Lufenuron/Program® (Novartis Animal Health). Complete flea prevention for the entire season is now possible by treating your dog or cat monthly with Program® beginning in early spring, before the flea season starts. For animals that live in kennels or warm climates, year-round treatment may be needed. Program® is formulated as a pill for dogs or as a liquid suspension to be mixed with a treat for cats. This flea control medication is only available from a veterinarian.
The Program® controls fleas because the hormone is present in the blood meal and effectively sterilizes the female by preventing eggs from hatching. Data shows that within 7 days after lufenuron is fed to the animal, virtually 100% of the eggs laid by female fleas failed to hatch. Novartis Animal Health states that The Program® is also safe for breeding and lactating animals.
All cats and dogs in a household must be treated with lufenuron because any untreated animals can infest your household with fleas.
If you already have a flea infestation, lufenuron will bring it under control by breaking the flea life cycle. However, it will take a couple months to reduce the flea population to a minimal level. You may want to use some other products to use temporarily to control adult fleas.
Advantages of Program®: It is safe, very effective and convenient to administer.
Disadvantages: Fleas from outside sources can still bite the animal and cause irritation which can be a problem with pets that are allergic to flea bites.
Note: Novartis produces another product, Sentinel®, that combines lufenuron with another drug that controls heartworms and other internal parasites so a once-a-month treatment will control a number of parasites.
Fipronil/Frontline® (Rhone Merieux). Frontline® kills fleas up to three months on dogs and a month or more on cats. Ticks are also killed for a month or more. Frontline® Top Spot can be used on 10-week old puppies, 12-week old kittens and pets receiving other medications. A pre-measured dosage in a plastic pipette is applied to the skin in a spot between the pet’s shoulder blades. Fipronil collects in the oil-producing glands of the skin and wicks back out with the fur for up to three months. It is effective even against removal by bathing or swimming.