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Old 04-24-2008, 08:36 AM
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Program Flea Treatment + Parrots?

Hi. I'm new to this forum, and the owner of a wonderful 4 year old Congo grey. Also own some dogs, and need to do something about their fleas.

My vet says that Program is safe to use around parrots. Any experience or information about that?

As I understand it, Program is not toxic. It dries on the hair of the dog, gets into the dog's blood stream, and somehow interferes with the reproductive cycle of the fleas. Seems like that would not pose a risk for a parrot, but I'm also worried about chemicals around my baby.

Thanks!
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Old 04-24-2008, 05:28 PM
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Re: Program Flea Treatment + Parrots?

I'd agree with your vet. While I don't know the exact chemical in Program I think I checked it out once and it was basically the same as a couple other competing brands. Those would be 100% safe. Obviously don't put it on the bird or feed it to him, but all of the flea and tick medications are potent toxins for invertebrate organisms, particularly larval development. Those toxins do not affect vertebrate physiology, which means it will not affect the dogs, humans, or parrots.

The one POSSIBLE exception is if you are breeding. I would have to do more research to ensure that the chemicals would be safe for avian fetal development.
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Old 04-26-2008, 10:15 PM
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Re: Program Flea Treatment + Parrots?

Agreed with AD, and with the scientific explanation, I'd be a fool to argue with him even if I DIDN'T AGREE ...
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Old 04-26-2008, 10:45 PM
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Re: Program Flea Treatment + Parrots?

A chemical called Lufenuron is the active ingredient of Program. It inhibits chitin synthesis, which is a vital part of the eggs and exoskeletons of immature and molting fleas, but doesn't touch the adults if your dog is already afflicted. What confuses me about this thread is that Program is an oral medication (can also be injectible in cats). Being an oral medication, this is not something that you apply topically, that would more be Advantage or Frontline (both of which interfere with neurotransmission of the fleas, not the development). So I'm not sure why you said that it dries on the fur...I guess the bottom line is, are you sure that Program is the treatment that you and your vet are discussing (which is definitely safe around your bird), or is it one of the other treatments? Sorry, just had to jump in, hope this helps.
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Old 04-27-2008, 01:59 PM
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Re: Program Flea Treatment + Parrots?

I stand corrected, I was also ASSUMING it was the same as the other major brands... making a you know what out of U and ME. Leave it to the vet student to set us straight. Don't ever stop explaining things to people, thats one of my pet peeves of a lot of vets: they think people aren't smart enough to understand what's what so they don't try educating clients enough.

A great example was the recent bird food discussion. Most avian vets strongly recommend Harrison's, but yet its so hard to get real data on WHY it's better than others.

In any case any none of the flea medications should affect the birds. Do be cautious about some of the other measures that may be recommended though. The flea bombs are not safe for ANYTHING and I'd suspect due to their sensitive respiratory systems that would be especially dangerous for birds. Also there are powders and aerosol sprays for ticks, these may very well be of concern for a parrot owner - not due to the active chemicals as much as to their airborne nature.
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