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Discussion Starter #1
I need recommendations for a good flea and Rick prevention that can be used under 6 months of age. My older dog was having the drops you put in their back but it says you have to separate animals for 24 hours after application.

They are both on a heartworm medication that also helps with fleas but does not help with ticks.

I would like something that does not require me to separate the dogs for more than an hour or so at most. Well, if we did it at night 8 hours would work I guess.

Prefer drops of oral, not collars. Cheaper is always better as long as it works. TIA!
 

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This is such a complicated topic, as there are so many different configurations of HW + flea/tick protection that are possible.

AFAIK, there's no good HW protection that also offers excellent tick protection against multiple species of ticks. Revolution is as close as you'll get, with American Dog Tick protection built in...but that leaves out Lone Star Ticks carrying a lot of disease.

See this chart:
https://www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?articleid=580

I think excellent tick protection probably requires two products, unfortunately -- unless covering Dog Ticks would be good enough for your area, in which case, Revolution would be the most cost-effective solution (but it's topical). It is among the more expensive HW prevention products, but if it's all you need, it would be a good deal (on sale right now at Valleyvet.com, it's 92/6 pack, or 15-and-change per month).

If you need to cover more species of ticks, to get the most cost-effective total protection, I think you might opt to do a stand-alone oral HW protection product --any version of "generic Heartguard" (like Tri-Heart Plus, etc.) if you live in an area where ivermectin still works well (i.e., not the Gulf Coast). One of the generic copycats of HG would be the lowest cost HW protection you can buy (valleyvet.com lists Triheart Plus as around $32 per 6 pack...5 bucks and change per month for heartworm-only protection, oral form).

I use NexGard during the summer when I travel to a tick-infested part of the country. It's an excellent, oral product for ticks and fleas. It's labeled for Lone Star tick, Black-legged (deer) tick, American Dog tick and Brown dog tick. It comes in 3-packs and 6-packs. It typically costs about $60/3 pack unless you catch a sale (Valleyvet.com has them on sale for $54/3 pack now...that's a good deal...$18/mo).

A slightly cheaper alternative to NexGard is Bravecto. It's labeled for the same 4 species of ticks. It's an oral chew that lasts for 3 months, making it incredibly convenient. It runs about $50/ea. (though there's a sale on Valleyvet.com on two-packs from time to time -- right now it's on sale 2 for $80....6 months of protection for $13 and change per mo.). I've used this in rescue for dogs that came to us having already had the ProHeart6 injection (6-month heartworm prevention product). They needed some flea protection in foster care, and Bravecto worked great for them.

The bottom line is that I think you could do what you want (oral prevention of HWs, fleas, and ticks) for under 25/mo using two products (and maybe even under $20/mo), if you're diligent about catching sales and price-shopping. (FWIW, the pricing I've used here is from Valleyvet.com because they're the lowest cost I've found for most RX meds for the rescue, and they're Vet-VIPPS certified, so you're get US FDA approved meds just like the vet sells, not gray market foreign stuff that may or may not be counterfeit. They have great customer service too. You'll need prescriptions from your vet of course.)


I've gone to vet appointments with spreadsheets comparing products (what they cover, how long, etc) in order to talk through optimal configurations. Sometimes the vet has some ideas that help too.
 

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I prefer the oral stuff, then natural sprays and such as topical before outings.

used to use Bravecto, liked it, now I use Simparica, its made by the same company but Simparica covers more types of ticks (also my vet changed from Bravecto to Simparica, for that very reason) and Heartguard for heart worm. it is expensive as 6 months coverage of both is about $100 CAD, but I haven't found any ticks on my dog yet and I live in an area where ticks are very common.

I never had good results with advantix, and my friends dog got a benign mass type thing appear exactly 3 weeks into using it 2 years in a row so I kinda dont trust it much now
 

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I'm the opposite of Suzy25. I prefer the topicals than the oral stuff. I'm not saying my way is better or her way is wrong. Just giving you another option. I like the concept of an oral medication but I just don't like the idea of putting "poisons" (pesticides) directly into my dog's blood stream especially since my previous GSD died of liver/pancreas/spleen cancer and the oncologist said that it could be a number of factors that caused the cancer including oral flea/tick medication. So I'm not taking that chance with this new pup....going with Frontline Plus as his littermates are also on it and another GSD pup in his obedience class is on Frontline also. My pup has been on Nexgard for the 1st 3 months and he's developed itchiness from it. Apparently that's one of the side effects of orals...itchiness. My vet sold Frontline plus at 6 for $125, while Costco has it at 8 for $76...pretty good deal.
 

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Please don't buy Frontline or Advantage products without checking with your local vet -- they've allegedly lost effectiveness in some places due to resistance, according to a few vets I've spoken with. Local vets know which of the "old" generation of products still work (if any). For example, I can still use Advantage, but our local fleas seem totally resistant to Fipronil (the active ingredient in Frontline), and our vets no longer sell Frontline due to their concern about its ineffectiveness. It's been around since the 1990s, so fleas have had a long time to get used to living with it.

Tc68, Fipronil/Frontline is a suspected carcinogen (linked to thyroid cancer), so if that's your concern, it's worth doing some digging on this issue:
https://www.vetinfo.com/side-effects-fipronil-frontline-dogs.html
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for your responses. I'll definitely look into what's best for our specific area. They are on a good heartworm prevention recommended by our vet and we plan on keeping them on that. Just want something cheaper for the ticks but don't want to compromise our dogs' health.

As I continue to research more thoughts and suggestions appreciated.

Those who do topical, how long does yours say to separate pets?
 

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I personally use topical Advantage Multi year-round for HW and fleas (adding oral NexGard seasonally, two weeks apart when we spend time in tick areas). I stopped using generic Heartguard-type prevention because I'm in an area where ivermectin-resistance is emerging. AM has no resistance documented and appears to be the most effective HW prevention in my area.

For most of the year, AM is all I need (no other product), as it is still effective on fleas in my region -- it's only when we go hiking in a different area known for ticks that we need to add the NG.

The AM product label only recommends separating dogs for 30 minutes. Here's the AM product label:
https://bayer.cvpservice.com/product/view/basic/1040052

We put it on at bed-time, so it's never been an issue.
 

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Currently using Bravecto which runs us $57 for 3 months.
 
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