Flea Control With Cats and Dogs

Fleas are the most common external parasite of pets in North America. Fleas are small wingless insects that use their specialized mouth to pierce the skin and siphon blood from their host. When a flea bites, it injects a small amount of saliva into the skin to prevent the blood from coagulating. Some animals become sensitized to flea saliva and animals that are allergic can have severe itching and scratching from a single bite. Flea allergy dermatitis is the most common disease among dogs.

Current flea control products are primarily either oral or topical systemic treatments. Most of the products may be used for prevention as well as to treat existing flea problems. One group of products control fleas by interrupting their development by killing or stopping the maturation of flea larvae and eggs. These drugs are called Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs). One common oral product used is lufenuron which is found in the Program