Fleas and ticks are more than a nuisance to pets. Either can cause allergies or even disease. Ridding a pet of these pests is not always easy, but topical flea killers are at least easy to apply; they are much more convenient to use than flea dips and are usually safer and more effective than flea collars. Biospot and Frontline Plus are two brands of topical flea products for cats and dogs.
Biospot for dogs contains permethrin and Nylar (pyriproxyfen). Biospot for cats contains etofenprox and (S)-methoprene. Frontline Plus for cats and Frontline Plus for dogs contain fipronil and (S)-methoprene.
Biospot and Frontline Plus kill fleas, their eggs and ticks. Biospot also kills mosquitoes. The ingredients (S)-methoprene and Nylar are insect-growth regulators--these ingredients disrupt the flea's life stages, preventing eggs from becoming adult fleas. Permethrin, etofenprox and fipronil are insecticides that kill adult fleas and ticks. In addition to fleas and ticks, permethrin kills mosquitoes.
Both brands are applied topically to dogs or cats--usually between the shoulder blades or on the back of the head so the animal can’t lick it off.
According to Frontline’s website, the product will kill fleas within 12 hours and ticks within 48 hours. Biospot kills most fleas within 24 hours.
After Frontline Plus has dried on the cat or dog, she may bathe or swim without reducing the effectiveness. Biospot is not completely waterproof--bathing the dog with soap and water is not recommended-- but should remain effective if the dog simply gets wet with water.
Cats are sensitive to permethrin, an ingredient in Biospot for dogs. If you have cats and dogs, consider using a brand that does not contain permethrin on your dog--or keep the dog and cat separate. Even rubbing against the dog (but especially if the cat licks the dog) after the dog has been treated may cause toxicity in a cat.
Topical flea medicines can cause side effects in animals. Look for itching, swelling, tremors, difficulty breathing or other unusual behaviors after applying the flea medicine. If you worry your dog or cat may be having a reaction, get your pet to the vet as soon as possible. If a vet visit must be delayed, bathe the animal in soapy water to get rid of as much of the flea topical as possible from her coat. Call a veterinary emergency hospital or animal poison control center for additional first aid advice.