Tag Archive for flea control

Buyer Beware

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

About three years ago, MeoowzResQ was turned onto a discount pet medication website by another rescue. I do some of the buying for MeoowzResQ so I was asked to research this potential opportunity. Vaccination Services (their website is fleastuff.com) has a membership program and once you pay a reasonable fee, you receive a 20% additional discount on the already discounted products they sell. Sounds pretty good, right? Well, as they say, let the buyer beware.

When I first contacted this company, our main interest was for Advantage II. Their representative explained to me that Advantage and Advantage II are the same–they just updated their packaging. Trusting that the “expert” new what he was talking about, I let him sell me Advantage.

Over the next two years, we kept getting complaints from fosters that they buyer beware - all flea treatments are not the samecouldn’t get rid of fleas. I kept telling them that if they were using the Advantage as directed and vacuuming regularly, this should not be happening.

When we kept getting complaints, I started doing some research. I discovered that Advantage and Advantage II are NOT the same. Advantage II contains a growth regulator that plain Advantage does not have. This keeps hatching eggs from growing into adult fleas thus breaking the life cycle.

So, several months ago, when I placed our order, I very specifically ordered Advantage II and said, “Do not send us regular Advantage,” and have reminded them of that with every order. I had had a flea infestation and certainly did not want to have another!

Well, about three months ago, I started seeing the telltale signs. My cats were scratching. They started running across the carpet and eventually refused to be on the carpet. They would move across rooms on the furniture. They preferred to lay on the kitchen floor or other hard surfaces like the kitchen counters. Ugh!

I had been using the regular Advantage that we had been getting in the past so I went to the rescue to get some of the new Advantage II they had been getting. When I was handed a tube, it said “Advantage” on it, not Advantage II. The only ingredient listed was the pesticide. I figured this must have been an old tube but was suspicious. It was time to reorder so I asked them to keep all the packaging when the new order arrived. 

When the order arrived, I was shocked! Twelve tubes of Advantage were packaged in an Advantage II box for six tubes with a sticker placed on it that said 12 tubes. The tubes said Advantage, with the single ingredient, while the box said Advantage II with the two ingredients. 

Of course, I called the company. The gentleman again began to try to tell me they are the same. When I confronted him on the ingredients, he said, “Return it to me and I’ll give you a full refund.” When I wanted it replaced with Advantage II, he finally admitted that they don’t actually have Advantage II, only what they shipped.

So, I have been fighting another flea infestation! At least this one is fairly mild compared to the last one as I recognized the signs early. I still have not actually seen any fleas in the carpet, etc., only on the cats. During my last infestation, they were jumping all over the place, including on me!

Needless to say, we have found another, reliable source for our Advantage II. Here is an article about some other online scams to avoid: 

Seven Dog Scams to Avoid Online


Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Save Money Treating Fleas with Revolution

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

save money treating fleas with RevolutionIn our last post I told you how to save money on flea treatment by splitting large tubes of Advantage, made by Bayer, and Frontline, made by Merial. You can do the same thing and save money treating fleas with Revolution but there are a couple of differences. 

Advantage and Frontline are regulated by the EPA and are now available over the counter. Revolution, made by Zoetis, still requires a prescription and is regulated by the FDA rather than the EPA.

Although it is a little more expensive than Advantage and Frontline, Revolution helps protect your pet against a wider variety of parasites. The active ingredient in Revolution is selamectin. It works by penetrating the skin and entering your pet’s bloodstream. Concentrations of selamectin in the tissue and bloodstream prevent heartworm disease. Selamectin also redistributes into the skin from the bloodstream and kills adult fleas, American dog ticks, and ear mites, and prevents flea eggs from hatching. It is also an anthelmintic, which means it fights to expel parasitic worms. Parasites ingest the drug when they feed on the animal’s blood. Revolution is safe for pregnant and lactating pets. Revolution doesn’t have a growth regulator in it but the active ingredient in it does prevent flea eggs from hatching.

The thing I really like about Revolution is that it is quick-drying and non-greasy. If you are splitting tubes, it is imperative that you leave it in the tube it comes in and draw it from the tube with a needle as described in our previous post. The ingredient that makes it quick-drying also makes it very volatile. Once out of the tube and in a larger container, it can totally evaporate! Make sure the tube is tightly capped. I have read that it is advisable to store it in the refrigerator once opened.

The largest packet of Revolution is PLUM colored (for Extra Large Dogs) and is labeled for dogs 85.1 – 130 lbs. The volume of each dose of topical solution is 3 mL and the concentration of the drug is 120 mg/ml. THUS, each dose of PLUM Revolution for Extra Large Dogs (360 mg) can treat 24 kittens or 8 cats!

