Ask the Vet Archive

Your chance to ask Dr. Mindy Cohan, VMD, our resident pet health expert, what's on your mind!

Topic: Canine Flea and Tick Prevention

Question from Susan in Dover:
What is the best flea/tick repellent to use on an older dog?

Answer from Dr. Mindy Cohan:
The safest and most reliable flea and tick preventatives are those sold by your veterinarian. I do not recommend over the counter medications. Frontline and Advantix are effective in controlling both fleas and ticks. Both of these products are applied to dogs on a monthly basis. Never use medications labeled for dogs on a cat! Revolution is a topical heartworm and flea preventative, but it does not offer good tick protection. Revolution is the only topical available which does provide protection against Sarcoptic mites. These mites cause scabies, a very itchy skin condition which is contagious to both dogs and people. Special tick collars can be used in conjunction with Revolution. If your older dog has any specific health concerns, it is best to talk to your own veterinarian.

There are no available "repellents" of fleas and ticks. Even with diligent use of these topical products, you can still find ticks on your dog after visiting wooded areas. Once in contact with your medicated dog, the tick will die. However, Lyme disease can be transmitted to dogs before the products have time to kill the infected tick. When the winter weather is mild, protection against these annoying parasites is recommended all year round.

Posted June 5, 2006

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