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Flea & Tick Medicine???

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Flea & Tick Medicine???
  • Wasnt sure where to put this, but what does everyone recommend for flea & Tick prevention for their dogs?  I dont want to dope my dogs up with meds more than i have to, but we are in the hot humid south, and fleas & deer ticks can be an issue all year around- especially in hot summer months...  

     So what have people had luck with, without putting harmful chemicals into their animals system?

     And what do yall feel (med wise) should be avoided?  

     

    For those that dont know- i have 3 dogs and one on the way - 6 year old Akita, 3 year old Beauceron, 10 month old GSD, (and a Tibetan mastiff puppy that will be here in a few weeks- hes 20 days old today!), and 2 cats both about a year old - so lots of thick hair!

  •  I use Frontline Plus.

  • I try to avoid putting any chemicals on him if possible. In the wamer seasons when there are bugs, Bailey gets HW prevention monthly. I try to use flea/tick medication only when needed. I try to groom him everyday if possible. I just take a flea brush and go through his fur and pull off any bugs I find. Last summer, the fleas and ticks were EVERYWHERE. It was horrible, no matter how much I brushed him or how many baths he got, they just kept coming back. So I decided to put Frontline plus on him. Its the only flea chemical I would ever put on him.

    I got K9 advantix once, because it was cheaper... and it made Bailey very sick. He was vomiting for days after I put it on. Luckily he never had any of the other side effects, and he was fine after I got it off of him. I will *NEVER* buy K9 Advantix again... and I tell anyone I know who uses it to get something else.

  • I've been using Vectra (dinotefuran) because Frontline just hasn't been working (and it's 'iffy' in it's link to auto-immune diseases, but ANY chemical can be).  I'm in Florida -- same problem as you face.  You gotta use something because the risks are just too huge otherwise.  (I use Interceptor for Heartworm -- but the Program drug that is in Sentinel just isn't sensible for my crew -- they're out of our yard too much)

    Frontline isn't horrible at all -- it's just not working here any more.

    What I will NOT use:

     Advantage-Multi -- it uses moxidectin (which is what was in ProHeart 6) -- I will NOT use that ever.  In fact, I will use nothing by Bayer -- they're owned by Ft. Dodge (see comment about moxidectin)

    Beyond that -- the ingredients in Advantage-multi are systemic -- they go from the skin into the body system and STAY there.  I won't use any systemic flea prep that goes into the bloodstream and stays there for weeks.

    Revolution -- again this is systemic, and therefore dangerous and I won't use it.

    BioSpot -- same comment -- this is systemic, and therefore dangerous and I won't use it.

    K9 Advantix -- same comment -- this is systemic, and therefore dangerous and I won't use it. 

    Comfortis -- again same comment -- this is systemic and therefore dangerous I won't use it.

    I use DE in my yard and occasionally on the dogs.  It only works if it's not raining. 

  • calliecritturs

    I've been using Vectra (dinotefuran) because Frontline just hasn't been working (and it's 'iffy' in it's link to auto-immune diseases, but ANY chemical can be).  I'm in Florida -- same problem as you face.  You gotta use something because the risks are just too huge otherwise.

    Frontline isn't horrible at all -- it's just not working here any more. 

    Hmm I thought it was just me. It hasnt seemed to be working here either. The last time I used it, it really didnt seem to help as much as it used to. But, last year the fleas were REALLY bad so I guess that could be part of it...

  • I usually use Frontline Plus, but I have used K9 Advantix without any issues. I, too, feel like the FrontlinePlus was weaker this past year. I would never, ever use BioSpot or Hartz anything, or any flea/tick meds you can buy at Wal-Mart.

  •  

    Spazzy

    calliecritturs

    I've been using Vectra (dinotefuran) because Frontline just hasn't been working (and it's 'iffy' in it's link to auto-immune diseases, but ANY chemical can be).  I'm in Florida -- same problem as you face.  You gotta use something because the risks are just too huge otherwise.

    Frontline isn't horrible at all -- it's just not working here any more. 

    Hmm I thought it was just me. It hasnt seemed to be working here either. The last time I used it, it really didnt seem to help as much as it used to. But, last year the fleas were REALLY bad so I guess that could be part of it...

     

    Maggie's been on both Frontline and Vectra and I hate Vectra most...she's had ticks on the spot I applied the vectra to!  Topical isn't as effective as the pills...my mom's afraid of modern medicine (literally, afraid) , so, she always gave Sammi brewers yeast and garlic...it kind of worked for a lazy, inside dog. 

  • Topicals come in two types -- Vectra and Frontline aren't systemic.  They settle in the hair follicles and skin pores but they don't go into the bloodstream.

    Topicals like Advantage-Multi and REvolution start out on the skin but they sink into the bloodstream thru the skin and stay there for months.  You don't know when they really have left the body and in re-applying it when it seems like you need it or monthly you can be seriously over-dosing the dog.  That's typically what caused so many deaths with ProHeart 6. 

    You may want to check out http://www.dogsadversereactions.com -- and see how a lot of these have so many reactions.

    some pills -- like capstar -- kill fast and then exit the body.  But most of them, like the systemic topicals, rely on the parasite biting the dog in order to die.

     First off, that doesn't even make sense to me -- if the parasite bites the dog it can transmit disease.  So why do you want it to bite to kill? 

    Second -- the whole idea of feeding my dog a pesticide just scares me -- knowing the predisposition it tends to give the dog to diseases like auto-immune stuff and general adverse reactions.