Revolution dosage chart

Please note: Veterinarians and drug manufacturers warn against tube splitting and doing so may void their liability. Some dog-only products, such as Advantix, can kill a cat. Do your own research and if you decide to split tubes be sure to:

  • Handle safely – wash your hands thoroughly after use
  • Store properly – in a cool, dark place
  • Use the appropriate dose

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Save Money on Flea Treatment

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

save money on flea treatmentDid you know you can save money on flea treatment for your cats and small dogs by purchasing the largest size package of Advantage II (Extra Large Dog – over 55 lbs.) or Frontline Plus (89-132 lbs.) for dogs and using a portion of a tube at a time? You can also use plain Advantage and Frontline the same way but these products do not contain the second ingredient that the II and Plus versions have which is a growth regulator and I cannot stress how important this is in avoiding a flea infestation.

The plain versions of these products kill adult fleas but do not stop the eggs that fall to the floor or furniture from hatching and becoming adult, biting fleas. Yes, once back on your pet the adults die, but that doesn’t stop the cycle and an adult flea can lay up to 50 eggs per day! That’s where the growth regulator comes in. It interferes with the normal growth cycle of the fleas and prevents them from becoming mature adults.

The drugs in Advantage II for Dogs and Advantage II for Cats are exactly the same drugs (Imidacloprid 9.1% and Pyriproxyfen 0.46%) at the exact same concentrations. 

Advantage II Application Guidelines:
Cats up to 9 pounds – 0.4ml

Cats 10+ pounds – 0.8ml
Dogs 11-20 pounds – 1.0ml
Dogs 21-55 pounds – 2.5ml
Dogs 55+ pounds – 4.0ml

Frontline Plus for cats contains 9.8% fipronil and 11.8% (S)-methoprene (and 78.4% inert ingredients). Frontline Plus for dogs contains 9.8% fipronil and 8.8% (S)-methoprene (and 81.4% inert ingredients). The amount of growth regulator in the dog version is LESS than in the cat version so certainly should be safe for your cat. Don’t use the cat version on your dog.

Frontline Application Guidelines:
Cats 0.5ml

Dogs 11-22 pounds – 0.67ml
Dogs 23-44 pounds – 1.34ml
Dogs 45-88 pounds – 2.68ml
Dogs 89-132 pounds – 4.0ml

Here’s How to Save Money on Flea TreatmentSave money on flea treatment. What to use and how much. Photo of bottle, syringe and flea medication.

Using the dog versions of Advantage and Frontline on cats is nothing new. You will find uninformed people on the internet saying don’t do it, but shelters and rescues have been doing it for years. That doesn’t in and of itself make it right, but it is vet approved, including by my vet.

I have found the easiest way to portion out the product if you are treating multiple animals is to empty a tube into a small (1/2 oz.) bottle with a dropper tip. You can cut off the tip to accommodate a syringe and draw up the proper amount. I prefer to draw it out this way rather than wasting what sticks to the outside of the syringe if you just stick it down into the bottle. You can then just squeeze out the syringe onto your pet. I highly recommend using a syringe for accurate measurement–this is not something you want to eyeball!

A second method, especially if you are treating only one or two pets, is to use a syringe with a needle and draw what you need directly from the tube. Remove the needle and apply to your pet.

Please note: The above information is for Advantage and Frontline only. Veterinarians and drug manufacturers warn against tube splitting and doing so may void their liability. Some dog-only products, such as Advantix, can kill a cat. Do your own research and if you decide to split tubes be sure to:

  • Handle safely – wash your hands thoroughly after use
  • Store properly – in a cool, dark place
  • Use the appropriate dose

Advantage II Extra Large Dog 6-Pack (Misc.)


List Price: $79.27 USD
New From: $56.00 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

Affiliate link banner


Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Fleas – What to do if You have an Infestation

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

A few years ago, I took care of a friend’s dog in my home while she was on vacation. The dog scratched a little but I didn’t think that much of it. The following summer, I was in for a shock and what seemed like a hopeless fight.scratching can be the first sign of a flea infestation Suddenly, I had millions of fleas and they were out of control. They were everywhere! I had a severe flea infestation! I had three indoor cats at the time who never had fleas, so I didn’t use any type of flea control on them. My poor cats were miserable while I tried everything to get rid of these horrible pests. Once you have a flea infestation, you have to attack it on multiple fronts, multiple times. You won’t win overnight! There is a stage in the life cycle of the flea (the pupa) that it is not affected by insecticides. So you may spray, dip, bathe, fog and then a few days later have fleas again as the pupae hatch.

Controlling a Flea Infestation On Your Pet

The first step is to bathe your pets to give them immediate relief. You can use a regular shampoo followed by a flea dip or just use a flea shampoo. Follow label directions carefully for the best results. If bathing is a problem like it can be with some cats, you can orally treat your pets with Capstar which will begin to kill the adult fleas within 30 minutes. Once you have the adults off of your pet, you should begin a prevention program using a pill such as Program or a spot-on. You must wait 48-72 hours after bathing to apply a spot-on treatment such as Frontline or Advantage. These products contain an insect growth regulating (IGR) ingredient which is critical in winning the war on fleas. Insect growth regulators (IGRs) are compounds that inhibit the development of immature stages of insects and disrupt the flea life cycle. While IGRs are highly lethal to immature stages of insects, they are extremely safe for mammals. Flea collars, powders and sprays are not as effective as the new pill and spot-on methods of flea control. If your flea infestation is not severe, these two steps may be all you need. If your infestation is severe with hundreds, thousands of fleas in the home attacking you as well as your pets, you need to tackle the environment as well. Environmental flea control is necessary only in cases of severe flea infestations where pets or their owners are suffering from numerous flea bites and allergic dermatitis.

