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The title says it all. Any reason to use something in the winter months? I don’t think we have winter fleas and ticks in the Northeast. They die off I believe when the temps go down.
 

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I live in the SE so of course, we use it year round. But we also use sentinel which does it all: flea, HW, and ticks.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I live in the SE so of course, we use it year round. But we also use sentinel which does it all: flea, HW, and ticks.


Thanks, I’m using Nextguard. I get why you need it year round. Wondering why you would need it sub 32 degrees.

No problem with the money, just thinking why put a chemical in him any more than I need to.
 

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We continue with flea and ticks meds during the winter. I live in Virginia, in the piedmont area. The outdoor cats and dog continue to get their meds. We had one cat bring fleas into the house and that's the one and only time I want to deal with them. Ugh. I think I hate fleas worse than ticks!
 

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I usually stop in mid-November and begin again once the ground thaws.

Deer ticks have been bad this fall, though, so I'll monitor closely.

I live a climate zone north of you, but the ticks seem to thrive here.

So the short answer is no- but it is changing fast, so probably soon we will need to give meds year round, and ticks pop out with a thaw in mid-winter, too, from their warm nests with the deer mice.
 

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Thanks, yeah, I never gave either of my last two dogs heart worm meds. It's debatable whether it's actually an issue in my area.
I am in the northeast. I do not keep my dogs on flea or tick meds. When necessary, I use Bravecto. I do not keep my dogs on heart meds but I do periodically have them tested. The vets here say that if you had to pick and choose, opt for tick meds. The vet I go to said they had five cases of heartworm in dogs last year and all of them had traveled throughout the southern states with their owner.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I am in the northeast. I do not keep my dogs on flea or tick meds. When necessary, I use Bravecto. I do not keep my dogs on heart meds but I do periodically have them tested. The vets here say that if you had to pick and choose, opt for tick meds. The vet I go to said they had five cases of heartworm in dogs last year and all of them had traveled throughout the southern states with their owner.
Yeah, my vet was brutally honest with me too on heart worm. He said that a few years ago he would say don't bother as it was extinct in the area and a waste of money, but he did say there have been a few cases in Massachusetts recently, so he put it on me to decide.

When you do not keep them on flea and tick but use Bravecto when necessary, I assume you mean you take them off in the winter?
 

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If you're in dangerous tick regions, you can't count on Winter to get rid of them. This site explains their seasonality, and the potential tick activity during the Winter (even in the Northeast):

https://tickencounter.org/faq/seasonal_information



Even if you live in an area where there's not a lot of HW, all you need is one rescue transport of dogs from the South when mosquitoes are around to make HW an issue locally, even if it's not normally. Sadly, some transports aren't careful or educated about the importance of not spreading disease. When I lived in Los Angeles many years ago, HW was unheard of there -- most people didn't use HW prevention, few vets saw cases of it, and it just wasn't a big thing YET. Nevertheless, I kept my dogs on a generic version of Heartgard that cost around $5/month just in case -- it's super-low dose and well tolerated. Then Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, and we had load after load of heartworm-positive pet survivors arrive. Several dogs in my own neighborhood got heartworms the following year. Mine didn't. That $5/month pill protected mine.



I deal with HW all the time in rescue in the Deep South now -- it's awful. It's not something to roll the dice with. The problem with stopping HW during the cold months is that every product except for one works retroactively, letting baby worms get deposited, dosing the dog with the drug that then mops up not just the ones deposited in the last 30 days, but any that slipped through and weren't killed by the dose the month or two before that--because they're not 100% on any given month, but they are 100% over time when given consistently. So if you stop for winter before mopping the ones missed last month, any that survive will be too big to kill with prevention products in Spring when you re-start meds...even though your dogs will still test "negative," it will be a false "negative" that's just too soon to register as "positive"(worms have to be 6-7 months old to produce the antigen for the test to pick up). However, the following year when you test, you'll have a HW+ dog needing HW treatment.



Please don't use the Internet charts to self-medicate Ivermectin! I had a vet look at one of those DIY ivermectin charts and found out the site was recommending a dose that is literally thousands of times higher than the amount in Heartgard. Yes, THOUSANDS! Ivermectin overdoses can blind or neurologically damage dogs pretty easily. It can be safely diluted down by a vet for you who can do the calculation to keep your dog safe -- it's literally measured in DROPS not CCs -- but don't trust randos online to do that calculation or dilution for you. Farm vets do this pretty regularly for clients who have multiple species of animals though.
 

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Yeah, my vet was brutally honest with me too on heart worm. He said that a few years ago he would say don't bother as it was extinct in the area and a waste of money, but he did say there have been a few cases in Massachusetts recently, so he put it on me to decide.