    Comfortis in particular really worries me --

    A.  It was only tested on beagles.  Back when they tested ivermectin they only tested it on greyhounds.  But then it took years after they released it to the public to discover that it caused problems in collies, shelties and herding breeds.

    Comfortis is VERY like ivermectin -- it kills by disrupting the nervous system of the parasites and, in fact, has potential problems when given WITH ivermectin (HeartGuard? Iverhart?)

    B.  One of the specific adverse reactions that worries me the most is that it causes seizures -- and with the nervous system involvement that doesn't surprise me a bit.  Not seizures in dogs that were already seizure dogs.  Seizures in a random study of healthy dogs.  NOT good in my book.

  • I avoid using any chemicals unless the dogs actually get fleas. I haven't had fleas at all in almost 2 years, so not using the spot ons as prevention have saved my dogs a lot of unneeded chemical exposure. IMO none of the spot-ons are really "safe". We had a bad time of fleas around here this fall, so as an extra precaution I started the dogs on Springtime's Bug Off Garlic. Can't say it worked or not but the dogs didn't get fleas, despite exposure to them at the grooming shop. I also upped the baths they got, as that helps keep any potential flea situation under control. I also include some organic apple cidar vinegar in their diet, which may help prevent fleas.

     I also will use natural sprays sometimes for outside romps and places we go with other dogs. One easy to make one is to thinnly slice up a couple lemons, add some fresh rosemary place in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow the mixture to seep overnight and strain into a spray bottle.

     Also try to ensure your dog is as healthy as possible. Feed a diet that includes a lot of fresh foods, instead of processed food. Provide plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. Don't overvaccinate. Most adult dogs do not need annual boosters and overvaccination can weaken the immune system, which can make them more likely to have parasite problems.

     It is actually rather irresponsible use of pesticides to use the same one on a regular basis for a prolonged period of time. It irratates me that vets actually promote doing this. Prolonged exposure to one chemical creatures pesticide resistance in the pests that one is aiming to control. If you feel that you must use a spot on every month, you should rotate the brands to prevent developing "super fleas" that are tolerant to certain chemicals. This is most likely why people have experiences with "Frontline/Advantage/etc don't seem to be working any more".

     I do use Ivermectin for HW prevention Spring through Fall.

  • Umm, yeah.  What she said.

    I haven't needed a flea preventative since I ditched the Purina and started feeding the super premiums and either homecooked or raw.

  • I've heard folks say before that shepherds tend to be less prone to fleas but I never had to use ANYTHING for fleas until I moved to Florida.  Some years are worse than others -- but I only wish I didn't have to use stuff.  I add garlic to their food and I do naturals where I can -- have discussed long hours with all of my vets and the huge risk of inflammation and infection that result from not using flea stuff is just plain too great. 

    Even tho some flea preps have been linked to IMHA (and believe me this is a massive consideration for me) I've also been advised that the humungous risk that outweighs the chemicals is the risk from the stress of the fleas/ticks.

    We know it was the body's reaction to a sick tick (his body DID form antibodies to the tick -- but then the body generalized from there into IMHA) that triggered the IMHA ... it's such a sad sad choice and one I SO wish I did not have to make. 

  •  I use advantage on my crew, as needed only. We don't have ticks in my area - so I don't treat for that. Like Spazzy - I check for fleas, and do not apply unless I need to (always have done it this way). I applied it last week - because the new foster pup was infested, and I didn't want to chance it. That's the first time I've applied in MONTHS.

    I've used Vectra on shelter dogs before - with good success. I've never had an issue with Advantix, and have heard frontline has not worked so well.

  •  Frontline burns Bean's skin, and it burned Teenie Weenie, too. I use Advantage, on my girls, as needed. Before Emma left us, we used it religiously, because she was so allergic to fleas, but now, it's just if the fleas are especially bad, and getting on them. I tried Comfortis, once, and had horrible, horrible results. The dog I gave it to flaked, itched, and stunk for a month. Didn't have a flea on her, but no amount of bathing made her look decent. YUCK.

  •  Thanks for all of the info guys..i had no idea about the advantix etc.  We have used bio spot and advantix both in the past, but lately we have just used Frontline, and I dont think ive ever even done it more than one month at a time (never 2 or 3 months in a row) I just *knock on wood* havent needed it...Havent had issues with fleas since i dont remember when..but We have had issues with nasty deer ticks though unfortuantely since last November, when Halo came home.  I just find random ones here and there..we've made it a habit to check the dogs thouroughly quite often, and some days i may pull of one or two, and some days none...The frontline seemed like it did some good at first...but its hard to tell now.  Unfortunately we live in the city, and our chainline fence borders with a neighbors property that keeps their husky on a heavy chain out in their yard and sadly draws all types of strange dogs, so not sure what good it woulddo to treat my yard. 

    Also use Iverheart (supposed to be generic of heartguard?) every month for heartworms...here in the south, cant risk missing a month of that!

  • I use Frontline Plus.  I can't remember when the last time I put it on her was though.  It's been that long.  I will probably do it once when the weather gets warm and then if I'm seeing ticks I will have to do it again.  I've tried the Sentry Natural Defense spray.  I think if she had a different coat it might have worked. 

    The vet also told me that just for ticks I could try the tick collar. Because I could of just put it on when she was hiking or something and took it off when we got home.  But, with her mane it doesn't lay the way it is supposed to to work right.