In Your Environment

Vacuum your carpets and furniture, especially where pets lay, daily. A vacuum cleaner with a rotary beater bar can remove 15 to 20 percent of the larvae and 32 to 59 percent of the flea eggs in the carpet. Be sure to dispose of or freeze your bag immediately. Shampooing or steam cleaning your carpet will lift the fibers for better penetration of insecticide, if you apply one. Wash your pet’s bedding weekly along with anything else it may sleep on such as blankets or throw rugs. If you use an insecticide, apply it to carpets and surfaces. The most effective ones also contain an insect growth regulator (IGR). They come in foggers and powders.

Outdoors

If your pets go outdoors or you see fleas outside, you can spray your grass with insecticide also. Better yet, you can get nematodes that kill the flea larvae but do not harm beneficial insects. You can get them at gardening supply stores or order from the internet. They are inexpensive and easy to apply.

Alternative/Holisitic Treatments

If you think you can control a flea infestation with natural remedies, you will be in for a long fight, and like others, will probably eventually give in to the above proven methods. According to information from Kansas State University, “Controlled on-animal and off-animal studies have shown that ultrasonic flea collars and other ultrasonic devices do not repel fleas, affect jumping rates, interfere with reproduction or alter flea development. The use of brewers’ yeast, garlic, B-complex vitamins and elemental sulfur products as flea repellents is common practice. Controlled studies have shown that these materials are not effective flea repellents.”

Don’t Give Up

Remember that the pupae are not affected by insecticide so they can continue to hatch over a period of weeks. You may need to take these steps more than once, but if you continue the pill or spot-on treatment regularly, they will eventually prevent all the fleas from reaching adulthood and, therefore, there will be no new eggs. So, did I learn my lesson? You betcha! I now use a spot-on treatment every month beginning in early spring through late fall. I haven’t had a problem since.


Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Flea Control–Why are Fleas so Hard to Eradicate?

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Fleas. Do you cringe at the thought of them? Have you ever had an infestation? If not, consider yourself lucky. It is a hard battle to win once fleas get a foot hold.

Why are Fleas so Hard to Control?

The cat flea, Ctenocephalides felix, is the most commonly found flea in the US.life cycle - key to flea control It infests cats, dogs, humans, and other mammalian and avian species and lives off of the blood of these hosts.

The adult flea lives on the host animal where it lays its eggs. A single adult female flea can lay up to 50 eggs per day, as many as 500-600 eggs over several months. The eggs are not sticky so they fall off the host onto the carpet or into the furniture where they can remain for months as they continue their life cycle into larvae and pupa. The pupa is not effected by insecticides and can hatch just days after fogging or spraying.

The flea life cycle can last from a few weeks to several months, or even years, depending on environmental conditions. That’s what makes them so difficult to eradicate and why you need to use preventative measures even when you think they are under control. No one product or method is adequate to get rid of these pesky, persistent parasites once you have an infestation.

An Ounce of Prevention for Successful Flea Control

Spring is the time to start a program of prevention so that you don’t have an infestation by the end of summer. Pet owners can break the cycle of flea development and prevent future generations by killing the eggs as they are laid on the pet, or by eliminating the egg-laying adults. Several products are available that are convenient and effective.

Program is a pill for dogs or a liquid for cats that is given orally, monthly. When an adult flea bites an animal treated with this product it ingests the active ingredient (lufenuron) which passes to the eggs and prevents the eggs from hatching. Program is available only through your veterinarian. Since the flea has to bite the animal for this product to work, it would not be the one of choice for an animal that has an allergy to flea saliva.

Egg stopper collars can be effective for up to six months but may give unequal distribution over the animal. Conventional flea collars contain insecticides that kill adult fleas but have no effect on the eggs or overall life cycle. Egg stopper collars contain an insect growth regulating (IGR) ingredient (methoprene or pyriproxyfen) which prevents the eggs from hatching. Some brands are available only through your veterinarian. There are also retail versions available — just be sure they contain methoprene or pyriproxyfen.

flea controlMost people are familiar with, and prefer using, spot-on topical treatments like Advantage and Frontline. A treatment is applied to the skin between the shoulder blades once a month. Before choosing one for your pet, there are some differences to consider so do some research. Some products control only adults, others control the larvae and still others kill ticks as well.

Whatever method you choose, the earlier you start in the spring the better!

Helpful Links

Life Cycle of the Flea

Understanding the Flea Life Cycle


Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
%d bloggers like this: