Written by Stephanie C.
It’s winter, except here in good ‘ol South Florida. There is a myth going around that domesticated pets don’t need to use flea prevention during the winter months because the fleas can’t survive in the cold. This statement does have some truth to it, but not here in Florida.
The pupal stage of the flea can last anywhere between three days to one full year. During a flea infestation, with correct medication usage, the fleas can be controlled usually within three months. Unfortunately, fleas will never “disappear” overnight.
The important part of understanding why pets need to be on flea prevention year round is the lifecycle of the flea. A diagram that explains the flea lifecycle in its entirety is: http://www.trifexis.com/about-parasites/about-fleas/flea-lifecycle.aspx
Cold environments can cause the eggs to perish before hatching. Because of South Florida weather, we don’t see long enough cold spells to diminish the flea population.
So, how do you know which flea prevention is best for your pet? There are so many different types of prevention now that it can be very overwhelming. I’ll try to simplify all of the different brands and types.
Oral versus Topical Prevention:
There are two basic categories, oral and topical. One does not necessarily work better than the other, but it also comes down to personal preference. Here’s a comparison of both.
|Oral Prevention||Topical Prevention|
|Once given orally, you know the pet received all of the medication.||Must be applied directly to the skin where the pet cannot lick it off.|
|Can bathe the pet at any time.||Must wait 24-48 hours before bathing the pet.|
|May cause the pet to vomit. In this case, you should contact the brand of the product to see if you should re-dose or not.||Once it’s applied, it’s on the pet.|
Comfortis is the only flea-only prevention. All of the others include either heartworm, tick or intestinal parasite prevention. Here’s a simple breakdown of the types of flea prevention and what they also include: (This list is limited to the brands that we carry here at TLC Animal Hospital.)
|Advantage Multi||Topical||Fleas, Heartworm, Roundworm, Hookworm, Whipworm, also controls sarcoptic mange||Once a month|
|Bravecto||Oral||Fleas and 4 Tick Species||Once every 3 months|
|Comfortis||Oral||Fleas||Once a month|
|Frontline Tritak||Topical||Fleas, Ticks, Chewing Lice||Once a month|
|NexGard||Oral||Fleas, Ticks||Once a month|
|Sentinel Spectrum||Oral||Fleas, Heartworm, Whipworm, Hookworm, Roundworm, Tapeworm||Once a month|
|Trifexis||Oral||Fleas, Heartworm, Hookworm, Roundworm, Whipworm||Once a month|
|Frontline||Topical||Fleas||Once a month|
|Advantage II||Topical||Fleas, Flea Larvae, Flea Eggs||Once a month|
Every pet has different needs so some medications may not work while others work well. Feel free to call our clinic to find out which flea prevention works best for your pet and don’t forget that fleas live year round here.