Luckily, I have not YET struggled with fleas or mites on my dogs, but like everything else, most likely my time may be coming. No dog nor home is totally immune because we are not separate from our environment. There are many products on the market and I will give my personal experience with the ones that I have used.
As a preface to the discussion, some dogs, particularly dogs in the herding breeds can carry MDR1 reactivity so it is good to know your dog and their bloodline. In my case, I have tested my adult dogs and they are MDR1 Normal which takes that issue off the table for me and stops that genetic issue from passing to my puppies. However, if you are unsure about your dog, ask your veterinarian about the safety of specific products containing avermectin or its derivatives before getting your prescriptions.
I am deciding not to add links to the individual products nor to describe the particular way they work in the dog’s system, but rather to discuss my personal experiences. There is no way, in my limited expertise, that I can give that any credence and much more reliable information is available elsewhere.
Frontline is a topical product for flea and tick prevention and that only. It is an old product and has been around for most likely 20+ years and is available over the counter and online without a vet’s script. It works reasonably well for the “brand” of flea in the Kentucky area, but since it does not include heartworm prevention, I marked it off my list. Before Interceptor left the US markets, I used the two in combination and was quite pleased with the result. If you are in an area of the country where heartworm is not an issue, Frontline is still a viable choice for you.
Revolution has been my brand of choice for several years and I’m still using it, with some rotation in my monthly applications. It too is topical and in the case of my dogs, has given me no skin allergic reactions. I am always careful to apply topicals in the evening just before the dogs go to their crates to sleep so they don’t play and lick each other and perhaps ingest the chemical. Revolution is an avermectin product and prevents fleas and heartworms. One of the vets here suggested it also helps with intestinal worms although is not listed on the product description. I am hearing there are flea mutations in some areas, particularly the South, that are resisting this treatment although it hasn’t been an issue for me yet.
Another topical which I have added to my list recently is Advantage Multi because it is full spectrum against fleas, mites, heartworms and also all 3 of the intestinal worms that plague dogs. I treated all my dogs for the first time in early November and saw no side effects so I may likely move to this product full time, depending on the competitive pricing with Revolution. I have chosen Revolution and also Advantage because both are advertised as being safe for breeding dogs which applies to me, but perhaps not to you.
Trifexis is another new product on the market and it is in pill form. I have read reviews quite extensively and also talked to my vet personally about this product from the standpoint of safety. As a layman, I realize that medicines that are trans dermal are not so different than those that enter the digestive tract, but somehow, I am more leery of the latter which is just a personal thing. In the summer, I did a round of Trifexis with each of my 5 dogs at the time and saw no reactivity. However, I was very careful to follow dosing instructions and give the tablet with a FULL meal. After doing that dose, I read the warning more closely and saw that it was perhaps a bit iffy with breeding dogs, so have not continued this medication except for with Ike and Izzy, my neutered dogs. Most likely, when the box I have is gone, I will not purchase again at this time.
Comfortis is not a product I have used, but one of my young dogs owned by my daughter was fighting “southern” fleas from South Carolina and also a low grade mite infection around one of her eyes and this product seemed to do what the others could not, rid her of the problem. That is my only advertisement and from what I read online this morning, it is a flea prevention product only so another product must be used in conjunction for heartworm and intestinal worms.
I am adding one last item. I have for many years given my dogs a brewers yeast/garlic tablet on a regular basis for the only reason that naturalists suggest this supplement helps the dogs not be so “tasty” to those little bugs that haunt them. The added benefit is a nice shiny hair coat. Does it really work? Doesn’t hurt.
Those of you that read my Blog or FB regularly and have used other products successfully with your Mini Aussies are encouraged to post or reply your experiences with additional flea prevention products. I learn from you and then others can as well.
Any additional information about my dogs can be found at Alangus Aussies