Author Topic: Not Fleas- What can they be?  (Read 1206 times)

Offline Accidental Damage

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Not Fleas- What can they be?
« on: September 21, 2012, 01:25:39 AM »
Our cat has been scratching more than usual the past week and at first we couldn't find anything on her fur/ skin. Tonight I check again and find these little crawling insects. I am nearly positive they aren't fleas, they don't jump and after looking up pics they don't really resemble them. She is also on flea tick prevention which hopefully means she is protected from those. They are longish, black/brown and crawl around and resemble a tinier version of an earwig, they also leave little dark red/ brown droppings. I have tried searching but not getting any hits, the only thing other than fleas/ ticks are mites and these things are a lot bigger than mites...

Offline aquaseafoam

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Re: Not Fleas- What can they be?
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2012, 01:41:03 AM »
Try a google image search for cat fleas.  I can't really think of anything else that would produce the same kind of droppings or "flea dirt".

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Offline Rzrwyre

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Re: Not Fleas- What can they be?
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2012, 02:38:45 AM »
Ack!  That is pretty gross!  Can you post photos?  I had plenty a cat as a kid with fleas and it doesn't sound familiar, either.  Maybe vet time, eh?  (Or calling them).

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Offline GhostMouse

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Re: Not Fleas- What can they be?
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2012, 08:33:37 AM »
Those sound odd. Fleas do crawl, too, but they're not flat-to-the-ground like earwigs (they are flat-but-tall, though). However, they can look flat while on cats and dogs. I second the request for pictures, because it sounds like they could be fleas, especially from the droppings.

It's weird that she'd get them while on flea meds, though. I have had a vet tell me to alternate what brands of flea meds I use, to prevent the fleas from developing a resistance. Maybe you've gotten some resistant fleas?

Offline mutewolf

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Re: Not Fleas- What can they be?
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2012, 09:23:02 AM »
Just wanted to second what GhostMouse had said about switching brands. It's not unusual to have brand resistant fleas and what you're describing definitely sounds like them. Maybe try a different brand of flea/tick protection the next few months and see if that helps.

Offline forkyfork

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Re: Not Fleas- What can they be?
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2012, 01:56:22 PM »
If your using frontline or any treatment that has the same active ingredient then its probably fleas. That new cheap flea treatment is the same stuff as frontline. Pretty much anywhere with an abundance of fleas has frontline resistant fleas.

The other OTC stuff like adams and hartz should be avoided as they can be very toxic to cats and may not be effective.

If you arent at 30 days with your current treatment you should consult your vet as to when you can treat with an alternate med. I use advantage multi on my outside kitty and when needed regular advantage on the inside ones.

The vet can use capstar at any time but its only effective for 24 hours. They have a new oral med for cats that works for fleas and ticks but I dont know anything about it. When I get finished with my 7 month supply of advantage multi I willl probably switch my outside kitty to the oral one although I have never seen a tick on her and we have tons, Im not sure they like feeding on cats. At least I will be able to treat her when its raining fro days. I have to consider the mosquitoes though.

Offline GhostMouse

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Re: Not Fleas- What can they be?
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2012, 03:33:41 PM »
I didn't think of this before and it's much too late for an edit, but here's an image of fleas on a cat, which might be more helpful than the hugely inflated pictures of fleas themselves that you may have found.



Quote
This is an image of an adult Ctenocephalides flea as it appearsin the fur of a cat. The flea is located to the left of the image. The red specks seen throughoutthe fur are smudges of flea dirt that have become wet and therefore leached red blood-pigments out into the surrounding hair. Light-coloured cats with severe flea dirt will turna red-pink colour when washed because of the blood-products leaking out of the flea dirt and into the surrounding hair.


Offline RattiesSix

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Re: Not Fleas- What can they be?
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2012, 03:38:15 PM »
I second that it could be fleas if they are on frontline or some other common flea preventatives. Fleas are really resilient.