Flea & tick products 2021
Flea Risk: All pets that go outdoors have a risk of picking up fleas. Sentinel™ is our main product for dogs who have flea risk but no tick risk. Sentinel prevents heartworms, fleas, and three types of intestinal parasites.
Cats should be on monthly heartworm medication just like dogs. Selamectin, contained in products such as Revolution™ and Revolt™, prevents heartworms, fleas, ticks, and one or two species of intestinal parasites as well. For heavier flea and tick risk Frontline™ for cats works great. It’s more effective than Revolution at flea and tick control. Bravecto™, the 12-week oral flea and tick preventive for dogs (see below), comes in a 12-week topical application for cats. Bravecto also kills several species of mites, including Sarcoptes, Demodex, and ear mites, so it is used for treating diseases caused by these parasites.
Oral flea and tick preventatives: If you or your dog dislike that wet, sticky spot on the back of the neck or Frontline isn’t working well for you, you might want to try an oral product instead. An advantage of these newer chewable oral products is that you can use them regardless of whether your dog is going to have a bath or just received a bath. (You can’t apply a topical product such as Frontline within 48 hours of bathing.) With Nexgard, Bravecto, or our newest product, Simparica Trio™, it doesn’t matter when your grooming appointment is and you won’t need to worry about getting the stuff on your hands or having an area of hair loss on the back of the dog’s neck.
Parasite control just keeps getting easier!
- A new monthly, oral, chewable product called Simparica Trio protects dogs against heartworms, roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, fleas and ticks! One monthly pill does it all!
- The ingredients are equivalent to Heartgard, Triheart or Sentinel plus Nexgard or Bravecto.
- Prevents and treats several species of skin mites as well
- Demonstrated safe for puppies as young as 8 weeks old, weighing at least 2.8 lbs
- For more info, visit https://www.zoetispetcare.com/products/simparica-trio
The same products we have been using for the past couple of years are still available. However, we expect to be switching most clients over to Simparica Trio. Some of these other products may eventually be available from our online store but not here at the clinic.
Bravecto is made by Merck. It is an oral dose of medication that you give once every 12 weeks. It would be more convenient to use it every 3 months but the company is careful to emphasize that to stay effective it needs to be applied a few days earlier than just on the first of each month. It lasts 84 days, not quite 90. You would want to set up a reminder for yourself so you remember to give it to your dog when it’s due.
In addition to killing fleas and ticks, Bravecto is a good choice for treating Demodex and Sarcoptes mange mites in dogs, because one dose is all you need. Bravecto is the most expensive tick control product by the pill but costs a little less than the monthly pill, Nexgard, on a per-month basis.
Nexgard™ is made by Merial, the company that also makes Heartgard and Frontline. You can give it to your dog on the same day you give your heartworm medication each month.
Topical flea and tick preventatives: The most well-known topical flea & tick product is Frontline Plus. Frontline has been around for a long time now. It kills ticks more quickly than the new oral products, usually before they bite. If you don’t like to see any ticks on your dog, Frontline would be the product you’ll want to use. (However, deer ticks are so tiny that we often never see them at all anyway.) It also doesn’t seem to work as well as it did in the past. We have had a lot of clients complaining over the last couple of years that when they go up north, where there are a lot of ticks, it doesn’t control them sufficiently. We have upgraded to a newer veterinary-only product called Frontline Gold™, which has an added ingredient to make it more effective on fleas, with a better and faster flea kill.
There is a lot of counterfeit Frontline on the market and it also is heat sensitive and can be damaged during shipping, making it ineffective by the time you put it on your dog. We do not recommend buying Frontline online or from a big box store for this reason. Be careful where you get it from and store and apply it properly, or you may be wasting your money. Remember that we get our product directly from the manufacturer and our rebates and free product deals often make purchasing from us just as good a deal as getting it elsewhere for less per tube. Plus if you buy Frontline Gold from us, it’s guaranteed.
Revolution™ is a great product, a topical that is a heartworm and roundworm preventive as well as a flea and tick insecticide. It’s especially useful for cats who go outdoors and dogs with food allergies who can’t take oral chewable heartworm medication. It also kills Sarcoptic mites in dogs and cats and Cheyletiella mites in cats.
Over-the-counter products: There are many over-the-counter flea and tick products on the market. Many contain pyrethrin permethrin or a synthetic chemical in that same family of compounds. These chemicals were developed in the 1970s. They are much more toxic than modern products, especially to cats, and many insects are now resistant to them. Both safety and efficacy can be poor compared to Frontline and the new oral medications. If you have no cats in your household and your pet is healthy, using these products is reasonable, although they wouldn’t be our first choice.
Regular Frontline is available OTC, as are some knock-off generics. See notes about counterfeit products above.
If you want a flea and tick collar, Seresto™ would be our first choice. It’s a safe product that is waterproof and lasts 8 months. It’s available at our online store. Flea collars in general do not provide whole-body protection as well as an ointment or an oral medication.
As always, please ask if you have any questions or concerns about any of our products or services!