This can be confusing! There are a lot of new products coming on the market each year and all work in a slightly different way. At Lockerby Animal Hospital we base our approach to your pet’s parasite prevention based on what is the safest, most effective and cost effective product for your pet’s unique lifestyle.
Some considerations are:
Do you own a cat or a dog? Cats and dogs require different products and unless specified on the product packaging it is safe for both species, can be fatal, especially if given to cats. If your cat has any signs of seizures, drooling, stumbling after administering a flea or tick product make sure to see a veterinarian immediately and bring in the product packaging.
Method of product delivery
Topical-These products are often given between the shoulder blades of your pet. They are absorbed into your pet’s bloodstream or sebaceous system to provide protection against fleas, certain types of ticks, possibly intestinal parasites and heartworm depending on the product. Some considerations for these products are having small children who may touch the products before it is absorbed or how often your pet swims. In Northern Ontario, our dogs love to go in the water so you must take this into consideration.
Oral-Parasite prevention may be given by mouth at intervals determined by the manufacturer. They protect your pet from fleas, certain types of ticks and possibly roundworm, hookworm, whipworm and heartworm depending on the medication.
Sprays, powders, collars-While potentially an inexpensive method of preventing fleas and ticks, we often have people calling the hospital oral or topical products as the spray, collar or powder did not work. This ultimately ends up costing the owner more in the long run not to mention the inconvenience of a house full of fleas which have often transmitted themselves to other pets. If you do choose this method, be very careful of contact with children and other pets such as cats if it is a dog product. Also, be very careful in the application process taking care not to get them in your pet’s eyes or mouth.
Indoor vs. outdoor
Our veterinary team will discuss your pet’s habits. An outdoor cat who hangs out in the bush and hunts rodents will need a very different preventative than an indoor cat. Keep in mind, indoor cats may still be exposed to fleas and ticks that are carried in from outside by humans or other pets. A dog who hikes in the forest or stays outdoors most of the day will have different parasite prevention needs than one who cuddles on the couch most of the day. Both need protection…just different.
If your pet travels outside of Sudbury and District they may be exposed to different and/or greater numbers of parasites, ticks and fleas as well as heartworm than we find here. This would mean that your pet would require a different preventative than one who stayed in Sudbury. This is especially true for pets that travel south where the temperatures are warmer.
Our veterinary team will try to find the most effective, safest parasite prevention product for the lowest cost for our clients.
Previous History of Reactions
If your pet has had a history of sensitivity to a parasite prevention product, our veterinary team will work with you to determine the safest product to give. This would involve trying a different class of drug that your pet may not react to and still receive protection from parasites.