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To Flea Or Not To Flea

written by Marina Zacharias

Good Grief!! What are they going to come up with next?

Ciby-Geigy has launched a massive promotional campaign on a new "flea control" pill that they call "Program." Now you don't have to bother spraying poison on your carpets anymore, just pop a poison pill into your animal once a month and the animal will deliver the poison from its own blood directly to the flea!!

If I had to give an award to the "stupidest" product of the month, this one would win hands down.

Just how is it supposed to work? The pill contains a chemical called LUFENURON that prevents flea eggs from hatching or larvae from developing. So hopefully, after every flea in the house has taken a good bit out of your animal, ingested the poisoned blood, and laid infertile eggs -- you've "broken the cycle" and no more flea problem. (No Charlie, it's not a repellent. If your animal has a flea allergy, it will still have to suffer the bite so that the product can work).

Of course, as long as you continue to administer the pill, any new fleas from the outside would meet with the same fate. So once a month (forever) just give her a new dose and keep her in shape to continually deliver poison through her blood stream to prevent flea infestation.

Ciby-Geigy states in its' brochure that "PROGRAM" is well accepted and can be given to young, old and pregnant animals. In the product test literature it is reported that PROGRAM was given to nine beagles at 90x the recommended dose. Only six of the nine conceived. This is a conception rate of 67%!! In the same test eight beagles not on "PROGRAM" were bred and 100% conceived.

So how can they claim it is safe? Evidently the product has not killed any animals and therefore is deemed "safe!!"

Carol Scott Bardwick (Canine Cryobank, Inc.), a well known reproduction specialist, has issued a "warning" bulletin on this product and its effects on both male and female reproductive problems.

You should also be aware that puppies born to dams on the drug on the 90x study, had nasal discharge, respiratory congestion, dehydration / diarrhea, lethargy -- (sounds almost like Parvo, doesn't it) -- conditions which improved after the pups were weaned. Evidently the drug "lufenuron" concentrates in the dam's milk SIXTY TIMES more than in the dam's blood!!

This is one program you do not want to join!!!