Comfortis is the flea pill that revolutionized flea prevention in cats and dogs. Comfortis begins working quickly to kill fleas. Since it has been available it has been wildly popular, along with its combination formula (Trifexis). Comfortis is a once monthly pill for dogs and cats that begins working quickly and lasts for an entire month.
Advantage II is a topical flea preventative for dogs and cats. The most significant benefits of the product are that it works on contact, which means the flea does not have to bite, and it kills all life stages of the flea. The product is waterproof but may be less effective after bathing with a detergent based shampoo. Soap-free shampoos are recommended. Advantage is very similar to advantage multi, only it DOES NOT prevent heartworms. A few facts:
This week we are transitioning from our heartworm and combination preventatives into flea and tick products. First on the list is Bravecto. Bravecto is a newer product and has become very popular in the short time it has been available. The reasons for its popularity are due to three factors: It is long-lasting, very effective, very safe and can treat demodex (mange). Although mange treatment is extra label, it is one of the cheapest and safest methods. A few facts about Bravecto:
Interceptor plus is a once monthly chewable, similar to Heartgard. The main difference is the new formulation, which treats tapeworms. The new formulation is also much more palatable than the previous version. The company claims that even the most picky dog will eat it and it was gobbled up by an impressive 96.5% of dogs in a recent study. Here's a breakdown of the benefits:
Heartgard is one of the oldest and most popular stand alone heartworm preventatives. Although it has literally been around for decades, it is still as effective and popular as ever. Heartgard is ivermectin and although at the labeled dose it has been proven safe in Collies, many people still choose to use other drugs in these and other MDR1 breeds. Rightfully so, as there are many alternatives available for use in these pets. Heartgard is a beef chew, that dogs find very tasty, which prevents heartworm disease and some intestinal parasites.
For details on heartworm disease, see our earlier post.
Trifexis is one of the most popular and controversial heartworm and flea preventative combinations on the market. The cause of its popularity is its extreme efficacy of preventing fleas and heartworms. The cause of controversy is strictly due to internet rumors. The product got some bad publicity shortly after it was FDA approved and most of the claims have been disputed and lack any real relationship with the product. This has still convinced many people to use other products. Satilla Animal Hospital has never experienced a Trifexis related death, and it may be our most commonly used product. So what does Trifexis do and How?
Advantage Multi is a topical heartworm and flea preventative for dogs AND cats. It is applied to the skin on the back of the neck once a month. Advantage multi must be applied every month for prevention, but is very effective against both fleas and heartworms.
Since we have been covering heartworm preventatives and now have a handy chart, we will use the next several blog posts to talk about each product in a little more detail. We hope this helps you to make a more informed decision as to which product is best for your pet. This week we will discuss ProHeart 6.
This is a big topic, especially during the summer. This is probably obvious since we have discussed it many times already. We stress how important prevention is, so which one is the best?
The answer is that in our region, they all are. As long as your pet is on a preventative, he or she will be protected from heartworm disease. The choice most often comes down to what is most convenient.
Convenience is different for everyone. Maybe you need a product that will do everything you need and is given once a month. Or maybe convenience means your pet likes the way it tastes. For some, convenience is bringing the pet to the clinic every six months for an injection.
To help you make this decision, I have formed a simple comparison chart of products available at Satilla Animal Hospital. Hopefully, this will help you in determining the best way to meet your pet's needs.
For more detailed information, click here to see our earlier blog post on the differences in each product.
We already know that in Southeast Georgia, heartworm prevention is a must. Flea prevention is often considered just as important because we can see how miserable these pests make our friends. What about ticks? We may rarely see them and we just pull them off and keep going. We may see a little red bump, but that too usually heals. So what is the risk of not using tick preventative?
First, ticks can carry diseases, such as Lyme disease, Ehrlichia, Rocky Mountain Spotted fever, and other blood parasites that can cause a severely sick animal. The signs typically include lethargy, weakness and joint pain. While it is true that these diseases are rarely diagnosed in our clinic, the risk may be reason enough for some people to choose a tick preventative.
Ticks can also cause paralysis. This is because some ticks can carry a toxin that when released will cause a pet to become completely paralyzed. The prognosis for this is usually good, but not always. In most cases, the tick is removed and the pet will regain use of its limbs in a day or so. Although the outcome is usually good, it is a very scary ordeal for a pet owner. This is another good reason to consider tick prevention.
Some heartworm products prevent heartworm disease and fleas. But unfortunately, currently there is no product to prevent heartworm, fleas and ticks with just one pill or solution. This means that administering tick prevention always requires the use of at least two products. This is why many pets are not protected.
As a veterinarian it is our responsibility to try to inform owners of the risks. What you do with that information is completely up to you. I can honestly say I do not push tick prevention on my clients when they tell me that they have never seen a tick on their pet. If this is truly the case, the pet may live such a sheltered life that the chance of them encountering ticks is very rare. In that situation the pet may not need tick prevention. However, if you have seen even one tick on your pet, that can enough to cause disease. The decision is up to each pet owner, but the responsibility of informing them lies on the veterinarian. Hopefully, you find this information helpful and can make an informed decision for your pet. As always, if you have questions about ticks and their diseases or prevention, contact us on facebook, the website or in person at Satilla Animal Hospital in Waycross, GA.
Monday 8:00am - 5:30pm
Tuesday 8:00am - 5:30pm
Wednesday 8:00am - 5:30pm
Thursday 8:00am - 5:30pm
Friday 8:00am - 5:30pm
Saturday 9:00am - 12:00pm
511 S City Blvd
Waycross, GA 31501
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