From my cat group...
From: NMHPForum <[email protected]
Date: Wed, 13 Jul 2005 12:16:30 -0700
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Question from Carole:
Kittens may come in flea infested. What is the best way to deal with
this problem for kittens that may be weak and are too young for
topical applications such as Advantage and Frontline? Do you risk
killing the kitten by bathing him/her even if you warm the kitten
quickly after the bath?
Can you also tell us how to check for flea-induced anemia?
Response from Dr Wendy Brooks:
There is no product that is labelled for use in kittens under 8 weeks
that I know of. Unfortunately, as a condition of keeping my veterinary
license current, it is also not legal for me to tell you to do something
that is off-label with regards to an insecticide.
I can tell you what we often do when a kitten is very small and loaded
with fleas: we use half a Capstar tablet. If you see a lot of flea
infested kittens, I recommend that you lay in a supply of small sized
Capstar for this use. A full tablet is labelled for use in kittens 2
lbs and over. I see no reason to deal with the stress of a bath. If you
are not familiar with Capstar see:
http://www.ah.novartis.com/products/en/ ... star.shtml
As for checking for anemia, it is is tricky when you don't have actual
ability to run a blood test (which tells you for sure if a transfusion
is on the table). Check the kitten's gum color. If it is white or pale
then you probably have flea anemia. If the kitten is also weak and cold,
it probably needs a blood transfusion. If the kitten is pretty strong,
you can try the Capstar and an iron supplement if you really feel like
taking some risks due to lack of money. If you don't want to take any
risks and the kitten is pale, see the vet for a quick hematocrit test to
see if he is anemic and if so, how badly.
Most vitamin supplements do not contain iron so if fleas are a problem
in your area, get some kind of vitamins that do have iron. Pet Tinnic is
a good brand (your vet probably has something).
Hope this helps!