In-home assessment of either topical fluralaner or topical selamectin for flea control in naturally infested cats in West Central Florida, USA

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Abstract

Background: An investigation was conducted in West Central Florida, USA to evaluate the efficacy of either topically applied fluralaner or topically applied selamectin to control flea infestations, minimize dermatologic lesions and reduce pruritus in naturally flea infested cats over a 12-week period. When dogs were present in the households, they were treated with either oral fluralaner (if household cats were treated with topical fluralaner) or oral sarolaner (if household cats were treated with topical selamectin). Methods: Thirty-one cats in 20 homes were treated once with fluralaner topical solution on day 0 and 18 dogs in these homes were administered a single fluralaner chewable. Twenty-nine cats in 18 homes were treated once monthly with a selamectin topical solution for 3 treatments and 13 dogs in these same homes were treated once monthly for 3 treatments with a sarolaner chewable. Fleas on cats were counted by flea combing, fleas on dogs were estimated using visual area counts and fleas in the indoor premises were assessed using intermittent-light flea traps. Blinded-assessments of feline dermatologic lesions were conducted monthly and pruritus severity was evaluated by pet owners. Results: A single topical application of fluralaner reduced flea populations on cats by 96.6% within 7 days and by 100% at 12 weeks post-treatment. This efficacy was significantly greater than selamectin treatment where single topical application reduced flea populations on cats by 79.4% within 7 days of initial treatment and 3 consecutive monthly treatments reduced flea populations by 91.3% at the end of 12 weeks. At the end of the 12-week study, all fluralaner-treated cats were flea-free and this was significantly greater than the 38.5% of selamectin treated cats that were flea-free. At the end of the study, fleas were completely eradicated (from cats, dogs and homes) in 95.0% of fluralaner treatment group homes, significantly greater than the 31.3% of selamectin/sarolaner treatment group homes with complete flea eradication. Owner reported cat pruritus was reduced similarly in both treatment groups. Significant improvements in dermatologic lesion scores were achieved by day 30 in fluralaner treated cats and by day 60 in selamectin treated cats. Conclusions: An in-home investigation in subtropical Florida found that 1 application of topical fluralaner eliminated flea infestations on cats and in homes significantly more effectively than 3 consecutive monthly doses of selamectin.

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Dryden, M. W., Canfield, M. S., Bocon, C., Phan, L., Niedfeldt, E., Kinnon, A., … Sun, F. (2018). In-home assessment of either topical fluralaner or topical selamectin for flea control in naturally infested cats in West Central Florida, USA. Parasites and Vectors, 11(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13071-018-2995-1

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