Bay Area Veterinarian: Popular flea treatments not as effective as in past

Pinellas County

A warning for pet owners. Some of those “over the counter” flea treatments may not be doing any good.

They have familiar names, like “Frontline” or “Advantix.”

It’s amazing how an insect the size of a pencil tip can cause so much grief.

At the Walsingham dog park in Seminole, Sharon Gates said her dog “J.J.” is quite particular. “He cannot stand to have even one flea” she said.

She’s managed to keep him flea free. That’s wasn’t always the case when she used a spot treatment.  “Did work and I don’t know  if the fleas bred themselves into a new reality or what happened, but it doesn’t work anymore” said Gates.

Lake Seminole Animal Hospital Vet, Dr. Abi O’Connor tells me, she’s heard that before. “Working here in Florida for the past 7 years, we do see a number of the flea products like Frontline, Pet Armor and over the counter ones that just aren’t working like they used to” said Dr. O’Connor.

She said Frontline, Advantix, Pet Armor, are not as effective, while Activyl for dogs and cats seem to work.

She recommends treating pets and anything they contact. “The fleas that we see, it only makes up about 5% of the fleas in the environment.  95% are eggs, larvae, and pupea that are living in your carpet, living in your bedding, yeah, pretty gross” said Dr. O’Connor.

Which means regular vacuuming to suck the bugs up and away.

Dog owner, Michael Esposito has tried many products. “The liquid that you put on the back of their neck, never had any luck with that.  They always still had fleas” he said.  His secret to keep fleas away? “The Soresto collar by Bayer” he said.

Dr. O’Connor gives Soresto a thumbs up. It’s supposed to last up to 8 months.
Several dog owners swear by Nexguard and Trifexis.

And there a number of prescription flea killers out there that appear to work.

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