Archive for the ‘Flea & Tick’ Category

Comparison of Oral and Topical Flea & Tick Treatments

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Oral and Topical Flea and Tick Medications
S. Mason, DVM

There are a lot of medications on the market for use on dogs and cats for ectoparasites (fleas/ticks/lice) and many of these medications are also available to treat internal (often intestinal) parasites as well. There are some products, available only by veterinary prescription, that combine flea and tick control with the prevention of heartworm disease for both dogs and cats. Unfortunately, the variety and availability of these medications is confusing to pet owners. This is because many topical ectoparasiticides are pesticides licensed with EPA, while many of the veterinary only products are actually licensed with FDA. This difference means that most of the veterinary approved products are not available except by prescription because they are licensed by FDA. In general, many of the veterinary approved products also prevent heartworms. Therefore, to be simplistic, medications that prevent heartworms are not going to be available over the counter (OTC) and must be prescribed by a veterinarian.

The chart below is provided as a quick reference. In the discussion below, the products are divided into canine (dog) and feline(cat) categories, as many product formulations are different between the two species or are only available for dogs. The chart also only includes veterinary approved products and not the general OTC products (most of which are licensed by EPA). Therefore, not all available flea and tick products are included in this survey. The main reason for many OTC products from chain store products being excluded is that they are often organophosphate based; and therefore, I would NOT recommend their use on ANY CATS, or young or elderly dogs. I am not advocating their use at all, but the risk of a reaction to these products is much greater in the above listed groups. Secondly, if reactions do occur, they are typically more severe than with the safer veterinary only products.

Species and Condition treated/Controlled
Brand Name Active Ingredient(s) CATS DOGS OTC
FDA Approved Products
Advantage DUO ImidaclopridIvermectin not available HW/Fleas No
Advantage Multi ImidaclopridMoxidectin HW/Fleas/IP HW/fleas/IP No
Capstar Nitenpyram Fleas Fleas No
Program Lufernuron Flea eggs Flea eggs No
Revolution Selemectin HW/Fleas/IP HW/Fleas/IP No
Sentinel MilbemycinLufernuron Not Available HW/Flea eggs/IP No
EPA Licensed Products
Frontline FipronilS-methoprene (Plus only) Fleas/Ticks Flea/Ticks Yes
K9 Advantix ImidaclopridPermethrin Toxic to Cats Fleas/Flies/Lice/Ticks/Mosquitoes Yes
TriForce – Canine CyphenothrinPyriproxyfen No Fleas/Ticks/Mosquitoes Yes
TriForce – Feline EtofenproxPyriproxyfen Fleas/Ticks/Mosquitoes No Yes
Bio Spot PermethrinPyriproxyfen No Fleas/Ticks
Advantage Imidacloprid Fleas Fleas Yes

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Stretching your flea dollars

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

One of the ways we stretch our flea treatment dollars is to extend the time between treatments by one week. Most flea and tick treatments recommend an application every four weeks and this is mostly for ticks. In our household we go one week long to five weeks. This saves nearly three treatments a year.

Keep in mind that in many cases this schedule would conflict with the manufacturers suggestion and should only be considered if you have very good control of your pet’s flea situation, and/or live in a low to moderate flea environment.

Just a thought. What’s yours?

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Flea & Tick Issues

Monday, June 21st, 2010

The manufacturers of Flea Treats have shared with us some helpful hints on how to control fleas in the carpet. Please read below. If this works for you, don’t hesitate to pass it along and your comments to our forum.Carpet care-Flea Treats will provide your pets with a natural repellent to keep fleas away. Because Flea Treats don’t kill fleas, some pets’ humans are concerned about fleas in their carpets. Sometimes the fleas, once repelled from the pets, will seek an alternative meal. To safely remove fleas from carpets and upholstery, many of our customers recommend 20 Mule Team Borax, available in the grocery store’s laundry aisle. Sprinkle the borax onto your carpet, leave it for 3 to 4 hours, then vacuum it up and dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag in your outdoor waste disposal area (e.g., a garbage can). Repeat this process 3 days later and again 3 days later. Borax is a very strong salt and will dehydrate the fleas, so it’s much safer than a pesticidal spray or bomb. It’s still best to keep your pets off the carpet until you vacuum up the borax. The borax may not penetrate all eggs and cocoons, which is why you should dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag after each application. In general, frequent vacuuming is the safest way to remove the occasional flea that may hitchhike into your home on you or a visitor.

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