Tick Control in Dogs and Cats
Frontline® “Top Spot®”
Frontline®, distributed by Merial, is the only flea and tick product containing fipronil which is a patented GABA inhibitor. It is available as a spray or individual applicator (spot on treatment). This product is effective against fleas and ticks for up to one month and reportedly effective against fleas for up to 90 days. Frontline® rapidly kills parasites and is an effective antifeedant. This product is safe for adult dogs and puppies over eight weeks of age. Merial reports that Frontline® actually works better on a dirty dog since oils in the skin help in the distribution of the product. The hair must be parted in order to provide optimal exposure to the skin. We have noticed better results with the spray product in situations involving heavy tick infestations.
This is product is available and effective for ticks on cats. Frontline has also been approved for use on breeding, pregnant or lactating cats and dogs.
Preventic® Collars are distributed by Virbac. They are tick collars containing amitraz, which will kill ticks for up to three months. The collar is placed around the dog’s neck, buckled, and adjusted to the proper fit. Activity against ticks starts within 24 hours of collar placement. The collar should be stretched for optimal activation. It should be removed prior to bathing since activity is diminished once submerged. This product is not an insecticide and will not have any effects on fleas. Amitraz is an effective antifeedant. Do not use on cats.
Manufactured by Bayer Animal Health. Advantix is a combination product of imidacloprid and permethrin. This product has good residual activity, and rapidly kills fleas. The permethrin has repellent and antifeedant properties on ticks. This product is intended for use on dogs 7 weeks and older. Advantix® should not be used on cats.
This product is also distributed by Bayer Animal Health and is a combination of imidacloprid and moxidectin. The moxidectin interacts with GABA resulting in flaccid paralysis and death of susceptible parasites. This product is also approved for the prevention of heartworms, ear mites, and certain intestinal parasites but not ticks.
The active ingredient in Revolution® is selamectin. This product is manufactured by Pfizer Animal Health. Revolution is approved for use in dogs over 6 weeks of age and cats over 8 weeks of age. This medication is an effective heartworm preventative as well. Control of ear mites and sarcoptic mange may be achieved when applied at 2 week intervals. This product is approved for use against ticks in dogs but not cats at this time.
This product is currently available from Fort Dodge Animal Health. Pfizer is currently merging with Fort Dodge and will incorporate this product. ProMeris is available for the treatment of ticks only in the dog. The product contains metaflumizone and amitraz. Amitraz provides the activity against ticks and is an antifeedant. Cats are sensitive to amitraz so ProMeris® for cats does not contain amitraz and is therefore only effective against fleas.
This product is available from numerous manufactures and is available alone or in combination with other products, (see Advantix® above). This product has excellent knockdown, repellent and antifeedant properties against ticks. Only products labeled for cats should be used on cats and even then with caution since cats are highly sensitive to permethrins.
This product is also available from several manufactures and is available alone or in combination with other products for increased activity. These products have excellent knockdown properties especially for fleas but have little residual activity against ticks.
Antifeedant: An insecticide’s ability to alter the biting and feeding of parasites after contact with the treated pet.
Ectoparasite: A parasite found on the surface of an animal.
Knockdown effect: This is a measure of speed at which an insecticide causes immobilization of an ectoparasite.
Repellent: Feature of an insecticide to cause an ectoparasite to move away from a treated pet.
Blagburn, Byron. “Tick Control and Vector-Borne Diseases: What You Need to Know”, Parasite Developments. Proceedings from the 2007 NAVC Conference and 2007 Western Veterinary Conference. Supplement to Veterinary Forum Vol.24.No.3 (A), March 2007. Pp.8-12.