Topical and Oral Flea & Tick Control: General FAQs
Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff

What is a topical flea and tick treatment?
A topical flea and tick treatment is a spot-on product, such as bioSpot SPOT ON for Dogs, or K9 Advantix for Dogs, that is applied to the skin between the shoulders. These monthly products fight ticks and fleas for at least 30 days. For maximum protection, both bioSpot SPOT ON and Frontline Plus contain an Insect Growth Regulator (IGR), an ingredient that works to prevent flea eggs and larvae from developing. K9 Advantix for Dogs is water-resistant, which makes them ideal for dogs that swim or are bathed frequently.
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What is an oral treatment?
An example would be a product like Capstar, a pill that kills adult fleas within 30 minutes and lasts for 24 hours. Capstar is a quick solution for flea-infested pets and can be used daily if needed. Capstar works on fleas only, not on ticks.
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What is the advantage of using a topical monthly treatment for ticks and fleas instead of a shampoo, dip or a spray?
Monthly topicals are an extremely popular choice for flea and tick control because they are so easy to apply and do not need to be re-applied for 30 days. Shampoos, dips and sprays can be messy, time-consuming and stressful for your pet. They may also be impractical in colder weather. In addition, these products just can't offer the longer-lasting protection of spot-on flea and tick treatments.
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