It is important that your dog receive flea control year round, just as we recommend year round heartworm and internal parasite control.
Two newer products have entered the world of flea control which is the next giant leap in treatment and prevention. Flea control used to be a horrific ordeal with a client needing to attack all three sides of the flea control triangle -- pet, yard, and house.
Spray, powders, bathes, dips, bombs, collars, yard sprays were all necessary to deal with the scourge of flea infestation. Then along came Frontline and a few years later Advantage. These were a giant leap in flea control.
To some degree, they both worked great. Frontline was and is effective against ticks. Additives, a permethrin, had to be added to Advantage to affect ticks. We have never been a fan of the Advantage line of products and do not recommend them. Over the year, talk began about the fact that the topical began to lose their effectiveness. We did see pets with more fleas than one might expect on a Frontline treated pet.
There is still no definitive knowledge that resistance has developed to Frontline, but one begins to wonder. Merial, the Frontline manufacturer, came out with an enhanced Frontline, which makes one suspicious that they too are worried about resistance.
Now, the next giant leap for mankind in the great war on fleas has occurred.
Comfortis the once a month flea control pill containing the chemical Spinosid, means no more topical application. Comfortis is a flea control pill only and can be used in conjunction with any once a month heartworm medication. The companion product to Comfortis is Trifexis. Trifexis is a combination monthly tablet that prevents heartworm and kills adult fleas. Both tabs work great with little to know side effects.
The good news is the Trifexis is cheaper than the combination of heartworm medication and Frontline. We still recommend Heartgard Plus for heartworm and Frontline for flea and tick control, but encourage you to consider either Comfortis or Trifexis.
Neither of the new products is effective against ticks, so during the spring and summer we recommend that you use Frontline or a new collar called Scalibor. Scalibor has six-month efficacy in repelling ticks and mosquitoes, killing ticks, and providing a small degree of flea control. It is easily applied, of course.
Safe for the animals and family. It does not wash off. So the combination of Trifexis and Scalibor appears to be the best alternative for heartworm, flea, and tick control.
Dr. Robert Esplin, a 1970 graduate of Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, owns SylvaniaVET hospital at 4801 N Holland-Sylvania Rd. He writes a periodic column for ourtownsylvania.com and accepts all pet-related questions for it through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.