Recommendations for Flea
In recent years there has
been a revolution in the world of flea control. Smelly sprays, choking powders,
collars that slipped off, ineffective shampoos and dips that smelled like
they were taken from a toxic waste dump are all things of the past. The modern
way to treat and prevent flea infestations are medicines that are given or
applied to your dogs and cats once a month. Below we'll review the best of
these and tell you which we think you ought to use.
Advantage was first released for use in the US in 1996.
It is a chemical that depresses the nervous system of fleas so deeply that
the flea dies. Within 24 hours of application Advantage has killed
98% of all fleas on your pet; within another day all the fleas are dead and
new fleas are continually killed for a month. Advantage comes in a small
squeeze vial that is squirted between your pet's shoulder
For a few hours after application the area where Advantage
has been applied is sticky and if you touch the area you might pick up some
of the chemical. After that the chemical is absorbed into the skin and touching
(or kissing) your dog will not expose you to the drug.
Although routine shampoos and swimming won't remove
Advantage from your pet's skin, shampooing your pet with a very sudsy shampoo
and working the shampoo on your pet's coat very vigorously can remove the
Advantage and allow fleas to infest your pet.
The flea does not need to bite your pet to be killed
Although not licensed for it, reports from our clients
do indicate that Advantage seems to kill ticks in their cats.
Advantix combines the flea killing power of Advantage
with the tick repellant and killer, Permethrin.
The great thing about Advantix in our area is that
not only does it kill ticks but it repells them too. Therefore you won't
often see a living or dead tick on your dog if you apply Advantix
Unfortunately since cats are very sensitive to permethrins,
Advantix can't be used on cats.
Frontline (Top Spot)
FrontLine was released in late 1996. It is a nerve
stimulant. It speeds up the flea's nervous system so that the flea gets very
agitated (you don't want to be around an agitated flea!), and finally "burn
out". You apply FrontLine the same way as you apply Advantage, by squeezing
the little tube and applying the liquid between your pet's shoulder blades.
FrontLine also kills ticks.
As with Advantage, the skin will remain wet for a short
period of time and if you touch the area you may be exposed to the
Because the drug is bitter, if you place the medication
where your cat's tongue can reach it you might see your cat foam at the mouth
for a little while. This is not serious, it is just your cat's way of getting
the bitter alcohol (which the drug is dissolved in) taste out of its
Since FrontLine speeds up the fleas' metabolism the
fleas get more active before they die. Therefore you may actually notice
the fleas more after you've applied this medication than before you apply
it. After a day or so, the fleas will die and you will not see any more for
Which Product Should You Use?
After 8 years of using these products and talking
to our clients, hearing their success stories (and their complaints) we feel
that Advantage is by far the best all around product for your cat and Advantix
for your dog. We would love to recommend FrontLine because it kills ticks
in addition to fleas which is great for cats. However we have had too many
clients complain that their pets still had lots of fleas when they were using
If ticks are still a problem
for your dog we suggest you use a Preventic collar in addition to the
If ticks are also a problem
for your cat we suggest you use FrontLine which is the easiest product to
use for the prevention of ticks on your cat. Since cats are such good groomers
and typically have smaller flea burdens than dogs you may find that FrontLine
is enough for good flea and tick control.
If you need more information about any of these products here
are some links to the manufacturer's home pages for the specific
|Fleas and Ticks
||Advantix and perhaps
a Preventic Collar
||FrontLine or Advantage
|Inside pet, few fleas
|No fleas, just prevention
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The only thing good we can say about flea collars is...they're cheap.
The problem is that "You get what you pay for!".
Here's the lowdown: Flea collars do kill fleas. However they do it
slowly. It takes about 4 days for a flea
collar to kill a flea. In that amount of time, the flea has laid about 400
eggs. Then mom and dad flea die. Now 2 weeks later 400 newly hatched fleas
jump onto Fido or Mittens. The flea collar again kills the newly acquired
fleas....in another 4 days. During those 4 days the new fleas have laid another
80,000 eggs (400 fleas=200 females x 100 eggs a day x 4 days). Soon you have
My advice....stay away from flea
If your pet has fleas you MUST treat the house to eliminate the problem.
Treating your pet alone will not do the trick.
Flea eggs can lie dormant in your house for up to one
year, giving you a year long "time release" flea infestation.
For every one flea you see on your pet there
are 100 times as many in the house.
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