Flea Tick And Heartworm Prevention
Animals especially cats and dogs love to spend their time outside in the sun. No matter how much you control them it is not that easy. With the thought of playing outdoors comes the worry of the pesky parasites which can latch on your dogs’ body.
The effects of flea, ticks, and heartworms can be draining and fatal for them. Flea and tick bites contain a host of many diseases, which are not only contagious for dogs but can be transmitted to humans and cause Lyme disease.
There are many fleas, tick, and heartworm prevention treatments available that have proven to reduce the chances of biting bugs.
Fleas can cause skin allergies, infest your home, and also cause tapeworm infection. On the other hand, heartworms damage the heart and lungs of animals. The importance of the prevention of these parasites is undeniable.
Timely testing of your pets can save them and will inhibit those pesky parasites to cause more damage.
Currently, there are a few all-in-one medicines available for flea, tick, and heartworm prevention which we will discuss in this article.
What Are The All-In-One Preventive Options?
Any preventive medication for your vet will require a prescription by the vet. They will first perform the heartworm test to ensure that your dog isn’t heartworm positive. If your dog has an infection and you give them preventive medication, it can cause a severe reaction or even death.
Below are some options which the veterinarian will prescribe after a proper checkup:
Trifexis is a chewable flavored tablet that kills fleas and prevents infestation. It also protects against heartworms and treats roundworm, hookworm, and whipworm infection.
This bee-flavored medication is an all-in-one medication for your dogs’ safety against nasty parasites. It can only be purchased if you have an authentic prescription from a vet.
Trifexis contains two active ingredients, spinosad and milbemycin oxime. The combination of these two protects against heartworms and other intestinal parasites which are mentioned above.
Milbemycin oxime tends to kill the larvae which circulate in the blood by inhibiting the neurological function of these parasites. It does the same to adult hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms.
This medicine kills heartworms, hence your dog must be tested negative for heartworm disease. Otherwise, this medication is lethal for your canine friend.
The other active ingredient is spinosad. It kills adult fleas on your pooch before they start to lay eggs. Just like Milbemycin oxime, it also targets the nervous system of the parasites.
According to the company, this medicine starts to work within 30 minutes of ingestion and kills adult biting fleas within 4 hours.
Trifexis is specifically for dogs. They must be older than 8 weeks and weigh more than 5 lbs.
If your puppy is less than 14 weeks, you may see some symptoms like vomiting. This medication should be given once a month to your pooch.
Sentinel is somewhat similar to Trifexis. This flavored tablet contains milbemycin oxime that prevents the growth of young heartworms, roundworms, whipworms, and hookworms.
Instead of spinosad, sentinel uses lufenuron as their other active ingredient to treat fleas. It stops the flea’s eggs from hatching or developing them into adults by inhibiting the growth of the chitin, which is a crucial component of the insect’s exoskeleton.
This medicine doesn’t kill the adult fleas but it disrupts the lifecycle of the fleas. It is important to know this because, if your furry friend is flea-sensitive or allergic, they may still suffer from the flea bites.
The vet will determine if your pooch is flea-sensitive or not. If that’s the case, then the vet will prescribe another supplement for adult flea control. However, this medicine is suitable for dogs and puppies of 4 weeks or older weighing 2 or more lbs. For maximum effectiveness, give this tablet with food.
Sentinel’s side effects are rare. But, in some cases, dogs can exhibit symptoms like vomiting, depression, drowsiness, itching, hives, loss of appetite, diarrhea, hypersalivation, and weakness.
If you observe these signs, you should contact a vet immediately.
This is the only beef-flavored tablet that protects against 6 types of parasites. It includes fleas, heartworms, roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, flea eggs, and tapeworms.
Like other all-in-one products, Sentinel Spectrum also requires a prescription from the vet. This medication is given monthly and with food for maximum effectiveness.
The two ingredients are the same as Trifexis and Sentinel which are milbemycin and lufenuron. In addition to that, it contains the third active ingredient praziquantel, which protects against tapeworms.
It contains an insect growth regulator (IGR), which prevents the flea eggs from hatching and turning into adult fleas. This medication may be given along Capstar, which treats flea infestation.
If your dog has a high number of circulating offspring or microfilariae they will be treated using milbemycin oxime which can cause a few symptoms. These signs can be mild and hypersensitivity reactions such as labored breathing, vomiting, hypersalivation, and lethargy.
It is recommended for dogs and puppies of 6 weeks and older and weighing not less than 2 lbs.
