Hot Literature: Flea and tick control is changing. Are you?
Every dog and cat owner in North America knows that next to housetraining, the most difficult pet problems they face involve fleas and ticks. Veterinary practitioners deal with flea allergy dermatitis, flea-bite dermatitis, tick-borne diseases, and other consequences of these parasites every day.
In an article recently published in Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice, Drs. Byron Blagburn and Michael Dryden provide a comprehensive overview of flea and tick biology, treatment, and control. The article includes a detailed review of the common species, including life cycles and important aspects of their ecology. The doctors link treatment strategies to clinically practical discoveries regarding flea and tick habitat and behavior in both natural and home environments. Also included are details on the most commonly used and most recently developed flea and tick control products. A table summarizes selected individual and combination products available commercially.
Some key points the authors describe for the newer agents are included below:
Advantage (dogs and cats) — imidacloprid
Advantage Multi for Cats — imidacloprid, moxidectin
Advantage Multi for Dogs — imidacloprid, moxidectin
Capstar (dogs and cats) — nitenpyram
Comfortis (dogs) — spinosad
Frontline Plus (dogs and cats) — fipronil, methoprene
Frontline Top Spot and Frontline Spray (dogs and cats) — fipronil
K9 Advantix (dogs) — imidacloprid, permethrin
Preventic Tick Collar (dogs) — amitraz
Program (dogs and cats) — lufenuron
ProMeris for Cats — metaflumizone
ProMeris for Dogs — metaflumizone, amitraz
Proticall (dogs) — permethrin
Revolution (dogs and cats) — selamectin
Sentinel (dogs) — lufenuron, milbemycin
Vectra for Cats and Kittens — dinotefuran, pyriproxyfen
Vectra 3D (dogs) — dinotefuran, permethrin, pyriproxyfen
Virbac Long-Acting Knockout Spray (dogs) — permethrin, pyriproxyfen
Virbac Pyrethrin Dip (dogs and cats) — pyrethrins, piperonyl butoxide, n-octyl bicycloheptene, dicarboximide, di-n-propyl isocinchomeronate
This paper is a must-read, detailing pertinent flea and tick species and describing practical environmental control efforts. The overview is central to understanding why combined efforts are critical to parasite control. With so many new, effective products available to veterinarians today, it's important to tailor control programs to individual clients and households. No longer are the organophosphates and pyrethrins the only choice for frustrated pet owners. Veterinarians can combine environmental control programs with targeted user-friendly products to keep dogs, cats, and their homes protected from fleas and ticks.
Blagburn BL, Dryden MW. Biology, treatment, and control of flea and tick infestations. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 2009;39(6):1173-1200.