30 years ago, fleas and ticks were a major problem. It was commonplace to see fleas on pets daily and it was not unusual to have a dog come in with hundreds of fleas on them. Unfortunately, there were not any safe and effective treatments back then.
In the late 1980's, a new safe and effective oral product called Lufenron was introduced. This compound affected the chitin metabolism of the flea and so the flea eggs that were laid had defective egg chitin eggshell. The hardness of an insect is chitin. For example, when you step on a roach, the crunch is the chitin exoskeleton. It was like birth control for fleas and the fleas could not reproduce. It did not kill the adult flea, so it was not the perfect drug. Topical flea products came out about the same time that were selective to fleas and not mammals.
Today, there are still newer products being introduced. There are now topical and oral products that are very effective for fleas. Most products will kill fleas for one month and some for up to four months.
But, as with any medical regiment, there are some dangers involved. The best thing to do would be to ask your veterianarian for advice. They will be able to recommend a safe, effective and economical product for your dog's lifestyle. If you have a major flea infestation in your home, it may take a month or two to get it under control due the life cycle of the flea. A flea can jump on your dog, get a blood meal and then lay eggs. The eggs fall off and hatch in your carpet. Here it will develop into a larvae and then go into a cocoon and lay dormant until a mammal comes by. They can emerge out of a cocoon within seconds and jump onto your dog.
Also, if a flea product label says not to use it on cats, don't. Cats are sensitive to some products. Be aware that some cats and dogs that live together are buddies, and when you apply a product on a dog, the cat may come to the dog and lick it off. Consequently, these cats can then go into seizures.
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