We are glad to offer a variety of products administered in three different ways: topical application, oral medication, and continuous wear collar. All of these products work by blocking a neurological function specific to invertebrates like fleas and ticks. While products are available for dogs and cats, it is very important that dog products are not given to cats and vice-versa. When picking a product, it is important to consider your pet's health, lifestyle, and any potential allergies or drug interactions.
There are a wide variety of products available to combat fleas and ticks. These are differentiated by their method of administration, duration of action, and suitability for pets with certain medical conditions. We offer products to keep pets protected within the context of any lifestyle.
Topical products, such as Frontline Plus, are applied to the skin between the shoulder blades once a month. These products spread across the entire body of the dog or cat within approximately 24 hours and are stored within the oil glands of the skin for 30 days. Dogs should not be bathed or go swimming for approximately 24 hours before or after Frontline is applied. Aside from those days, it is fine for dogs to be fully submerged in water without a decrease in protection.
Two newer products offer flea and tick protection for dogs in the form of a flavored tablet. Nexgard is administered by mouth once a month. Bravecto is given once every 12 weeks. Both Nexgard and Bravecto begin to kill and repel fleas and ticks within 48 hours of administration. Some dogs may experience some vomiting or diarrhea so these tablets are best given with a meal. There is no need to postpone bathing or swimming with these products. Nexgard is not an option for dogs that have a history of seizures or seizure like disorders.
Next generation tick and flea collars can offer continuous protection against these pests for many months when used correctly. Scalibor, appropriate only for dogs, offers protection against the four species of ticks known to transmit disease in this area for up to 5 months. Seresto, which has collars specially designed for dogs or cats, can offer protection for 8 months. Both are designed to kill fleas or ticks already present on pets as well as prevent new infestations of these parasites. While they begin working within a day of application, it is important to keep in mind that they will be strongest after 2 weeks of continuous wear. These collars do not need to be removed for bathing or swimming. Seresto’s label notes that frequent bathing or swimming, more than once a week, can shorten the lifespan of the collar from 8 months to 5 months.
In addition to giving these preventative treatments, it is important to check your pet daily for ticks. Because fur can interfere with our ability to see the small, nymph ticks, rinsing dogs down at the end of the day may provide more efficient and effective way to remove the smaller nymph ticks. Landscaping changes can make a yard and home less hospitable to ticks, reducing the chance of exposure. These include keeping lawns cut short, removing brush or leaves from around the house, and chemically treating the perimeter of a yard with a tick preventative.
Heartworm disease is prevented by variations of avermectin-derived medications. Avermectins are produced in the soil and can treat many parasitic diseases of people as well as pets. In 2015, the scientists who discovered avermectins were awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine. They are a very safe class of medication for most pets.
Heartgard and Sentinel are tablet forms of heartworm prevention. They are taken by mouth once a month and offer protection against some intestinal worms found in the environment as well as heartworms. If dogs have food sensitivities, Sentinel is the better choice as it does not contain beef protein. Heartgard is available for dogs and cats. Sentinel is a canine-only product.
Revolution is a topical combination product that offers protection against heartworm disease as well as some intestinal worms, skin mites, and, fleas. It is applied to the skin between the shoulder blades once a month and is a great choice for pets that will not take oral medication or have food sensitivities. Revolution is available for dogs and cats.
Tick borne diseases can cause serious, devastating illness in people - in addition to the danger they pose to our pets - and an infected tick can bite more than once. While heartworm disease is more rarely diagnosed in our area, in part due to rigorous prevention protocols, it can be even more difficult and expensive to treat. In cats, there is no approved medication to treat heartworm disease, and management is the only option once exposed.
For these reasons, the veterinarians and staff at Park East Animal Hospital believe that providing appropriate flea, tick, and heartworm prevention for your pet is an important part of maintaining their health and well-being. We encourage you to call our office and speak with a veterinarian about vector borne disease, prevention, and what is best for your pet and your family.