Hull man claims flea treatment killed his beloved 11-year-old cat


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

Barrie Scarfed, 51, says her ginger cat Bobbie has been healthy since he was adopted as a stray about eight years ago.

Despite being a house cat, Barrie says Bobbie ended up suffering from a flea infestation earlier this month and he sent his son to his local Pets at Home store at Stoneferry Road in Hull.

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Barrie and his son were recommended the Spot-On treatment from manufacturer Beaphar.

The manufacturer and Pets at Home deny the treatment was linked to the animal’s death, saying a very serious flea infestation should 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 maybe I brought the fleas to someone else’s cat’s house, he was 11 and otherwise had been healthy since I got it.

“When I noticed the fleas, I sent my son for treatment but he came back with another one, it was 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 directed on the package.

“He came down so quickly after that, later that day, he was just laying there not really moving. When I picked him up he cried like he was in pain.

“I was so worried I stayed with him all night and barely slept a few days. I took him to the vet and they said there was not much they could do, he was gone too far.

“It had only been a week to the day since I had given him the treatment and he was dead.”

Barrie says he believes there was a link between the treatment and his cat’s death and also asked that counter staff be better trained to counsel people entering stores.

A spokesperson for Pets at Home said, “We were very sad to learn of the passing of Barrie’s cat, Bobbie.

“When not treated quickly, a flea infestation can have serious consequences for the health and well-being of a pet and, unfortunately, can sometimes lead to death.

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

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The cause of death given by the PDSA vet was officially anemia and manufacturer Beaphar said this was likely caused by a heavy flea infestation that has not been treated for some time.

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

“We were very sorry to hear about Bobbie’s case, but if used as directed the product may not cause anemia which is more likely due to an underlying problem such as a heavy infestation of fleas.

“We would like to reassure users that flea repellants are used safely and successfully on thousands of cats every week and extend our condolences to Bobbie’s owner. “

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Barrie said he was devastated by the loss, he said: “Bobbie was my best boyfriend, they’re more like family when you’ve had them for so long.

“I lost Bobbie now and I think I didn’t have to, he had many years ahead of him but it was cut short.”

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