Spring 2016 Update
It’s been a weird non winter… bad for everyone like me who likes to ski… but great for ticks unfortunately. Ticks don’t know what month it is. They just know the time is right to motivate when it’s damp and cool but not frozen. They have been happy all winter, but particularly happy with the early arrival of the ideal conditions that are happening now. Last week, an older dog came in covered with attached ticks 3 weeks post Frontline application … Frontline just isn’t enough to combat these evil seeds. Unfortunately, even though Frontline is safe… it’s not a repellant, which means ticks may be able to attach and feed long enough to transmit Anaplasmosis, our most common tick borne disease, outpacing Lyme which takes longer to transmit.
Tick prevention is more important than ever due to the ever increasing amounts of dangerous organisms that our ticks carry and transmit. There is a strong recommendation to move away from any product that doesn’t repel ticks. The products that repel are the Seresto collar, Advantix, Nexguard and Bravecto. Frontline does not repel and may allow a tick to feed long enough to transmit Anaplasmosis.
Seresto Collar: We have been using the Seresto collars for over 2 years now and they do a great job. Safety is great as animals can even ingest the collar without harm and human contact is minimal because the active ingredient is on the inside of the collar and needs hair stimulation to be activated. Dogs that swim often are not good candidates for the Seresto collar. Seresto can be used on cats as well (and yes they keep them on).
Advantix is applied monthly as Frontline was, but cannot be used in households with cats as it is not safe for cats.
Nexguard is a once-a-month oral pill for dogs that prevents fleas and ticks. It is beef flavored so it is easy to give but needs to be used with caution for food allergic dogs who need to be monitored for recurrence of allergy symptoms after the 1st month of administration.
Bravecto is similar to Nexguard but lasts for 3 months. It is a pork flavored chew so as with Nexguard you would need to be cautious after 1st administration that allergy symptoms don’t flare. We have been using Bravecto now for over a year with great results.
By Dr. Patricia Hart