Spring Weather Brings Flea Season
April showers bring May flowers. And springtime weather also brings the onslaught of insects and parasites, including fleas. For many dog owners, flea treatments are a necessary nuisance. But thanks to a new oral flea protection product from Eli Lilly and Company, protecting your dog from fleas or treating an infestation can be a pleasant experience.
Comfortis (spinosad), recently introduced by Eli Lilly and Company, is the first FDA-approved, chewable, beef-flavored tablet that kills fleas and prevents flea infestations on dogs for a full month.
Comfortis also offers safe and effective flea protection for pet owners who have children or have other pets in their household. With Comfortis, children can immediately touch the dog after treatment, and there is no transfer of the product to other pets by contact. Because it is administered orally, Comfortis is also a great choice for dogs that swim or are bathed often, as well as dogs with flea allergy dermatitis, a common skin disease resulting from flea bites, and dogs receiving topical skin treatments.
Spinosad, the active ingredient in Comfortis, is environmentally friendly. The introduction of spinosad for use in agriculture led to a Presidential Green Chemistry Award in 1999 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
"Comfortis provides an effective and convenient alternative that makes flea protection pleasant for owners and dogs alike," said Steve Connell, DVM, manager of technical, academic and consumer services for companion animal health at Lilly. "Comfortis not only kills fleas quickly, it's also easy to give, mess-free and doesn't require the separation or isolation of pets after administration, as with some topically applied products."
Label comparisons indicate Comfortis provides the fastest flea kill of any once-a-month product.(1) In fact, it kills adult fleas before they can lay eggs, thus preventing infestations.
Fleas can be a major problem for dogs and dog owners. Pets can be exposed to these blood-sucking parasites anywhere, and fleas can threaten a pet's health. In addition to annoying scratching and discomfort, fleas are a source of flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) and anemia and may be a source of tapeworm transmission.
For pet owners, treating fleas quickly is essential. A flea can begin biting your dog and feeding on its blood within seconds and can begin laying eggs within one to two days at a rate of 40 to 50 per day, causing an infestation in the home that can take months to eliminate. Because just a few fleas can multiply quickly, it is important to ensure your dog is continually protected to prevent future infestations.
"Veterinarians are always the best source of information for pet owners when it comes to flea protection," Connell said. "For pet owners with children and with other pets in the household or those who want to avoid the mess and inconvenience of topical treatments, Comfortis is a great option to discuss with your veterinarian."
Comfortis is available by prescription only and is offered in weight-specific doses for dogs of virtually any size. It should be given with food for maximum effectiveness and has been demonstrated safe for dogs and puppies 14 weeks of age and older.