Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Understanding Flea and Tick Prevention

When you have a pet, protecting your animal against fleas and ticks come with the territory. These pests can not only make your dog miserable and invade your house, but they can also cause health problems such as anemia, skin allergies, Lyme disease, and other infections. Various products exist to keep your pet free from fleas and ticks, including Frontline Plus, K-9 Advantix, and Advantage. Each of these medicines is water-proof, but you should bathe your pet before the application and then wait for several days afterward before allowing it to swim or bathe.

Frontline Plus has two active ingredients, fipronil and (S)-methoprene. These kill flea eggs and larvae. With Frontline Plus, you apply the medication once a month to protect your pet from fleas and ticks until the next application. Frontline works to eliminate adult fleas within 24 hours and ticks within two days. It will also effectively destroy lice in about 48 hours.

Although Advantage will eradicate fleas and lice, it does not address ticks. Advantage has only one pesticide, possibly reducing its effectiveness. With Advantage, 90 percent of all fleas die within 12 hours of application, whereas Frontline Plus kills 100 percent of adult fleas within 18 hours and 100 percent of all ticks within 48 hours.

Made by Bayer, K-9 Advantix treats fleas, ticks, lice, and mosquitoes. Like Frontline Plus, K-9 Advantix contains two pesticides. However, these pesticides are stronger than the ones used in Frontline Plus. In fact, K-9 Advantix is lethal to cats, and children should avoid your pet for several days after an application of K-9 Advantix.

With all three medicines, you should not administer them to dogs under eight weeks old, and you must choose the dosage amount based on your pet’s weight. You can also give Frontline Plus to pregnant and lactating dogs.

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