Fleas and Ticks Suck
Every dog owner can relate to the annoyance and misery that ticks and fleas are capable of bringing into their households. These pests not only jump from one pet to another, but they can also infect people as well! Unfortunately, the infernal itching is not the only disadvantage that these pesky ticks and fleas can leave you and your furry friends with. They can also spread several diseases such as tapeworm infestation, anemia, Lyme disease, and certain allergies and skin infections as they feed on their hosts’ blood.
Fleas are these tiny, wingless insects that are about 1-2 mm in length. They may be little, but because of their long legs they can actually jump up to 7 inches upwards and 13 inches in a horizontal direction! The females can each lay up to two thousand eggs in a single lifetime. These fleas can go for about 100 days, or about three months, without eating a bloody meal!
Ticks, on the other hand, are arachnids, thus they are direct relatives of the spiders and scorpions. There are two types of ticks: the first one is the Ixodidae which has a hard back plate and the second one is the Argasidae or the ones that do not have hard back plates, but have more rounded bodies instead. It is quite difficult to determine whether a particular symptom is due to a tick bite because it can be easily confused with other insect bites. Such symptoms may include inflammation or swelling at the bite spot and an itchy rash.
According to Jennifer Kvamme, DVM, in her article in Pet MD, there are several different classifications of ticks that are located around various localities all over the United States of America. Most of which are located in the West Coast, including types such as: the Western blacklegged tick (with the scientific name of Ixodes pacificus. Also known as the main carrier of the Lyme disease and the Rocky Mountain spotted fever), the Pacific coast tick (Dermacentor occidentalis), and the Rock Mountain wood tick (with the scientific name of Dermacentor andersoni and can cause tick paralysis).
So if you live around the West Coast where fleas and ticks are expected to be more rampant, it is more likely that you will have to treat your dogs for parasites more often compared to those pet owners in the East Coast.
What can you use for your beloved best friend? Well, over the years, I’ve given several treatments for parasites to my dog – he’s now 12 years old. Here is a list of these treatments I’ve tried:
What is Comfortis?
This is an FDA approved chewable and delectable (for dogs, of course!) beef-flavored tablet. Dogs that are 14 weeks old and above, and not less than 3.3 pounds in weight can take the tablet orally once a month. There are six available sizes for each tablet and the dosage will depend according to the dog’s weight. The first time I tried it, it killed off the fleas on my dog in about less than an hour.
What is Bravecto?
This is a great tasting, pork-flavored oral chew for dogs that has the active ingredient Fluralaner that works fast in killing fleas and ticks. Its effects can last for up to 12 weeks! It is also FDA approved and is recommended for use in dogs aged 6 months and above, weighing 4.4 lbs. up. This particular tablet, however, may require a prescription from your veterinarian. Dog owners may also need to take caution of the following possible adverse effects on their pets: vomiting, decreased appetite, diarrhea, lethargy, polydipsia, and flatulence.
What is Revolution?
This is a topical parasiticide and only needs one application per month, but it can provide an excellent shield against heartworms, fleas and their eggs and other parasites. It is approved for use in dogs older than 6 weeks old. However, its application on ill, weak or underweight dogs is not advisable. One downside of this remedy is that you will have to give your dog a bath before its application.
What is Nexgard?
This is another oral chew that has the active ingredient Afoxolaner that helps in eliminating ticks and fleas effectively. It is recommended for use in dogs 8 weeks old and older that weigh 4 pounds and more. It is, however, a hit and miss in my opinion because sometimes it killed my dog’s fleas and sometimes it didn’t. Pet owners also have to take note of the indicated possible side effects of the medicine: vomiting, itching, diarrhea, lethargy and lack of appetite.
What is Capstar?
This is another FDA approved chewable oral tablet and it contains Nitenoyram (an insecticide) that can eradicate adult fleas. Dogs that are aged four weeks old and above, weighing 2 pounds and heavier can take the tablet. It is safe for use for pregnant and nursing dogs. In my case, it didn’t do much for my dog at all. He still had the flea problems and I had to repeat the application almost everyday. I would have preferred a once a month or every 3 months solution.
My personal Choice
Among these medicines for the treatment of ticks and fleas I have tried, I am strongly recommending Comforits because its effects of killing fleas tend to happen faster and at a much higher success rate in comparison to other brands and is also quite cheaper compared to Bravecto.
The way you apply the medication, whether topical or oral, of your choice can be indeed very helpful in the elimination of these problematic fleas and ticks on your beloved pooches. However, you must also remember to regularly clean up in your house (especially your carpets and bed sheets where your pets usually lie down or sleep). Another important thing to remember is to maintain a proper schedule for both bathing and grooming your dogs. An occasional trip to the vet is also beneficial. These parasites are not only disgusting, but they can also harm both the owners and the dog’s lives, thus it is important to get rid of them as soon as possible.
Ultimately, no two dogs are alike. Although I have had much success with Comfortis and continue to give it to my dog, I would like to hear your thoughts on which flea medicine or method you’ve used to get rid of fleas- So what do you use?
The information on this site is for education purposes only and is intended to be a supplement to, and not a substitute for the expertise and professional judgement of your veterinarians. You should always consult your own veterinarians for specific advice concerning the treatment of your pet. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, allergic reactions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of particular drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for your pet. The information is NOT to be used for treatment or diagnosis of your pet. It is not a substitute for veterinary exam, and it does not replace the need for services provided by your vetrinarian. Note: Any trademarks are property of their respotive companies.
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