How do I chose which flea product to use? There’s just so many!

How do I chose which flea product to use? There’s just so many!
By Ashley O’Driscoll, Veterinarian, Anexa FVC Ngaruawahia

How long do I want the flea treatment last? Most flea treatments are monthly, but a lot of people find it difficult to remember every month. Extended treatments are available for both dogs and cats. There is a vet-only, waterproof flea collar for dogs and cats that lasts 8 months (note, the Seresto collar is the ONLY effective flea collar). Additionally, there are spot-ons that you can get that last 3 months (cats) or 6 months (dogs).

How do I want to give the flea treatment? Some people prefer giving their animals tasty chews, while others prefer spot-on liquid. Chews can be a problem for the odd picky animal, or for the rare animal with allergies to the ingredients. Spot-on liquids can sometimes leave a greasy stain, may temporarily delay bath-time or swim-time, and the occasional animal may develop a mild skin irritation. The Seresto flea collar does not suit animals who are likely to get the collar caught and broken/lost.

Do I want to treat for worms or ticks at the same time? Only a few types of flea products contain de-worming products or are licensed for ticks. Also bear in mind that most of the flea/worm combination treatments do not kill tapeworm (the worm that your animal will get from eating fleas).
Is my animal allergic to fleas? Some animals get INTENSE itching from just a couple of fleas. These animals have ‘flea allergy dermatitis’ (FAD) and should be treated with a product licensed to treat FAD.

And remember, the flea products that your veterinary clinic carries come supported by a lot of research. There is no guarantee that a supermarket flea product will do a complete job. Even if the drug contained in the product is the same, there is no guarantee that it will spread over the skin or through the body in the same way as a vet-only product.


Date Added: Saturday, 1st September 2018


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