Heartworm, Flea & Tick Options

by Dr. Peter Hill 30. May 2014 06:00

Dr. Peter Hill

ORAL HEARTWORM MEDICATIONS: (Interceptor, Heartgard Plus, Iverheart Plus, Sentinel etc..)

These products are manufactured as a 'flavored' tablet or as in the case of Heartgard

Is actually a beefy cube. This makes administration much easier as most dogs can be convinced they are receiving a treat! Heartworm medication is intended to be given on a once a month basis, and it is generally advisable to keep your pet on a 12 month cycle, or all year round.  If a dose is skipped, you will need to have your pet heartworm tested before giving the next month’s dose. Some breeds of dog do better on Interceptor than Heartgard because of the way certain breeds process the medication. Check with your vet to be sure you are giving the correct medication for your dog.

TOPICAL SOLUTIONS: (Frontline, Frontline Plus, Advantage, Advantix, Revolution etc..)

There are many brands of topical solutions to put on your dog once a month. Some products protect against heartworms, ear mites, fleas and ticks. Some just protect against fleas, some against fleas and ticks, some kill larvae, some don’t. Most topical solutions will not prevent a tick from latching on, but will kill the tick before it can transmit  Lyme & other diseases to your pet and possibly you! One word of precaution; it is important to remember that your dog should not be bathed or get wet 2 days prior to applications and 2 days after to make sure the solution is properly absorbed into the bloodstream.

ORAL FLEA & TICK MEDICATIONS: ( Capstar, Comfortis, Program etc..)

Some people that have young children, do not wish to use a topical solution on their pet for fear of the child coming in contact with the medication. In addition, it has been found that some dogs can become really sensitive to the topical solutions. Fortunately there are multiple products available for dogs that taste good and keep the parasites away! These products each have a different route of efficacy and administration. For instance, Capstar kills only adult fleas within a 30 minute window, and can be administered as often as once a day. Comfortis, on the other hand kills adult fleas & larvae while offering monthly protection against fleas, it does not protect nor prevent ticks. It is important to know which product will work best for your situation.

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