Vets typically prescribe a variety of flea medications to treat and prevent infestations. The most common medications used are topical treatments, oral medications, collars, and spot-ons.
Topical treatments come in the form of sprays or spot-on treatments applied either between the shoulder blades or on the nape of the neck for maximum effectiveness. These products contain insect growth regulators (IGRs) that inhibit female fleas from reproducing or adult fleas from mating and laying eggs. Examples include Frontline Plus, Advantage II, Vectra 3D, Select Spotlight, or Comfortis.
Oral medications such as Program Suspension, Capstar tablets, Lufenuron granules (Program), Nitenpyram (Capstar), and Spinosad capsules (Comfortis) work by directly targeting the insects’ digestive systems killing them within several hours of taking it.
Collars such as Seresto for cats and dogs have been designed to slowly release medication into your pet’s skin over time. They provide protection from fleas and ticks for up to eight months at a time.
Spot-on treatments like Revolution require much less effort to administer than regular topical solutions as they can be done all at once every month instead of weekly or biweekly doses while providing coverage against heartworm disease and parasites including roundworms, hookworms, ear mites in cats—all apart from fleas.
Given the different applications available depending on your pet’s lifestyle vets will pick whichever one is best suited towards those needs ensuring that your furry friends won’t get another pesky flea infestation anytime soon!
Introduction to Flea Medication & Why it is Used
Flea medication is a medication used to protect and prevent fleas on animals. It may come in the form of tablets, topical solutions, shampoos, spot-ons, oral drops, and injections. The veterinarian will decide the best flea medication for your pet depending on various factors such as the species of pet, age, pre-existing medical conditions (if any), and level of risk.
One of the most common questions that veterinarians get asked is which flea medication they use to protect their pets from fleas. Flea medications are divided into two categories: prescription medications https://www.seresto-collar.com/ and over-the-counter products. Prescription medications tend to be stronger than over-the-counter products but are more expensive and require authorization from a vet before use. Over-the-counter products are inexpensive but need to be carefully monitored by owners due to varying efficacy against different flea types.
Regardless of the choice of product, it is important for an owner to understand why these medications are prescribed in order to take appropriate action against a flea infestation. Fleas can transmit various diseases such as tapeworms, cause allergic reactions in animals leading to skin irritation and inflammation, as well as proliferate quickly if not treated correctly. This is why it’s so important for owners to consult with their veterinary team about using flea prevention medications for their pets.
Different Types of Flea Medications
There are a variety of flea medications available for cats and dogs, ranging from topical treatments to oral medications. Topical treatments are applied directly to the animal’s skin and dissolve into the coat, killing adult fleas within 12 hours. Oral medications like Comfortis and Capstar are administered orally via tablets or caplets to kill adult fleas before they lay eggs, as well as other parasites like roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms. Injectable medications such as ProMeris Duo is the only injectable medication that provide effective flea control for up to 4 months and kills both adult fleas and eggs.
Lastly, environmental sprays are used around pet areas which kill fleas by disrupting their development cycle. These products can sometimes act as repellents rather than an actual treatment so its important to take note on how long these products will remain effective before reapplication is necessary.
It’s important to make an informed decision when selecting a flea medication, especially when consulting with your veterinarian about medication for your pet. Be sure to discuss all potential side effects beforehand, including potential interactions with other medications.
Top Recommended and Prescribed Flea Medications by Vets
When it comes to flea medication, vets usually prescribe the following: Frontline Plus, Bravecto, Advantage II, and Revolution.
Frontline Plus is a topical medication that is applied between your pet’s shoulders in one spot. It’s efficient against fleas and ticks and continues working for up to 30 days after application. It is also safe for pets over 8 weeks old and can be used on pregnant or lactating animals safely.
Bravecto is an oral medication that works for up to 3 months for both dogs and cats. It also treats lice infestations too and only needs to be given once every 12 weeks.
Advantage II is a topical solution that works fast against fleas while also preventing further infestations by killing flea eggs before they hatch. This product provides protection from fleas but not ticks or other parasites like some other products do.
Finally, Revolution is a topical medication designed to prevent heartworms, external parasites like fleas and ticks, intestinal worms and mites while being safe enough to use on puppies as young as 6 weeks old. This product only needs to be applied once per month making it very convenient.
Potential Side Effects and Warnings
It is important to be aware of the potential side effects and warnings that can come when using flea medication. Your veterinarian should discuss the possible side effects with you, especially if your pet has existing health conditions such as diabetes or heart problems.
Typically, mild side effects are not cause for alarm. Signs such as hair loss, lethargy, and skin irritation may go away on their own within a few days without medical care. Severe signs of an allergic reaction—such as difficulty breathing, excessive drooling or vomiting, swelling or hives—require immediate medical attention.
In addition to discussing the potential risks associated with flea medication, it’s important to consider the product expiration date and stay up to date on recalls and product warnings issued by the manufacturer regarding their flea control products. It’s also important to use flea medications carefully according to directions from your veterinarian in order to maximize effectiveness and reduce exposure-related problems for you, your family, and your pet.