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Uses and Side Effects of Comfortis for Dogs

Comfortis is a prescription medicine used to get rid of fleas infestation in dogs. Pet swear by this fleas remedy that has got wide acceptance. It has to be given orally for a month to control the menace of fleas in dogs.
DogAppy Staff
Although it has been approved by the FDA, the safety of Comfortis is not known in pregnant or breeding dogs. Also, puppies below 14 weeks of age should not be given this medication.
If there is one condition that can be quite bothersome for the dog as well as the pet owners, it is dog fleas. Fleas are very tiny dark brown insects that love to reside on the coat and skin of dogs and other domestic animals. These insects such their host's blood causing the host to itch and scratch to relieve the irritation. So, a flea infestation can cause your dog to scratch persistently, leaving the skin traumatized.
Handling flea control in dogs can be nasty, if you don't employ the right method of curbing this menace. However, since the introduction of Comfortis, a flea pill, protecting dogs from these 'blood suckers' has become much easier.
Comfortis for Dogs
Comfortis that comes in the tablet form is formulated to keep dogs safe from fleas. The medication has received the nod of the FDA for flea control in dogs. As a pet owner, you won't face any difficulty in feeding the tablet , as it is chewable and has a beef flavor. The flea pill has to be given just once and is effective for the next 30 days. In short, it is a 'once a month' tablet that has shown great success with minimal dosage.
The main advantage of using Comfortis is that unlike other flea remedies that involve use of shampoo or 'flea bath', one has to simply give the medication in the prescribed dose once a month. That's it! You don't go through the cumbersome task of bathing your pet with a medicated shampoo. In United States, the flea season starts from April and continues till September or October.
Active Ingredient
Spinosad, the primary constituent of Comfortis, is a natural substance found to be most toxic against fleas. In fact, it is an active ingredient in garden insect sprays.
Mechanism of Action
Once the tablet is fed, it is quickly absorbed into the blood, and then it starts circulating throughout the body. So when a flea bites, the active ingredient spinosad enters the flea's bloodstream. Spinosad causes hyperexcitation of the nervous system of fleas, resulting in involuntary muscle contraction, prostration with tremors, followed by paralysis and death. So the medication essentially targets the flea's nervous system to kill the insect.
This is a unique mode of action that is found to be extremely effective to prevent and eliminate flea infestation in dogs. It starts working as soon as 30 minutes after it has been administered. The action of Comfortis simply does not allow the fleas to lay their eggs underneath the dog's skin, which works to curb the infestation.
Although the medication works when the dog is actually suffering from an infestation, it is most effective if given 30 days before the flea season starts. This way you can actually protect your pet from getting infested. Continue administering the medication, once a month, right through the flea season to prevent the infestation.
Side Effects
There have been reports of dogs vomiting after being given a dose of Comfortis. In fact, at the time of testing the drug, it was observed that 12% of dogs threw up when given for the first time. Moreover, 5% of dogs experienced diarrhea. Lack of appetite was also noticed in a small percentage of dogs. However, when the medication was given again in later phases, the percentage of dogs suffering from side effects was significantly reduced.
So if your pet throws up in an hour's time, you need to reassess the dose. Chances are that your pet is unlikely to vomit later. Other side effects that may occur on administering Comfortis in dogs are:
  • Lethargy
  • Excessive thirst
  • Redness of the skin
  • Vocalization
  • Drooling
  • Cough
In case any of the aforementioned side effects occur and you feel that it is bothering your pet, immediately notify your veterinarian.
How Safe is Comfortis for Dogs?
Although Comfortis is a beef-flavored tablet, it is made from pork protein. So, giving the tablet to dogs with pork allergy can be a cause for concern. Pork allergy is a rarity but in case your pet is allergic to pork meat, you probably may have to consider an alternative medication for the treatment of fleas.
On the whole, Comfortis is safe and effective in treating fleas in dogs. However, since it is a prescription medicine, make sure to consult with your veterinarian before giving this flea pill.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a veterinarian.