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Q&A: Ineffective Flea Treatment

| Filed under: Q&AHealthDogTipsDr. Patrick Mahaney

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Anyone who has pets has to worry about fleas and ticks.

Usually, it's just a matter of treating them… but what if that treatment stops being so effective?

Dr. Patrick Mahaney is here to the rescue, and to answer TeddyHilton.com reader, Angela's question.

Hi Teddy!

What does your vet recommend for flea control?

We have two malti-poos approximately 12 and 15 lbs each. We have been using Frontline plus for the last 4 years and until recently it worked fine.

However, the last few months, it hasn't had the same effectiveness as before. We have noticed that it only lasts about two to three weeks when it used to last 30 days.

Can you recommend another brand that works better?

Thank you!

Angela

Dr. Patrick responded:

Hello Angela,

Thank you for your question. Many pet owners ask for suggestions as to the best flea control for their pet. Unfortunately, there is no once correct answer.

I don't suggest the use of over the counter flea products, as such products (in my experience) are more commonly seen in adverse reactions.

Also, it is best that your veterinarian advises you on the most appropriate product to you on your dogs. Frontline is an effective anti-parasite treatment for fleas and ticks. Advantage provides effective topical flea control, while Comfortis offers the same but is oral.

Occasionally, there is failure of a product to work effectively if it is not applied correctly. Make sure to apply the product approximately 48 hours post-bathing (or at least 48 hrs before) and in a "strip" between the shoulder blades. Just make sure that the location to which it is applied is not within reach of your dog (or your other pets or kids).

Ideally, you can reduce your pet's reliance on anti-parasite treatments by reducing their exposure. Avoid environments where there is a heavy flea/tick population. Frequently put your hands on your pet, and use a flea comb or separate hairs down to the skin to look for fleas, flea dirt (flea feces, which is your pet's blood that appears like "pepper flakes" on the skin), or ticks.

Additionally, keep your home thoroughly vacuumed and empty the canister/throw away the bag in a trash bag outside of your home. As flea eggs can hatch into larvae and emerge into adults inside a vacuum bag, don't just put your vacuum back into the closet. Finally, wash your pets' and your bedding at least on a weekly basis, then put the cloth items into the dryer.

Good luck with controlling external parasites on your pet and in your home.

Dr PM

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