Spring is now approaching in the northern hemisphere and along with the warming weather comes the increased risk of flea infestation. Just in time, a paper in the January issue of Veterinary Parasitology compares the effectiveness of the the most used oral and topical flea treatments: oral spinosad (Comfortis) or topical fipronil/(S)-methoprene (Frontline).
They looked at 128 flea infested (10 flea minimum) dogs in four southern states (LA, TX, FL, NC) and divided them into two groups; 65 dog receiving oral spinosad and 63 getting topical treatment. The dogs were assesses at 0, 30, 60 and 90 days for flea count and scored for pruritus. At the end of the 90 days, oral treatment proved the most effective against fleas.
Oral flea treatment was 99.9% effective and topical treatment 88.4% effective.
Dryden M, Ryan W, Bell M, Rumschlag A, Young L, & Snyder D. (2013). Assessment of owner-administered monthly treatments with oral spinosad or topical spot-on fipronil/(S)-methoprene in controlling fleas and associated pruritus in dogs. Veterinary Parasitology, 191 (3-4), 340-346 DOI: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2012.09.003