Fleas and Ticks!!!  Oh, My!

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Last updated 4/7/10

Flea Product Comparison

Confused about flea protection? Hopefully, this comparison of the three most popular flea control products will assist you in determining which is right for your situation.  Your veterinarian should  be able to help out as well.

 

  Revolution Advantage

Frontline or    Frontline plus

Comfortis Comments
Flea killing ingredient Selamectin Imidocloprid Fipronil  (Frontline Plus: contains Methoprene -- a long acting flea sterilizer) Spinosad  
How young can the pet be for application?

Puppies - 6 weeks, Kittens   - 6 weeks

Puppies - 7 weeks, Kittens   - 8 weeks

Puppies -10 weeks, Kittens  - 12  weeks

Approved for puppies only over the age of 14 weeks and over 5 pounds (Frontline Plus not currently approved for dogs under 11 pounds - approval expected later)
Approved for use in pregnant or nursing mother dogs/cats?

Yes

Not approved in this country but it is approved in other countries.

(U.S. EPA does not recognize testing done for other countries and testing in pregnancy/lactation has not been done in the U.S.)

No

Use with caution in breeding females - you should discuss the use of this product with your veterinarian before administering.  The use of this product in male dogs used for breeding has not been evaluated. As a breeder, I personally use Frontline and/or Comfortis.  However, I will use Advantage on my pregnant females and have even put it on while puppies are still nursing.  The Frontline, because of its mode of action, will get down into the oil glands and cause the skin to taste "funny" so some puppies might be hesitant to nurse.

 

How long does it take to kill all fleas after first application?
 

42 hours to zero fleas counted

24 hours to zero fleas counted

42 hours to zero fleas counted (24 hours to spread all over animalís body and 18 hours to kill the fleas) Starts killing fleas within the first 30 minutes and kills all of the fleas within the first 4 hours before they can lay any eggs.

Because of its rapid flea kill rate, at South Rhea Animal Hospital and Sequoyah Animal Hospital we most commonly reach for Advantage when treating a hospitalized patient for flea infestation.

Does it wash off? No - this product is an endectocide, which means it is absorbed internally and spreads throughout the body including back to the skin. Because it acts internally it cannot be washed off. Yes - this product will be washed off completely with a degreasing shampoo. It can withstand one bath between applications and swimming once a week between applications but no more No - this product remains topical but is stored in the oil secreting glands of the skin. If the pet gets wet, the skin layer of product can be washed off but will be replaced as the oil producing glands re-secrete it. No - it is not topical  
How soon after bathing can it be applied?
 
As soon as the pet is dry As soon as the pet is dry Manufacturer recommends waiting 2 days after bathing before applying. The product can be applied sooner but will take longer to spread over the body if there is inadequate oil on the skin as would be the case just after a bath. Anytime  
Does it kill ticks as well as fleas? Yes, but because this product is licensed as a drug and not as an insecticide, it can only make label claims against the species of tick it was tested for.  No, there is no tick activity at all. This product is highly specific for fleas. Yes, this product has been specifically tested against four tick species: the deer tick, the lone star tick, the American dog tick, and the brown dog tick.  No, there is no tick activity at all. This product is highly specific for fleas.  
Activity against parasites other than fleas and ticks?
 
Yes, product is active against ear mites, sarcoptic mange, roundworms and hookworms in cats. Fleas only Fleas and ticks only Fleas only  
How long does a single application last?
 
one month one month one month for ticks, one month for fleas in the cat, 1 to 3 months for fleas in the dog. one month

I, personally, think that Frontline works better after the first couple of applications.  (Advantage seems to work well from the very first application.) This gives the product a chance to completely fill the oil glands on the skin so that it is better re-secreted.  I also think that it works better on dogs with oily coats. If the dog does not produce much oil then the product is not as available on the top of the coat.  The oily coated breeds (i.e. Labs & GSD), seem to get longer lasting effects against fleas. (Frontline will often kill fleas for longer than 1 month in these breeds).  Even though they usually spend more time in the water, their coats have more oil glands to re-secrete the Frontline when the top layer washes off.

Does the pet need a yearly office call to get the product?
 
Yes, this is a prescription drug. No, this is an insecticide, not a drug, but the manufacturer sells its product for resale only through veterinarians so that proper usage etc. can be explained. No, this is an insecticide, not a drug, but the manufacturer sells its product for resale only through veterinarians so that proper usage etc. can be explained. Yes, this is a prescription drug.  
Is the product safe for use on sick, elderly or debilitated patients?
 
Manufacturer specifically cautions against such use. Product should be safe for such use provided the patient is receiving veterinary care. Otherwise, if the pet is inactive or hospitalized in a cage, the product may not spread around the body as rapidly as usual. Product should be safe for such use provided the patient is receiving veterinary care otherwise. If the pet is inactive or hospitalized in a cage, the product may not spread around the body as rapidly as usual.    
Packaging
 
Comes in a 6-pack (3-pack for puppies / kittens). Comes in a 4-pack or a 6-pack. Comes in a 3-pack or a 6-pack.
 
Comes in a 6-pack   
Link to manufacturer's web site:
 
www.revolutionpet.com www.nofleas.com www.frontline.com
 
   

Here at Sequoyah Shepherds we use Frontline most commonly.  All three products are excellent products but each product has its pros and cons.  Here in Tennessee, and especially in my area, ticks seem to be a real problem and I personally think that of the three products, Frontline does the best job on ticks.  In the winter, though, it is not uncommon for me to use Advantage instead of Frontline.

Consult with your local veterinarian about your area.  He should be able to assist you in finding the product that best suits your needs.  Don't forget to tell him about the area in which your dog lives (inside or outside), other pets in the household (or that come to visit), and any daily activities (i.e. water dog, search and rescue, etc.) that might affect which product is going to be best for your pet.