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How to Use Capstar Flea Control Medication

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

A lot of pet owners have never heard of Capstar flea control medication. Capstar is not quite as popular as Frontline or Advantage, but it is very effective at killing adult fleas. One thing that makes it different from other flea control medications is that it works very quickly. While most topical flea control products can take up to 12 hours to kill fleas on your pet, Capstar starts to work within 30 minutes and greater than 90% of total fleas on the pet will be killed within 4-6 hours.

A key concept to understand when using Capstar to kill fleas is that it only lasts for 24 hours and only targets one stage of the flea's life cycle (adults). The product works well but its effectiveness is short-lived. You will either need to continue using Capstar every few days for several weeks or use it in conjunction with other flea control products such as Program or Frontline Plus. This is because there are most likely other stages of the flea's life cycle living in your pet's environment. It can take several days and weeks for these stages to develop into adult fleas which infest your pet. Eggs, larvae, and pupae do not live on the host animal.

Capstar is an oral tablet that can be given to dogs, cats, kittens and puppies 4 weeks of age and older and 2 pounds of body weight or greater. It is also safe to give to pregnant or nursing animals. Most flea control products can only be given to pets 6-8 weeks of age or older so Capstar is very popular for tiny, orphaned animals. I have seen many stray kittens come into our veterinary clinic so infested with fleas that they can hardly keep their eyes open. Giving them a dose of Capstar gives them relief in just a short amount of time. You can literally watch the fleas die and jump off the kitten. Treating young kittens for fleas is especially important because they can die from anemia in just a short amount of time.

The main ingredient in Capstar is nitenpyram, which works by blocking the nervous system of fleas. It is safe to give in combination with other medications such as antibiotics, heartworm preventative, dewormers, and anti-inflammatories. It is available without a prescription and comes in two sizes: one for pets that weigh less than 25 pounds and those that weigh between 25 and 125 pounds. If your dog weighs over 125 pounds your veterinarian will probably recommend giving two tablets (one of each size). One benefit of purchasing Capstar from your veterinarian is that you can purchase only one tablet at a time. If you shop online you may be forced to purchase more tablets than you really need.

Because Capstar only kills adult fleas you should be prepared to use another flea product that will help break the flea life cycle. One good choice is Program (lufenuron). Program prevents adult fleas from reproducing and is given orally every 30 days. If your pet has fleas you should give him Program every 30 days for 3 consecutive months. Lufenuron can also be found in a product called Sentinel which is used for preventing both heartworm and flea infection. Another product that works well in combination with Capstar is Frontline Plus. Frontline Plus is a topical and should be applied every 30 days for 3 months to break the life cycle.

In a nutshell, Capstar is a great product to use if you notice that your pet has fleas and you want to get rid of them quickly. When used in combination with other flea control products that target other stages of the life cycle, you can get rid of fleas before they become a bigger problem. It's also important to remember that all pets in the household need to be treated.


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