Last year I used Frontline Plus, but still had issues with fleas. Vet said that there's evidence that fleas are becoming resistant to fipronil, the main ingredient in Frontline. My vet put the dogs on Comfortis (a pill) for a month to help wipe to the problem. The only thing is that Comfortis and Heartgard are not supposed to be used together for fear of reactions. That was fall and I didn't have the dogs on any flea prevention over the winter. No problems so far, but I just ordered Advantage II and I'm going to see how that works over the summer. It has a different main ingredient, imidacloprid.
Your veterinarian should set you up with your first (and possibly second) doses of heartworm and flea medications on your initial visit (which should be within 48-72 hours of your puppy arriving home with you.) They'll show you how to apply the flea medication and tell you what you need to know about the hearworm medicine. Vets vary in what they use, but mine has always recommended Frontline Plus and Heartguard Plus. Both of my dogs have done absolutely fine on it. If you'd like to use something different from what your veterinarian uses, be sure to talk to him/her about what you'd like to use instead and ask lots of questions. :)
I don't keep Waffle on flea medicine year-round. When he does get it, it's because he has 1-2 fleas and he needs it before the problem escalates. I have used Capstar (effective 48 hrs) to kill fleas when moving from one place to another. I have used Frontline PLUS as a preventative before taking him to work in the swamp and as a flea killer. I have used generic Frontline to combat fleas--whatever is cheap and I can get my hands on.
Capstar has worked the best but isn't really a preventative because it's meant to kill adult fleas for just 2 days while you eradicate the juvenile flea stages in your environment. It's a pill.
The generic Frontline worked for 3 weeks instead of a month. He needed a second dose and we had to scrub Borax into every crevice of our apartment to get that flea infestation under control. (The cat brought the fleas in and Waffle suffered for it. :[ ) Generic Frontline is a topical that you put on the skin between the shoulder blades.
After applying Frontline PLUS, I have never seen flea problems. It's supposed to take care of ticks, too, but mostly it kills them when they attach. He has not been protected from ticks while on Frontline PLUS. I hear K9 Advantix is the best for repelling ticks. Frontline PLUS is also a topical.
I would like to get Comfortis--a pill--for Waffle this summer. It lasts all month. Fleas were a huge problem in VA last year and they will probably be this year. I've never heard of Comfortis failing--and it's a pill instead of a topical, which means he's sure to get the full dose. Provides no protection against ticks.
I use Frontline Plus, haven't had any issues with it thus far (knock on wood).
It depends on where you live. Talk to your vet. In the Bay Area, Ca Advantage did not work worth squat because the fleas were resistant so I used Frontline, in Sacramento Frontline doesn't work around where I live but Advantage does. I generally choose to use Comfortis though because it is pretty new so resistance hasn't developed and its fool proof so you know the entire dose is being given so there isn't as much concern for resistance. People often apply the topicals incorrectly or don't use the whole dose and that is how resistance begins to develop over time. So this is one situation where you need to talk to your vet because which product works best varies by location. And also, you may be in a location that really doesn't have a flea problem so you may not need to even give it regularly.
One thing though, NEVER buy flea product from a pet store. If your vet doesn't carry the product don't use it! This means Comfortis, Advantage, Frontline (and possibly the new generic frontline....don't know what its called). Products like Hartz, biospot, zodiac etc are horrible products that more often than not will cause seizures and in severe cases death. Products sold exclusively at grocery stores and pet stores are dangerous. I have NO IDEA how they are even allowed on the market because more often than not they either a) don't work at all or b) cause a serious reaction that could result in death. Not worth it.
Im in Tennessee and fleas around here are becoming resistant to Frontline Plus. To get rid of my fleas, I used Advantix II, in conjunction with capstar and program. I had a major infestation right before Christmas. Comfortis needs a prescription, but the capstar and program I got thru Dr. Fosters and Smith. If you need cheap flea stuff, try them....I also get my heartworm preventative thru them, they have really easy procedures for getting a scrip from your vet. We already have had ticks so far, so in addition to the flea stuff we have to get something for the ticks. I am trying to stay ahead of the game this year!!
we had many failed attempts with Advantage, Frontline and Advantix.
Now we use Comfortis (the oral med) and it works like a charm. The only struggle is getting him to eat it; I can't blame him, it smells nasty! I cut it into 4ths and hide each section in a glob of cream cheese
Elizabeth do you mean kitties advantage and dogs advantix? Advantix is toxic to cats so you have to use it with care in households where dogs and cats intermingle.