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The Control of Fleas St Anne’s Veterinary Group

Fleas can be tricky customers, due to the complexity of their life cycle and resistance to insecticides. The fleas seen on your pet are, in fact, only a small part of the problem. The vast majority of the flea family is in the carpets, furnishings and pet bedding in your home. Some exist as adults but the majority are in the form of flea eggs, flea larvae and flea pupae. Unfortunately the last of these is impossible to destroy, their “armour-like” coating protecting them from all flea products, but the other forms we can do something about. However, for completely effective flea control two products should be used simultaneously – one to treat the environment, the other to treat the pet.

Environmental Control Program - contains Lufenuron Available as a tablet for dogs, and an oral suspension or injection for cats. Program is a product given to your pet to prevent fleas from breeding, by inhibiting the growth of the insect in the egg stage. Give a tablet or dose of suspension once a month with your pet’s food, or an injection for cats once every 6 months. Program is extremely safe for your pet, and can be used in puppies and kittens once weaned. To be effective Program must be given to all pets within the household. Always remember that Program does not kill adult fleas. Program injection for cats is a prescription medication and can therefore only be given by your veterinary surgeon or nurse. Please arrange an appointment. Program tablets and suspension can be bought from our dispensary without seeing the veterinary surgeon.

Program Plus - contains Lufenuron and Milbemycin oxime The next generation of ‘Program’. Currently only available for dogs, Program Plus does the same as the original Program, but also eliminates some forms of roundworm. It is therefore highly recommended for young puppies to combine flea and worm control. It can also be used to prevent heartworm in affected areas.

‘R.I.P Fleas’ & Indorex - contain Permethrin and Tetramethrin These products are aerosol sprays applied directly to the environment. They kill adult fleas and larva by attacking their nervous system. This product is also effective against house dust mite. Used correctly they can give 6 - 12 months protection. Although more time consuming than Program, this may be a more cost-effective product in multi-pet households. As an aerosol insecticide all product warnings should be followed carefully.

Control on your Pet Advocate - contains Imidacloprid and Milbemycin oxime A spot-on formulation that protects your pet against fleas, roundworm, ear mites, lungworm and mange. Use monthly, is effective and safe and is useful in younger animals. This product works by inhibiting the normal function of the parasite’s nervous system, causing paralysis and death. This product is highly recommended by this practice for cats and dogs, as it is currently very effective. It is also licensed for use in ferrets.

“Fit for Life”

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Prac-tic - contains Pyripole A spot-on product available only for dogs, it provides protection against ticks and fleas. Use monthly, is highly recommended by this practice for dogs, if protection against ticks is required.

Advantage - contains Imidacloprid


Monthly spot-on flea control only. This product is licensed for use in rabbits, as well as cats and dogs.

Advantix - contains Imidacloprid and Permethrin


A monthly spot-on product for tick and flea control in the dog. Is good for travelling pets, as it repels sand flies, mosquitoes and ticks which can all transmit diseases.

Capstar - contains Nitenpyram This product has the fastest ‘kill’ of all flea products, however has no long lasting effects. It should be used as soon as fleas are seen. A tablet is given to the pet to kill adult fleas almost instantaneously. Useful for pets with a large infestation. This product can be used alongside other flea control products.

Frontline - contains Fipronil A popular flea product that can be supplied without the need to examine your pet, as it is no longer a prescription medicine. Available as a spray or a spot-on product. This product kills fleas rapidly through an effect on the insect’s nervous system. At this practice, we no longer find this to be the most effective product.

Flea collars These collars come in a variety of forms, all acting by slow-release of the insecticide in the localised area. Unfortunately, the majority of fleas are found in the rump area and under the belly, as these areas are not easily investigated by the animal. As the insecticide in the collar is released around the neck area it is unlikely to permeate far enough to reach these parts.

Insecticidal shampoos These do indeed kill adult fleas; however they have no residual effect in the pets coat after rinsing and therefore give no long term flea control. Repeated bathing is an option, but it is more effective and convenient to use a spot-on product. Bathing a dog after application of a spot-on product may reduce it’s effectiveness.

Summary Please remember to always follow the instructions when using any insecticide. They are safe and effective if used according to the manufacturer’s directions. Products containing pyrethroids (household sprays, older ‘supermarket’ products, Advantix) are extremely toxic to cats. If you experience any problems with the products we supply, we are here to help you, always call 01323 640011.

We hope you have found this leaflet useful, please contact the surgery if you have any further questions about this topic. Our thanks to Hazel Sheppard RVN, PHC for the production of this leaflet.

6 St. Anne’s Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN21 2DJ 1 Antrim Court, Pembury Road, Langney, BN23 7LU 1 Gorringe Valley Road, Willingdon, BN20 9SX 15 Downland Way, East Dean, BN20 0HR

St Anne’s Veterinary Group Tel: Eastbourne (01323) 640011

The Control of Fleas  
The Control of Fleas  

An informative leaflet about controlling fleas written by a registered and qualified nurse.