THE SUMMER BATTLE OF THE FLEAS
The time is upon us again and the fleas are back. There has been much attention devoted to this subject since this can be a never ending problem for the pet owner. This time last year I discussed the newest in flea control products on the market. Outdoor biological flea control-Interrupt, the once-a-month flea control pill-Program, and insect growth regulators (IGR’s) were the most popular products discussed in detail.
The most recent item on the market today for the control of adult fleas is Advantage produced by Bayer. Advantage is a new generation of flea control for dogs and cats that impairs the nervous system of the flea upon contact. It is applied on the skin at the base of the head on cats and between the shoulder blades on the dog. Advantage is selectively toxic to the flea since fleas have a greater number of the nerve receptors that this product affects then do other insects or vertebrates (dogs and cats). It is a very safe product and can be used with most any other flea control product if so desired by the owner. The flea does not have to bite the pet in order for it to work which is a terrific management tool for those animals with a flea allergy and it is approximately 98-100% effective within 24 hours of application. It will continue to work for up to four weeks and then it is reapplied to the pet. This product is spread at the hair root level to cover the whole body and is not absorbed by the bloodstream or internal organs, therefore the owner must keep in mind that bathing or swimming may decrease the residual activity of Advantage. For this reason, it is best to apply this product following shampooing or swimming. Also, it may be used on puppies and kittens over four months of age and there are no known side effects of using Advantage on your pet if they are pregnant or nursing. It is also wise for the pet owner in our area of the country to keep in mind that as with heartworm prevention, flea control should be addressed throughout the year. This is simply because our winters are usually very mild and houses stay warm, thereby allowing the flea to continue with their pesky little life. Ask your veterinarian about this new innovative product and consider using Advantage in our war against this worrisome pest.