Flea treatment in dogs, emergence of new drugschemicals and how demands fluctuate around it

Fleas constitute a nuisance to humans and their pets; and when not given immediate attention can cause medical problems including flea allergy dermatitis (FAD), secondary skin irritations, tapeworms and, in severe cases anemia. Dog flea (Ctenocephalides canis) is one of the known ectoparasites of dogs that has been in existence longer than we know. The small dark brown insect is able to survive temperatures as high as 85°f (35°C) and low as 35°f (3°C) with an optimum humidity of 70 percent. Dog fleas like most other fleas are wingless so dogs get infested most often through contact with other dogs or contact in a flea infested environment. A new way of handling flea infestation in dogs has always been a major concern for scientists, veterinarians and, of course, pet owners. There are hundreds of products (chemical formulations) used in the prevention and control of fleas.

Popular brands of topically used flea control and prevention products includes K9 Advantix(Imidacloprid and permethrin), Advantage(Imidacloprid), Frontline(Fipronil), Bio spot(Permethrin), Defend EXspot( Permethrin), Nylar(Pyriproxifen), Promeris(metaflumizone), Revolution(Selamectin) and Vectra 3D(dinotefuran &Permethrin). All these are formulated to be applied as a spot-on, spray, dab-on and or aerosol.

The oral and/or chewable formulation includes Capstar(nitenpyram), Proban(Cythioate), Program(Lufenuron), Sentinel(Lufenuron) and the new COMFORTIS(Spinosad).

Other formulation types are collars, shampoos and powders which are known to be economical to average pet owners.

Looking at all of the brands of parasiticides, a line of distinction could be drawn as to which is most effective, safer and or economical. The commonly used formulation types like the collars, shampoos and powders seem to be loosing their acceptance even though it is cost effective, as pet owners put it. Most times the tablets and topical solutions do not offer a long lasting effect. A lot of time is devoted to shampoo baths and powder applications, all with no enjoyment by the pet and the owners. In addition pets sometimes swallow and inhale these products and there could be danger of toxicity resulting from the absorption into the skin and contact with the eyes. As the demand for the topical products is on the increase, pet owners begin to wonder which is most effective out of them all. When Frontline entered the scene, it was widely accepted. Thereafter came several others like Bio Spot, Revolution, K9 Advantix, Promeris, Vectra 3D and many not listed here. Advantage was introduce earlier into the market before Frontline but its advantage did nothing special, thus paving the way for Frontline to take the front line. So what happen? The manufacturer introduced another ingredient synergistically increasing the efficacy of Advantage. Now that manufacturers have taken to synergy, how will they all differ? Which is most effective considering that some of these products portray nearly the same active ingredient? They are in popular demand by pet owners because of their safety use, effectiveness and low toxicity. Some are highly recommended by the veterinarians themselves. So what motivates the pet owners demand? Could it be because some of these products are indicated in just more than fleas or solely for the effectiveness?

As the topical products gain more popularity among pets lovers than the counterpart shampoos, collars, pills/tablet (chewable), a new brand of drug is being introduced into the market soon!

Last year came the following:

Comfortis(Spinosad): Indicated for prevention and treatment of flea infestation solely in dogs and specifically against Ctenocephalides felis. Given orally once a month at a recommended minimum dosage of 13.5mg/lb (30mg/kg). Promeris: Apply once a month as spot-on for flea and tick control. Vectra 3D: Apply once a month as spot-on for flea, tick and mosquito control.

Note: Before using some of the chemicals/drugs mentioned above, you should consult your local veterinarian. Your veterinarian will tell you how age, breeds, species and the health status of the animal plays a role in the different drugs/chemical. Otherwise read label instructions and review the status of your pets before medication.