New Options in Flea Control Coming to Market!
At PBVC, we have always preached that the best way to avoid the cost of an expensive flea allergy visit is to keep your pet on monthly flea preventative all year long! There is no real winter in San Diego. That’s why we love to live here!! That is also why San Diego is home to the SUPER FLEA. Our practice has seen massive flea resistance to Frontline and Advantage that have historically been effective. We simply cannot recommend any OTC products as they are all variations of Frontline (generic versions) or they are poisons (permethrin).
Our current recommendation is that all dogs be on one of the following protocols:
Trifexis monthly- BEST OPTION because in addition to being a fast and potent flea killer, it also covers heartworm prevention and parasitic control against roundworms, hookworms and whipworms. The “All in one” of Trifexis makes it the most cost effective of all our solutions. The fact that it is an oral medication makes it possible to bathe pets and not have it wash off! The CON of Trifexis is that some dogs do not tolerate it (less than 5% of dogs). Either they refuse to eat it or it has GI side-effects. If the GI side-effects are mild, we usually stick it out. If a dog has a small vomiting episode after 1 hour of getting the pill… we know it has been absorbed and usually don’t worry about it. If it is worse than that or a dog has lethargy….go to OPTION 2.
What about Comfortis? Comfortis IS Trifexis but the Comfortis lacks heartworm prevention. ALL DOGS in San Diego should be on heartworm prevention. Comfortis is great for fleas only. We have a rare client who does Comfortis and Heartgard (heartworm preventative) together. That’s fine, it just costs a bit more.
NEW PRODUCT!!!! Nexgard. Nexgard is an oral flea and tick preventative that was just launched in California. It has excellent safety and efficacy data…BUT all that data is from the manufacturer. It is too NEW to give you our opinion on efficacy. However, it is made by a company that gives a 100% satisfaction guarantee or your money back! What I can tell you, because I just put my dog Tess on it… is that it is HIGHLY palatable and has no obvious GI side-effects (though I’m sure there’s a dog out there who won’t like it or tolerate it!). Tess was one of the less than 1% of dogs who ALWAYS threw up on Trifexis. So, I’m giving it a try. Nexgard COMBINED with HEARTGARD for heartworm prevention is a solid option for the dog who won’t tolerate Trifexis. CON: Nexgard is about $18/6 pack more expensive than Trifexis. Add on the Heartgard and you’re about $50-60 more/six month supply then Trifexis. We don’t have that big an issue with ticks here…so I can’t understand why Nexgard’s price point at launch is so much higher…doesn’t make much sense. BUT, for me… I’m willing to give it a try because my dog loves to eat it and she doesn’t puke.
VECTRA Dog and Puppy topical OR VECTRA 3D topical plus Heartgard- For those who don’t want to use an oral flea control, Vectra has shown excellent efficacy against fleas. It is an EPA product and can therefore be purchased over the counter from us. The 3D version covers ticks. ALSO available for CATS. Works great for indoor cats!
Revolution- Revolution is a topical product that kills fleas, prevents heartworm and is also a parasiticide. However, in our experience, IN DOGS Revolution does not work as well on fleas. Since fleas are our big issue… it just seems better to go with one of the other options. In some houses, the product works great. So it seems to be very hit and miss house to house, dog to dog. REVOLUTION works great in cats.
If you have any other questions about flea and heartworm control, do not hesitate to call us or email us and we are glad to provide you with further information on details or pricing.
FINAL FACTOID on this issue: Like anything in life, you get what you pay for. It is quite true that there are lots of OTC products that claim to be effective. All you have to do is walk up the aisle at Petco/Petsmart or Costco and find products for sale claiming to be cheaper and better. HOWEVER, be aware that our experience in the hostile flea environment of PB, is that most of these cheaper products do not work. Buyer beware.
All the products sold here at Pacific Beach Veterinary Clinic are GUARANTEED or your money back from the manufacturer. For any reason!!! If you don’t like how your dog acts on a product. Feel it doesn’t work. ANYTHING…we can get a full refund from the company and get you on something you and your dog like!