NEWS
Ask the Vet
Mon Oct 27, 2014 10:49 AM CDT
Effective once-a-month flea and tick control for dogs may be harder to find now, but it does exist. (DTN/Progressive Farmer photo by Joe Link)

Question: Frontline has always worked great on our dogs, but it is just not working like it did in the past. Is there anything better this year?

Answer: Yes, we have some great new products to consider. But before I talk about them, let me preach a little.

Frontline was our go-to product for most of the past 20 years. Several years ago, we noticed it was just not controlling fleas well. What can be recommended now?

Honestly, Frontline was a victim of its own success. If you are old enough to remember the days before Frontline, you had a No. 3 washtub of stuff to treat dogs and cats for fleas and ticks. Shampoos, dips, sprays, even house and yard treatments were used. Every week had a bath day, with spraying in between, and even then, control was not great. Then Frontline and Advantage hit the market, and suddenly, with one quick squeeze on a tube of product, fleas were gone for a month or more.

As humans do, we got lazy and abandoned good science and Integrated Pest Management practices. We did not apply these products monthly, all year long, like we should have. For awhile, they worked anyway. But you can't fool Mother Nature, and resistance came calling. It has gotten much worse in our area. As a result, we no longer sell Frontline nor recommend it or the generic fipronil-based products, including PetArmor, Fiproguard, Parastar and others.

Now for the good news. There are many products that are safe and effective for fleas and ticks. Two new dog products came on the market this year: Bravecto and NexGard. These are chewable tablets, so there is nothing to wash off or to rub off on people. NexGard lasts for a month, while Bravecto lasts three months. We were involved in the clinical trials for Bravecto, and it is the most amazing flea and tick product we have ever seen. Our clients in the study raved about it and begged for it after the study ended. It is really good.

Get in touch with your veterinarian and ask him or her to help you decide on the best flea and tick program for your pets. Please remember to use these products according to the label. For us in the Deep South, that means all year long.

(VM/CZ)

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