For many pets, fleas and ticks are an occasional annoyance. They can transmit bacterial and parasitic infections including Lyme disease, Ehrlichia, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tapeworms. Heavy infestations can cause anemia due to blood loss from feeding.
Until recently, fleas and ticks were a seasonal concern, first appearing around March or April and gone with the snow in December. As our New England winters become progressively more mild, fleas and ticks are better able to survive and thrive over-winter.
Adult fleas, for example, can remain protected in a cocoon for up to 30 weeks after reaching maturity and will emerge when the temperature rises can survive for up to 10 days at 38°F. Ticks will become active and feed at temperatures above 32°F, regardless of whether or not there is snow on the ground. In addition to less environmental help in controlling fleas and ticks, some of the familiar old products we’ve been using as preventatives don’t seem to be as effective anymore.
Even though recent studies have shown that fleas and ticks have not developed resistance to common preventatives, our pharmaceutical suppliers have produced several new or updated products to help protect our pets from these pests.
Products We Recommend
This is the next generation of Frontline’s topical products. Similar to the older versions of Frontline, this product has an ingredient that kills adult fleas and tick and an insect growth regulator that eliminates some of the flea’s earlier life stages. Frontline Gold has an additional ingredient that enhances its ability to kill flea eggs and larvae, breaking up the flea lifecycle faster and more effectively than past products. This topical product can be used on dogs and cats (there’s a specific product for each species) and must not be used within 48 hours of a bath or other topical products.
Also from the Frontline family of flea and tick preventions, Nexgard is a new oral flea and tick preventative available for dogs. This treat-flavored monthly oral tablet kills adult fleas and ticks within about 12 hours and lasts for 30 days. Adult ticks are killed before they are able to transmit most infections and adult fleas are killed before they are able to lay eggs, effectively halting their life cycle. Nexgard is ideal for pets that swim or are bathed frequently, have dense coats, or have reactions to topical products.
This new product provides up to 12 weeks of flea and tick prevention for dogs and cats. Similar to Nexgard this product kills fleas and ticks within a few hours, minimizing disease transmission and preventing adults from laying eggs to perpetuate their life cycle. Bravecto is an oral product for dogs and a topical product for cats.
This is the most comprehensive protection we have for cats. In addition to protecting against fleas and some ticks, Revolution also protects against feline heartworms disease, intestinal parasites, ear and certain skin mites.
Not all products are appropriate for every pet, and all flea and tick preventions have the potential for adverse effects. If you are not satisfied with your current flea and tick prevention, contact North Windham Animal Hospital so our staff and veterinarians can help you select the best protection for your pet.