Canine flea/tick preventative treatment?
May 24, 2004 9:06 AM   Subscribe

Canine flea/tick preventative treatment? I have a rough and tumble pup (18 pounds, 18 months old). He's quite an outdoor companion, and I find ourselves walking more wooded trails this year. I expect fleas, and especially ticks, are going to be a concern this summer. I am staying completely away from Hartz in all shapes and forms. I am very open to the idea of natural/herbal/homeopathic flea and tick preventatives as long as they work well. I am also interested if anyone has any experiences with Frontline or Advantage. Whatever the treatment, it would have to withstand bathing, as he is groomed professionally once a month and usually is rinsed down or bathed at home once a week (depending on how much mud he gets into). I will consult with the vet before going ahead with anything, obviously, but would really appreciate any of your personal feedback.
posted by jerseygirl to Pets & Animals (15 answers total)
We do Advantage on the dog (70-80 and it works well enough that we don't even have to do the cat. You can bathe them; I think the only issue is how soon before/after you treat them (and maybe how often they get bathed.)

Whatever you do, do something. Not treating the dog last summer meant she scratched her ear until she had a hematoma that required surgery and stitches, and cost ten times as much as the Advantage does. And had to wear one of those ridiculous plastic collars for weeks.
posted by trondant at 9:17 AM on May 24, 2004

Yeah my friends have a similar dog, and while we spary ourselves with enough DEET to cause cancer, the dog can roll around and play and never get anything.

Yes, for a second we postulated actually taken Advantage ourselves.
posted by geoff. at 9:22 AM on May 24, 2004

Oh for the ticks, not fleas.
posted by geoff. at 9:23 AM on May 24, 2004

Why no Hartz? Never heard about it.
posted by agregoli at 9:25 AM on May 24, 2004

Response by poster: there's a hartz health issue i am aware of.
posted by jerseygirl at 9:51 AM on May 24, 2004

Advantage has worked great on my 65-pound, 18-month old Basset Hound.
posted by jeffmshaw at 10:04 AM on May 24, 2004

Advantage is great for fleas, but I'm led to believe it's useless against ticks. Two similar products protect against both fleas and ticks: Frontline (also known as TopSpot) and Revolution. Revolution is the newest of the three, and protects against fleas, ticks, heartworm, various internal parasites, sarcoptic mange, and earmites. Googling finds sites like this one that invariably try to sell you something; I'd recommend talking to your vet about these products to see what's best for your pet.
posted by Acetylene at 10:38 AM on May 24, 2004

I hate Hartz Advantage myself, and am very interested to hear any alternatives.

A few years ago, my ex gave our dog a kiss on the neck about 12 hours after the Advantage had been placed between her shoulderblades. His lips actually went numb from the chemical - and this was 12 hours after we'd put it on the dog. It took about an hour - with vigorous washing! - for the numbness of his lips to go away. Which made us think a) that can't possibly be a good thing for the dog to have on her skin and b) what if what Advantage really does is just numb her skin so she doesn't scratch?

I think the stuff is horrible, but I haven't yet found an alternative. Hope some MeFite out there will have a good solution.
posted by widdershins at 10:45 AM on May 24, 2004

Response by poster: Hartz's product is called Advanced. The Advantage product is by Bayer. Just close enough to be confusing to the consumer, I'd imagine. Had to re-check that myself to be sure.
posted by jerseygirl at 10:55 AM on May 24, 2004

I have two dogs (a 70 lb Dalmatian and an 85 lb German Seppard) and consistently use Frontline for fleas and ticks.

I tried using homeopathic substitutes last summer, but they never killed all of the fleas, and it did nothing for ticks. I highly recommend Frontline, it has worked a little better than advantage in the long run.

Also, don't bathe your dog for at least 24 hours after the application, which is once a month. Bathing is fine anytime after that and does not reduce its effectiveness.
posted by Benway at 10:57 AM on May 24, 2004

Use Avon Skin-So-Soft when you bathe the dog.
posted by konolia at 12:06 PM on May 24, 2004

Frontline is a modern miracle. My folks have a houseful of animals (three dogs and five cats) and keeping the pets pest-free used to be a huge task that was never quite accomplished.

They've used Frontline for a number of years now, and I've yet to find a flea in their house since. It used to be natural to get a flea bite or two if you spent too much time in the room where the dogs' bedding is.

Naturally, they were reluctant to drop some sort of industrial strength pesticide on their pets, but the vet pointed out that he hasn't seen many adverse reactions (a few pets are apparently allergic) and the cumulative effect of repeated flea dips and fumey collars would be at least equal chemical exposure.

Congrats on your new friend!
posted by Mayor Curley at 12:19 PM on May 24, 2004

I'd been thinking of using Frontline myself this summer on my Lab and discovered on Merial's website they are having problems with counterfeit packages of Frontline getting into the marketplace. I guess you need to be sure to check what you're buying very carefully...
posted by JollyWanker at 1:00 PM on May 24, 2004

I vote for Frontline. We tried Hartz and it just plain did not work. After treatment with the Hartz product, I was pulling 4-5 ticks from the dog after a walk, which was exactly the same as without the product.

If the bathing is an issue, apply Frontline after each bath. After all, Frontline goes on once a month.
posted by plinth at 4:11 PM on May 24, 2004

I've used Advantage on my 35 pound lab / springer for about a year. It works wonders on fleas, and I've only found 2 ticks on him this spring -- both were dead when I found them, so that could be the Advantage at work. The vet said not to bathe him for 48 hours before / after application, so it would have time to diffuse. It's expensive from the vet, though -- can I get it at a petstore more cheaply? Or is Frontline even cheaper?

I'm glad everyone knows the Hartz is evil. I tried a Hartz collar before getting Advantage from the vet, and my dog was sick as, well, a dog for about a week after having it on for only one day.

A friend of mine swears by tea tree oil for tick repellent. Worth a shot if you're wary of chemicals, I guess.
posted by Cecilia at 6:03 PM on May 24, 2004

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