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Very effective products for the control of fleas and ticks have become available in the past few years. Here are the ones recommended by, and available at, County Animal Hospital.
Frontline: This product is applied monthly to the skin between the shoulder blades. Frontline kills adult fleas and ticks and prevents flea reproduction due to the rapidity with which it kills fleas. Frontline is very safe and can be used in dogs, cats, puppies older than 10 weeks and kittens older than 12 weeks. The product diffuses from the area of application to cover the entire body surface via the oil layer of the skin and coat. It is therefore recommended that pets not be bathed for one day before or one day after the date of application. Some shampoos lessen the efficacy of the product by removing the natural oils from the skin and coat. Pets can swim 24 hours after application.
Program and Sentinel: This is a non-pesticide product that controls fleas by preventing their reproduction. It is given orally once per month. Fleas feeding on treated pets are unable to produce fertile eggs. Lufenuron, the active ingredient, blocks the flea’s production of chitin, an important constituent of the eggshell. Dogs and cats don’t make chitin so lufenuron is extremely safe. Since lufenuron does not kill adult fleas it is most effective as a flea preventative. It is less effective in the face of an actual infestation. It is ideal for those pet owners who wish a non-insecticide (read natural) form of flea control as well as those who want to avoid topical products. Program is administered to cats as a liquid added to their food once monthly. In dogs it is available in combination with heartworm preventative under the brand name Sentinel. Lufenuron is not effective against ticks. Pets who live or travel to tick infested areas need additional tick control.Program and Sentinel can be used in conjunction with Frontline, Preventic collars or flea and tick sprays and collars.
Preventic collars: This collar contains amitraz. Amitraz is very effective against ticks. These collars are for dogs only. They need to be replaced every 3 months. They are very safe for the pet as long as they are not ingested. Ingested collars can be toxic. The antidote of the toxic effect is available at the animal hospital. This collar can not be used on pets taking Anapryl. The Preventic collar is not effective against fleas.
Siphotrol: Siphotrol is an insect growth regulator. It prevents flea eggs from hatching. It is very effective when added to pyrethrum-based flea and tick sprays, collars and house treatment. Program andFrontline have rendered these products somewhat obsolete. They are still effective and available and are less expensive to use than the newer products.
What’s best for your pet(s)? Call the office. Our staff will tailor a flea and tick control program that’s perfect for you and your furry family members.