Canine Flea and Tick Prevention

There are lots of choices for flea and tick products for your pets.  We sell Frontline Plus, Vectra 3D, Seresto Collars, Nexgard, and Simparica Trio.  Please be careful to choose a product that is safe and effective.  There are many websites that advertise ineffective and unsafe at-home remedies (garlic for ex).  If you aren’t sure about your options please set up an appointment to discuss them with us.

Factors that may influence which product is right for you:

1.  Does your dog have frequent contact with a cat or pet rabbit?

2.  Does your pet have frequent contact with young children?

3.  Does your dog or cat get bathed frequently or swim frequently.

4.  Are flies an issue on your property?

5.  Does it matter to you if the fleas and ticks are repelled or die after they bite?

6.  Is your pet pregnant or are you planning to breed them?

7.  There are age limits in puppies and kittens.

8.  Chronic illness or disease (liver disease, kidney disease or seizures).

9.  Is cost or convenience important?

Frontline and Frontline Plus:

Frontline is a topical squeeze on flea and tick prevention product containing the active ingredient fipronil.  It is highly effective and very safe for dogs and cats.  It is absorbed by the body and then dispersed into the oils that are secreted onto hair follicles.  Some of the chemical will come off onto surfaces touched by the pets fur including furniture and skin.  There is no evidence that this is harmful, however, for some it is unappealing.  It takes a couple of days after application to reach full potency.  Since the oils on the hair help it work frequently bathing will make it ineffective.  It should never be used on rabbits (it can cause them to have seizures).  Fipronil causes fleas and ticks to become ill when they come in contact with the product , usually as they walk through your pet’s fur.  They will usually fall off without attaching or biting the pet but will rarely be found attached but dead.  Fipronil is not an affective fly or mosquito repellant.  This product should be reapplied every 30 days.  Dogs must be at least 8 weeks of age and 5 lbs to use this product.

Vectra 3D:

Vectra 3D is a topical squeeze-on flea and tick prevention product containing the active ingredient Permethrin (an insecticide derived from chrysanthemum), dinotefuron, and pyriproxyfen.  This is a great choice for dogs who struggle with fly bites or who visit areas with lots of ticks.  This product is applied down the back and a small amount of the ingredients may transfer onto surfaces your pet touches (like furniture in your home or you).  There is no evidence that this is harmful, however, for some, it is unappealing.  Canine Vectra 3D is NOT safe for cats (they make a different formula for felines but we don’t carry it) and should be used with some caution in households with cats.  I recommend only applying it to the dogs in the house if you can keep them away from the cats for at least 2 hours (until the product dries).   This product should be re-applied every 30 days.  Vectra is not approved for use in pregnant or lactating females.  It can be used in dogs as young as 7 weeks as long as they weigh at least 1.5 kgs.

Seresto Collars:

Seresto Collars contain two ingredietns Flumethrin and imidacloprid embedded into a collar that can be worn for 8 months.  Flumethrin is very dangerous for cats, care should be taken to ensure they can not chew on the collar.  These collars will repel as well as kill parasites and can be removed and stored between uses (for 8 months).  Once placed on your pet it takes a few days to reach full potency and spread from the collar onto the rest of the hair coat.  Seresto should be used in dogs older than 7 weeks and larger than 18 lbs but we rarely recommend them for puppies.  Seresto collars are not a cost effective solution for dogs who are growing and may exceed the recommended weight range.  They are as safety risk in pets who like to chew on things.  It is a rare puppies that doesn’t check one of these boxes.  These collars are a great option for pets who go camping or visit the woods occasionally but whose owners do not want to regularly use topicals.  They can place the seresto collar a day or two before leaving and remove it when they get home.   They are also very cost effective and may help deter biting flies.

Nexgard:

Nexgard is a newer variety of flea and tick prevention.   This medication is given by mouth as a flavored treat.  It can be used in dogs as young as 8 weeks who weigh at least 4 lbs.  Nexgard has not been evaluated for use in pregnant or lactating dogs.  If your dog has a history of seizures caution is recommended and you may want to consider a different type of flea and tick prevention.  Nexgard is for dogs only and should not be given to cats.   It works by placing a small amount of the active ingredient into the pets blood.  When the flea or tick take a blood meal they die.  Nexgard has no repellant effect, instead killing after the parasite bites.  For this reason, it is possible, though uncommon, to see dead ticks or fleas where your pet sleeps or dead ticks attached to your dog.  However, with this type of prevention there is no way for chemicals to enter your environment or land on your skin.  Similarly, this is a great solution for pets who spend lots of time swimming or need frequent bathing because you won’t need to worry about the topical products getting diluted or washed off.

Simparica Trio:

Simparica trio combines an oral (by mouth) flea and tick prevention with heartworm prevention that is given once monthly.  It should be used with caution in pets with a history of seizures.  It can safely be used in dogs as young as 8 weeks and as little as 2.8 lbs.  Simparica has no repellant effect, instead killing after the parasite bites.  For this reason, it is possible, though uncommon, to see dead ticks or fleas where your pet sleeps or dead ticks attached to your dog.  However, with this type of prevention there is no way for chemicals to enter your environment or land on your skin.  Similarly, this is a great solution for pets who spend lots of time swimming or need frequent bathing because you won’t need to worry about the topical products getting diluted or washed off.

Cat Flea and Tick Prevention

Revolution Plus:  Revolution plus is a topical parasite prevention that contains selemectin and sarolaner.  It is effective against fleas, ticks, heartworm, ear mites and many intestinal parasites.  After application is is absorbed into the body and doesn’t leave chemical residue on the skin so there is virtually no risk of you or your environment from being exposed to the active ingredients.  It is safe for use in cats and kittens 8 weeks of age and older who weigh more than 2.8 lbs.