Veterinary parasitology

Assessment of owner-administered monthly treatments with oral spinosad or topical spot-on fipronil/(S)-methoprene in controlling fleas and associated pruritus in dogs.

PMID 23021262


Monitoring of the performance of flea control products under conditions of natural challenge is valuable in assessing continued effectiveness and determining the ongoing relevance of laboratory studies. A multi-clinic, investigator-blinded study was undertaken in client-owned dogs to investigate and compare the flea control provided by 3 consecutive monthly treatments of oral spinosad (SPN) or fipronil/(S)-methoprene topical (FSM) spot-on. The first household dog meeting enrollment criteria and with at least 10 fleas (whole-body flea count) served as the index dog in a household against which primary objectives were set. Stratification was based on pruritus scores at the enrollment visit and on single or multiple pet household. Index pets were randomized to treatment with either SPN or FSM, dispensed on day 0 for at-home administration by owners. All other household dogs and cats, maximum 4 pets per household, were dispensed the same treatment as the index dog (spinetoram was dispensed for cats in SPN households). Subsequent treatments were dispensed when index dogs were returned for whole-body flea counts and pruritus-scoring at visits on days 30 and 60, with final assessments on day 90 (±5 days on each occasion). Primary endpoints were the number of flea-free index dogs in each group one month after the final treatment, the reduction in owner-reported pruritus, and the reduction from baseline mean flea counts. One hundred twenty eight index dogs were enrolled (65 in the SPN arm; 63 in the FSM arm) at 10 clinics in FL (6), NC (2), LA (1), and TX (1). On day 0, geometric mean flea counts were 57.7 (range: 10-1469) and 44.8 (10-717) for the SPN and FSM groups, respectively. On Day 90, 55 of 58 (95%) and 21 of 55 (38%) index dogs completing the study were flea-free in SPN and FSM groups, respectively; mean SPN pruritus scores declined to 0.92 (6.67 on day 0), and to 3.83 (6.33 on day 0) for FSM; geometric mean flea counts (% control) were 0.08 (99.9%) and 5.19 (88.4%), for SPN and FSM groups, respectively. Between-treatment differences were highly statistically significant (p<0.0001). In conclusion, SPN provided reliable flea control in client-owned dogs, regardless of challenge level.

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Methoprene, PESTANAL®, analytical standard