Hull man claims flea treatment killed his beloved cat of 11 years

A Hull man claims his beloved 11-year-old cat died from flea treatment that was supposed to save the animal.

Barrie Scarfed, 51, says his auburn cat Bobbie has been in good health since he was adopted as a stray about eight years ago.

Despite being a house cat, Barrie says that Bobbie suffered a flea infestation earlier this month and sent his son to his local Pets at Home store on Stoneferry Road in Hull.

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Barrie and his son wanted to buy a different treatment, but said they had been talked into the more expensive spot-on from manufacturer Beaphar.

Both the manufacturer and Pets at Home deny that the treatment is related to the death of the animal, stating that a very severe flea infestation needs to be detected and treated early.

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Bobbie is said to be an otherwise healthy 11 year old cat

Barrie said, “Bobbie was a house cat, but I think I would have brought the fleas into the house from someone else’s cat, he was 11 years old and otherwise he was healthy all the time I had him.

“When I saw the fleas I sent my son for treatment, but he came back with another one called Spot-On and it was more expensive.

“I thought it was more expensive, it had to be better, so I followed the directions and applied it as it was on the package.

“He went downhill so fast after that, later in the day he just lay there and didn’t really move. When I picked him up he was crying like he was in pain.

“I was so concerned that I stayed with him overnight and barely slept for a few days. I took him to the vet and they said there wasn’t much they could do, he was too far away.

“I treated him to the day and he was dead.”

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Barrie says he believed there was a link between his cat’s treatment and death, and also called for counter staff to be better trained in advising people who come into stores.

A Pets at Home spokesperson said: “We were very sad to hear of the death of Barrie’s cat, Bobbie.

“If not treated quickly, a flea infestation can have serious effects on a pet’s health and wellbeing, and unfortunately sometimes lead to death.

“Our thoughts are with Barrie at this difficult time.”

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The PDSA vet officially cited anemia as the cause of death, and manufacturer Beaphar said this was likely due to a heavy flea infestation that had gone untreated for some time.

A Beaphar spokesperson said, “Beaphar Flea Repellent is authorized and approved by the Health & Safety Executive to repel cat fleas.

“We are very sorry to hear about Bobbie’s case, but when the product is used as directed, the product cannot cause anemia, which is more likely due to an underlying problem such as severe flea infestation.

“We want to reassure users that flea repellants are being used safely and successfully on thousands of cats each week, and we extend our condolences to Bobbie’s owners.”

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Barrie said he was devastated by the loss, he said, “Bobbie was my best little buddy, they’re more like family when you have them for that long.

“I just think if you want to give advice to people, they need to be better trained and make sure they are giving the right things.

“I’ve lost Bobbie now and I guess I didn’t have to, he had many years to go, but that was cut short.”

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