Ask the Vet Archive

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

Topic: Tick Prevention

Question from Carol in Wilmington:
I give my Jack Russell a monthly dose of Frontline Plus. Almost every time I walk her in the neighborhood, she comes in with one or two ticks on her. What does Frontline actually do? Does it stop ticks from biting her? I always brush her right after a walk, but I fear I will not find the Lyme ticks.

Answer from Dr. Mindy Cohan:
I understand your frustration with ticks. The recent temperate winters have enabled these annoying and harmful parasites to thrive year round. The Frontline you are using is absorbed into your dog's hair follicles. When a flea or tick comes into contact with the active ingredient, it will die within one to two days.

Frontline is unfortunately not 100% effective in preventing Lyme disease because a tick has a window of opportunity to bite a dog and transmit the agent that causes Lyme disease. There is no currently available product that repels fleas and ticks. Checking yourself and your dog thoroughly after being outside is the best bet for detecting deer ticks as soon as possible. I certainly recommend continuing to use Frontline. Be sure that your dog is not bathed within 2 days of applying Frontline.

You should also ask your veterinarian about a Preventic collar. These collars can be used in combination with Frontline and often kill ticks more quickly. If your dog show any signs of lameness, lethargy, or decreased appetite, have your veterinarian check her for Lyme disease.

Posted September 9, 2008

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