Flea control is difficult for most pet owners and veterinarians. The best solution is to prevent fleas from being able to live in the first place. Flea medication should only be used after a thorough bath and shampooing to remove the fleas. Flea control pills are often sold as “flea bombs”. These contain a large quantity of flea poison that will kill the fleas in their droppings within days. This is an ideal solution if you have young children or pets that cannot be left unattended.
It can be hard to know which flea pills for dogs are the best option for your pet. With so many products on the market, it can be difficult to determine which one is right for your dog. In this article, we will discuss the different types of flea pills available and help you decide which one is right for your pet.
What are Flea Pills for Dogs
Flea pills are a type of medication that is meant to be orally ingested by your pet. The medication contains an insecticide that kills the fleas in their life cycle stages. It can also help prevent them from maturing into adults, further preventing re-infestation. Flea pills should only be used when other methods such as bathing and pesticide sprays are not effective.
How do these pills work ?
All of these pills work to kill fleas at different stages in their life cycle. Fipronil works on the adult fleas, while selamectin prevents eggs from hatching and imidacloprid also stops larvae from developing into adults. This combination makes it difficult for new generations of fleas to develop. It is important to realize that these medications are not a permanent cure for your pet. Once you stop the medication your dog will go back to being able to catch fleas, so it is important to continue using the pills once every month.
Types of Flea Pills for Dogs
Flea pills come in several varieties, each with their own benefits and side effects. They are most commonly classified by the insecticide they contain. The three most common ingredients are fipronil, selamectin, and imidacloprid.
Fipronil is often found in generic brands of flea medicine, which makes it the most affordable option. It has been used successfully in many different types of pets including dogs and cats. It must be ingested by your pet to be effective against fleas. Fipronil works by damaging the central nervous system of insects that come into contact with it. This causes paralysis and death within a few hours of ingestion. It is effective against fleas, ticks, mosquitos, lice, mites and bedbugs as well as chewing lice in birds. In large enough doses it can cause seizures and muscle tremors if ingested by dogs or cats.
Most generic brands also contain a small amount of food coloring, which can upset the digestive system if ingested in large amounts. If you notice your dog has eaten a pill and is vomiting or having diarrhea it may be from the colorant. In this case you should contact your veterinarian immediately.
Selamectin is used to prevent heartworm disease as well as for flea and tick control. It also kills certain mites that can infect pets with skin conditions. This medication is applied to the pet’s skin rather than taken orally. One application will last 30 days and protect your dog from fleas and ticks for that time. It does not contain any pesticides or insecticides and is safe to use on puppies as well as pregnant and nursing dogs.
Imidacloprid is a newer pill than fipronil and selamectin, so it has fewer reported side effects. The drawback to this medication is that it must be ingested to be effective. This can cause stomach upset particularly in cats. It can also have a negative effect on the kidneys of dogs and cats that already have a problem with their kidneys.
What are the benefits of using these pills
Flea pills work to kill the adult fleas, which are biting your dog at that moment. These medications will also stop eggs from hatching and larvae from developing into adults. This means that these pills prevent new generations of flea infestation. Flea control pills for dogs often take effect within 1 day after ingestion, but can take up to 7 days.
Side effects of Flea Pills
There are several side effects associated with each of these types of medications. These are not to be taken lightly for they can make your pet extremely sick or even be fatal. Fipronil can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, anemia and thyroid toxicity when used in high doses. Selamectin has caused drooling when it was applied near the mouth. Imidacloprid causes trembling in some pets. If you notice these symptoms in your pet it is best to take them to the vet immediately.
How to give your dog a pill
You should only give your dog a pill that has been specifically prescribed to them. You can ask your veterinarian about the best way of giving your pet their medication, but there are some general guidelines that most vets recommend for all pills.
It is important to administer the pill on an empty stomach so it moves quickly through the digestive tract and the pill is not regurgitated. Most pets need to be placed in a sitting or standing position and held down with their back straight for this to work effectively. It is important that you do not give them anything to eat an hour before giving them the pill so they don’t vomit it back up when you begin.