I've had my cat for about 6 years now and over that time I've tried all sorts of flea control measures. He's only ever had fleas once, maybe because I've always treated them, and that was no fun for him or me. I don't like the idea of sprays - I'm an environmentalist so I'd never use a spray in an aerosol can anyway - and flea collars are of absolutely no use, so when I first got Simpson (my cat) I enquired with my vet who suggested I use Program. At the time this came in a little ampoule of liquid which you squirted over food once a month. Program works not by killing the fleas that infest your cat, but by sterilising them. In effect it's flea contraception which they take in from your cat's blood when they bite. This means that they can't breed and, as fleas have a very short life span, any flea hopping onto your cat when he's out and about will die without laying any eggs. My cat seems to be able to spot medicine at about 100 yards and just refuses to eat anything that's been doped - even if it's fresh tuna or chicken (he's even been known to eat around the spot where the worming tablet is hiding!) so I was never entirely sure that he'd eaten all, or any, of the Program medicine. So I was not entirely surprised to find he was getting fleas the summer before last. On a trip to the vet I mentioned the problem and was told that Program now came in the form of an injection administered every 6 months. Great! Simpson was dosed up there and then! I've just taken him recently for his 6 monthly booster so he should be fully protected, and this summer we had no problem with fleas at all. I've managed to time the injections to coincide with his annual boosters and also to get the vet to give him a wormer at the same time (as this is very definitely a two person job with Simpson) - so he gets all the pain out of the way in two trips a year. My life
has been made so much easier, and Simpson is a much happier cat without his "little friends" He has not suffered any after effects from the injections (apart from sulking with me for a few days for taking him to the vet) and nobody else I know has ever had problems with Program. It costs about £28 at my vet, but £56 a year is a small price to pay considering the alternative - discomfort for you and your cat, cost of fumigating your house, sprays, collars etc. So, if you want no fleas, no hassle - book your cat in now!
I have three cats, and over the years i have tried nearly every flea product on the market, from tablets, to stuff you put in food to sprays (all my cats run a mile when we use deoderant or any aerosol now). Program is realy easy to use, even on the most skittish cat, due to it being drops in an easy to use pippette, all you have to do is wait until the cats are asleep or settled somewhere, the knee is great and part the fur on the back of the neck so u can see the skin, snap off the tip of the pippette and apply the drops. Its that simple. The manufacturers recommend that it is done once a month but i have never found the need for this at all, i usually de-flea my cats about once every 3 months, and have never had a problem with fleas. The pippettes come in packs of either 3 (£11.00) or 6 (19.00) so it may seem a costly way of doing it if you have more than one cat, but it really does work.
I've tried all the powders, sprays and food supplements. Ever tried a spray on a cat? You have to get them down from the curtains!!! The food supplements can be really expensive as the cats know they are there and leave the food (soo easy with dogs, stick tablet in bacon and its gone!). So the injections are a gosend. The injections cost about £30 and it means taking the cats for that fun trip to the vets but I do the flea jabs with the annual boosters to save a trip. You should have the injections every six months but I have them at the beginning of summer each year as I've never had a flea problem in winter. These really are a preventative measure rather than a cure. My mums cat doesn't have these and was recently down the vets with fleas. The vet said the injections were a good idea but not if the cat already had fleas, he recommended the drops on the back of the neck. He did tell my mum that it might be an idea to get her cat injected next spring to prevent a recurrance. Since having them I have not once had a flea problem so no more trying to fumigate the house. No flea problem, no bites for me or the cats. I couldn't recommend a product more highly
I have a dog and a cat. I have always had animals and therefore I accept that fleas come as part of the bargain. Unfortunately I also one of those people that fleas just love to bite - along with mosquitoes! My dog is 10 years old and since being quite young she developed a "flea allergy". Now I put this in inverted comma's because I have some questions connected with this. My main point here is that her "allergy" appeared each time she was due in season and therefore I am wondering if hormonal changes are connected with the allergy to fleas. For the sake of argument I will continue to refer to it as flea allergy. What happens is the dog gets bitten and is very sensitive to the bite. It only needs one bite to start the allergy off. Gradually the dog bites at itself - usually near the tail and back legs. This results in hair loss, thickening of the skin and in bad cases open sores and infection. There is no doubt that fleas can cause severe discomfort to animals and a bad infestation can be life-threatening to young animals. If you have a puppy or kitten with fleas please treat it - whether you decide to use Program or not. My dog suffered with this allergy. Each year - the moment she started nibbling her back I bathed her and included a few drops of tea tree oil - don't let this get into their eyes! One year I also used nettle and chamomile tea as this is also good for the skin. Garlic also was ritually chopped into food. By now you are probably beginning to realise that I'm very much into alternative remedies. I am the kind of person who would have to be wheeled into a doctor's surgery. However - when it comes to my animals I am more cautious as they cannot always tell me what the problem is. The problem with flea allergy is that if it does need treatment from a vet the usual treatment is antibiotics and then a course of steroids. I absolutely hate steroids so I
was desperate to find a solution to the problem. Please ASK your vet for antihistamine (spelling?) treatment instead of steroids - it IS available but only works on some dogs. I tried this but it didn't work on my dog. I was hesitant to try internal flea treatments but when I was advised to get Program I thought I would give it a try. Many flea treatments contain chemicals that attack the nervous system of both pet and human - the same as those that are in sheep dip. I did not want to use these on my animals. Program however does not contain these chemicals. I use a pump action spray for my dog and a dropper on the back of the neck of my cat. My cat turns into a spitting demon unless you are presenting food or stroking him so this is a very good idea. Your dog needs to be weighed first so that you can work out how many "pumps" of spray to put on their coat. For the first time my dog has not developed her usual problem so I am very pleased with the results and would recommend this product. I still have reservations about using this medication but my priority is my dogs health and happiness. You cannot buy Program over-the-counter. Your dog or cat will need a check up first. The big downside to this treatment is that it is EXPENSIVE! One bottle of 250ml spray was 18.75 back in February this year. Cat spot treatment 16.65. How the manufacturers justify the cost of a product that is used by practically everyone with pets is beyond me. They do not make any subsidy to sell for example to the PDSA - so if you are on a low income you would be hard pushed to afford it. Pets are not only for the rich - but I guess that is another opinion in the making! So - If your dog or cat suffers with fleas I would recommend this product if nothing else has worked. It is safer than most flea treatments and it does do the job.
Program is excellent at killing fleas. The problem is, it only kills them after they have bitten. Program comes for dogs and cats, and is a tablet, which you give monthly. You have to get it from the vet, as there are different strengths based on the size (weight) of the pet. It makes the blood toxic to fleas, in that they become sterile after biting, and cannot breed - their eggs don't hatch. The probem is, if you have a dog who is allergic to flea bites (as I did) this product is no good, as it will let them bite. It gets rid of the fleas permanent by making them sterile, but they do get to bite your pet in the meantime. Personally, I have always fed my dogs raw garlic from puppies, and use citronella, lemograss and tea tree oil on their collars in the summer. This prevents fleas from living on them because they don't like the smell. We humans, on the other hand, find it a nice smell - especially if the dog has been eating garlic, as it drowns out the garlic smell! I have been told that a dog fed a clove of garlic a day will never get fleas, as they won't live on them. Personally, I give a clove once or twice a week, and haven't suffered.