by ANDREW M. STREIBER, DVM

Q: As summer has now officially started, and this is worst time of year for fleas, do you have any recommendations regarding flea control for cats and dogs?  I would prefer a pill by mouth instead of topical medicine, if both options exist for my pets… thanks!

A: Yes, summer is definitely the most active time of year for fleas and other “ectoparasites.”  This is in part due to the combination of warmer, longer and more humid days, allowing for an increase in flea reproduction rates and an increase in the food supply (more animals spending time out of doors).  While there are several flea control products available over-the-counter at your local pet retailer, the two I most prefer for cats and dogs are by prescription: Trifexis (Spinosad/milbemycin oxime; once a month chewable tablet) for dogs and Revolution (Selamectin; once a month topical) for cats.  Both are superior products, easy to use and highly effective flea (and other ectoparasites) adulticides that provide both on-going protection to your pet and aid in the eradication of an infestation.  Should you desire an oral adult flea control solution for your cat, Comfortis (Spinosad; once a month chewable) is an excellent product.  In addition to the Summer months, I recommend using these products on a monthly basis, year round, especially in California and the Southwest.  The side effects are few; rarely, vomiting can be seen in dogs, but is easily remedied prior to administration.  I hope this helps and have a great Summer!