What product do you recommend to kill fleas on my dog?
We recommend the use of 5 products.
Comfortis is a tablet that can be given to dogs from 14 weeks and older. It is important that the tablet is given with food or the dog can vomit. Comfortis works for 4 weeks (we do find the dog can get the odd flea in the 4th week and if you have a problem then give Comfortis every 3 weeks). It is not affected by washing or swimming. It is not recommended for pregnant bitches.
Panoramis is a tablet with the same ingredient as Comfortis to kill fleas but also has a product that prevents heartworm.
Revolution is a spot-on that is applied once a month.
Advantage – this is a spot-on that is applied once a month. We are starting to see some resistance to this medication by some fleas so we recommend the owners monitor the animal closely.
Advocate – this contains the same product as Advantage but also contains other products to prevent heartworm.
I have been to a vet who recommends Sentinel for fleas – do you recommend this product?
No we do not. Sentinel contains a product that prevents the flea egg from hatching but Sentinel does NOT kill fleas. If you want to combine Sentinel with another product that kills fleas then we do recommend that. In this case you are using Sentinel to stop any flea not killed from breeding. But if the animal is on Sentinel only – then the flea needs to die from old age.
I have heard of a product that kills fleas for 24 hours. Can you tell me what it is called?
It is called Capstar and it certainly kills fleas for 24 hours but it does not work longer than that. It is recommended on dogs and cats who have been somewhere and have picked up a few fleas and you want to prevent your home from being contaminated. Give a Capstar and usually within an hour all the fleas are dead.
If I wash my dog once a week, will the spot on (Advantage, Advocate or Revolution) last for the whole month?
This is an area of contention – the manufacturers of the product will say that their product is “water fast” and washing will not affect their product. BUT in our opinion most spot-ons are dramatically affected by washing and depending on the shampoo used it will depend on whether the product continues to kill fleas or ticks. If the owner is using a detergent shampoo (most shampoos are detergent based) then the spot on will be removed nearly straight away. If the owner is using a surfactant based shampoo (we only sell surfactant shampoos) then the product is slightly removed.
It is our opinion that an animal washed once a week even with a “good shampoo” will not get more that 2 weeks out of their flea spot-on.
If I live in a house that has fleas – how long will the place be contaminated if I use Comfortis regularly?
We recommend owners continue to use flea control at least once a month for 12 months. But during that 12 months owners should regularly monitor their animal and treat more heavily if they see fleas. For the total program we recommend owners come and talk to one of our animal health professionals.
Can fleas live on human blood?
No they cannot. They can live on dogs’ or cats’ blood but cannot live on humans’ blood. They will try to bite humans if they are very hungry and some humans show severe reactions to flea bites but the flea cannot survive on humans.
Can I give Comfortis after I have used Frontline or Advantage on my dog?
Yes you can. The way these products work within the dog or on the dog is not common to each other and there should be no cross reactive problems.