stated the obvious in an interview with the Associated Press on March 17th. (See "EPA: More Pets Injured by Flea and Tick Products.") "These products are designed to kill fleas and ticks and they do their jobs."
They also quite obviously kill cats and dogs as well and that is why the EPA is promising stricter regulation of the multimillion-dollar flea and tick prophylactic industry. In particular, it is contemplating requiring clearer labels, unspecified changes in product formulas, and stricter testing and evaluation standards.
If it is at all serious about the latter proposal, a good place for it to start would be at Professional Laboratory and Research Services (PLRS) in Corapeake, North Carolina, which tests these deadly pollutants on defenseless and unconsenting cats and rabbits. For example, an undercover investigator for PETA recently reported that at least fifty cats interned at that hellhole suffered burns to their skin and were temporarily blinded by an experimental flea control product. Although PETA does not name the company which sponsored that research, it is known that both Sergeant's of Omaha, Nebraska, and Merial of Duluth, Georgia, the maker of Frontline flea and ticks products, use PLRS to test their products.
In a video released on September 8th and entitled "PLRS: Undercover at a Product Testing Laboratory," a brown cat is seen shaking uncontrollably in its cage following one of these dastardly and useless experiments. (The video is available online at http://bit.ly/cCi2GW.)
The lab also cultivates ticks on the bodies of helpless rabbits. That is in addition to workers who drag them around the facility by their delicate ears.
The investigator also witnessed wholesale abuse that included cats being violently thrown into their cages as well as having their claws ripped out without the benefit of either anesthesia or surgical intervention. Dogs were filmed being dropped to the floor, shoved around by employees using only their shoes, and being grabbed by their necks. One canine even was forced to undergo a painful tooth extraction while partially awake because the lab employee had administered a sedative whose expiration date was two years past its prime.
In addition to those despicable abuses, lab animals were forced to wallow in their own excrement and to go without adequate veterinary care. Most all of these abuses are routine occurrences at all governmental and collegiate laboratories, such as the ones operated by the University of Wisconsin at Madison. (See The Capital Times of Madison, June 17, 2010, "USDA Inspectors Again Find Violations at UW-Madison Animal Research Labs.")
"Violence seems to be the guiding principle at this laboratory," PETA's Kathy Guillermo said of PLRS in an interview with the Associated Press on September 9th. (See "PETA Says Video Shows Cat, Dog Abuse at North Carolina Lab.") "The only time the animals get some attention is when something painful or invasive is done to them."
Nearly all of the truly great individuals who ever have lived were uniformly opposed to vivisection. It was, however, Mark Twain who stated the opposition's case most succinctly when he penned a letter to the London Anti-Vivisection Society on May 26, 1899.
"I believe I am not interested to know whether vivisection produces results that are profitable to the human race or doesn't. To know that the results are profitable to the race would not remove my hostility to it," he began. "The pains which it inflicts upon unconsenting animals is the basis of my enmity without looking further."
Vivisection therefore only will be justifiable when the animals of this world line up outside research laboratories and voluntarily consent to be tortured and killed by the monsters who masquerade as scientists. Until that day dawns, all animal experimentation will remain, as it is today, torture and murder of the vilest and most inhumane kind.
Topical flea and tick preventatives therefore not only kill thousands of household pets each year but untold numbers of lab animals as well. The EPA accordingly has it all wrong. These deadly products should not be regulated but rather banned altogether.
Daily brushing, bathing, and shampooing of cats and dogs will remove a majority of the parasites that not only make their lives miserable but endanger their health as well. Frequent laundering of their bedding as well as keeping both their indoor and outdoor environments as clean as possible also greatly will help to keep parasites under control.
Furthermore, there are dozens of non-toxic, natural products on the market that can be used as repellents. They may have to be applied more frequently because some of them have a tendency to evaporate but that is a small price to pay for an animal's health.
The avoidance of all chemicals and pollutants is especially important as far as cats are concerned. Because of their incessant grooming, chemicals never should be applied to their fur under any circumstances.
A good rule of thumb to follow is that if the product cannot be safely ingested by a cat it should not be applied topically. (See Cat Defender posts of July 30, 2010 and August 30, 2010 entitled, respectively, "Harley Suffers Severe Burns to His Tongue and Mouth as Well as Lung Damage after He Is Deliberately Dunked in Turpentine" and "Hope, Prayer, and Veterinary Intervention Ultimately Prove to Be Insufficient in Order to Save Harley after He Is Deliberately Dunked in Turpentine.")
The same admonition equally applies to tobacco smoke, drugs that are smoked, PBDEs, and all other pollutants that have a tendency to settle in a cat's fur. (See Cat Defender posts of August 22, 2007 and October 19, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Indoor Cats Are Dying of Diabetes, Hyperthyroidism, and Various Toxins in the Home" and "Smokers Are Killing Their Cats, Dogs, Birds, and Infants by Continuing to Light Up in Their Presence.")
Photo: Ludlow and Tenbury Wells Advertiser.