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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

"That Flea Medicine Isn't Working!"

This time of the year it's a daily occurrence to talk to my clients about flea control. Here in the southeast US we have a lot of fleas, especially during the warm weather, so flea prevention is a necessity. Without using it, you're just asking for flea problems. However, many clients apply one dose, a week later see fleas, and complain that it isn't working. Last year I wrote an entry about flea control, which I wanted to remind everyone about (right here). But here's a quick review...

*A single dose of flea prevention will NOT get rid of your flea problem.

*Fleas have to jump on the pet in order to be affected by the topical preventions.

*You have to treat the house and yard in order to completely control the problem.

*Every pet in the house must be treated.

*You can't bathe your pet too often or you will cause the product to work less effectively.

*Once you start seeing fleas it will take you several months to get the problem under control.

*Flea medications work best as prevention, before you see fleas.

So basically you need to use the topical products from your vet very consistently every single month, treat the environment, and avoid overbathing. All of the current veterinary products (Frontline, Advantage, K9 Advantix, Vectra, etc.) are indeed effective, but must be used regularly and appropriately in order to work. Don't give up after a single dose!


  1. Bullet point number 4: "*Every pet in the house must be treated."

    Does this mean I need to treat my pet goldfish in order to keep fleas under control?

  2. Yep, be sure to use Advantage on those fishies! ;)

  3. :P Actually, birds could get fleas, couldn't they? Do you ever have to worry about that?

  4. Fleas will prefer other species, but yes, birds can get them. I'm not aware of any flea products safe for them.

    Though not approved for the species, the small cat Advantage has been used safely and effectively on rabbits, guinea pigs, and ferrets.

  5. I am treating all 3 of my animals with Advantage (2 cats, 1 dog) every other week and still having to flea comb them almost every night. I am in Central Florida. Believe me, without the Advantage, it would be waaaaaaay worse, but still, I can't believe how bad they are this year. We're hoping for an early winter!

  6. When I got my dog she didn't have fleas. There are no other animals in the house & I put Frontline Plus on her immediatly. This is her second month of treatment (I put the med. on two days before the month was up) and she is still COVERED! HELP!

  7. My parent's dog has an autoimmune disorder from flea bathing & flea treatments. My dog (I live in another city) has fleas & I've been using Frontline Plus regularly but it isnt working. Im afriad/dont know what else to do. I know autoimmune disorders are rare, but it is a huge concern for me. What else can I do?


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