Pantops Pet Salon
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Pantops Pet Salon & Spa
Charlottesville's Professional Dog Grooming

It's what we do -- it's all we do.

(434) 293-2424
Fax: (434) 293-8231
504 Pantops Center
Charlottesville, VA 22911

Flea Season and Flea Control

Tuesday, October 17th, 2006 by Mike Cronk

I’ve been concerned about using chemicals on our pets as a preventive measure and whether currently available treatments would prove safe over time.  During Lizzie’s last check-up with Dr. Marty Betts, we discussed this topic and he assured me that the product Frontline was proven to be safe and after further research, I concur.  Claims by the manufacturer state that it is even safe to use on sensitive puppies and kittens over 8 weeks of age as well as on nursing mothers.  That is quite a statement and it has held up since 1996.

If you live in an apartment and only do on-lead walks you may never encounter a problem that necessitates the cost of monthly prevention.  However, if you are like most of us where the environment may have flea or deer tick populations, prevention sure beats the harm caused by flea bites and deer ticks—potential carriers of Lyme disease.

My daughter’s Golden was diagnosed with Lyme disease just two weeks ago and it was quite a scare.  The disease can be debilitating while the treatment takes weeks and is quite expensive.  Because Lizzie spends a lot of time in the woods of my backyard, I am going to start her on Frontline soon.
Visit www.frontline.merial.com to access a detailed report on the who, what, when, where, and whys of Frontline to determine whether it is right for you and yours.

Sophie’s owner—Wanda Palmer wondered if Advantix was unsafe since we have only mentioned the safety of Frontline.  We are writing from experience which isn’t an indication of our support of one product over the other.  Frontline was recommended by Lizzie’s veterinarian so that’s the one she uses.!  Advantix’s webpage indicates that it is also safe on dogs.  “K9 Advantix TM is gentle enough for puppies 7 weeks of age or older and dogs of any size.”  However, it cannot be used on cats while Frontline can.

Additionally, we called 6 local veterinary hospitals to find out which product they recommend.  None seemed concerned about the safety of using Advantix and one said the results with Advantix were more consistent.  The other 5 said that their results with Frontline were more consistent–one specified that they preferred it because it kills fleas in 3 stages of their lifecycle.  The Advantix website says that their product kills larvae and adult fleas but I haven’t found information about the 3rd part of the lifecycle.

At the salon, we prefer to do a flea bath as opposed to a flea dip.  There is a $5 charge for this service and if we see fleas, we’ll do it.  When we bath dogs with fleas, little bits of brownish red spots will appear.  This is called ‘flea dirt.’  If we are aware that your dog has allergies, we will instead use a hypoallergenic treatment and leave it on extra long to suffocate the fleas. 

The aim of a flea dip (rather than a flea bath) is to not only kill fleas but prevent them from coming back.  We prefer to avoid using the strong chemicals of a dip.  We have some worries about long-term effects on both dogs and ourselves–just the smell of a flea dip can make you dizzy.

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