As Jimmy Fallon would say….Ewwwwwa
The choices are overwhelming, so I am going to give you the down and dirty about the products and what I think of them. I am writing this at the Beginning of April, 2016. I totally reserve the right to change my mind about any of these products.
Note: When you see @, know that what I wanted to do was put a copyright sign. But since my computer only has @, that is going to have to do. So, if you own one of the companies that make these products, don’t sue me. I know you might want to because I kind of dissed your product.
Frontline@ (Fipronil containing products)–This was the very first breakthrough product in veterinary medicine for fleas and ticks. 15 years ago, I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. Unfortunately, like with antibiotics, the more you use a product, the less effective it becomes with time. The company that makes this product vehemently denies that it is any less effective. I’m just a vet in Maine, but I don’t think it works in my hands. There are several generic versions as well. Its relatively non toxic and is better than nothing. But don’t complain to me if you use it and pull a big fat tick off your dog. (Fiproguard and Parastar have the same ingredient)
Certifect @(Fipronil and Amitraz)–better at killing ticks. Amtraz is a chemical that used to be used in mange dips. Pretty good at killing ticks. Stinky and more toxic than I like.
Having said that, it is effective.
Advantage @ (imidocloprid)–better than Frontline IMHO with fleas, still not good for ticks. In fact, even the company agrees on this.
Advantix @(imidocloprid and Permethrin)–Gets around the tick thing by using permethrin. Old style topical agent, but in my opinion, still works without being a large stinker.
Vectra 3D @ (Dinotefuran, Permethrin, Pyriproxifen)– I was very interested in this when it came out a few years ago. After reading about it and doing some research, I ordered some and found it to have a higher reaction rate than I liked. Although it did not cause serious reactions, it did seem to give an awful lot of dogs the creepy crawlies and we saw a few topical burns. I sent it all back. However, it is effective and for those dogs that do well with it….
I am not crazy about this category, but several new products have been released over the past 5 years and I have worked with several vets who use them on their own pets. The reason I do not like them is that they concentrate the toxicity near the head and mouth. We know that in cats there is a 4 fold increase in oral cancer in cats that regularly wear flea collars. That study was not done with the new ones to my knowledge, but…..
Seresto Collar@ (Flumethrin and Imidoclprid)–labeled for 8 months… this is definitely a good bang for your buck. I do believe it is effective, but for me, the concentration around the head and mouth makes me nervous. Flumethrin is a relative of permethrin, and that is the most commonly used product in flea and tick collars.
Preventic Collar@ (Amitraz) Effective for 90 days, this is a tick-only collar that has one of the ingredients in Certifect. Also, Amitraz was one of the active ingredients in a product called Promeris, which was taken off the market several years ago for causing an inordinate amount of autoimmune skin diseases. Mark me down as not a fan.
Scalibor Collar @ (Deltamethrin)– 6 month label, another of the Permethrin relatives. If I was on a desert island that was infected with ticks and a box of this washed up on shore, and I had a dog with me, I would definitely use it. If I did not have a dog I would probably put it on me.
Oral Agents (pills)
Nexgard@ (Afloxolaner)– I watched this product for awhile before ordering it. Last year I gave it to my dogs and can’t believe how easy it is. They liked it!! Toxicity of this class of drugs is quite low, and I also like the fact that the lack of topical products cuts down on the insecticides our pets drag through the woods. This is my personal choice for my dogs
Bravecto @(Fluralaner)–This is same class, works for 3 months. Very close second for me. I have not used it because its 50-60 bucks a pill and although it works for 3 months, I would be so very unhappy if my dogs vomited it on my shoe.
The company that makes Nexgard will replace the pill if my dog vomits it up, and the company that makes Bravecto will not. So as petty as it is, that is what made my decision on which one to have in house. We will of course prescribe out any thing within reason that you request as long as your pet is an active patient of our practice.
Hope this helps in your decision