Learn about Bravecto and Simparica – two of the most effective tick & flea oral medication for pets on the market today. This article covers the benefits, pros and cons, dos and don’ts to keep your pet healthy, happy and parasite free.
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Pet owners almost always have to deal with fleas and ticks, some pet owners and their pets are menaced by this problem year round. These parasites are not just a nuisance for pets and their owners they also pose a formidable threat to the health and well being of dogs and cats. There are no vaccines for most of the diseases transmitted by ticks and flea, furthermore pets infected with ticks and flea can infect other pets, a pet owners home and in some instances even pet owners themselves.
Ticks & fleas can be dangerous for pets
Ticks and fleas are known to carry diseases which can make your pets seriously ill, illnesses that at times may prove fatal. In countries with a tropical climate the problem is even greater, particularly in tropical summers where parasites thrive. The common problems caused by ticks and fleas include flea allergy dermatitis, tapeworms, Canine Babesiosis, canine Ehrlichiosis, Murine Typhus, mycoplasma haemofelis, Lyme disease and cat scratch disease to name a few.
Ticks and fleas can consume fifteen times their own body weight of your pets blood, puppies and kittens are particularly vulnerable to anemia — a significant drop in red blood cells — on account of fleas and ticks. Adult cats and dogs also run a risk of anemia albeit to a lesser extent.
Hazards posed by ticks and fleas to other pets
For pet owners having more than one pet tick and flea prevention is a matter of even greater concern. Not only do ticks and fleas pose a threat to other pets as they can quickly infect other pets and animals, they may also serve as vectors for the transmission of numerous diseases between animals.
Hazards posed by ticks and flea to humans
While the warm fur coat of your pet provides the ideal environment for fleas and ticks to thrive it does not mean that humans are offered any measure of safety from these blood-thirsty parasites. Ticks and fleas like human blood too. Ticks and fleas can make the jump from your pet’s fur and bedding on to you. Flea bites in humans can cause intense itching, skin infections and on occasions allergic reactions in some people.
Hazards posed by ticks and fleas to homes
Fleas and ticks do not only find the warm fur of your pets comfortable they also use it to reproduce. These parasites lay their eggs on your pet, which has access to all parts of your house. When these eggs fall of from your pet on beddings, furniture, carpets and curtains they hatch as all of these are ideal places for these eggs to hatch. These young parasites will in turn feed on your pets and sometimes your blood and lay more eggs. The problem simply keeps on getting bigger and bigger if corrective measures are not taken on time.
Tick prevention medications
Flea and tick preventative medicines have been around for a long time and how effective they are has been debatable ever since. The one thing which certainly holds true is that they have come a long way, getting better and better over the years.
Tick and flea medications come in three forms, medicated flea and tick collars, topical medications and oral Flea and tick pills for dogs and Flea and tick pills for cats.
Oral vs. topical treatments
Pet parents are often confronted with a dilemma - Which is better oral or topical flea and tick solutions. Medicated tick and flea collars and topical medications use insecticides that repel insects and force fleas and ticks to leave your pets body before they have an opportunity to bite and cling on to your pets.
Oral treatments on the other work differently, they contain substances that are harmless to mammals including cats, dogs and humans but fatal for insects like ticks and fleas. When your pet is given oral medications the active ingredients are absorbed into its blood stream and subsequently transferred to tissue fluids under their skin. When ticks and fleas bite your pets the active ingredients are transferred to the parasites which then die as the substances are toxic for them.
Benefits of oral tick and flea medications
Topical treatments do not kill ticks and fleas and merely repel them off, as such the medications have a limit to how long they can hold off parasites, the effect of these medications also wear of quickly with time and one they have tapered down they are not able to repel ticks and fleas anymore.
Oral Medications kill ticks and fleas hence are more effective in keeping these parasites at bay for longer durations. Oral medications will not only kill of the ticks and fleas present on your pet; the ingredients remain active even when the eggs laid by ticks and fleas hatch killing of the next generation of parasites. The manner in which oral tick and flea preventatives work ensures protection against future infestations as well which are generally not offered by topical treatments and collars.
As mentioned earlier oral tick and flea medications have been around for some time and a lot of work has gone into their development and research. When it was discovered that ticks and fleas have become resilient to the active ingredients present in older classes of oral medications, intensive research was undertaken to tackle the problem.
The newer classes of oral medication for ticks and fleas have been getting better with time; with each new formula, breaking new ground in terms of improving safety for the pets and at the same time being more effective against ticks and fleas.
Oral tick and flea medication do not have any effect on other pets, children or pet owners themselves. The same does not hold true with topical treatments.
Safety protocols for tick and flea medications
Pet owners must remember that oral treatments are medications, while the active ingredients in them are dangerous for insects but safe for mammals, they may still produce side effects. There are no one size fits all solutions. Oral medications that would work for one dog or puppy may not work for another as there are several factors that need to be taken into account. It is best to visit your veterinarian before starting these treatments for your pets.
Pet parents of puppies, exotic breeds and pets with pre-existing health conditions are required to practice greater due diligence before starting these treatments. If your pets have a history of seizures, gastrointestinal issues and kidney conditions it is best to stick to topical treatments unless recommended by a vet. Like oral treatments, topical medications too have come a long way and if used properly will yield satisfactory results.
Oral tick and flea medications checklist
As mentioned earlier, when it come to oral tick and flea medications there is no one-size-fits-all solutions. Different ingredients in different products react differently with individual pets. It is therefore essential for pet parents to practice due diligence, conduct thorough research and definitely consult a veterinarian before initiating the medications. Some important questions that pet parents must ask themselves and experts include:
- What type of parasites does my chosen product prevent
- What is the required dosage for my pet
- How often is the product required to be used
- How long before I can see results with the product
- What precautions should I take with this product
- What should I do if my pet reacts adversely to the product
- Do I need to use an additional treatment along with this product
- What dietary protocols are to be followed with this product
- And what additional medications and nutrients are required to use this product safely
Bravecto and Simparica
Bravecto and Simparica are the two most popular chewable tick and flea medications for pets. Bravecto is a good choice for breeds with thick coats. Once administered it begins to kill fleas and ticks in just 2 hours and is good for 12 weeks of protection against ticks and fleas.
Simparica is another good option for dogs of eight weeks age or older, once administered it starts killing fleas within 3 hours and ticks begin to die 8 hours after administration. Simparica provides 35 days of protection against ticks and fleas.