What Are Advantage and Advantix
Advantage and Advantix are two different products manufactured by Bayer Animal Health for controlling and preventing fleas and other pests. They are both administered monthly and both are administered topically.
Advantage, which is also commonly known and referred to as Advantage 2, is used to treat adult fleas and flea larvae. It also helps to control lice, but its primary function is that of a flea medication. Advantage is sold in a small tube of liquid and each tube is good for up to one whole month of flea treatments. It can also be purchased in multiple dose sizes. These options include single doses as well as packs that range from 4 doses each to 12 doses each.
Advantix, also known as K9 Advantix, is used on dogs for treating fleas as well as a wider array of other pests. The treatment is effective for not only adult fleas and flea larvae but also for treating flea allergy dermatitis and multiple ticks including paralysis tick, bush tick, and brown dog tick. It is also used to repel sand flies, mosquitoes, and stable biting flies and it effectively controls lice.
Advantix also comes in a tube of liquid form treatment and each tube can be used for treating fleas for up to 1 month and is effective on ticks for 2 weeks. Both Advantage and Advantix become water resistant for up to 1 month after they have ‘set’ for 24 to 48 hours after application. Advantix is available for purchase in single doses as well as 3, 6, and 12 packs.
The added versatility in the Advantix treatment tends to make it much more attractive to some owners hoping to knock out many different issues with one easy to use treatment.
Bayer Animal Health also makes another product called Advocate that commonly goes by the name of Advantage Multi. With so many similar sounding names for these medications, it is not highly surprising that so many pet owners have trouble remembering which is which.
The Important Difference
Both Advantage and Advantix are for use to treat fleas on dogs, but the Advantage formula is safe for use on cats also. Advantix, however, is only for use on dogs. This is where most problems originate from.
When owners accidentally get the two products mixed up or forget which is which, and end up treating their cats with Advantix, serious problems develop.
Advantix is toxic for cats. Although Advantage and Advantix both utilize imidacloprid as their active ingredient, Advantix also uses permethrin. This addition makes Advantix poisonous and unsafe for use on cats.
One of the many differences between cats and dogs is that dogs are able to effectively metabolize permethrin. Because of this, Advantix is safe to use on dogs. Unfortunately, cats are unable to properly metabolize permethrin and exposure will result in serious reaction to the ingredient.
Cats can be exposed to Advantix through means other than the accidental application. For households in which dogs and cats live together, cats can come into contact with Advantix if they are around and in contact with a puppy pal who has been treated within the last 48 hours.
Symptoms in Cats
If a cat has been exposed to Advantix through accidental application or through contact with a recently treated dog, symptoms will usually begin to show within a matter of hours. However, sometimes symptoms will not begin to surface until several days after exposure.
If you have used Advantix on your dogs recently, or fear that perhaps your cats have come into contact with Advantix, be on the lookout for certain symptoms. One of the most common and most easily recognized symptoms is tremors or twitching. Sometimes this occurs only in the tips of the ears but it can extend throughout the rest of the body also.
This tremoring means excessive and constant muscle activity which in turn leads to the body temperature become extremely elevated. This temperature rise is one of the biggest concerns.
Other symptoms to watch out for include vomiting and drooling, hyperexcitability, a sudden loss of coordination, signs of depression and a loss of interest in food. Ultimately, if left untreated, all of these toxic effects can lead to an untimely death for your beloved pet.
Treatment for Cats
Fortunately, early detection of symptoms and taking your cat into the vet for immediate treatment of symptoms usually results in successful recovery. The key to success in recovery lies mainly in diagnosing and starting treatments as early as possible.
Treatment usually consists of a mixture of meds for controlling symptoms such as seizures, decontamination of the skin and supportive measures. Meds are administered by IV injection as needed based on which symptoms are presenting the strongest.
Fluids are also given through intravenous injection for the purpose of keeping the cat hydrated and avoiding other possible issues that would arise from dehydration.
Vital signs are monitored regularly and the cat will be put into a safe area where they will be able to stay comfortably and not cause themselves physical harm while symptoms of disorientation and lack of coordination wear off
Normally tremors will last no more than 24 hours, but on occasion, they can last up to 72 hours.
The best and most foolproof way to prevent accidental treatment or exposure for your cats is to use only Advantage when treating for fleas. There are also other preventative treatments that are not dangerous for cats, and using those can also be a safe and effective way to treat without putting your cat at risk.
If despite the risks involved, you have reason to still choose to use Advantix as the main flea treatment on your dogs, there are precautions that should be taken to minimize the chances that your cats will be exposed.
Make efforts to keep your dog in a secluded area that your cat does not have access to until the treatment is fully absorbed into your dog’s skin. This process should be complete when you can no longer see the oily appearing medication on your dog’s fur. It is best to make sure that your treated dog and any cats in the house do not come into contact with each other for at least 48 hours after treatment to be safe.
It is not unusual for some cats to be obsessive about grooming any area on their animal pals that looks greasy or dirty, so making sure that the treatment is fully absorbed before your cat comes into contact with your dog is important.
As an added precautionary measure, always be sure to carefully read all of the labels on any medications or treatments, including all of the fine print, before using them on your dog.
It is never a bad idea to also have someone else double check the labeling also to be sure that you both come to the same conclusion as to whether or no the product is safe for any animals that might come into contact with it during the course of the treatment.