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Discussion Starter #1
Well as a lot of you know i work part time in a pet shop, i was talking to a customer yesterday about flea treatments. She said she read on the internet that a cat builds up an immunity to the treatments as it were and years down the line it becomes in-effective, and so she wanted my opinion on using a different brand after using stronghold.

It made me think tho..... is this right? but then i thought well its not really for the cat as such- but the fleas and they aint gonna build up an immunity because they die...

I was just wondering how much truth there is to this/ what others think.
 

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When you are aiming to kill fleas, the fleas that are resistant to the flea killer are selected for - because they are the ones that don't die. The resistant flea(s) will multiply until your cat is covered with resistant fleas, which are immune to the flea treatment. Of course, there may not be any resistant fleas on the cat to cause problems. But the more times you use a flea treatment, you increase your chances that you will encounter a resistant flea. So in that sense, the more times you use it, the greater chance that the fleas will have immunity.

This sort of thing happens in agriculture all the time, where the pest insects become resistant to the pesticide. The best way to avoid it is to only use the flea treatment when necessary (ie: fleas are present) and to switch formulations rather than using the same one all the time (has to have different chemicals). Also, it is wise to try alternatives such as a lemon bath that Rayona (?) mentioned that was effective against fleas.
That's just my two cents from an agricultural integrated pest management perpective :lol: .
 

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QueenOTN did a great job of explaining the mechanics. Fortunately, once you leave the realm of one celled animals like bacteria and such, the genetic code that permits survival through an occasional genetically resistant individual, the trait isn't generally dominant. (Please forgive such a sloppy complex sentence).

Anyway, the resistance trait is passed on to it's offspring, so successive generations remain, for awhile, resistant. However, once the need for that particular resistance is removed by using a different variant of flea control, the "resistance trait" not being a dominant gene, becomes less prominent in successive generations, and they become susceptible again. That allows periodic alternation between control methods.
 

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I know this is a little off topic.. however I would just like to remind everyone about how dangerous it is to use Hartzz flea medication on your cats. If there is anyone who does not know why please click the link in my signature.
 

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Ive never seen the hartz stuff but my vet warned me against 'Bob martin' spot-on flea drops, something to do with them causing a build up within the kidneys :? It smelt terrible too, lol

We use Advantage 40 by Bayer now.
 

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Flea treatment - immunity?

I didn't know there was any danger in using the Bob Martin stuff. We tried it once on Jimmy - but never again as it just didn't work (maybe the fleas were immune already?)
Then we got some Frontline from the vet. One application cleared up the fleas straight away.
We've just given him a second month's application. We bought six months supply, and had intended to apply it regularly. Now I'm wondering if we ought not to.
Is it the general consensus that its best to wait until when and if the fleas return?

seashell
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I dont know what others think, but i do, besides the costs ive noticed mine dont need it so regularly, they get brushed everyday anyway, esp butch coz he has long fur, as soon as i see a flea- if treatment is due they get it.
 

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I treat Tiggy once a month as I know there are at least two cats in the neighbourhood who visit our garden regularly & do not appear to be treated (as they both have fleas) so I make sure Tiggy always gets her monthly dose in case she comes into contact with these two...or others!

The vet advised that as the warm weather is just beginning its a good idea to make sure thet she gets her treatment.
 
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