Mandate, rather than encourage, parasite prevention

Mandate, rather than encourage, parasite prevention

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Feb 22, 2011

Dr. Byron Blagburn would like veterinarians  to mandate parasite control strategies when educating their clients about fleas and heartworms, not merely suggest or simply encourage product administration.

Speaking at the Western Veterinary Conference today, Dr. Blagburn said that because of client compliance and individual product performance challenges, year-round administration of flea and heartworm preventive products is crucial. “When veterinarians mandate, clients listen,” Dr. Blagburn said. “When veterinarians only make suggestions, owners have an out.”

Veterinarians should also mandate annual testing for heartworm infection in dogs, and if adulticidal treatment is needed, find a way to make it more affordable if necessary,  because “slow kill” treatment methods should not be used.

Dr. Blagburn also outlined the components of successful flea control, which include

  • Eliminating adult fleas
  • Reducing environmental flea life stages
  • Minimizing flea egg production or combine an adulticide with an insect growth regulator or insect development inhibitor
  • Using agents with repellent and flushing effects
Therefore, veterinarians need to understand flea product attributes well in order to explain product performance to clients and to implement remedial strategies as needed.