Fleas, Ticks, and Mosquitos: choosing the right preventative

Fleas, Ticks, and Mosquitos: choosing the right preventative

Fleas, Ticks, Mosquitos, and other parasites cause major irritation to pets and pet parents alike. Choosing the right preventative can mean the difference between a summer of fun and a summer of disaster, because trying to rid your home and dog of fleas can be a very time consuming and uncomfortable task. Fleas, ticks and mosquitoes can also bring with them other parasites and infections such as tape worms, lyme disease and heart worms.

(disclaimer: The reviews of these products are based on my experiences and experiences of pet parents I know and are not to be taken as medical advice. Please always consult a veterinarian before buying and administering any medications or products to your pets.) 

Preventative medication is the best line of defense against these parasites, and choosing the right one for your pet can be a difficult process. Many pet parents look the the cost of a product, and sometimes that can be one of the highest deciding factors, while many prescription preventatives can be high in cost it can save you thousands in veterinary bills later on.

BioSpot Topical (Spot On) Treatment:

Pros:

  • Cost Effective: The Bio Spot topical flea treatment is about half the cost of its prescription strength competitor Frontline.
  • Available OTC: Some flea and tick treatments are only available through your veterinarian with a valid prescription (the pet being seen for a check-up/heartworm test  in the last 6-12 months)  Bio Spot is available over-the-counter at pet specialty stores

Cons:

  • Unreliable Protection: Many pet parents have issues with Bio Spot protecting their dog from fleas for more than two or three days. If their dog already had fleas prior to application, many see a return in as little as one day.
  • Cost you more in the long run: Because many pet parents see a return of fleas in as little as a few days, you will more than likely be trying to rid you home of fleas and/or buying a stronger topical treatment sooner rather than later. So while saving you money on the front end many people are left buying a prescription strength preventative and flea removal products for their home.
Frontline Plus Topical Treatment:

Pros:

  • Prescription Strength: Frontline Plus contains 9.8% fipronil, a broad-spectrum insecticide and slow-acting poison that disrupts the central nervous system of fleas and ticks and 8.8% S-Methoprene, an insect growth regulator that kills flea eggs and larvae.
  • Available OTC: Frontline Plus is available over-the-counter without a prescription.
  • Takes action on already present pests: Kills all existing fleas on your pet within 12 hours, as well as ticks and chewing lice. It also helps control sarcoptic mange infections

Cons:

  • Mosquitoes: Does not offer mosquito protection.
  • Effectiveness: (Please note: this has not been proven by the AVMA, Frontline, or any of it’s affiliates) Some pet parents notice after prolonged use (5+years) some dogs will suddenly get fleas for the first time. Many, upon switching products will notice no more flea problems.
Price:
  • Depending on where you buy, you’re looking at somewhere around the $75-$80 range for a 6 month supply.
K9 Advantix II Topical Treatment:

Pros:

  • Prescription Strength: combines 8.80% imidacloprid and 44% permethrin to repel and kill fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. The ingredients work on contact, overwhelming the nervous system killing the parasite. It also repels biting flies and kills lice.
  • Available OTC: K9 Advantix II is available over-the-counter without a prescription.
  • Takes quick action all all stages of fleas: Kills 98-100 percent of adult fleas within 12 hours and ends flea life cycle by preventing flea offspring (eggs, pupae, and larvae) from maturing into adult fleas.

Cons:

  • Deadly to Cats: Cats cannot metabolize the ingredients used in K9 Advantix II, and must be separated from dogs during treatment for a full 24 hours.

Price:

  • In the same price point as Frontline Plus, $75-$80 for a 6 month supply.
Trifexis (Chewable Tablet):

Pros:

  • Works quickly: it begins killing biting fleas within 4 hours, and kills fleas before they can lay eggs.
  • Also prevents worms: Prevents heartworm, treats and controls roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms.
  • Easy to give: Chewable, beef flavor tablet.
Cons:
  • Prescription Required: Only available with a prescription from your veterinarian, but can be purchased through pharmacies such as 1-800 Pet Meds or Dr. Fosters & Smith
  • Mosquitoes: Does not repel mosquitoes, but does prevent heartworms.
Price:
  • Depending on your dogs size, it will be between $95-$130 per a 6 month supply, which equals out to between $15-$20 per dose of flea/tick/heartworm preventative.

As you can see there are many different types of preventatives; talk with your vet to find the best one for your dog but always keep them on a preventative, because treating worms, fleas and other pests can be costly and can harm your pet.

Ingredient Information: 1-800-Pet-MedsDr.’s Foster and Smith

Photo Courtesy: mksystem

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