Flea and Tick Collars.

Flea and Tick Collars- why we don’t sell them at our clinic.

  • Collars on cats can cause horrendous injury when the collars slip around the lower jaw or under the shoulder. These injuries called “Bridle” and “Harness” lesions require extensive and multiple surgeries to fix. To address this issue, many of the new collars have a quick release clip to stop the animal being hung or choked. Great idea, but the problem is that the quick-release clip works so well that the collar often doesn’t stay on for very long. Owners in the UK were very unimpressed to fit their cat with an expensive tick collar; only for the cat, in the first week of wearing the collar, to then return home after a stroll in the woods but minus the very expensive collar!
  • For dogs who swim as often as our Australian dogs do, I prefer the 100% anti-tick persistence offered by something like a Bravecto tablet.
  • The biggest concern for me is that in cats, insecticidal collars like flea collars have previously been linked, in peer-reviewed journal publications, with an increased incidence of head and neck cancers in the cats. My own personal experience is, that over the last 20 years as we moved away from flea collars and onto topical products like Advantage and Advocate, the horrendous mouth and head cancers in cats that we used to see not infrequently just stopped happening. I would hate to see a return of such distressing conditions in our pets and patients.
  • There was also an anecdotal belief amongst the medical community in previous decades, that some blood abnormalities in children were linked to exposure to chemicals in the household’s pet old style flea collars.

For me as a vet, given where we live and with most cats staying indoors or in their own yards- the risk from these collars does not warrant their use in my patients.