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Dr. John
Dr. John, Small animal veterinarian, ER vet
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1205
Experience:  significant surgical and medicine background, currently working as emergency clinic veterinarian
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Hi, we have 3 cats that are indoor/outdoor. 1 is about 10

Resolved Question:

Hi, we have 3 cats that are indoor/outdoor. 1 is about 10 yrs old and mostly stays indoors. the other 2 are Maine Coon rescue cats and about 2 yrs old. We discovered fleas on the older cat last week and assume they all have fleas. We treated all 3 with Sentry fiproguard max. We flea bombed the house, vacuumed and cleaned. I think we are flea free in the house. The older cat still has live fleas on her. I don't want to let them back in the house. I was told I can't use any more "flea products" on her because of the Sentry treatment. I can't leave them outside indefinitely. What can I do? I might be able to bathe the older cat but the maine coon cats would probably be too strong and the one is very skiddish to begin with and finally trusts us.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. John replied 2 years ago.

Dr. John :

Thank you for your question concerning your cats. You are only finding fleas on the 1 cat now?

Customer:

the other cats have such long fur. I haven't seen any but they scratch. I can't be sure they don't have live fleas

Dr. John :

Where did you purchase the Sentry product?

Customer:

farm and fleet

Dr. John :

Okay, I have never used this product so I can't vouch for its efficacy, but a good, properly applied topical should not result in continued flea issues. Are you seeing a lot of fleas on the cat you can examine, or minimal?

Customer:

I have only seen a couple but it is only possible to see them in the areas that have little hair, on her belly and by her anus.

Dr. John :

Okay, so the way these products work is a flea has to bite the pet to die

Dr. John :

So if they are in an area with heavy flea burden, it is possible fleas are jumping on them to where you see them, but have not died yet from the flea bite itself

Dr. John :

I would definitely look into having an exterminator/pest control company coming out and treating your yard where your cats typically go, if this is feasible

Dr. John :

If this is not feasible, I would recommend a better known product that I know works, such as Revolution or Comfortis (can be used off label in cats, is only labeled for dogs, but works well and is ingested, not topical, so you know the pet gets the medication properly

Dr. John :

You can also consider giving a capstar (pill that kills all live fleas within about 60 minutes) before bringing them inside to make sure. This can be combined safely with the current product.

Dr. John :

Here is a helpful link on flea problems

Customer:

Is that rx?

Dr. John :

Revolution, comfortis, and capstar are all by Rx, yes

Customer:

what do you think of flea shampoos or dips

Dr. John :

I think dogs do better with these than cats, 1 because cats are difficult to bathe and 2 because cats can be more sensitive to the chemicals

Dr. John :

Something that may be an option for you is having them shaved down for the summer (the skittish ones can be sedated for this) so that the fleas cannot hide as well

Dr. John :

That is one thing I will often do for long haired cats with major flea problems

Dr. John :

Is having your yard treated an option?

Customer:

i can look into it, but they do leave the yard

Dr. John :

Okay, yes that does make it more difficult. And keeping them exclusively indoors is not an option?

Customer:

i could probably keep the older one in but the maine coon cats were very used to being outdoors before we got them from the rescue place. I don't think they would accept that.

Dr. John :

Understood. Well given your situation I would get some Capstar, consider having them shaved for the summer, consider having your yard treated for fleas (won't totally solve the problem but will help), and consider changing to a better known product after using all of the Sentry (unless of course it seems to be working adequately) such as Revolution or Comfortis off label

Customer:

the capstar doesn't prevent new fleas right, just kills the live ones.

Dr. John :

Correct, it only lasts 24 hours so is not a good long term option, just good to assist at clearing up an infestation

Customer:

if the sentry didn't work, i still have to wait until the 30 days is up before i can use a different product?

Dr. John :

Not technically. I will use topicals as often as every 2 weeks if needed. They are pretty darn safe, so I wouldn't wait longer than 14 days if you need to use something else

Customer:

good to know, thanks

Dr. John :

Just be somewhat wary of the over the counter products as veterinarians aren't as familiar with efficacy and side effects with these products

Dr. John :

I believe Frontline and Advantage are now OTC, but aside from these, we don't have a lot of experience with the others

Dr. John :

My absolute favorite cat topical is Revolution, it works very well for fleas, intestinal parasites, and heartworm prevention

Customer:

i have to get this from the vet though. will look into that.

Dr. John :

Okay, sounds good

Dr. John :

Do you have any further questions at this time?

Customer:

thanks

Customer:

no, thanks

Dr. John :

Okay welcome, good luck!

Dr. John :

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Dr. John, Small animal veterinarian, ER vet
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1205
Experience: significant surgical and medicine background, currently working as emergency clinic veterinarian
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significant surgical and medicine background, currently working as emergency clinic veterinarian