Ask the Veterinarian/fleas


I live in the Pacific Northwest where it rains all winter.  Is it necessary to use flea medicine all year long even though you do not find fleas?  Some of my friends treat their dogs all year long and I think it is spending a lot of money for nothing. What is your opinion?  Also, is Advantage Or Frontline as good as flea pills?  I hope my questions are considered a skin problem.  Thank you.

Being from the Southeast, I do not know the seasons for fleas in your area. You can ask a veterinary clinic if they see fleas inthe winter there.

As far as which is better, definitely the Comfortis, Nexgard, or Bravecto oral flea medicines are far superior to any of the topicals.  We have year round fleas and lots of skin problems because of flea allergies.   In these flea allergic dogs, the ones that get the oral medicines are much less affected by the fleas than those that get the topicals.  I think it is because the topicals require that the fleas crawl through the hair and get the insecticide to accumulate before it affects their nervous system.  With the oral flea medications, the fleas get a blood meal and it starts killing them right away so they stop feeding on the pet's blood.

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Dr. Louis N. Gotthelf


Dermatology and ear diseases of dogs and cats


I am the author of "Small Animal Ear Diseases; An Illustrated Guide" published by W.B. Saunders. I have over 25 years of clinical experience with a special interest in dermatologic conditions and ear diseases.

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