Revolution is a safe monthly topical medication for both cats and dogs. It protects the dog from heartworm and fleas. It is also useful against canine sarcoptic mange flea eggs, ear mites, and ticks. In cats, Revolution is a useful medication for roundworms and hookworms too.
The active ingredient in this medicine is Selamectin. It works by penetrating deep in the tissues and the bloodstream which kills adult fleas, prevents its eggs from hatching, treats heartworm disease, American dog tick, and ear mites.
It is an anthelmintic, which means it works to expel the parasitic worms from the body. Like every other flea, tick, and heartworm prevention, this topical medication is only given when prescribed by the vet.
Revolution is applied topically, once a month, and is not suitable for puppies under 6 weeks of age and kittens under 8 weeks of age.
There are a few possible side effects that may occur after using the revolution. Signs can look like; temporary hair loss where the medicine is applied, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, drowsiness, rapid heartbeat, and muscle tremor.
Your vet will explain to you how to apply this medication. Even if you don’t understand you can ask the pharmacist to explain it to you.
The topical tube is available in multiple tubes containing a specific amount of medication according to the weight of your pet. The tubes available are as follows:
- 15mg/0.25ml for puppies under 6 weeks and kittens under 8 weeks weighing 5 lbs.
- For cats
- 5.1-15 lbs (45mg/0.75ml)
- 15.1-22 lbs (60mg/1ml)
- For dogs
- 5.1-10 lbs (30mg/0.25ml)
- 10.1-20 lbs (60mg/0.5ml)
- 20.1-40 lbs (120mg/1 ml)
- 40-1-85 lbs (240mg/2 ml)
- 85.1-130 lbs (360mg/3ml)
You shouldn’t split the components of the tube and use it all at once. Otherwise, it will decrease the effectiveness.
Benefits Of All-in-one Flea And Heartworm Prevention
Being a pet owner can be pretty challenging sometimes. Because your animal can’t take care of themselves properly. From their food to health you have to keep an eye on all.
Dogs love to spend most of the time outside and you should too. But, the thought of them catching fleas, ticks, and other parasites are worrisome.
Taking your pet for a regular checkup and making sure they don’t have any internal parasites is the only way to keep them healthy.
There are many medicines, both pills and topical treatments available. The vet will prescribe the products after examining your pet. Instead of separate medicines for every problem, there are all-in-one prevention medicines available that have multiple advantages.
- It is easy to administer and you will most likely remember the dosage because it is a single medication against several parasites.
- Your pet will have to take fewer supplements
- It is affordable as you don’t have to buy multiple medicines and only requires to be given once a month
All-in-one Pills Or Topical Products – Which One is Better?
Chewable tablets are less messy and convenient as compared to ointments and other topical treatments. The single dosage medications come in flavors that your pet will enjoy chewing.
Unlike topical products your dog doesn’t need to soak in before they swim or take a bath. You also don’t need to rub or shake it off after administration.
Topical treatments can be toxic if it is ingested. It should also soak in the skin for at least 2 hours before you allow your pooch to interact with children or other pets in the house. Topical ointments can also create a mess as pets are active in nature and love to run around.
Now, the picture is clear which type of prevention treatment is best for your pet. But, you will not decide it alone. Your vet has the most say in this regard because he will be treating your pet and will know what is suitable for your pet and what isn’t.
So, if your vet gives you an option, you know what to choose!
How To Choose The Best Flea Tick And Heartworm Prevention For Your Pet?
Before choosing a preventive medication for your pet, consider their lifestyle and what you want to protect them from, and which parasite is the most bothersome for your pet.
The choice depends upon if your dog spends most of the time outdoors or indoors. If it is usual for your pet to be exposed to ticks, Trifexis or sentinel spectrum is the best choice. Both chewable pills are the best treatments for fleas and multiple intestinal parasites.
If your main concern is tick, then the revolution is a good choice. It provides protection against heartworms, fleas, and their eggs as well as ear mites in dogs.
In any of the medicines that we mentioned above, are not available without a prescription. You must take your pet to the veterinarian for a proper diagnosis.
If you start the treatment on your behalf without knowing the root cause, it can complicate the health of your pet or in some cases, it can cause death.
Other than oral and topical medication, sprays collars and shampoos are also available in stores that will help eliminate the chances of your pet getting these pesky parasites.
Taking care of your pet’s hygiene as well as your surrounding is the best way to keep your pet healthy and happy. Ticks, fleas, heartworms are irritating for your pet. In severe cases, it can also cause death.
No matter which product you choose or what product your vet prescribes your pet, always follow the instruction closely to ensure that you give the correct and timely dosage. If your pet shows any signs of discomfort, the first thing you should do is contact a vet immediately.
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