There are many options out in the market when it comes to treating your pet for fleas. More likely than not you've seen the classic flea collars sold at the market, or over the counter packs of flea medications in both markets and flea stores, we're also sure you've heard of big brand names such as Frontline, Advantage, Advantix and Frontline Plus.
With so many different medications for treatment, we understand that choosing a treatment that is right for your pet, can be difficult. This page will provide some information to consider when choosing a monthly flea treatment, and also provide you with specific brands of flea treatments as well their websites if available. If there are any questions about any of these medications, do not hesitate to call your veterinarian.
Not at all the recommended choice for flea prevention. Collars are not as effective as most topical monthly treatments and have been known to be coated with harmful chemicals.
Over the Counter Market Brand Topicals
Like flea collars, Hartz Flea & Tick products are also not recommended. As well as not being very effective, this brand has had a reputation of being toxic to animals.
Although flea shampoo works well to kill and get rid of fleas that are currently on the pet, it will not work to prevent more from jumping on and staying on and continuing to feed. Giving or getting your pet a bath with flea shampoo (also known as a 'flea dip') could be a good idea if you've noticed an infestation, to remove what fleas are already on your pet. Just bear in mind that most topicals do require a 2-3 day waiting period post-bath before applying; it allows the natural oils of the skin to replenish so that the medication can spread by means of those oils.
Capstar is another great way to immediately remove an infestation of fleas living on a pet. Once the medication (an oral tablet) is given, the fleas begin to die and fall off within 30 minutes. As effective as the medication is, however, it is not a full once-a-month treatment.
Over the Counter Flea Meds (Now Sold at Petco/ Petsmart)
These are two of the most popular flea medications out on the market. They've been around for years and many people still continue to give their dogs and cats these topicals every month. Just recently these medications have gone over-the-counter (you no longer need a prescription from your veterinarian to buy it) and so we no longer carry these in stock at our clinic.
The efficacy on these products has been very here-and-there in the most recent months. As with any treatment used against pests, over a long period of time the pests begin to become more resistant towards these repellents. It can be good to switch up the medications every now again to keep those fleas on their toes!
Flea Meds Sold by Prescription or at a Vets Office Only
These two are the most popular as far as oral flea medication goes. Comfortis is a once a month tablet that treats only fleas. Trifexis is also a once a month tablet except it treats fleas, intestinal parasites (worms), as well as serves as a heartworm preventative. Both these oral preventatives are great options for homes with children; it eliminates the worry that a child may hug or kiss the pet after having the topical applied and accidentally ingest it or get it on their skin which can be very irritating.
Revolution is one of the top topical flea and heartworm treatments. Just like the oral medication Trifexis, Revolution treats fleas, helps prevent against heartworm and treats against intestinal parasites. It is applied monthly right against the skin between the shoulder blades. This medication spreads through the oils of the skin to completely cover and protect your pet. We generally advise not to bathe the pet 2-3 days before or after you apply the medication. Revolution offers treatment in almost all pet sizes; from the little ones under 5 pounds to the just slightly bigger ones of 130lb and over. (:
Vectra treats fleas and ticks and repels mosquito's (helping prevent against mosquito bites which can lead to heart worm). A neat thing that Vectra does is that since it also works in the oils of the skin, whenever a pet sheds dead skin cells in their environment (bedding and such), the medication goes with the cells and remains active. In this process Vectra actually helps treat areas in the home where fleas may reside as well as treating the pet itself. Vectra does not have heart worm medication in it and so if you are wanting to treat for heart worm as well a separate medication is required. (See the heart worm page)