When you do not keep them on flea and tick but use Bravecto when necessary, I assume you mean you take them off in the winter?
Actually no. I had a flea problem a while back and tried everything to resolve the issue. The vets weren't very helpful just telling me to use meds more frequently. A friend who is a vet tech suggested Bravecto. It took one treatment on all of them to resolve the issue and I have not had fleas again. I regularly inspect the dogs for signs of fleas and so far so good. If I were to get fleas again, I would retreat with Bravecto. In this country, Bravecto is good for three months. In foreign countries, they use it effectively every six months.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Actually no. I had a flea problem a while back and tried everything to resolve the issue. The vets weren't very helpful just telling me to use meds more frequently. A friend who is a vet tech suggested Bravecto. It took one treatment on all of them to resolve the issue and I have not had fleas again. I regularly inspect the dogs for signs of fleas and so far so good. If I were to get fleas again, I would retreat with Bravecto. In this country, Bravecto is good for three months. In foreign countries, they use it effectively every six months.
Thanks. Hmmm, I like the idea of three months. It pretty cheap too, cheaper than Nextguard.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
If you're in dangerous tick regions, you can't count on Winter to get rid of them. This site explains their seasonality, and the potential tick activity during the Winter (even in the Northeast):

https://tickencounter.org/faq/seasonal_information



Even if you live in an area where there's not a lot of HW, all you need is one rescue transport of dogs from the South when mosquitoes are around to make HW an issue locally, even if it's not normally. Sadly, some transports aren't careful or educated about the importance of not spreading disease. When I lived in Los Angeles many years ago, HW was unheard of there -- most people didn't use HW prevention, few vets saw cases of it, and it just wasn't a big thing YET. Nevertheless, I kept my dogs on a generic version of Heartgard that cost around $5/month just in case -- it's super-low dose and well tolerated. Then Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, and we had load after load of heartworm-positive pet survivors arrive. Several dogs in my own neighborhood got heartworms the following year. Mine didn't. That $5/month pill protected mine.



I deal with HW all the time in rescue in the Deep South now -- it's awful. It's not something to roll the dice with. The problem with stopping HW during the cold months is that every product except for one works retroactively, letting baby worms get deposited, dosing the dog with the drug that then mops up not just the ones deposited in the last 30 days, but any that slipped through and weren't killed by the dose the month or two before that--because they're not 100% on any given month, but they are 100% over time when given consistently. So if you stop for winter before mopping the ones missed last month, any that survive will be too big to kill with prevention products in Spring when you re-start meds...even though your dogs will still test "negative," it will be a false "negative" that's just too soon to register as "positive"(worms have to be 6-7 months old to produce the antigen for the test to pick up). However, the following year when you test, you'll have a HW+ dog needing HW treatment.



Please don't use the Internet charts to self-medicate Ivermectin! I had a vet look at one of those DIY ivermectin charts and found out the site was recommending a dose that is literally thousands of times higher than the amount in Heartgard. Yes, THOUSANDS! Ivermectin overdoses can blind or neurologically damage dogs pretty easily. It can be safely diluted down by a vet for you who can do the calculation to keep your dog safe -- it's literally measured in DROPS not CCs -- but don't trust randos online to do that calculation or dilution for you. Farm vets do this pretty regularly for clients who have multiple species of animals though.
Understood on both counts. I'm not stopping HeartGuard. I'll probably keep the F&T going as well.
 

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I switched to Simparica from Bravecto because my vet said it was only working for about 10 weeks- and that's what I was seeing with engorged ticks before the 3 months were up. I don't think it is good for 6 months. Simparica on the other hand does seem to last about 35 days, so that is how I dose it. I have to give my dogs tick meds or me and them will get Lyme, or another tick illness, almost guaranteed.

For Heartworm, I use the sheep drench (do an Amazon search) and a 1 cc syringe to dose my dogs- most get about 0.3 cc- that is O point 3 cc (decimal place matters a lot). I have done a lot of research, and asked my vet, and this is correct dosage.
 

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I used to stop over the winter (upper Midwest) but the deer ticks are present year round. They seem to be getting worse.

I removed one from myself last year in January, and my neighbor freaked out and posted all over Facebook & Nextdoor when she found one on her daughter in February. There's 3 inches of snow on the ground right now, and I found a tick on my puppy last night. As soon as his weight stabilizes enough that he can be dosed correctly, he's going on Nexguard like the adult dogs.... the topicals haven't worked for me in years, and clearly they're not working on my puppy, even though temps are solidly below freezing and he's basically getting slathered in Wondercide in addition to a vet topical. Ugh.

Everyone's risk level and exposure is different, but I've learned I can't rely on winter up here.
 

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We do flea and tick as well as heartworm year round. I'm just not willing to take any chances because we tend to have mozzies and fleas and ticks year round here in the south
 
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