Tag Archives: Advantage

Puck has Fur Again


As some of my readers know, our Puck has struggled with an over-grooming problem since shortly after we moved into our new home just over a year ago. He licked most of his fur off of his legs and backside.

The first vet we brought him too said he had a flea allergy even though the vet never saw any fleas on Puck and neither did we. Nonetheless, and gave him a steroid and antibiotic along with flea medication. I don’t know what brand it was but I do know we were buying Advantage at Petsmart after that for a ridiculous amount of money.

None of that worked although he did get slightly better for a short time before getting worse again. Off we went to vet number two several months later. He checked the records from the last vet and then did a test for mites. When that came back negative he decided to go the natural route first and put Puck on a special diet to test for food allergies. We tried that for a while but that ended in failure.

I didn’t want to go back to the vet and subject Puck to more useless drugs so I did nothing for a while. Eventually I brought him back to the second vet’s office where Puck was seen by vet number three. This vet was the owner of the clinic.

He examined Puck and saw no fleas but, like the first vet, assumed Puck had a Flea allergy. He gave Puck a Steroid and antibiotic, which all vets love to do, and started him on a flea medication called Activyl. He said Advantage no longer works in Florida even though Petsmart has no problem selling it here.

I hate to admit it but these invisible fleas seem to have been the cause of Puck’s problem because he now has fur again, It hasn’t fully grown back yet but there is a noticeable difference and his skin feels smoother.

our cat Puck

our cat Puck

Compare these to the one below taken several months ago.

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I don’t like that I have to put medication on our cats every months but I am glad Puck is finally doing better.

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Puck Visits the Vet… Again


Puck’s last vet visit left us with some hope. We went to a new place called The Animal & Bird Medical Center of Palm Harbor for Puck’s over-grooming problem. The vet put him on a limited ingredient diet and didn’t push the steroids and antibiotics that most vets use to solve all problems that cats have. He did suggest antibiotics as an option but did not push it. He also suggested a Feliway diffuser to help with Puck’s stress, which we bought and plugged in between the Catio and living room.

Unfortunately, after giving the diet and Feliway a good amount of time to work, we saw little improvement. I then tried changing their water and gave them bottled spring water. Puck seemed to improve slightly after that but then got worse again. I hesitated to bring him back to the vet for fear that they would use the nuclear option of steroids and antibiotics but I had to do something so I made an appointment for last Saturday.

My wife went with us this time and just as we were ready to put Puck in his cat carrier, Frankie went inside of it and I couldn’t get him out. I tried reaching in and pushing but that didn’t work. I then picked up the carrier and turned it so the opening was facing the floor but Frankie held on like he was Spidercat. I finally had to shake it to convince him that maybe there were better places to nap.

Puck was good and didn’t cry one time on the way to the vet but when the vet tech needed to get him out of the carrier he decided to apply the lessons he learned from Frankie and made it very difficult for her.

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After the vet tech left, Puck just stayed where he was. If that was Chris, he would be exploring the exam room.

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We saw Dr. Murphy, the owner of the clinic. Dr. Murphy had a lot of good reviews when I was originally looking for a new vet and I noticed he was trained in traditional and holistic medicine, which is what I was looking for. Puck saw another vet the first time we came but I wasn’t disappointed. He seemed to know what he was doing.

The Doctor ran a flea comb through what was left of Puck’s fur and found no sign of the little buggers but he still suspected fleas might be the culprit. I have not been a fan of putting poison on the cats and even bought a container of Diatomaceous Earth, which is a natural, edible product that kills fleas, to spread around their napping areas. Rose is more concerned about effectiveness and has insisted we treat our cats with Advantage for several months now. That started when Frankie escaped and came home with a flea.

We told the vet we were using Advantage and he said it no longer works in our county because the fleas have become resistant to it. Later he said that it doesn’t work in the entire state of Florida. That was a shock because it is very expensive. It’s $58 for six treatments on Amazon but we were buying it locally at Petsmart and paying around $80 or so, with the two pack being much more per dosage. A lot of money for a product that doesn’t work.

He said Revolution works 90% of the time and it has the added benefit of preventing heartworm. He seemed to think it is very safe for the cat. He also recommended another product that was even better but only controlled fleas. That product was called Activyl.

In the end, Puck ended up getting a shot of Steroids and antibiotics. I think I should find a supply of steroids and antibiotics and start treating cats in the neighborhood for a fee because that is always the solution. Do you think I’d get in trouble? Actually, the vet was very nice and really seemed to care so I need to trust that he knows what he is doing.

We also got a tube o Activyl for each of the cats and the doctor put it on Puck. He said he wanted us to use that for six months and by then we should know if fleas are Puck’s problem. After six months, he recommended we switch to Revolution for the added heartworm protection.

Rose was also convinced she saw tiny black spots on Chris and Frankie’s tails, indicating fleas were there, even though there were no fleas found on any of the cats. Nevertheless, she also had them add a shampoo to our bill which ended up to be about $230.

When we got home, Chris and Frankie were more interested in Puck’s carrier then they were in Puck.

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It wasn’t long before they forgot about that because Rose decided to wash their tails and backside. Chris was first and he was miserable to deal with. He spent the entire time growling, hissing and crying while he struggled to get free.

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He then went into the living room to groom himself. Frankie was very curious what happened to him but he soon found out. At least Frankie was a little better behaved than Chris.

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It wasn’t long before Frankie was in the living room grooming himself too.

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I sure hope this works for Puck because I don’t know what else we can do.