Flea Pills for Treatment and Prevention
Fleas can use your pet as both a home and a source of sustenance. Find out how to prevent fleas from making your cat or dog into a host, and the pill treatment options that are available if prevention doesn't work.
Keep safety in mind: Always follow the directions when using medications, make sure to check the dosage for your pet's age and weight, and only give dog treatments to dogs and cat treatments to cats. To get the best results, treat all infested pets in the household, so that fleas don’t get passed back and forth.
Because orals generally treat either adults or eggs but not both, medications are often combined. Check with your veterinarian before combining medications.
Capster comes in tablet form and can be given to cats or dogs to eliminate fleas. Give the medicine to your pet directly, or hide it within your pet's food. (Check to make sure that your pet has swallowed the pill.)
Before giving the tablet, weigh your cat or dog to determine the correct dosage, since it varies by weight. While kittens and puppies can also take Capster, note that pets must be at least four weeks old, and weigh at least two pounds in order to take the drug. One dose of Capster should kill all the adult fleas on your pet's body. If you still spot fleas, or if a re-infestation occurs, you can give your pet another dose. A separate medication is necessary to prevent eggs from hatching.
This treatment works on dogs and cats to kill adult fleas, but does not kill eggs or fleas in other life stages.
Comfortis is both a treatment and a preventative for fleas on dogs over 14 weeks. Comfortis is not available for cats. Give Comfortis to dogs on its own as a treat, or within food—note that vomiting is a known side effect. As a treatment, Comfortis destroys adult fleas before they can lay eggs. Comfortis can also be used a preventative, administered on a monthly basis.
Comfortis treats and prevents fleas, but is only available for dogs. Comfortis requires a prescription.
Suitable for both cats and dogs over four weeks old, Program attacks the flea's eggs and larva, but does not kill adult fleas. A separate medication is required to eradicate the adult population.
Program should be given to pets with their food—check to make sure your cat or dog has totally ingested the entire tablet. Give Program on a monthly basis, and check your pet's weight before administering, since dosage varies by weigh.
This treatment can be given to both cats and dogs and prevents eggs from hatching.
A preventative medicine, Sentinal stops flea eggs from hatching, as well as guarding against heartworm. A different treatment is necessary to eradicate adult fleas. Sentinal is given on a monthly basis, and is only suitable for dogs older than four weeks, and weighing more than two pounds. Sentinal can be given on a monthly basis, and is a chewable tablet.
This preventative treatment goes after flea eggs, but does not kill adult fleas. It also prevents heartworm. Sentinal can only be used on dogs and requires a prescription.
This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking professional advice due to what you may have read on our website.
by Madeleine Burry