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Dog Flea Treatment and Control

Posted May 14 2012 10:01pm


The first step to dog flea control is to familiarise yourself with all the different flea pet meds available, and learn how they work to control these pests. There three main categories of products: collars, topicals (spot on) and oral medicines.

Flea Collars

The original flea control product is the collar. Introduced in 1964, these collars were just about the only way to control fleas in pets for decades. They are still widely popular in Australia, as they are regarded safe. However, their effectiveness has been sometimes been in question. Flea collars work by slowly releasing a small amount of chemical that gradually spreads across your pet’s fur. As you might imagine, the area of fur closest to the collar gets the most protection, and the areas furthest away gets the least. This uneven application of the insecticide can results in pets getting bitten toward the rear and underside. Some pets may also develop a rash close to where the collar is secured. A big benefit of flea collars, however, is that they are effective at stopping tick bites, as ticks usually attack around head, neck and ears.

Flea ‘Spot On’ Medications

The major breakthrough in flea treatment came with the advent of topicals or ‘spot on’ medications. These are liquid pet medications that are applied with a drop or two to your pet’s back. Examples of spot on treatments include Advantage, Frontline, Advantix, Advocate and Revolution. All are very effective at controlling fleas and ticks, while Revolution also claims to rid your dog of various types of worms including heartworm. Usually topicals used by themselves will not completely control a pest problem; they work well in conjunction w?th chemicals like methoprene, which are applied to your pet’s environment to stop adult parasites from developing from larvae. Topicals should first be prescribed by your local veterinarian, but following this it should be fine to restock over the counter.

Oral Flea Medicines

Oral flea medications come in pill or liquid form and work from the inside out. They allow the pesticide to come out through the pet’s skin and can effectively kill fleas and ticks also. These medicines have a slower effect when compared with topicals, and depending on the dosage typically lasts for days or weeks to control fleas on your dog. Some orals also help control fleas by making the female flea infertile aids in eliminating fleas long term. Popular oral flea treatments include Program, Capstar ?nd Hartz

So What Is The Answer?

It seems that for most pet owners in Australia, ‘spot ons’ are the most popular method to get rid of dogs fleas, ticks and worms. One concern for those with young families is the possible effect of topicals in infants and toddlers if they are in regularly contact with the pesticide by cuddling and petting the animal. However, if there are no small children around, then topicals might be one of the best bets when coupled with an environment pest control agent such methoprene or other commetially available flea spays. Flea collars are still a viable alternative and are easily purchased from pet suppliers and supermarkets such as coles or woolies, and have the added benefit of better tick protection. In any case make sure to consult your local veterinarian initially, they should be able to provide you with up-to-date information on the latest products, options and recommendations that suit your individual pets flea problem and location.

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