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Flea Control

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Flea Control

Summer is coming and with the heat come the Fleas! We should pay close attention to fleas all year around, but when the weather warms up it becomes even more important.  The following information will help you make educated decisions about what flea control is best suited for you pets.  Here are the five most frequently prescribed products on the market today:

Vet kem Ovitrol Plus.  Made from Pyrethrins, this spray is as natural an insecticide as you can get.  Pyrethrins are derived from the chrysanthemum flower native to Africa.  It is to be sprayed on your pets as needed.  It kills fleas, flea eggs, ticks, flies, and lice.  Is is safe for use on puppies and kittens older than 8 weeks.  Always follow manufacturer’s directions closely.

FRONTLINE (Fipronil).  This topical solution kills fleas and their eggs in 12 to 24 hours.  It can be effective against fleas for up to 3 months and ticks for 1 month.  It works by translocating on the skin’s surface and collecting in the oils of the skin and hair follicles.  It generally remains effective after bathing, water immersion or sunlight exposure.  Frontline is safe for puppies 10 weeks and up, kittens 12 weeks and up.  It is not for use on aged, pregnant, debilitated, or nursing animals.

ADVANTAGE (Imedadoprid).  This topical solution also kills fleas and their eggs in 12 to 24 hours.  The dosage is once a month.  It spreads on the lipid (skin) layer of the pet. Frequent swimming, bathing and direct rain may merit repeated dosing.  Start puppies at 7 weeks and kittens at 8 weeks.  Do not use on debilitated, aged, pregnant, or nursing animals.

PROGRAM (Lyfenuron) Oral.  Fleas feed on the animal and ingest the active ingredient that prevents the laid eggs from developing into the next stage.  Dosage is a once a month tablet.  Also, available in an injectable for cats only (good for 6 months).  Since it requires a flea to bite its host, it probably isn’t the best form of flea control for pets that are allergic to flea bites.  Safe for puppies and kittens 6 weeks and older, and also for pregnant and lactating animals.

REVOLUTION (Selamectin) topical.  Selamectin is approved for flea control and heartworm preventative in dogs and cats.  Dosage is once a month. When applied it is rapidly absorbed and distributed to various organs.  Because it is absorbed systemically, bathing has no effect on it.  It has been effective in the prevention of certain types of mange in dogs and roundworm control in cat.  Revolution is a fairly new product and is approved for use on puppies and kittens 6 weeks and older.  Precautions have been issued concerning use on sick, weak or underweight animals.

All of these products are available through veterinarians, pet stores and/or mail order sources.  It's always best to consult a veterinarian before using any new products on a pet.  Have a happy, flea-free summer!


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