How do tick and flea collars work

Flea collars can be harmful to cats

If pets have lice and ticks, flea collars or sprays can help. But be careful: what helps the dog can be very dangerous for cats.

© dpa

Whether collar or drops - there are various methods of effectively protecting your four-legged friend against ticks and lice.

Many dogs and cats are infested with fleas and ticks. Various remedies help against this. On the one hand, there are so-called spot-on preparations. These work for around three to four weeks, after which another treatment is necessary, explains veterinarian Heidi Bernauer-Münz from the Veterinary Association for Animal Welfare (TVT). They are applied by parting the fur between the shoulder blades and using the pipette to drip the preparation directly onto the skin. In the case of very large dogs, additional areas on the back should be treated.

Flea collars work longer than drops

According to Bernauer-Münz, flea and tick collars have the advantage that they work for up to eight weeks, but animals often don't like these collars. With cats, care should also be taken to wear collars with predetermined breaking points so that they do not injure themselves if they get caught.

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Flea preparations for dogs are harmful to cats

There are also sprays, shampoos and solutions against ticks and fleas. However, many use the substance permethrin. According to Bernauer-Münz, it works very well against insects and is also used in ointments against scabies in humans. However, this active ingredient is highly toxic for cats because they lack an enzyme that is necessary to break down the substance. Typical symptoms of poisoning are tremors, excessive salivation, cramps, shortness of breath, vomiting, diarrhea, fever or low temperature. For this reason, flea and tick preparations for dogs should never be used on cats.

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| Updated: July 7, 2016

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