It's easier to prevent fleas and ticks than to get rid of them. In this post, our vets give tips on products that help protect cats and dogs from these parasites.
Fleas and ticks are on the prowl again! Please be sure to protect your pets. One flea can lay 30-50 eggs per day, leading to rapid infestation of the environment. It’s easier to prevent fleas than get rid of them, so, make sure that ALL of the pets in the environment are being treated with an effective flea product. Ticks are harder to prevent, since they reproduce outdoors and more slowly than fleas, but excellent products are available to kill adult ticks on your pet.
Flea Prevention for Dogs
We strongly recommend monthly heartworm preventatives, and fortunately both of the heartworm preventatives that we carry for dogs, Sentinel and Trifexis, also help with flea control. Trifexis is the most effective against adult fleas.
Trifexis kills adult fleas so quickly that they cannot reproduce, and will do a great job of flea control as a standalone product. Sentinel, on the other hand, does not kill adult fleas but prevents flea eggs from hatching, which provides environmental control of the flea population.
Dogs taking Sentinel may need to have either a topical flea/tick product like Frontline Tritak applied monthly or take another flavored product called Nexgard during the height of flea season in the summer and fall or when exposed to fleas in the environment.
Sentinel and Trifexis are both beef-flavored tablets, and NexGard is a beef-flavored chew.
ALWAYS GIVE ORAL PREVENTATIVE PILLS WITH A MEAL TO ENHANCE THEIR EFFECTIVENESS.
So to simplify for dogs even more:
Trifexis prevents heartworms, the three major intestinal parasites (hookworms, roundworms and whipworms) and kills adult fleas.
Sentinel prevents heartworms,the three major intestinal parasites (hookworms, roundworms and whipworms), and stops flea reproduction. You may need to add NexGard or Frontline Tritak to kill adult fleas that hop onto your pet while you are in environments with fleas.
Tick Prevention in Dogs
Since neither Trifexis nor Sentinel stop ticks, you will need to add one of the following to your monthly heartworm preventive one month before tick season begins and continuing until tick season ends. While the main tick season in Western North Carolina runs from about March through July, we can see ticks year-round. Some environments such as woods and tall grasses provide a much greater exposure to ticks than others.
NexGard is a beef flavored chewable that stops both fleas and ticks.
Frontline Tritak is a flea and tick preventative that is applied topically between the shoulders of dogs.
Flea Prevention for Cats
Revolution, a topical that consists of a few drops on the skin at the base of the neck, prevents heartworms, hookworms and roundworms in cats, ear mites, and also does an excellent job of preventing fleas. We recommend monthly application of Revolution for all cats, even those who do not go outdoors, for heartworm prevention. Because cats are excellent at grooming themselves, you may not see live fleas on your cat. But indoor/outdoor cats are common carriers of fleas and flea eggs into a household, and even indoor cats can become a source of re-infestation.
Tick Prevention in Cats
Ticks generally are not as common a problem in cats, but if your cat does get ticks, we carry Frontline for cats for tick control. Frontline Tritak CANNOT be used in cats, only dogs!