Spring is upon us, and the flea population is flourishing.  Are your pets protected appropriately?

There are many flea products  on the market so making an informed choice can be confusing. Consulting with your Veterinarian will assist you in choosing the most effective, safest and appropriate option for your pet.

Some treatments can be administered orally, such as Sentinel, (which provides a small amount of flea control in conjunction with heartworm prevention), Comfortis  (which provides protection from fleas for 30 days), and Capstar (which is an effective initial treatment to kill fleas but only remains effective for 24 to 48 hours so a monthly preventative is recommended in conjunction with Capstar).

Other treatments are applied to the skin along the back of the neck such as Advantage, ProMeris, and Frontline Plus.  These topical treatments provide flea control  for 30 days but exposure to water and most soap products can weaken their effectiveness.

In addition to fleas, ticks also flourish in the spring. Ticks carry many harmful diseases which can be transmitted to your pet.  If your environment exposes your pet to ticks there are specific products available such as Preventick collars which provide protection for 30 days.  Advantix and Frontline and other topical treatments also prevent ticks from finding a home on your pet.

As with all medicines, always follow your Veterinarian's recommendations and dosing directions before administering any flea or tick prevention since some may be dangerous or inappropriate for your pet.  Use extreme caution if handling any products which contain permethrins as they are highly toxic to cats and pocket pets. It is usually best to get your flea medications from a licensed Veterinarian because some over-the-counter flea treatments may contain harmful chemicals.

© 2010 Bethany Jordan CVT, CDT

The DogSmith Florida Panhandle and Alabama