(WCPO) - Some dog and cat owners across the country have been noticing something strange the past few years: their pets flea and tick medicine doesn't seem to be working as well. Is it their pet, warmer weather, how they are applying the treatment or something else?
Dog owner Dean Carroll loves his two Terriers, Fred and Ginger, as in the famous dancers. But the only dancing going on in his home is the constant dance of fleas for the past 2 years.
"Fleas were absolutely terrible, they were scratching constantly. We were using a brush, and every day we would get eight or nine fleas off each of them, and it didn't seem to work," Carroll explained.
Carroll tried a spray, in addition to capsules, and tried switching from Frontline to K-9 Advantix, but saw no change. He searched the web on the problem, and found dozens of other pet owners complaining, some wondering if fleas are developing a resistance to flea medicine.
"I am not a scientist, I am not a doctor, but you hear about a lot of things developing resistance these days," he said.
Dr. Natalie Tabacca, a veterinary dermatologist, noted studies by manufactures and universities have found no evidence of resistance.
"We have not been able to demonstrate any fleas have become resistant to a product," Dr. Tabacca explained.
So why are Carroll's dogs still scratching? Dr. Tabacca said evidence points to 2012's record warmth, and longer growing seasons in recent years.
"We're getting more fleas earlier, and they are lasting longer. Those eggs and pupa are hardy and can live outdoors as long as there is warm enough temperature," she said.
Bayer, maker of K-9 Advantix, agreed with Dr. Tabacca, telling us in a statement:
"Recent mild winters have extended flea and tick season across the country. It now seems to be a constant pressure year-round."
Frontline Plus maker Merial, released the following statement:
"Perceived resistance to Frontline® Plus has not been documented in any studies. When used according to the label, Frontline products are highly effective."
So what can pet owners do? Dr. Tabacca has a few suggestions.
What this means is that pet owners like Dean Carroll are going to have to be extra vigilant all year long.
If you notice a flea or tick issue this spring and summer, see your vet. A change in medication or change in the way you apply it may be all you need, that way your pet stays happy, your house stays clean, and you don’t waste your money.
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